To go back To the moment Where it was simple When trust was easy Oh, to get closer to that
To live A life of vulnerability In communion In the garden
To abide In your presence Everyday Where nothing Must be proven
To live In your love In daily communion In a life of vulnerability With you
That’s what I strive for Everyday To be vulnerable And live fully As myself With my best friend — My Abba Father
Thanks for reading! This poem was inspired by:
my word of the month: “vulnerability” – noun: vulnerability; plural noun: vulnerabilities – the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. & this song!
The balance of life Will inevitably tip If we take God off centre
Life becomes a game A balancing act Of keeping God centered
It’s a confusing game We think it’s difficult But it doesn’t even take much effort
Life with God At the centre Is the simplest life
It’s the easiest And best Way to live
When the balance Is even & steady Life feels perfect
Keeping it that way Might take effort And feel difficult But… The centering game Is the most rewarding Gift from God
Thanks for reading! I hope this reminded you to keep God at the centre of your life because where He is at the centre, He will do amazing things in & with your life! Click the picture below to listen to an inspiring song about keeping Him at the centre!
Getting your hands dirty & putting in work might not be glamorous or easy, but it has an amazing reward. Serving others like Jesus is what we are called to do, no matter the cost. It’s what He wants from us.
Thanks for reading! I hope this encouraged you to start putting in work & serving the people around you more because the reward is far greater than the work it takes to get it.
From arriving safely at your destination, to exploring your destination… When traveling alone, there are A LOT of things to think about… and, one of the most important, and overlooked thing is PACKING! So, here are some tips about packing that I’ve learned throughout my many solo travels:
1- Pack light You’re traveling alone; you don’t want to worry about carrying 2 bags and lugging around 2 suitcases. Save yourself the stress, and pack just 1 suitcase and 1 bag.
2- Check the weather! You most likely don’t need to bring your entire wardrobe. And, if you do forget anything, you can probably find at your destination (and, it can count as a great souvenir).
3- What are you going for? Are you going to be at the beach everyday? Are you going hiking a lot? Are you going in the mountains?
4- What kind of trip? Is it for business? Are you going for vacation? Are you going to visit friends/family? For how long?
5- How are you going to pack?
Will you choose the fold or roll method? This tip is very controversial. But, after personally trying both methods, multiple times, for different trips, I’ve come to the conclusion that the FOLD method is 100% easier and much more effective for any type of trip. It also takes much less room in your suitcase, and keeps your clothes much more organized, and less wrinkly.
Thanks for reading! I hope this post helps you pack effectively for your next adventure because packing effectively is the start to an amazing experience because it can take away some of the stress of traveling!
P.S. This post was inspired by my next adventure (departing: tomorrow)! So, stay tuned for more adventure posts (and, to find out where I’m going)!
It doesn’t matter if you were a pro at all those things in your home country because everything will be different in a foreign country.
Yes, there will be similarities, and you will learn the differences quickly. But, you will still need to learn the best place to grocery shop, the best method of transportation to get around (bus, subway, taxi), and the currency (so you know when something is overpriced).
And, on top of discovering all those things, you will need to learn a foreign language.
AND, while you are learning ALL that, you also need to deal with homesickness and culture shock (at least for the first few months).
Now, I’m not saying all this to scare you. I personally have been loving my experience living abroad. I’m telling you all this so you know what’s coming: A LOT OF WORK AND DEDICATION! But, it’s 100% worth it.
Yes, there will be ups and downs. There will be days where you won’t want to speak the language (you’ll get tired of needing to train your brain in a foreign language everyday). There will be days where you’ll just want to do nothing. But, those days are the best because they will teach you the most. If you power through those days, you will realize how worth it, it is, to learn to adult/live in a foreign country. It will make it that much easier for your return to your home country. Adulting/living in a foreign country is an amazing, life-changing experience.
It really is LIFE-CHANGING because after you live in a foreign country for more than 2 or 3 months, your view of everything changes. But, the only way to understand this life-changing experience is to live it yourself! So, step out of your comfort zone & live this amazing experience!
Thanks for reading!
I hope this inspired you to step out of your comfort zone and change your perspective!
P.S. I just completed my second months of living abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina! CHECK OUT THE LINK BELOW TO SEE SOME OF MY ADVENTURES, WHILE LEARNING NEW THINGS AND LIVING A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE:
…So, this post is from 5 months ago when I lived in Chile… I finally decided to share it because it’s from the day I decided to take a spontaneous trip from my “hometown (Quillota)” to the town of Los Angeles.
