Browsing Category

Travel

Lifestyle, Motivation, Photography, Travel

25 Things I Learned at 25

January 1, 2018

This year was certainly a very different one for me. It began like any other year and had challenges, hurts, and disappointments of its own… yet, it literally became one of the dreamiest years I’ve ever had. Maybe I’m wrong, but this, being my 25th year (an age I’ve always dreamt would carry a sense of wonder, awe, and accomplishment) was truly something out of the ordinary. I have had experiences, feelings, and situations in the past year that have completely changed the way I think, feel, and act. It’s a year I’ll never forget, since most of it either taught me something deeply revelational about my own history, or shifted something in me that will undoubtedly impact my future.

This post may sound a little bit dorky, or maybe just plain stupid, but I think the more honest you become with yourself and with others, the more ridiculous you risk seeming. So, I’m taking the risk.

As I was saying, this world has become more and more jet puffed with superficial egos, filtered feelings and more hidden agendas than I can make sense of. We all live in a world that is so concerned with how things look… that most of us don’t even pause to think deeply enough about how things really are. Even I have been deluded by my own desire to make sure that I “seem” a certain way. That is, until this year unfolded.

I’m a social media lover, I loveeee seeing and sharing endless feeds of pictures and stories- but this year I took on a challenge to ensure that I didn’t glorify myself, my lifestyle or any of the “things” around me. I decided I wanted to literally change the way I did things and “see what would happen”. For example, I took less selfies, I stopped posting regularly on social media, I paused to listen more… I stopped to look people in the eye and read their facial expressions or body language more than before. I stopped to carefully live each moment. I tried to be more present. I tried to smell the air around me, feel the concrete beneath my feet, and take in the sights and sounds around me. I made it my mission to take in every new experience as if it would be my last, and the results were mind-blowing.

I feel as though the mental energy I gave to being more present, being more focused on what was around me and paying less attention to how things were perceived by anyone else freed me of the pressure to “seem” anything different than my truest self. I found hidden beauty in some people, and found truth in others. I saw situations more clearly, and felt less burdened.

I literally gained the most I ever have in a single year. I crossed items like exploring a new city alone off my bucket list, finished my masters, got officially certified in a few passions, won a dream trip to meet one of my inspirations, and began taking steps towards making my other dreams a reality.

Anyway, as I sit here (in a little New York Cafe, on a trip here by myself, where I’ve been able to do some soul searching away from the noise and clutter of my usual world) I’ve compiled a list of twenty-five things I’ve learned in my 25 years of life… the lessons that impacted me most, the ones I want to hold onto as I trek out upon my next 25.

I thought to note them as a reminder to myself of who I am, who I hope to become and hopefully as a note to anyone else still searching or in need of some gentle advice. These have been tested and proven in my own life, I hope that maybe at least one or two of you out there might agree or even teach me something I can add. Here they are, the 25 things I’ve learned by age 25.

    1. You are never too old or too young to follow your wildest dreams.
    2. Don’t complain too much about waiting. Everything really does happen in the right timing.
    3. Your parents deserve a lot more respect for all that they do. Being an adult is incredibly complicated when you have a family depending on you.
    4. Not everyone you meet means everything they say.
    5. Laugh more. Even when you’re fuming, laughter is almost always the perfect way to deal with a situation (unless that situation is death, in which case laughing may be considered inappropriate).
    6. The problems you have are often 50% because of your own mindset or attitude. Improve by adjusting accordingly.
    7. Be kind to everyone you meet. It pays huge dividends and always comes back to you.
    8. Let yourself off the hook sometimes.
    9. Work hard. At everything. Always give 100%.
    10. You’re never going to please everyone.
    11. You’ll never be perfect, but you’ll always be perfectly you. Although- it doesn’t hurt to always try to do better or improve “you”.
    12. Grandparents and seniors know so much more than Google.
    13. Listen. Listen more than you speak.
    14. Don’t be afraid to back down in arguments. You may lose the battle but may win the war.
    15. Apologies should always be sincere. Mean it!
    16. Look people in the eyes… and less at your phone.
    17. There’s a whole world out there bigger than you, get over yourself. Learn to be humble.
    18. Your passion will find you, once you know exactly who you are.
    19. Spend time getting to know yourself. Who are you really? What do you actually love? What are your passions?
    20. God is literally always ready to hold your hand and lead you. Just ask Him.
    21. If you must spend, buy experiences over things.
    22. Money is a wonderful bonus to have, it enables you to do extraordinary things, but it won’t fix your problems.
    23. Try new things. (Within reason and safety.)
    24. Love people with all your might, even if they don’t reciprocate or understand it, just know how much to show and give…
    25. Above all things, guard your heart… for everything you do flows from it.

