Today I’m sharing something a little bit different. I don’t talk about this very often on Rhiannon Travels, in fact, I’m not even sure I’ve mentioned it at all. But a few years ago, I suffered with an eating disorder. Anorexia, to be more specific. To put it bluntly, it was the most awful five years of my life. It not only changed my life, it also changed the lives of the people around me.
I’ve decided to share my eating disorder survival story with anybody who chooses to listen. I’m sharing this, because I know for a fact there are people out there who are too scared to ask for help. Too scared to reach out and admit that they are struggling. Trust me, I understand the feeling. I understand the feeling of denial, when you’re trying to convince yourself and your family there’s nothing wrong. I understand the confusion of not knowing what your mind is doing. But there IS a way out. For me, that was travel.
Please Note: This post does contain details about an eating disorder. If you are easily triggered or feel uncomfortable reading about this topic, please stop here. It is definitely not my intention to upset anybody, so if you think you may feel that way whilst reading my personal story, feel free to exit out. There are photos in this post, that may make somebody who is currently struggling with an eating disorder, feel triggered. Please continue reading, only if you are comfortable doing so.
How Travel Saved My Life: An Eating Disorder Survival Story
How My Eating Disorder Started
I’ll be honest: my heart is pounding while writing this. There are people in my life, that I’m fairly certain don’t know that I’ve struggled with an eating disorder. There are also people who may not understand why I’m even writing about it and shining a light on the topic. But that’s okay. I don’t need everybody to understand, I just need the right people to understand.
I can’t remember exactly when all of this started, I do remember why and how though. Roughly the year after I graduated high school (2009), I started taking the contraceptive pill. One of the initial side effects of going on the pill, is weight gain. This side effect, combined with the fact that I enjoyed scoffing my face with entire bags of chips and a LOT of ice cream, resulted in me gaining quite a bit of weight. I didn’t really notice at first, until somebody in my life made a comment about my weight – then it was all I could think about.
At first, I decided to start exercising a little. Nothing too intense. I simply used the stationery bike in our house a few times a week. Eventually, this turned into a few times a day. Along with the excessive exercise, I also cut back a lot on what I was eating. It started with eating healthier. Next, I’d cut out a lunch or dinner here and there. Just like exercise, eventually this turned into a flat out fear of food.
I would have anxiety and panic attacks when it came to meal time. I’d study nutritional labels like they were going out of style. If something wasn’t X calories or less, I wouldn’t eat it. If I didn’t have a choice, such as having to attend a family gathering, I would immediately come home and use our exercise bike until I couldn’t breathe. This happened daily, and although I was both mentally and physically exhausted, I was so far gone, I couldn’t see a way out. So I kept going. I kept falling deeper and deeper into my eating disorder.
After a large amount of doctor’s appointments, psychologist sessions, blood tests, nights crying myself to sleep, intense mood swings, arguments with family, health issues, panic attacks, depression and living in genuine fear of food – I eventually knew it was time to get my life back on track. The only problem was: I didn’t know how to do that.
How Things Got Better
In 2012, my family and I took a trip to America. My mum, her husband and my sister hopped on a plane, and 14 hours later we landed at Los Angeles International Airport. I was scared. I knew I’d be in for a world of anxiety. I mean, let’s be honest. American’s love their large serving sizes and delicious baked goods. But in a strange way, I was ready. At least I thought I was.
We spent the first couple of weeks in Anaheim. I can’t even remember how many times I had a wave of anger, fear or depression over food. I was irritable. I wished I was back in the safety of Australia, where I could skip meals as I pleased and knew exactly what I was eating. But I was on holiday. I was mad at myself for acting the way I was, but I couldn’t stop.
The most ironic part of this whole situation, was that I knew I had a LOT of weight to gain. I don’t want to use numbers in this post, because for somebody who is currently struggling, that could make things worse. But let’s just say I didn’t recognise myself. Neither did anyone else in my life. I had dissolved into almost nothing. I had no energy, and to this day, I’m not quite sure how I survived as long as I did.
As for how things got better, well that’s a pretty funny story. My aunty and uncle (my mum’s sister) live in California. So when our time in Anaheim was up, we spent some time with them. A road-trip to Las Vegas had been planned, and I was both excited and nervous. Excited, because hello, Las Vegas. But nervous because I was in for five hours of sitting in a car, not being able to do any form of exercise.
This is one photo that I cringe, looking back on. I wasn’t healthy in the slightest. I was always cold, always tired, grumpy and irritable.
We made a few stops along the way for snacks. Of course I studied the packaging carefully, being sure to only choose something that was X amount of calories, and wouldn’t cause too much mind-numbing guilt. Well, it turns out the snack I opted for, would be the snack that snapped me back to reality.
