Feel Good Blogging Challenge Day #7: Not Everyone Can Go Traveling

Sunset

Unsplash/Lee Scott

“You can be anything that you want to be.”

“Everyone could travel if they wanted – people simply choose not to.”

These are just two of many statements that bother me on various lifestyle and travel blogs alike. Life paths and futures become reduced to arbitrary “choices” in a single sentence. Judgement on those who cannot seem to live their dreams is heavily placed.

“If you don’t do it, it’s your fault,” we tell others. “I have no time for people who blame their problems on everyone and everything else.”

I believe in self-empowerment and the power of positive thinking. But nowadays we often reduce outcome to nothing but personal choice, and I wonder if these kinds of sweeping statements actually hinder people from achieving what they want to out of life because they become swamped by the world’s problem.

I’m not religious, but one of my key philosophies in life is:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr

You will sink into misery if you don’t have the courage to fight for your dreams and don’t possess autonomy, but equally you will lose your mind if you keep trying and failing to change things that are out of your control.

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Feel Good Blogging Challenge Day #6: What Do You Do For Fun?

What do you do for fun- Hobbiton

“Deborah, what do you do for fun?” she asked me, breaking me off mid-sentence.

I thought hard for a moment. I honestly could not think of anything. There once was a time when my life was filled with singing and choirs, scripts for plays and notes in musicals, and beautiful words bursting from wonderful novels.

However, now I was at university and I was on target for high grades and a promising future. The days of singing and reading for fun were long gone.

“Well…I talk about feminism and politics,” I said suddenly, glad to demonstrate that I was well-rounded and not just an academic hermit. I enthusiastically described a few of the university groups that I belonged to and how awesome the causes were.

The lady smiled yet shook her head. “All of those things are brilliant and honourable, but I’m not sure they make you happy.” I went to protest but she held up her hand. “Fighting against the world and for the world isn’t about pleasure for you.”

She was right. The lady had spoken to me for a mere hour, yet she was right on the money: I did not nothing just for fun. For nothing but pleasure. Every activity and every ounce of my time was spent working towards some far-off future goal of “success” that I wasn’t even sure that I wanted. And whilst I loved my university groups, they were also entangled with my political resentments and aspirations.

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Feel Good Blogging Challenge Day #5: What to Pack in your Hand Luggage

What to Pack in your hand luggage

Make sure you check out:

Day #1: A Simple Introduction

Day #2: The Time I was Almost Left At The Grand Canyon

Day #3: A Guide to Hitchhiking (as safely as you can!)

Day #4: 10 Random Facts About Me (that you probably didn’t know)

Today’s task is to share something useful with my readers. I honestly can’t think of a better topic than to talk about what a backpacker should pack in their hand luggage.

Blog posts and YouTube videos on the subject often display perfectly coiffed beauty gurus embarking on luxury holidays, pulling out a perfect lip balm or some deluxe healthy snack from a Chanel handbag.

However, what I need to know is what to take on a long haul flight, particularly from the point of view of being a long-term traveller and/or backpacker. Whilst I am sure that scented hand sanitizer is nice (the one time I took hand sanitizer in my carry-on it exploded all over my seat mate due to the cabin pressure…awkward), I follow one simple rule:

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Feel Good Blogging Challenge Day #4: 10 Random Facts About Me

Debs in London

Phew, we are now on Day #4 of Alex Beadon’s Feel Good Blogging Challenge. I would like to take a quick moment to thank all of you lovely readers and fellow bloggers who have taken the time to read my posts and support my blog. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it! Make sure you check out Day #1, Day #2 and Day #3 of this challenge.

Today’s challenge (posted a little late as I currently don’t have reliable wifi!) is to write 10 random facts about me. Let’s get straight into things:

 

1. I used to take ballet classes until the age of 16. I was also super passionate about acting and musical theatre. I flirted with the idea of treading the boards and embarking on a career in the arts (my older brother is actually a professional ballet dancer.) However, there came a point when I became more interested in politics and current affairs. So instead of taking more theatre arts classes, I worked on my academic pursuits and went on to study Political Science at university.

2. I cycled to France with my family when I was seven years old. When I was a kid, my parents couldn’t really afford a car so my dad came up with the genius idea of buying us all bikes. Yup, that’s right, my dad, mum, brother and I would cycle to school and go on family bike rides every weekend, rain or shine. I even had a bright pink bike helmet that my brother fondly named Netty. Eventually we took the plunge and cycled to France.

My poor brother was only 10 at the time, but he was carrying two side panniers on his bike and a ridiculously heavy steel-poled tent. I carried a tiny pink backpack containing only my clothes and the apples for our snack break. My brother was not happy.

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Feel Good Blogging Challenge Day #3: How to Hitchhike (as safely as you can!)

how to hitch hike

(Make sure you read Days #1 and #2 of the Feel Good Blogging Challenge as well!)

Today’s challenge is to teach you guys how to do something. I thought that I would teach you how to hitchhike.

I won’t lie, there is something both awkward and terrifying about standing on a roadside by yourself with your thumb out, hoping for a complete stranger to give you a ride, but I do love hitchhiking.

Now, before we get into this tutorial, I would like to add that I am not advocating hitchhiking in every location and circumstance (I hitchhiked in New Zealand where hitchhiking is common place and arguably safer than other countries.) There is always the danger that something will go wrong every time you get into a car, and I completely understand why many people don’t want to take that risk and don’t like encouraging others to embark on a hitchhiking adventure.

However, how I hitchhike and how I try to minimize the dangers are questions that people always ask me. Especially because I am a young woman travelling alone.

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