Table of Contents
- 1 Flight 045
- 2 Destination: The World
- 3 Mode of Transport: The Blog
- 4 Lesson 1 – Learned a Language.
- 5 Lesson 2 – Learned to slow down the pace.
- 6 Lesson 3 – Learned to be more creative.
- 7 Lesson 4 – Learned to meditate and be grateful for what I have.
- 8 Lesson 5 – Learned to build my website.
- 9 Lesson 6 – Learned that age makes me better.
- 10 Lesson 7 – Learned to appreciate my daughter, husband, family and friends more.
- 11 Lesson 8 – Learned to be more caring, giving and accepting.
- 12 Lesson 9 – Learned to live with less.
- 13 Lesson 10 – Learned to love working again.
Destination: The World
Mode of Transport: The Blog
On May 7, 2014, my first blog post went live on this website, “Flight 001. Destination: Bologna. Mode of Transport: Ragu Alla Bolognese. Title: Don’t Use Spaghetti”. On this one-year anniversary of our food and travel blog, I’d like to reflect on what I’ve learned thus far and how it’s made me a better person.
Lesson 1 – Learned a Language.
No, I didn’t pick up a foreign language, at least not yet. What I’ve learned is the language used in a universe called the internet. It’s a trivial achievement for most, but for someone like me, who didn’t have ANY social media accounts open or any technical knowledge whatsoever, at age 44, it was not the easiest endeavor. For example, I didn’t know what a hashtag was, I didn’t know how to tweet, heck, I didn’t even know what “sharing” was. Words like “post” or “page” were all the same to me. Have you seen that movie “The Internship” starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson? Well, those 2 characters capture exactly how little I knew about the world wide web. There was a scene in the movie when Vince Vaughn’s character kept telling his younger colleagues about a brilliant idea of his, which was to create an app that put pictures “on the line” instantaneously to share with the world. We all know that the app already existed and the proper wordage is “online”. Well, a year ago, I was Vince Vaughn.
Having worked as a luxury retailer for almost 20 years in brick and mortar establishments, the internet was a world I knew nothing about. I had NO CLUE. Now, I can Instagram, post, share etc.. with the best of them, “online”. So, to say that I learned a new language, I think is quite accurate.
Lesson 2 – Learned to slow down the pace.
In my old career, I was always in a rush and didn’t appreciate my environment at all. My daily routine included rushing to drop my daughter off at school so I can catch the subway that would take me to work on time. At lunch time, I would never take a whole hour. I inhaled my food and went right back to work. After closing the shop, I would rush back to the subway, pick up my daughter, get dinner cooked (who am I kidding, most nights it was ordered and picked up), eat and try to catch up with my family for maybe 30 minutes. Then I would prepare my daughter, Bailey for bed. By the time it was all said and done, it was always late and I was exhausted. All I wanted to do is watch TV with my husband, Andrew and not think.
These days, I SLOW it down. I stop to smell the scent of coffee, I notice things like a flower bed on the sidewalk. I’ve started to spot not-so-new restaurants and shops in my neighborhood. I stop to converse with my neighbor. I even take the time to notice people’s children and pets. I thoroughly enjoy my walks. I look up, I look down, I look at everything and appreciate everything.
Lesson 3 – Learned to be more creative.
Now that my pace has slowed down, I’ve become much more creative. My photography has improved, I’ve never taken a photography course and don’t claim to be an expert, but I’ve gotten some pretty good compliments from many people. I use a Nikon 1 J5 Mirrorless Camera and though I’m not very technical, I try to use my creativity to conjure up good images. I look at light differently these days. I observe which type of lighting is good for a photograph and I search out the moment to capture instead of taking photos of the usual subjects and at all hours of the day.
In the beginning, I was writing all of the blog posts, and through that, my writing improved. I’m better able to express myself through words, which I never thought possible in the past.
Lesson 4 – Learned to meditate and be grateful for what I have.