I genuinely can’t tell you what happened, or why it happened, but I made a decision then and there, that I wanted my life back. I don’t remember if I shared this decision with anybody in the car (I think I may have), but from that moment on, I knew things had to change. If I wanted to continue exploring the world, see new places and have incredible memories, I had to get better.
I’ve always loved the concept of travel. Before I finally got my shit together and started to see the world for myself, I had severe wanderlust. I wanted to see as much as possible. I wanted to see the Northern Lights and live my dream of visiting New York City (which I finally ended up doing in 2015!). But until that could happen, I needed to get better.
The Road to Recovery
I’ll be honest: it wasn’t easy. Even the remainder of this USA trip, I had my moments. An eating disorder (like other mental illnesses) isn’t something that can be turned off with the flick of a switch. But the most important part of the process had begun: accepting that things needed to change. I needed to change. Not only for myself, but for the people in my life who were dying a little inside, watching me put myself through hell.
There were days when I honestly didn’t believe I could do it. I was constantly asking myself whether it was even worth getting better. At times, it all seemed too difficult. Too painful, upsetting and difficult. But I did it. With a lot of help from a few close family members, I got my shit together.
Where I Am Now: Did I Reach My Travel Goal?
I still have my off days. I still think I’m ‘fat’ sometimes (this generally happens when I start PMSing. Go figure!). I still worry a little about what I’m eating, and if I’m eating too much. I still focus a little too much on the way I look, when in reality, it doesn’t matter. Due to my eating disorder, I have developed anxiety. This is something that I actively struggle with, and will probably have to live with for the rest of my life. But it’s a lot easier to manage than a crippling fear of food.
I’m now living my dream of being able to travel and see the world. Not only am I doing that, but I’m travelling with the person I love, making memories that will last a life time. If you had asked me back when I was in the depth of my struggles, if I would ever spend a month exploring Japan, I would have laughed. Travel was always a dream of mine. But during my eating disorder days, it was a pipe dream. Something so out of reach, I didn’t think I’d ever step foot on a plane again.
The photos above: The left hand side was myself on the border between Nevada and Arizona, at Hoover Dam back in 2013. That was probably close to the smallest I got, at least that I have photos of. The right hand side is this past March (2017) in Hiroshima, Japan. I was happy, healthy, and had just eaten McDonalds and smashed out a few glasses of wine! (I’m not really a great advocate for being healthy, while on holiday….)
But here I am. Publishing posts on a travel blog that I created all on my own, over a year ago. Visiting different places and having experiences that I never thought was possible. No, I’m not a full-time backpacker, carrying everything I own with me across the world. But I do work a normal job in order for me (and my partner Russell) to live our dreams of adventuring and seeing this incredible world we all live in.
Throughout all of the ups and downs over the past 10 years, I’m finally at a point where I can be proud of where I am in life. Travel has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. It may have taken a lot longer to achieve than most people, and I have had to overcome a great deal in order to get here. But the point is: I made it. And you know what? It’s a great feeling. A fucking incredible feeling, to be honest. Please excuse the French.
Why I Decided to Share My Eating Disorder Survival Story
Why did I decide to share my eating disorder story? To put it simply: I want to help people. I’m sure there is at least one person reading this, who is nodding slightly to themselves. Somebody who may be struggling with an eating disorder, and is having trouble finding their way out. Well, if you’ve found something that you love, use that as your way out.
I know it’s not that simple, and as tough as this is for parents and family members to hear, you have to be ready. You have to be ready and prepared for things to change. It’s a hard road ahead, and once that horrible mindset has formed, it’s extremely hard to break. I still struggle sometimes, and I’ve been ‘recovered’ for years now. But it is possible.
The most current photo of me, taken in October 2017. Healthy, comfortable enough with my weight to be able to walk around a water park, in just a bikini!
It’s possible to not only live a normal life – it’s also possible to live your dream. I’m a good example of that. Having grown up as a shy, quiet and quite loser-ish person, I’ve turned into the confident, happy and outgoing person that I am today. A lot of that is because I managed to do the impossible: pulling myself from the depths of an eating disorder. It took an army to get here, but hey – I made it! I’m living my dream of seeing the world. I’m crossing cities and countries off my bucket list. I know the excitement of planning that next big adventure, knowing I can eat all of the pizza and ALL of the baked goods and fries that my heart desires.
So, if you are reading this and feel like you may need some advice or support: please talk to somebody you trust. Be honest, as scary as that will be. If you’re ready for things to change (or even if you’re not quite there yet) seek help. I’m sure there is somebody in your life who you are comfortable talking to, and if not, talk to me.
Me at the bottom of the Grand Canyon in 2015. This was my first solo trip, after beginning my recovery from my anorexia. A few years prior, I never would have thought I’d be able to travel solo!
