This month it is my birthday. It’s a big day. It’s a glorious day in which we don’t stop our usual life to do anything special. In all honesty I spend the entire month of July celebrating. It just seems like the most appropriate thing to do.
This year I turn 33. I’m not entirely sure why but it seems like a big number. A good number. Maybe it’s actually my lucky number and I’ve never known that? One thing I do know is that 33yo Jean is a hell of a lot happier than Jean at 30 or even Jean at 23. Ok I’ll stop talking about myself in the third person now. As I sat with a glass of champagne, because I can, I wondered what advice have I received over the past ten years of travel? What advice would I give a younger, less confident, less boozy me?
Buy the Art Work
Fuck your bag weight limit, space and stuff. If you like the artwork just buy it. Without a doubt this will be one of the biggest regrets you will have on every trip you ever take. Artwork is a great way to bring make a memory from an adventure.
Just do it. Stop thinking about the reasons why you don’t have the time and make the time. Take the week away. Work your arse off to make the money so you can go on all the adventures. Even a weekend adventure is more fun than no adventure.
Buy a better backpack
And stop packing so much stuff. You don’t need to take 15kgs of clothing, shoes and books on a trip. You can buy clothing. You can get books from hostel or spend the money and buy a kindle. Take a look at the cool Ketly backpacks which are now available in Australia.
Never Stop Reading.
Actually on that note keep reading. Invest in a Kindle so that you can have THOUSANDS of books at your fingertips.
Do yourself a favour and buy a kindle.
Spend more money on comfortable shoes
And less at the supermarket. Learn how to cook, make your meals go further and generally create less waste. The savings from this will let you buy the better hiking boots, the more comfy sandals and generally better foot ware. Cause ain’t nobody got time for uncomfortable shoes.
I personally love my Ahnu hiking boots.
In yourself and in shares. It doesn’t need to be a lot of money. Even just $5 a week can make a difference along the way. At some point you are going to want to retire and you’ll need money for that.
If you’re in Australia you can get a $20 sign up bonus from Spaceship Voyager.
Enjoy your coffee & champagne
It’s ok to actually have fun. You’re allowed to go out enjoy time with friends or even by yourself. The bar staff don’t care that you’re by yourself. Aint no body judging you if you sit there enjoying champagne and reading your kindle.
On a more serious note buy ALL the reusable coffee cups. And take them with you. Disposable coffee cups are terrible for your skin, for your face and for the planet in general. Grab yourself a KeepCup today.
Don’t do dorm rooms.
No matter how much you think you can handle these, you can’t. You hate the sound of other people sleeping and you get real angry real fast. No matter how hard you try, even with noise cancelling head phones you’ll still hear people snoring, farting and texting. Spend the money and get a private room or a hotel room.
Spa time is a good time. Self care is oh so important for your mental health that you need to invest the time in yourself. It’s not being selfish, it’s being practical about your health. So fuck the haters and go enjoy some Me Time whenever you can.
You Got This.
Finally little Jean, let me tell you this -. You Got This. The universe is going to throw some fairly shitty stuff your way. There will be more surgeries, more people will leave your life and generally shit will go wrong. But at the end of the day you got this. You’ll dust yourself off, grab another wine and keep on trucking alone because you ain’t got time to be sulking in your room. Someone is out there waiting for you to make their day oh so much better. And most likely you’ll take them a donut.
Let me know. If you could tell the past you one thing what would it be?
Founder, Principal Blogger & Coffee Drinker
Coffee Lover | Travel Blogger | Horse Rider | Adventure Racer | Donut Dame. Generally nice lady-enjoys wine, indie movies & random dance parties in my tent.