You deserve the opportunity to make every day the most beautiful day of your life.
Last week, I said YES to a Dominican Republic getaway with friends. Believe it or not, I almost didn’t go. I didn’t feel like I deserved it. I hadn’t earned it. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the guilt I felt about taking a vacation, the guilt I felt about spending money, the guilt I felt about leaving the apartment I’m working so hard to make my own, was all guilt that would wash away the second I landed in the Caribbean. I can always be at home. I can always save money. But I can’t fill my life with experiences, memories, and stories unless I’m saying YES to them. That’s my mission after all, right?
As I floated around on a giant inflatable pizza in an endless infinity pool, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for this journey I’ve been on. This past year has been pretty tough. I truly thought all the hard shit was behind me. But despite all that, I knew one thing was for certain: Nothing was going to stop me from living the way I wanted.
So what did I do while in the Dominican? Well…I ate like a queen while wearing an inflatable gold crown. I enjoyed piña colada after piña colada by the pool. I spent time with some of the funniest and smartest people I know. I participated in a fake wedding ceremony between two friends. I sipped from a pineapple under towering palm trees. I celebrated my freedom by dancing in the warm rain while wearing a gold sequin dress. I played with glow sticks after the sun set. I drank bubbly while sitting in a hot tub that overlooks a white sand beach. I played a terrible game of Citizens of Humanity and thus had to take at least five Mama Juana shots. I slept like a rock on some of the softest pillows. I swam in the Atlantic while wearing my new cat swimsuit. I ate two deserts in a row because…yum. I gazed at the stars as they sparkled brighter than ever. I laughed. A lot. And I relaxed. Oh yes, I relaxed.
I rarely ever used to travel. I feared the cost of flights and hotels. I feared not knowing where to go, how to go, or what to see. But through my YES journey and after experiencing the benefits of buying the ticket and and taking the ride, I’ve learned that life is a wonderful gift. I’ve learned that the more I explore, the more gratitude and appreciation I feel for all the divine moments I’ve enjoyed and the people I’ve shared them with. I’ve learned that I’d rather say, “I’m glad I did,” rather than “I wish I had.” I’ve learned that I want my life to be full of experiences and stories to tell rather than things to show.
You see, for me, traveling isn’t to escape life. I travel so that life doesn’t escape me. We all have the ultimate responsibility for our own experiences…so why not make each one of them simply beautiful?
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” So true. Thanks for the words of wisdom, Mr. Twain. I’m on it