I don’t focus on this part of my life anymore, because it’s not who I am. At least not anymore. There will be people who don’t understand, even people who you thought loved you. Not everyone understands what it’s like to be held captive by an eating disorder. But that’s okay. For every person who doesn’t understand, there will be somebody who does.
In a world that is obsessed with uploading the perfect Instagram photo and having the newest and best outfit, it can be hard to remember that these things don’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you gained a bit of weight while travelling, that’s proof that you had a great time. Don’t focus too much on the little things. If like me, travel is your dream, enjoy every minute of it. Don’t hold back from eating that scoop of Ben & Jerry’s. Ice cream deserves to be eaten. Unless of course you’re lactose intolerant. In that case, don’t listen to me.
Remember, there is always someone out there who can help. When you’ve decided that you’re ready, reach out and seek the help you deserve. Whether that’s from a doctor, psychologist, family member, friend or somebody who has been there before like I have. Don’t try and get better on your own. You’ll need an army of supportive people around you. But once you’ve achieved that goal of recovery, the world is your oyster!
Did you like this post? Pin it or share it with somebody who you think may be struggling with an eating disorder
Note: Please remember that this is my own personal story. Everybody is different, has different experiences and coping mechanisms. If you are struggling with an eating disorder, what worked for me, may not work for you. Travel is what changed my life and made me realise that I needed and wanted to get better. Find something that works for you, and remember that everybody’s stories and journeys are different.
On this day, one year ago, I finally decided to start a travel blog. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and I took the whole thing pretty lightly. I didn’t think I would stick to it, let alone actually consider it my second (unpaid) job. When I’m not working at my part time, retail job, I’m blogging. When I’m not blogging, I’m probably thinking about what I can blog about next, or how I can improve my writing and social media game. One year ago, I had no idea this is what my life would be like!
I had no idea that the free account I created with Wix way back in September of 2016, would turn into a self-hosted, secure, dot com travel blog. I had no idea I would spend 8 or more hours, a few days a week, creating new content and interacting with fellow travel bloggers from all over the world. I also had no idea that I would be able to share my own experiences, with such a large amount of people!
I’m sure you’re wondering why I decided to start a travel blog? Well there are a few answers to that question:
1. I’ve always loved to write
Back in high school, English was my favourite subject. I loved having the chance to write about something that I was more often than not, actually interested in, and be graded on it.
Note: in Australia, English isn’t a class in which we learn how to speak English. Obviously. It more so consists of essay writing, book reviews, oral presentations and creative writing. We would watch movies or read books, then write about that movie or book in essay form. Basically, it was the only class I actually looked forward to and was good at!
2. Writing helps to combat my anxiety
Throughout my life, I have turned to writing when I needed an escape from reality. Most of you probably wouldn’t know that for 5 years, I struggled with an eating disorder. For 5 years, back in my late teens through early twenties, I felt more alone than I ever had in my life. I lived off a bowl of cereal and a small plate of fruit, almost everyday for far too long.
Over the years, due to my eating disorder and everything that comes with such a horrible mental illness, I developed anxiety. Over the past couple of years in particular (not so much back then, as I didn’t have motivation or passion for anything), I’ve turned to writing to combat it. Whenever my anxiety creeps back into my life (when it does, it comes with full, debilitating force), writing acts as a wonderful distraction. I’m able to put my real life thoughts aside, and write about something I’m passionate about.
3. I love to travel, and wanted to share my experiences with the world
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the most well-travelled person out there. I’m definitely not the most well-travelled travel blogger. For quite a while, that bothered me. I felt like I needed to be one of those quit-my-job-sell-my-shit-and-travel-the-world young people, to be taken seriously in this industry. I’ve realised, however, I can be successful without traveling to every country in the world. I can be successful, even though I haven’t yet been to Europe. I’m sure there are some people out there who disagree with me on that, but that’s okay! Each to their own. I’m proud of where I’ve been, and I’m excited about where I’m yet to visit! I love the fact that I’m able to share my experiences with so many people, from so many places in this incredible world we live in.
What I’ve learnt during my first year as a travel blogger:
I’m a lot more motivated than I thought I was
Like most peeps my age (25), I had a Tumblr back in the day. It lasted about 5 minutes, before I got bored and totally forgot it existed. I would mindlessly share images that didn’t even mean anything to me. The mere fact that they looked pretty, was enough for me to click that re-post button. But when I decided to start taking Rhiannon Travels more seriously, it was pretty surprising to see just how motivated I could be, when it comes to something I am truly passionate about.
As I mentioned earlier, when I’m not at my part-time retail job, I’m spending 8 or more hours blogging. Whether that’s writing new content, updating old content or keeping up with social media, I’m always doing my best to improve and grow with my blog. There have been very few days over the past year, where I haven’t worked on Rhiannon Travels.