(Also, below are a few photos from my NY getaway, and the trip that allowed me to digest all these life-lessons while plotting my next step. Onto 2018!).

Adventure, Lifestyle, Travel

I really thought I knew it all…

March 1, 2017

If you’re a Trini, then you’ve probably heard of all the ‘places of interest’ that our twin-republic has to offer. I thought I knew it all and had seen it all having read all the magazines and seen all the Facebook posts. WRONG.

There are so many treasures throughout our islands that are yet to be experienced. Recently, I’ve been shackled to my desk thanks to work of varying sorts, but in an attempt to destress and remain sane, I decided to escape at least one day over the Carnival weekend and see the infamous “Caroni Bird Sanctuary” for myself. Sitting still with minimal need for movement seemed like a brilliant weekend idea for my tired mind.

I didn’t think much of what it might turn out to be… but boy was I wrong. I absolutely loved every second of the winding channels that lead to lush mangroves packed with these glorious scarlet creatures I barely paid attention to in primary school! They were breath-taking. (Truly deserving of being our National Bird).  Maybe I’ve been so preoccupied with the hustle and bustle of life that it amazed me more than the average Jane, but I had to at least get someone else to bask in its beauty. So-if you’ve seen it already, then hopefully you share my sense of awe, but if you haven’t then you really need to! I won’t share too many details, but if you’re one who appreciates the little things in life, then this is definitely for you.

You can find out more at the official website for the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, or take a look at the impromptu timelapse I tried to catch with my phone while I absorbed the hidden beauty that I never new existed about 20 minutes from home.

If you’ve got any local treasures you think are bucket-list-worthy, feel free to let me know! Next up, I’m thinking the Gasparee Caves!

Adventure, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Travel

Drowning?!

September 10, 2015

As promised, here are a few snaps from over the weekend. (Click through to see them all!)

Often, life becomes so overwhelming that we lose ourselves in the momentary struggles of each day. Ever felt like you were drowning in your problems? Sheesh! It’s so easy to feel overcome and defeated by our circumstances.

I, for one often feel like I have too many brain tabs open… But thankfully I’ve been developing ways of closing them off one by one and learning how to isolate myself in a way that healthily provides me with the grace to carry on.

Tobago is one of those little antidotes for me. I absolutely love it. We Trinidadians are so lucky to have such a beautiful sister isle just a stone’s throw away!

It is SO important to take a step back every now and then, and take a moment to literally listen to the sound of waves crashing and allow your problems to be drowned out. It’s important to set your phone aside, or switch off all your devices and change perspectives every now and then.

When you step away from whatever is challenging you, you immediately lessen its grip on you. Try it! It works. 

 Remember: all the water in the ocean could never sink a ship unless the water gets inside. Likewise, you need to learn how to survive without letting what you feel consume you from the inside out.

If you can’t physically remove yourself from an atmosphere or situations where you’re inclined to feel overwhelmed, at least take a mental break and switch gears every now and then to focusing on things that make you happy or inspired.

I can attest to the fact that this method has been like glue in holding me together.

For my mom’s 50th birthday we hopped across to Tobago for what seemed like 5 minutes. As always, the ever so laid back pace there provided a much needed break and a chance to catch our breaths while celebrating her day in a most gorgeous setting.

How do you escape? I’d love to know! Tell me in the comments!