So, it all started March 9, 2018 at 8pm when I decided to start exploring more of this beautiful country. So, I got up and headed to the bus station in Quillota, where I would take the 2 hour bus ride to Santiago.
I arrived in Santiago at 10pm, and waited to take the 11pm bus to Los Angeles.
That means I arrived in Los Angeles around 5am, and up to this time I had not thought of what I’d do when I arrived that early (I thought I wouldn’t arrive until at least mid-day), but I was still on a high from spontaneously deciding to take this trip, so I didn’t think much about it.
. . .
So, I arrived at the Los Angeles bus terminal at 5am, and nothing around was open.
So, I decided to copy the people around me (the 5 other people in the bus station – a family of 3, a women with a lot of bags and suitcases, and a business man).
So, I found a bench in the terminal, put my headphones on, and laid down to take a nap.
But, I wasn’t really tired, so I just listened to my music, and tried to keep myself warm – because at 5am in Chile, the temperature drops down below 10 degrees…It goes from 35 to below 10; which is a pretty drastic difference, and makes one feel the cold (so, I couldn’t fall asleep because I couldn’t stop shivering).
When I saw other buses and people arriving in the terminal, I realized I had been laying on the bench for at least 2 hours, and let me tell you, it wasn’t very comfortable.
As soon as I saw a small glimpse of sunlight through the bus terminal window, I got up and ventured out into town, and searched for breakfast. But, since it was barely 8am, (in Chile grocery stores don’t open until at least 10am), I couldn’t get breakfast for another 2 hours.
So, there I was, in an unknown town with nothing to do but explore, and watch the sun rise(which turned out to be pretty amazing).
And, that’s exactly what I did – I walked from one end of town to the other (it wasn’t a very big town), enjoying this exciting, and spontaneous adventure to Los Angeles, Chile.
. . .
Although, the walk was great, and the sunrise was beautiful, I was still a little cold (I was used to the 35 degree heat), and my feet were starting to hurt (really bad), I continued to explore this town at dawn (the beauty of a new town, this early, helped me forget the cold, and the pain).
So, with nothing open, and being a small town, the streets were very quiet, which felt weird (even in Quillota there’s noise at night), but it was kinda nice and peaceful to experience a small town in another country, this early in the morning.
. . .
After ~2 hours of exploring, just aimlessly walking around, and watching the sunrise (and getting kicked out of a hotel – …see below…), I found the first grocery store to open, and immediately went inside.
But, before even looking for breakfast, I just stood inside realizing how cold I’d actually gotten – being outside in below 10 degree weather since 4am I’d started to adjust.
I eventually started walking down the isles of the grocery store thinking of what I wanted for breakfast… (I had no idea, so, I ended up just buying some staple foods like: bread, manjar, bananas, water, and some Chilean treats…).
But, as I was walking to the elevator to leave, the front desk agents saw me and thought I was being suspicious. So, after they questioned me, I told them I was leaving, and that I just wanted to see the view. But, they still called their manager, which is when I realized I could’ve just asked before I went up (but from what other people said, it seemed like it was ok). After they called their manager, I patiently waited, as to not cause any more trouble, and then they escorted me out (I felt weird in the moment, but at least I got a story out of it from my trip to Los Angeles, Chile when I felt like a little rebel :D).
. . .
With breakfast purchased, I headed back outside.
It was now past 10:30am, so it was warming up with the sun, and people were waking up and going about their day.
As I was standing outside of the grocery store enjoying the warmth of the sun, my feet still screaming in pain, I set out to find a park (or plaza, as they call it in Chile) to sit down and eat my breakfast. And, although I had passed many during my walk this morning, it took me a while to find it again.
I eventually found a beautiful plaza where I finally sat down.
While warming up under the sun and eating breakfast, I just watched people go about their day. It was interesting to just sit there and watch people in this new, small town because for a moment, I forgot I was in Chile. It all just seemed and felt normal.
After I had warmed up and ate breakfast, I connected to the internet (in Chile every town has a plaza with free wifi). I took some pictures of the sunrise and posted them on Instagram, texted my host family to let them know I made it, and texted my family back home to show them where I was.
After finishing breakfast, and checking social media, I ventured out again.
This time I went to find the mall, and coffee.
. . .
A few minutes later, I walked into the mall (it was bigger than you’d expect for a small town), and immediately headed to the food court to find coffee (I was tired from only 3 hours of sleep on the bus).