I actually love to learn
The thing I probably regret most about this past year, was not doing more research before my blog went live. Recently I’ve started to update all of my old blog posts. Let me just tell you, this is a cringeworthy task. My old content is so horrid, I am embarrassed that I thought it was good enough to hit publish!
If it weren’t for the wonderful women in the most incredible Facebook group I have ever been part of (Female Travel Bloggers), I would still be that newbie blogger, with 300 word articles and no knowledge whatsoever. I love researching new ways to improve on my writing, SEO or social media platforms. It’s like school, but actually enjoyable!
Note: If you are a travel blogger, a female and want to learn everything you need to know to become successful, request to join Female Travel Bloggers. It’s an incredible community, with wonderful women, that I’m proud to be part of. To join, you’ll need to have your travel blog visible on your private Facebook account.
I have a lot to say, and I tend to say it all and more
If you’re a regular reader of Rhiannon Travels, you’ll know I tend to ramble a lot. 98% of it is information you can actually use, but I tend to throw in a couple of jokes here and there to keep things light and less school-like. Most of my posts are more than 2,000 words. Back when I first started this blog, I was writing less than 500 words per post. It’s pretty amazing to see how far I’ve come, and how much my writing has changed over the past year!
Where have I been, and what’s next on the travel itinerary?
Back in October of 2016, my partner Russell and I moved from Adelaide to Alice Springs for work. We both work in the liquor industry, and they needed some help up there. So we packed up our entire lives, all of our belongings and our cat Hermione, and moved to the desert. In total, we spent around 7 months living and working in Alice Springs. Before Russell was even offered the position, we had booked and planned a month long trip to Japan!
So in March 2017, 4 months after moving to Alice Springs, we packed up our suitcases and Hermione and flew back to Adelaide. My mum and her husband were kind enough to look after Hermione for the month while we were in Japan. You can read all about our incredible four months in Japan here. Now, I’ve never actually traveled to every single country in the world, but I can pretty safely say that Japan is one of the most amazing countries you’ll ever visit.
Due to it being such a busy year with work and moving interstate (we’re not full time travelers!), we didn’t get to go on too many trips this year. However, we will be spending two weeks in October of this year (one month from today, actually!) in Queensland. So you can expect a TON of posts about the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast and everything in between! I haven’t been to Queensland since 2010, so it’s exciting to go back and have the chance to write about one of the most popular places in Australia!
After Queensland, our travel plans are wide open. We are trying to decide between heading off on another long adventure, or planning a few smaller trips over the next 12 months. Time will tell what we decide to do! If you’ve got any suggestions on where we should go on our next adventure, leave them in the comments below!
Here are some tips for new travel bloggers – Things I Wish I Had Known:
1. Do a LOT of research before you create a blog
This is probably the most important tip I can give. I didn’t really do too much research before I started, and I definitely regret it. There is so much you need to consider when it comes to blogging, as simply writing a post and hoping it will do well, isn’t gonna cut it. Which brings me to the next tip…
2. Start off with a self-hosted WordPress account
I made the mistake of creating my blog with Wix. Now, there isn’t anything wrong with Wix, but it’s more made for visually creative people (i.e photographers). Given that a travel blog requires a lot of work in order for it to be found easily on Google, you’ll need a blogging platform that will do well with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Essentially, the better your SEO skills are, the easier your posts will be found organically when people search something in Google.
Let me break this down: Whenever you open up Google and search for something, the results that come up are from people just like you and me, who create blogs or websites filled with information. The articles that appear on page one, have a better SEO ranking than those that appear on page five. That’s why the most important step in creating your blog, is deciding on your host and platform!
Personally, I use a self-hosted WordPress account through Siteground. They were absolutely incredible in helping me switch from Wix to WordPress earlier this year, and I definitely couldn’t have done it without the 24/7 customer service. If you start off on the right foot, you’ll be successful much earlier than most of us bloggers were when our blogs went live!
3. Post frequently, but only post top-notch, quality content
Not only does Google favour posts that rank well with SEO, you’ll also be a lot more organically successful if you post quality content. There’s no point publishing one post a week, if they are poorly written and aren’t optimised for SEO. Take your time, research your topic and write from the heart. You’ll be surprised at how well your posts will do, if they’re top quality!
4. Pinterest is key for blog traffic
It took me a while to understand Pinterest and jump on the bandwagon, but I’m finally realising that Pinterest is probably the best way to gain constant, regular traffic to your blog. Think of Pinterest as a visual search engine (which technically, it is!). If you’ve visited say, New York City recently, create an eye-catching image (I recommend Canva) and upload it to Pinterest (or you can share it directly from your blog post. See examples at the bottom of this post). When somebody searches for New York City information on Pinterest, they will come across your very own pin and share it with their followers. This obviously means you’ll continue to gain more and more readers, the more your pins are shared! The power of Pinterest is no joke!