(Click the last social icon below to the right to leave a comment!)

Food, Lifestyle, Photography, Travel

Falling in love with…

August 26, 2015

Food, glorious food! Is there really anything better?

My earliest impressions of food were formed during my childhood. I’ve always had the most positive associations with eating since I came from a family that loved to cook, and equally loved to eat.

Mealtimes were always a family affair; a time to share and laugh. We had many home cooked meals, but moreso we tended to eat out. I vividly remember trying foods from different countries and cultures, and absolutely falling in love with many dishes that are still my favourites today.

Sunday afternoons in the 90’s for example, were spent eating at Joe’s Pizza in St. James, most of the time, our whole family occupying the entire restaurant! The dining and entertainment scene wasn’t as vibrant as it is today, but the ambiance created in that little nook by the company kept transformed the atmosphere.

I loved it. I loved sitting with my family, hearing the constant chatter of buzzing conversation. The smell and taste of piping hot cheesy pizzas, strombolis, lasagnes and bread sticks. I loved the feeling of security that came from being with a huge family. The honest simplicity was perfect.

Fast forward, nearly 20 years later… things have changed, as they tend to. Not that change hasn’t presented it’s own beauty, but the time for these family gatherings and the unadulterated attention given to sharing a meal together just isn’t available anymore.

However, one thing has remained constant. My love of food. I still love experiencing new flavors. I still love eating and the nostalgia the smell, taste or even sound in some cases can bring.  Food, and dining, often take me back to that place when life seemed perfect. Perhaps it’s an emotional connection. There’s something familiar in certain simple flavours that deliver an inexplicable feeling of contentment by association.

I suppose that’s why food will never get old for me. Eating has always been, and will always be more of an experience for me than it is an element of basic survival. Anyways, I thought I’d begin photo-journalizing some of my favourite dining experiences in light of this love, starting with a dinner centered around one of  my favourite ingredients of all – cheese.

What are some of your earliest food memories? What dishes did you love growing up? Comment below!

IMG_8377EditedResized

Gorgonzola crusted steak medallions, glazed with a balsamic reduction, paired with a side of classic parmesan and cauliflower risotto.

IMG_8383EditedResized

Balsamic glazed steak medallions, crusted in sharp cheddar, paired with a side of creamy mashed potatoes and a seasoned steamed vegetable medley.

*Featured image: Creamy garlic, spinach and artichoke dip, loaded with freshly shaved parmesan and baked to perfection. Served with home made Tuscan bread spears. 

 

Adventure, Friendship, Lifestyle, Love, Travel

Meant to be!

July 23, 2015

If you’ve known me well enough, at some point or the other you’d hear me give credit to my childhood best friend for tons of my most cherished memories through the years. My adventuring, sense of quirkiness and mischievous side today are surely a tribute to the days spent with her. Pretending and believing that we could telepathically communicate with neighbouring dogs through passionate barking (yes, we barked)… or riding our bikes, imagining that we were world explorers or olympic cyclists was how we spent our days. I often pretended to be the ‘crocodile hunter’ whenever we were in a pool, (complete with awful Australian accent and baggy ensemble) and Hannah was no stranger to being my back up and helping me wrestle my plastic and rubber croc to ‘safety’.

In fact, she’s always been my back up, helping me wrestle whatever insane dream I have to safety, never once enabling self doubt in me or offsetting my confidence in the
most incongruous of circumstances. No matter how insane or ridiculous my ideas made us look, she was always one to convince me that it was okay to be me. In fact, I’d say that through her, I’ve learned the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people. The ones who love you, give you confidence, comfort, support and stay by your side when you’re least worthy are the key to staying afloat in a world eagerly trying to strip you of your individuality.  I could go on and on about the friendship we have, but I’ll save some details for another post.

For now, let me just conclude by saying that FINALLY, we’ve been able to see eachother after a few years apart, and the feeling of ‘meant to be’ couldn’t ring truer. I’m so thrilled that after more than 15 years, she still has my back.

 

error: Sorry, saving is disabled. This content is protected!