I got a great cup of coffee and did some more people watching in the mall to see if the plaza was only a similar feeling because I was tired, but this also felt very normal (maybe even more).
By this time it was ~11am, so there were more people around, and more places open, and everything just seemed normal (I barely felt like I was in Chile – until I heard people speaking Spanish…).
Once I finished my coffee, I headed back to the bus terminal because my goal when coming to Los Angeles was to go to Saltos del Laja (the Niagara falls of Chile – that’s how my hostfamily explained it to me), which is 30mins from Los Angeles.
At 13:00, I finally got on the bus to Saltos del Laja (my bucket list item was about to be checked off!).
. . .
30 minutes later, I arrived in Saltos del Laja.
The falls were visible from the highway, but to get to the base of them, I had to climb down a hill. And, I made it to the falls (bucket list item: check).
The falls were incredible, and I couldn’t believe I actually made it! (the long journey, and little bit of pain & cold were SOOOOO worth it)! If you’re ever in Chile, I really recommend going to Saltos del Laja!
When I got to the base of the falls, I just sat down staring at the falls eating my last banana from breakfast.
I think I must’ve sat there staring at the falls for a good hour because when I left the falls I was a little damp from the mist coming off them, and a big group of tourists were making their descent to the falls.
After saying “Hi!” to the English speaking tourists (it was nice to hear English :D), I decided it was time to get up, and check out the vendor shops I passed on my way down the hill. (I ended just buying a sticker of the falls, and a Chilean bracelet).
. . .
It was a few minutes past 16:00 when I arrived back in Los Angeles, and since the next bus back to Santiago wasn’t until 18:00, I decided to go explore a little more and buy a / some snacks for the bus ride back.
. . .
That night/morning, I arrived in Santiago SO LATE/EARLY (1am), and the next bus to Quillota didn’t leave until 7am (this is when the spontaneous high started wearing-off…I just wanted to get back now that I checked the falls off my bucket list…I was tired…to say the least).
So, what could I do for ~6 hours, this early in the morning in Santiago?
Yup, you guessed it, I walk around and explored Santiago at night/early morning.
My feet were still in a little pain from Los Angeles walking, but I couldn’t stay at the bus terminal because they were closed, and taxi drivers were insisting on driving me to a hotel (and I think they were raising the price). So, because I didn’t want to pay for a hotel room for less than 6 hours, I told them I would just walk to a hotel (that was my “little white lie” for the day…my bad – But, I just wanted them to stop asking me where I was going…so I left). Spoiler alert: I didn’t walk to a hotel!
Luckily for me, Santiago is still pretty alive at night, so I wasn’t the only person in the streets (let alone the only traveler / backpacker in the streets). While walking around for a couple of hours enjoying the Santiago nightlife, I only found one corner store open (where I just bought a bottle of water for my night exploring in Santiago), not much else was open. So, guess what I did next… You’ll literally never guess…
. . .
While exploring, and discovering a lot of landmarks in Santiago, I found a Starbucks!
…It wasn’t open, but…
I sat down outside of it, and used the internet for a few hours (at least it’s not as cold in Santiago, so I didn’t freeze sitting there).
And, I was only an hour away from the bus terminal I had to go to, to take the bus to Quillota in a few hours.
So, I sat there (at this Starbucks on a random street in Santiago) for a couple of hours (from ~3am to ~5am) using the internet (checking social media), thinking about the past 24 hour adventure. And, I started writing this story because this was a very crazy, spontaneous, and memorable experience.
If I had planned this trip, Iprobably would’ve stayed at a hotel somewhere, and had a better itinerary with more stops.
But, it was so last minute that I literally just put some stuff in a backpack because I wanted to check the waterfalls off my bucket list once and for all.
Sometimes the best trips are the ones that happen spontaneously. (And, this is what that was because I will truly never forget this trip!)
Happy ending to this crazy trip:
After using the internet at Starbucks, the sun was starting (just barely) to rise, so I made my way to the bus terminal, and took a bus back to Quillota, and I made it back to my host family’s home at 11am (just in time for a nice, delicious breakfast – which was cereal…but it was the best cereal ever :D).
And, after breakfast, I immediately went to sleep (I was super exhausted from only 3 hours of sleep in the past 24 hours, and sore from all the walking). I slept that entire day, until 20:00 (but it was so worth it!).