5. Be patient
When I first started my blog, I was naive in thinking I’d hit the big time straight away. I saw so many successful bloggers (both travel and non-travel) and I wanted more than anything, to be one of those success stories! But what I didn’t know at the start of this blogging journey, was that it takes time and a LOT of dedication. I spend every single day off from my part time job, working on my blog. It’s been a full year now, but I’m still no where near where I want to be. So be patient! Work hard and stay motivated.
6. Join Facebook groups
Something I wish I had known right from the get go, was the fact that there are Facebook groups dedicated to travel bloggers. These Facebook groups have been my lifesaver. Everything I know about blogging, I’ve learnt from these groups. My absolute favourite, is Female Travel Bloggers. Obviously, you must be a female with an active travel blog to have access to the group. With 4,000+ incredible members from all over the world, it’s such a wonderful community to be apart of. Some other great travel/blog related Facebook groups are Girls LOVE Travel and Pinterest For Travel Bloggers. Make sure to read the rules before joining any Facebook group!
It’s been an amazing, busy, overwhelming and exciting year. I still cannot believe I’ve stuck with this blogging thing for a full 12 months, and have actually made quite a bit of progress! I’ve seen some wonderful places, made some incredible memories and met some awesome people. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings, and I especially can’t wait to continue to travel the world with my partner Russell!
I truly believe that everybody should travel at least once in their lives. Whether you explore your own city or hop on a plane to explore the world. Whichever form of travel you decide to embark on, it will be the most incredible experience of your life. You may have some hiccups and you might even miss home, but one of the most exciting reasons to travel the world, is learning more about yourself and the world around you, than you would any other way.
Travel is the best form of education available. If schooling wasn’t compulsory, I would fully support the idea of taking children on overseas adventure, allowing them to make lifelong memories from all over the world. I do understand that not everybody is able to travel internationally. Some people aren’t financially stable enough to do so, and some are physically unable to fly. But travel doesn’t have to be about heading off on a multi-country adventure. Traveling in your city or country can be just as exciting as jetting off on a plane and heading to a brand new destination. If there is one thing I have learned since creating Rhiannon Travels, it’s that beauty is all over the world – especially in our own backyards.
If someone had asked me five years ago what I wanted to do with my life, I wouldn’t have been able to answer. At least not honestly. Throughout high school when I was faced with this question, which was quite a lot towards the end of my schooling, I could never answer. I always envied the students who had something to work towards during their school years.
Kids who aimed for amazing grades to become a doctor or a lawyer. Me? I was the kid who started off her high school experience with no friends, and ended with a barely passing grade. I felt like a failure, and I was distressed for such a long time, because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.
Not everyone believes that travel is a responsible use of time and money. But what those people don’t understand, is that travel is the best way to learn about the world. Of course you can sit at a school desk for twelve years, being force fed math equations and scientific terms that most of us forget as soon as we graduate. Personally, if calculators didn’t exist, I’d be screwed.
But when it comes to learning about ourselves, the people around us and the world we live in, there is nothing better than travel. With all of that being said, here are 10 of the best reasons to travel.
10 Reasons Why You Should Travel The World
Your reasons to travel will depend on your personality, career, interests, likes, dislikes, hobbies, background and many other unique factors. You may not be able to travel the world, and though that is what this post is focussed on, world travel isn’t the be all and end all.
Whether you decide to explore every inch of the planet, or take a couple of weekend trips and explore your own city, the same general rules apply. There are so many amazing lessons to be learned from traveling, regardless of how far you go. So keep reading, to learn 10 of the best reasons that everybody should travel (the world) at least once.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!
Experiencing New Places
In this day and age, we are very lucky to be able to book a flight and be anywhere in the world in less than twenty four hours. So what better way is there to experience new places, than to travel the world? It’s as simple as choosing a destination and creating an itinerary, to begin your very next (or first) adventure.
Back in March 2017, Russell and I spent the entire month in Japan. It was one of the most incredible experiences that I have ever had, and being able to have that experience with the person I love, made it even more special. Traveling to new places with the person you love is, in my opinion, the best way to travel.
Travel is Easier Than you May Think
Most first time travelers assume that going out and seeing the world is hard work, and it definitely can be if you let it. But generally speaking, traveling the world is super easy. This is even more so the case these days, with an endless amount of websites and blogs dedicated to helping people just like you and me, travel the world as easily as possible.
