As I stood on the balcony of the mosque’s minaret with 360° views of the city of Mostar, everything began to fall into place. The crystal clear emerald green river that flowed through the middle of the old town, beneath the iconic bridge, vividly reflected back to me the peace and freedom I felt within my mind.
Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
My joy was so much greater because I saw that I’d created this moment for myself, and there would be countless more to come. I’ve experienced being in paradise before, but unable to fully connect with my surroundings, feeling heavy in my heart. At last I felt like I was committed enough to my dreams to overcome many of the difficulties I’d been struggling with recently.
Adventure had been my intention for this trip, and it had come in so many unexpected forms that were exactly what I had needed. In that moment I felt a sense of soaring freedom so much greater than I had ever expected. I gazed down at the magnificent view and reflected on the journey that had brought me to this point.
Last year I left the UK for Costa Rica imagining that I may travel indefinitely, working my way around the world. 5 weeks later, after being refused entry to Panama and missing my friends and family at Christmas time, I found myself on a flight back home. I couldn’t believe I was leaving this tropical haven for cold and gloomy Bristol in the winter!
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
But this was the beginning of a new phase for me of really trusting my heart over what appeared to be logical. The longing I had to spend Christmas with my friends and family was too strong to ignore. What was the point in creating a fabulous life for myself full of freedom and adventure, if this freedom excluded returning to the one place I wanted to be most in the entire world?
So I went home. Since then I have been gradually getting more and more in tune with my intuition. I have learned to be brave and trust myself, even when I feel like I ‘should’ be doing something different.
After several months of practising the art of living in this way, I could feel the difference it had made. I was traveling again, but this time everything was in perfect harmony. I had become much clearer with my intentions, and had developed the courage to follow through with them most of the time. I understood now that there would be challenges, but I could see the bigger picture and I knew it was always worth it.
I have spent most of this year housesitting back in Bristol, and taking shorter trips in between, instead of the long term travel I had planned. Everything has turned out so perfectly, despite the fact I have felt like I’m fumbling around in the dark. This has given me so much more faith in my ability to create anything I truly want.
It would be easy to settle into this lifestyle, but I’ve learned that it is essential to my happiness to take action based on my true desires, even if it doesn’t appear to fit in with my current reality. Freedom and connection with nature are things that I’ve been craving more and more of lately. When I’m traveling this seems to come much more naturally to me, and at the end of my recent Europe trip I felt this need more strongly than ever.
The simplicity of dipping into crystal clear water or spending an hour lying in the sun, even in the middle of town in Zadar, was so immensely fulfilling. Just as at the end of my Costa Rica trip I’d felt my soul pulling me home, in my heart I now felt called towards slow and simple long term travel.
After returning home early from Costa Rica, I had a lot of short action packed adventures which were exactly what I needed to build up my confidence. I tried to slow down and get work done on the road, but my desire to explore, along with time limitations, meant that I spent a lot of time rushing around seeing new exciting things. Working on my blog and Etsy shop inevitably took a back seat.
It was all so exhilarating, but the days I enjoyed the most were always when I stopped trying to do everything and just enjoyed soaking in the moment. With more time in each place I would be able to relax, work and explore. So, based on my deep heart felt desire, I am taking some very simple action to prioritize longer term travel in the future.
I am fully booked with housesitting in Bristol until February, but I have decided not to take any more bookings after that, for the time being. It feels a little scary, as I don’t know where I’ll be staying or how much money I will have by then, but it feels liberating to have made the decision. I also know that if I follow through with my intention and have faith, everything will work out for the best.
Kotor, Montenegro. This cat knew how to relax and enjoy the simple things in life!
So although I have come full circle, back to my desire to explore the world indefinitely, I feel so much more balanced and at peace with myself. It honestly doesn’t matter where I am in the world, as long as I am following my heart.
The more I tune in to my deepest desires, set intentions, and take action accordingly, the more connected I feel to this beautiful world. I am at home right now, and even though I have plans to travel again in February, there is nowhere else I would rather be in this moment.
Finding our wonderland has absolutely nothing to do with our surroundings (although we may find we feel compelled to change these when we get in touch with what we really want), and absolutely everything to do with acting in alignment with what we love. This will change depending on what we need at the time. In my experience, the more we can listen to this and follow through with action even when we can’t see how everything fits together, the closer we will be to paradise no matter where we are in the world.
There has been a lot more to my ongoing journey towards inner peace than I have mentioned in this post, which is just a small piece of the puzzle. I aim to share the parts that I find inspiring in the hope it will touch you in some way. There are many struggles that are going on beneath the surface, and a lot of things that I have decided to keep private for now. Whatever battles you are facing, keep heading in the direction of hope. You are never alone.
What are you inspired by, or what is your heart calling for right now? What action can you take that is aligned with this? Leave me a comment below 🙂