It might have been a crazy / unplanned / painful / exhausting / spontaneous trip in the moment, but, I will never forget this trip because it was one of the best, and most eye-opening trips I’ve ever taken (alone).
If you read this until the end; Thank you for reading this long post about my adventure to Los Angeles / Saltos del Laja, Chile!
I hope it inspired you to take a spontaneous trip somewhere new (I recommend doing at least a little bit of planning).
What was one of your craziest adventures? (comment your story below)
-LiveForAdventure! 🙂 (I definitely lived for adventure on this trip!)
Coming back home after living abroad for a time is not easy!
. . .
Yup, Reverse Culture Shock! It’s a real thing!
. . .
So, I’ve only been back from Chile for about a week now and the only way I can describe coming home after living abroad for a time is: “weird” & “confused”. In Chile, everything felt so normal. Living there just felt like normal living, but now everything I do here seems weird and different. For example: It’s dark outside right now (@8pm which is 2hours earlier than I’m used to, but that’s not the point). So, it’s dark and I just turned on the lights in my room and it actually made the room somuch brighter, like almost unbearably bright. It’s like I wasn’t even used to light anymore (except for natural sunlight, I saw that everyday☺). But, why did this light just give me a headache?-“confusing” Or, another example: I went to the grocery store the other day (to get one thing) and I could barely find it (it took me a good 10minutes of wandering around before I found it). Everything seemed to be in a different place then what I became used to in Chile. And, that’s not all. I think one other thing that makes coming home even “weirder” and more “confusing” is that now I’m comparing things from Chile to here, but I didn’t compare things from here in Chile. So, why am I doing it now?-“weird”
. . .
Yes, home feels familiar and looks pretty much the same, but there are a few things that are different that you can’t understand why they changed, but they just did. In the (what felt like a short amount of) time that you were away, so much has changed, yet somehow, everything is still the same. It’s pretty hard to describe this “factor” because the things that seem like they changed only seem different to you because your brain has “evolved” (it’s like it’s playing tricks on you). It’s tricking into thinking home is different because you are no longer fully consumed by every little thing that happens at home because you’ve seen things/problems much bigger.
Your new perspective is showing you not to consume yourself with little things at home because the world is so much bigger than your little problems and there are many more & bigger problems in the world!
Culture shock, or even Reverse culture shock, is not something that should stop you from traveling! I think culture shock and reverse culture shock are important things to notice and feel when traveling because they make you more aware of yourself and the world around you!
Here’s a picture that I think well-describes culture shock and reverse culture shock: #9 should make you want to travel (it does for me)!
Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future. -Robert H. Schuller
. . .
So, before I begin, I should start by saying that I don’t know the person who said that quote, but, when I read it, I immediately remembered one of the main reasons why I made the decision to live here, in Chile, for 3 months.
. . .
I knew that living here was going to be very different, and I would have to adapt to a lot of new things. I also knew, from experience, that travel teaches amazing & valuable skills & knowledge and it helps with (mental, physical & spiritual) growth. So, let’s just say that I wasn’t exactly terrified of this trip, and making this decision was pretty easy for me because I love traveling anyways. But, I still had some doubts in me about this decision (like, was it even the right one?). And, the only thing that kept me from letting doubt win was the excitement of travel, and knowing that I was doing something that would better myself and my future. I knew deep down that this trip was going to shape me and my future in some amazing way, and I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to travel more, grow more and shape my future.
Traveling shapes us in a way we don’t realize, until we come home & see what changed in our minds!
. . .
That quote is a good reminder to have faith in your future, and to not let today’s hurts and fears stop you from accomplishing your dreams. It reminds you that, how you feel today does not define your future because if you keep hoping, praying and working, your dreams will become reality and you will be able to say that you accomplished your goals. It reminds you that even though traveling has tough moments (culture shock, fear of flying, fear of the unknown, etc.), it’s all worth it in the end because you’re working towards creating a better you and a great future for your better self. And, in that future, culture shock, flying & fear of the unknown will not be as foreign to you.
You might even, actually, start to love those aspects of traveling (I know, I definitely have).
Hurts only last for a period in time! But, Hopes can lasts forever (as long as you never lose your hope)!
So, whatever it is that’s stopping you from doing something amazing, put it aside and let your hope and faith in your future guide your decision because being hopeful is much better than being fearful.
Thanks for reading! I hope this post inspired you to go out & live your dreams because you should never let your hope fade & your hurts win!
Kill the hurts & fears by letting your hopes & dreams shape your future!