There are a ton of resources on the good ol’ interwebs, including travel agencies, that will do all the hard work for you. All you’ve got to do is choose where you’d like to visit first! Travel doesn’t need to be difficult or stressful. All it takes is a little bit of knowledge, and you will be jetting off on your first adventure in no time.
We Learn about Ourselves, and Grow as Individuals
Travel can cause a lot of complications and stressful situations – if you let it. That’s pretty inevitable when you travel the world and explore places you’ve never been, forced to speak languages you don’t know or understand. But throughout these challenges that we’re faced with, we learn a lot about ourselves.
Those difficult situations make us stronger, and that’s one of the most important lessons we will have. Being able to return home after a period of time in a new place, having changed and become better versions of ourselves, is something that we shouldn’t take for granted.
Travel Teaches us New Languages
One of the most satisfying things about traveling to a foreign country, is being able to comfortably communicate a phrase or even just a sentence in a different language. By the time Russell and I left Japan, we could communicate pretty decently using the handful of words or phrases we had learnt during our month long visit.
You probably won’t come home being fluent in a new language, but even being able to understand a few words can open up opportunities you didn’t even know existed. Learning a language takes a lot of dedication, but for all of the hard work involved, the rewards are certainly worth it.
You’ll Have a Lot of Good Stories to Tell
Seeing the world gives us an almost endless amount of stores to tell. Even those small things that happen while traveling, we remember at the most random times. A song will come on the radio that reminds us of something that happened while exploring the world, and we will anybody who will listen.
People love to hear travel stories, and once you start telling them yourself, it will be just part of the excitement of traveling. Just don’t be that person who constantly brags about all the places they’ve been, at every possible opportunity. There’s a time and a place for travel stories, and you’ll learn to notice the difference.
Discovering New Food
When it comes to food, Russell is the brave one in our relationship. He loves to try new things and experiment with different types of cuisine. Traveling is the perfect excuse to try absolutely anything. If there’s a particular type of cuisine that you love, such as Chinese, Thai or Japanese, what better reason is there to visit the country and experience their food first hand?
One of the things that surprised me most about Japan, was that there is a huge variety of food available. I’m a picky eater. I don’t tend to experiment too much with food, and I generally stick to what I know. But this wasn’t an issue while in Japan. Russell had the chance to try all of the Japanese cuisine he wanted, and I found plenty of familiar Western food options to keep me happy.
Whether you eat what you know, or dive deep into the unknown, traveling the world is the perfect excuse to get out of your comfort zone.
Making Memories with Someone Special
One of the best reasons to travel, is creating life long memories with someone special. Traveling with your partner or a group of friends, is a great way to experience new things with someone you care about.
I love traveling with Russell. Although we may argue every now and then, mainly because I get all stressed about getting lost, we have made an endless amount of incredible memories together. Not to mention all the wonderful photos to remember our travels for years to come.
There are some people who swear by solo travel, which I have also done myself. But to me, traveling with someone special is the best and most memorable way to see the world.
You will Appreciate Home a Lot More
There’s no denying that being able to see the world is a dream come true. It doesn’t matter how far you go or who you travel with, you will always feel grateful for the opportunity to see the world. But for me, at the end of every trip, I’m always excited to return home.
Not because I don’t love to travel, and certainly not because I didn’t have an amazing time wherever I was in the world. But being in a foreign country where everything is new and different, makes us realise how comfortable and familiar life is back home. There isn’t anything wrong with appreciating your home, even if you have the ability to travel around the world. It’s called home for a reason, after all.
I love the feeling of landing at Adelaide Airport, knowing I’m back in my familiar surroundings, being able to look back on the memories from our latest trip.
Rest and Relaxation
Whether you work full time, part time or not at all, it’s important to escape from reality sometimes. Regardless of your every day routine, there are always going to be stresses in our lives. Travel allows us to escape from those difficult situations. Being able to rest and rejuvenate, whether it’s for a week or a month, does the world of good.
Travel Changes us for the Better
The above nine reasons are just scratching the surface, about how travel improves our lives and makes us better people. Don’t let somebody who doesn’t agree with your decision to travel the world, stop you from living your dream. Whether you choose to take a road trip throughout your home town, or hop on a plane and fly across the world – just go for it.
I have learned so much about myself. After spending most of my childhood trying to decide what I want to do with my life, travel has helped me answer the question I was never able to while growing up. I now know that I want to travel the world and write about it, so readers just like you, can do the same as easily as possible!
So go ahead, book that flight. I dare you.
There are so many reasons to get out and explore this beautiful world of ours. Whether you’re keen to try some delicious food, educate yourself on the history of a new country, or do a world tour of the best theme parks – the world is your oyster! I haven’t seen as much of this incredible world as I would like.