I start every day with reading passages from the good book and say my prayers. I don’t take long, ten minutes or so. In the past, I only turned to prayer when I needed something. Now, I do it to simply ground me. I rarely pray for anything concrete these days, I only seek guidance. Most of all, I just give thanks.
Lesson 5 – Learned to build my website.
Outside of my family, my other loves are travel and food, so I got “on the line” (lol) and researched opportunities in those fields. In my search, I stumbled upon a bunch of people doing what they called “blogging”. A few really caught my eye because they called themselves “travel bloggers”. My thoughts were, “What? People really do this for a living? How?”. So I kept researching.
One blog really caught my attention. It was called, ytravelblog, created by a husband and wife team who travel full time with their 2 daughters. I was intrigued by what this family was doing, so I signed up for their email newsletter and followed their journey. After a few reads, I started toying with the idea of starting my own blog.
In February 2014, I received a newsletter from ytravelblog promoting an online business school named, Marie Forleo’s B-School. The letter explained how B-school helped catapult their business. The email was so convincing that I researched this Marie Forleo. It was much more than I wanted to spend, due to the fact that I didn’t know anything about building out an online business, I thought it was worth the investment.
For 2 months, I did nothing but B-School. Through the process, I learned how to build my website from scratch. The “Vince Vaughn character” in me was proud. On May 7, 2014 my first post went up.
Lesson 6 – Learned that age makes me better.
I’m no spring chicken. At 45 years of age, however, I just don’t get embarrassed anymore. I don’t care that I may be saying things incorrectly like, “on the line” rather than “online”. I’m not too proud to admit that I didn’t know what the acronym “LOL” stood for until recently. I don’t care that I looked or sounded stupid during the learning curve of developing a website. I continue to be less proud and never afraid to ask questions. I’m a far cry from who I was when I was in my twenties, and for that I am thankful.
Lesson 7 – Learned to appreciate my daughter, husband, family and friends more.
I know everybody is required to say this, but it goes deeper than I can explain. I feel so blessed that I was guided to this new life so I can appreciate the two people that mean most to me.
Through this change, I have really gotten to know Bailey. I used to see her for 2-3 hours a day in my former life, and I used to tell her what to do all the time and never appreciated her side of things. Now, I’m with her all day, except for when she’s in school and find the time to listen to her, which has helped me become a better mother that is more capable of guiding her into becoming the best person she can be.
In the past, when I was consumed by work, I never really took the time to appreciate what Andrew had to teach me. Since Dish Our Town, that’s all changed. I find myself enjoying the process of learning from him every day. I knew my husband Andrew was a good writer, but he is even better than I thought. His travel stories always help me dream and transports me. My creativity is sparked whenever I read his writing and this creates a symbiotic relationship between us that helps us produce a good product. Most of all, the time I spend with him brings me closer and more understanding of him.
In my old life, I barely had time to socialize. I was so tired most of the time that I just did not have time for my friends and my family. Now, I try to see them as often as possible.
Lesson 8 – Learned to be more caring, giving and accepting.
I’m so much more clear with life that I am able to deeply care for others. Every day my thoughts are led to how I can make a difference, not just in my life, but in the lives of others. My new life humbles me and helps me appreciate people as they are and see the good in them.
Lesson 9 – Learned to live with less.
We’ve sold everything we own in preparation for a business and a life of full-time travel. Gone are the nice pieces of furniture, the expensive kitchenware, the hand finished suits, the glitter dresses, the unopened boxes of toys, the list of excess goes on.
We have very little left now, just some family mementos. We plan on living a life less ordinary and limit ourselves to a backpack each and one rolling luggage for the journey. Sometimes one doesn’t even realize how much our possessions hold us back. We feel so much lighter now and more capable of moving on.
Lesson 10 – Learned to love working again.
I wake up every day so excited to work. Every morning, I log onto my website looking to always improve it. I open my eyes, looking forward to coming up with something creative. I love communicating with my colleagues. I love imagining your day, our dear reader, and see what I can share with you to make it a better day. I love communicating with the world. Thank you for always taking the time to read and visit us here.
What have you learned this year that you want to share with us? Please let us know in the comments.
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