There is still a lot that I want to experience and explore. It’s my goal with Rhiannon Travels to not only share my own personal experiences and advice, but I also hope to inspire as many people as I can to get out there and explore the world for themselves.
Do you agree with these reasons to travel the world? Have I missed any? Make sure to tell me in the comments below. Don’t forget to share this post on social media, with a friend you’d love to travel with!
Did you like this post? Pin it for later or share with friends!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for continuing to support Rhiannon Travels, and keeping it a free travel guide and resource for everyone to use!
Happy Birthday to me! I’m 25 years old today. Woohoo! I’ve always loved my birthday. If you had asked me where I would be spending my 25th birthday, I definitely wouldn’t have said in hot, dusty, desert Australia – Alice Springs! But here I am.
I wasn’t sure what to post about on my birthday. I knew I wanted something to go up today, for me to look back on in years to come when my blog has exploded with popularity and success (birthday wish?), but I didn’t know exactly what that would be.
So I decided that it would be fun to write 25 things I’ve learnt in my lifetime. I’m sure I’m not the first person to have come up with this genius and oh so original blog post idea, but since I couldn’t think of anything else, I decided to be a follower instead of a leader.
Here are 25 things I’ve learnt during my 25 years living on Earth:
1. Don’t take things too seriously.
This applies to most things in life, but more so in regards to work and things that I can’t control. I’ve had too many breakdowns and panic attacks over things that had been simply an overreaction. This isn’t to say that everything should be taken as a joke, but there’s a time and place to worry about things!
2. Don’t be so critical of your body.
Having lived with an eating disorder for 5 of my 25 years on Earth, I have a lot of experience with this. Eating healthy and exercising is an important part of life, as it keeps your body healthy and helps you to live longer. However, once it becomes an obsession or something that you’re constantly thinking and worrying about, it’s time to take a step back and remember that life it too short to focus too much of your time and energy into looking a certain way! You’re perfect just the way you are.
3. Always smile more than you frown.
Happy people attract more happy people. The happier you are, the better your life will be! I bet if you’re walking down the street and see a person smiling and another who looks miserable, you’re more than likely going to interact with the first, happier person, right? Don’t let the small, insignificant things in life get you down. After all, in a month or even less, they aren’t gonna matter anyway!
4. Explore and appreciate your hometown.
This is something that I’ve learned recently, after moving to Alice Springs for 8 months, from the city of Adelaide. I had never truly appreciated Adelaide more than I do now. I took the living in the city and all of the amazing things that come with that, for granted. However, I’m grateful for the opportunity to move interstate, as it’s given me a new appreciation for my hometown! Go out and explore the place you live. You never know when your situation might change, and you’ll have to move away from the place you’ve become so comfortable in.
5. Appreciate the small things in life.
Being able to come home to the person you love, having a nice warm bed in winter and access to an air conditioner in summer, having the opportunity to travel and see the world. These are all things that most of us take for granted (including myself) and tend to overlook when we’re having a bad day. Try and remember them next time you’re feeling down, and appreciate what you have!
6. Take lots of photos.
I know there are people who are hardcore believers of living in the moment, and so am I – to an extent. Memories are such an important part of life. Being able to look back on moments in time is n incredible thing. I am a strong believer in taking photos of absolutely everything. Whatever you want to remember in years to come, take a photo of it. I regret not taking as many photos as I should have, especially while travelling! That just means all my future travels, I’ll be photograph crazy! There’s nothing wrong with capturing a moment, especially a special and important one.
7. Just do it.
I’ve spent so much time going over the pros and cons in my head and whether or not I should do something. But that’s plain and simply time wasted! If you want to do something, and it isn’t going to put yourself or other people at risk, and isn’t (dangerously) illegal – do it! You’ll regret the things you didn’t do, a lot more than the things you did.
8. Don’t hold grudges.
We all do this. Staying mad at someone for too long over something insignificant and stupid. Remember, life is short. Don’t be mad at someone for too long. Let it go, forgive and move on!
9. It’s okay to be sad.
There are far too many people in the world who bottle in their feelings until they reach the point of exploding. Holding in your emotions, especially negative ones, isn’t healthy. If you’re feeling sad, cry. If you’re feeling worried or anxious, talk to someone about it. If you’re afraid, let someone know and they can help you through it. Emotions aren’t the devil. But ignoring them and pushing them away, can cause future problems.
10. Get outdoors more.
I spent most of my teenage years hating being outside. I was very much an inside person, only venturing outdoors when I had to. But these days, I love walking around and exploring my neighbourhood. Going for hikes and bike rides around new places. It’s exciting and great exercise! It also allows you to experience the area you live in, and you’ll learn a ton of new things, too!
11. Work your ass off for the things you want.
Don’t expect success to just fall into your lap. If you want something, you have to work for it. That goes for money, career success, travel and everything in between. Anything that is worth having, takes a lot of time and effort to achieve. Don’t give up if things don’t fall into place straight away. Pursue what makes you happy, and you’ll be surprised just how far you come!
12. Learn to say no more often.
You don’t have to do everything that someone asks you to do. This goes for all aspects of your life. Even your working life (within reason, of course). If you work in a casual job and need extra money, but have made plans with somebody – keep those plans! Yes, the extra money would be nice, but making memories and spending time with loved ones is more important.
13. Be childish sometimes.
I don’t mean kick up a tantrum in the middle of the supermarket because your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/mum/dad/sister/brother/friend/next-door-neighbour won’t buy you the toy you want. Obviously. Doing things that seem childish but are actually a lot of fun, can be therapeutic! Buy some puzzles or board games, or even jump on the colouring book bandwagon and get creative!
14. Be confident.
Most of my childhood and teenage years was spent being insecure with myself, my body and the person I was becoming. I was a shy kid and never let anybody too far into my life because I was afraid they wouldn’t accept me for who I am. But as I grew older, I realised that was all a waste of time. Anybody who is worth having in your life, will love and accept you for exactly the person you are. Don’t settle for anything less!
15. Money is important, but not TOO important.
Yes, money buys us almost everything we could ever need or want. But don’t spend too much time worrying and stressing about it. Everyone goes through money struggles at one point in their life. There are lots of ways to get things back on track, though! Do some research or talk to a budgeting professional and you’ll be on top of things in no time.
16. Surround yourself with good people.
I’ve wasted a lot of time on people who don’t deserve it. It wasn’t until those people were out of my life, that I realised that I had made a big mistake. The people who make you happiest, and those who lift you up instead of dragging you down – those are the people you need in your life!
17. Be careful what you throw away.
I’ve had a teddy bear that I have slept with since I was a week or so old. His name is Teddy. I will never, ever throw him away. He’s one of the things I would grab if there was ever a fire. Why? Because when I was younger, he was my therapist. He was my comfort. He made me happy when I was sad. So although I’m 25 now, and he lives in my dresser drawer instead of on my bed, I will never get rid of him. Don’t throw away anything that makes you happy, no matter how old you get!
18. Being an adult is hard.
Remember in high school, when you hoped for the day you’d be finished with your education and outside those walls, never having to go back? I bet you wish you were there now. Instead, we have to deal with bills, work, stress and money struggles. Adulting is hard. But it’s also rewarding. Try to remember that when you spend an entire day doing the dishes and endless loads of washing.
19. Drink lots of water.
A random lesson to have learnt, but undeniably, water is pretty damn good for you. It’s tasty and you can add so many things to it to make it taste even better! Not to mention it’s an essential part of keeping us alive! I always feel happier and more alert when I’ve included lots of water in my daily diet. (Did you just have some water like I did? 😉 Helping people live healthier lives since 1992 🤘)
20. Don’t be judgemental.
Whether it’s judging someone by their looks, the things they enjoy doing or the things that they worry and stress about – basically anything that makes them who they are, don’t do it. Don’t be a judgemental person. It isn’t attractive and just makes you look like a douche.
21. Make the most of every day.
If it’s sunny outside (or even if it isn’t), go for a walk! If there’s something that you’ve been wanting to do for weeks or months, do it! Make the most out of every day, and you’ll feel so much more productive and happy!
22. Write the things you feel.
This might be on the list because I’ve always loved to write, but I’m the type of person to record any and all events and happy moments in my life – in one way or another. Whether it’s posting photos and status updates on social media, or going old school and using a pen and paper. It’s therapeutic and a great way to be able to look back on those memories in the future.
23. Positivity is the key.
Even if you’re having a rough day, always try and find something positive in your life. If you’re having a stressful day at work, concentrate on the fact that you only have a few hours left in the day, then you get to go home and relax! If money issues are making life difficult, do something fun that is completely free. There is always something positive in every situation. It just takes us longer to see it sometimes!
24. Appreciate the people in your life.
This can be as simple as sending someone a text message, asking them about their day, or tagging them in something on social media that you know will make them smile. Small but caring gestures like this, make both parties a lot happier!
25. Make the next 25 years even better.
I’ve had a few struggles during the first 25 years of my life. But they have all led me here, and have led me to the love of my life. So I am 100% certain the next 25 years will be even better. I’ll make sure of it!
There you have it. What felt like the longest post I’ve ever written! 25 things I’ve learnt in my 25 years on Earth.
Now I’m going to go enjoy my birthday with my wonderful boyfriend, eat lots of food and drink lots of vodka 🍸
Leave me a comment, telling me something you’ve learnt so far this year! I’d love to hear your thoughts! 💭