Tag: Money (page 1 of 2)

Eurotrip: Leaving on a Jetplane…

The proud Canadian in me is a little disappointed to be missing the festivities and of course, the fireworks, but the part of me that is consumed by wanderlust is quite excited to be heading on my first across-the-pond vacation since 2009. (Yikes! I know…)

Scott and I are heading to the Old Continent for a few weeks; it’s time for a EUROTRIP! We’re attending a dear friend’s wedding in Paris (she’s more like a sister, so it’s a must) via Brussels. Those who love travelling as much as I do are probably sharing my #sorrynotsorry thoughts about missing the National Holiday. Hello, smoother security measures and boarding procedures? Also, it’s a bonus travel day!

Scott hugs Mercedes in New Brunswick (2013)

Scott is humouring me so we get nice travel pics.

Roll With the Punches

As some of you may know, we were in “financial freedom mode” (i.e. paying off loans) so when we heard the news, we had an honest (albeit short) discussion about our priorities; there was no way we were missing the wedding. Sometimes, in life, events come up for us to re-evaluate our priorities. Yes, we were repaying loans and we’ll get back to that mode of “freedom focus” when we return. But we had to ask ourselves why we were even so focused on freedom in the first place. There were many reasons, but a big one for me (as well as for Scott), is to enjoy life and ride the wave of opportunity before it crashes into us. Scott often says he ‘only wants to be happy when he grows up’. It used to be charming, then it annoyed me and now, I see how broad this statement is. I choose to adopt it because it means I follow my heart and I plan, as best I can, for the unexpected. When planning fails, I roll with the punches.

We had to ask ourselves: “what are we doing all this for if we can’t even part-take in our friends’ milestones?”

Scott at Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

Guess where Scott is? (2013) Hint: It’s in Nova Scotia

A plane ticket isn’t any cheaper if you return sooner, so we decided to make it a holiday. Our first international trip together. It’ll be a golden opportunity to reconnect to each other, to re-discover each other as we discover new (old) parts of the world together and it’ll be a great spiritual practice for us both. It’ll be a time for sharing bits of ourselves that routine tends to put to sleep.

When we’d worked out that we were going, we had to figure out the logistics. We’re pretty proud to say that despite the short notice, this trip is not a debt but planned spending. Rock on, us!

Harmonizing Different Travelling Views

Scott and Mercedes at the Anne of Green Gables House in PEI (2011)

Scott and I at the Anne of Green Gables House in PEI (2011)

My partner and I view travelling a bit differently; he feels it’s a welcome luxury and I feel it’s an essential to balanced adult life. But we’re united in the value of family and friendship that we’re honouring. For me, it’s a much anticipated return to Europe (my last hop was in 2009) but the world changes and it’ll be an altogether new trip to do this trek with my partner. I can’t wait to share my wanderlust with this beautiful person. I want to tell him: “See? THIS is why I want to see the world with you. There’s such wonder. There’s such beauty and I want to share it with you. I want to be a witness to your life. I want you to share my adventures. The world’s a big buffet and although I can’t it like this every day, I want to enjoy every yummy piece of this world.”

Counsellors and therapists always encourage couples to “make quality time for each other” and “try new things together”, which I feel this trip fulfills. They also say that renovations and travel are big tests. I see tests as a rather formalized way of saying you’re practising your life. Yoga is a practice but so are your relationships of any nature. Every day is new and each person evolves so relationships are a dance. I prefer to make mine a connected but fun dance. Missteps will likely happen, as they do in everyday life, but what’s the fun in a perfectly rehearsed waltz? Some days, we’ll be like a tango or a westie dance, but many days are like swing for us; it’s partnership, it’s fun and it’s all about doing it together.

I can’t wait to go adventuring in Belgium, France and Holland. We’ll also be taking scenic and sentimental detours to smell

Mercedes is standing in a garden in King's Landing, NB (2013)

I’m standing in a garden in King’s Landing, NB (2013)

the roses (or the Thames or the Alps, no biggie). Travelling reminds me of my passions, or my love for humankind, or my thirst for learning. It makes me feel alive. For a few weeks, I forget about the humdrum of jobs, responsibilities and other people’s timelines. I remember who I am and I see with my heart. I’m also looking forward to seeing my partner in this light. Let this trip be about love.

While we’re out adventuring, I’ve got a few fun posts for you… and if you’re lucky, I might even post a few short on-the-go updates.  😉

What situations have caused you to re-evaluate your priorities? What choices have you made for your wellness and enjoyment? How does travelling add to your life?

How Choices Make You Happier

I’ve learned a really difficult lesson this year. Among many tough realizations, I’ve learned that choices are healthy.

Having many options to choose from, reviewing them, making a commitment to a choice and sticking to it. It’s all part of a very intentional process. It’s a process that fosters awareness and cultivates mindfulness.

I’m someone who likes to learn a LOT, do a LOT, be everywhere, travel to new places, master skills right away… and of course, this isn’t possible simultaneously. Most people need to work at refining their skills, as do I. Most people learn over time and practice. I’m no exception. I often wish I could just *know* something already.

Can’t I just, hold this guide book against my forehead and absorb it?

We can travel many places, but not all at once. We can only be in one place at a time. I think that this “buffer” between our minds and our immediate realities is healthy. It often protects us from wasting time and energy doing things we’d truly regret or it helps us avoid doing something that would keep us from doing something we’d love more. I suppose, this could also be linked to “manifesting”. This teaches me patience and not to “rush” life, because here and now is what I’ve got..

Probably that one of the best examples where I have difficulty choosing in my life is in my relationship with books. I love them! I want to read them all! I want to know the stories of the world! I am easily distracted when it comes to which books to read, because each book is a story that is fascinating and full of adventure, hope and opportunity. I have a reading problem… I read many, many books at once. Although, in itself, this isn’t a problem, what is an issue is that if I start a novel or a non-fiction book, I need to make it to the end. I need to consciously choose to make that my “main” read at one time. Otherwise, I’ll never finish it.

yogagirl_US-coverMy friends have this running joke that I’ll never finish reading Le Parfum, by Patrick Suskind. It’s true! At this point, I’ve given up. I just don’t like it enough. I’m choosing to commit to other books that are either more my idea of “light reading” or more my idea of “inspirational reading”. Right now, I’m reading Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen (non-fiction) and I’m finishing up the first book in the Beautiful Creatures (fiction) series. I know… Everyone needs variety!

Money, money, money…

This year, I’ve also learned how to properly budget, despite being close to 30. I guess you could call me a financial late bloomer. How did I ever get by without using this basic skill? Apparently, I’m not the only woman, or the only Gen Y for that matter.

Money is a great servant but a terrible master.


You Need A Budget – Great App!

Learning how to manage my own money has been a step in self-care, acceptance and love. I am worthy of a stress-free financial life. For me, this meant re-evaluating my needs, my lifestyle preferences and my medium and long-term goals. For me, it meant making a new habit and loving what it did for me. I guess you could call it my little financial fitness awakening.

We’ve all heard “You can’t have it all”. Actually… real life for go-getters goes more like this:

“You can’t have it all at once, but you can have most of what you want, *if* you think differently about how that looks for you.”

Then what do we want most and how do we enjoy it?

Knowing I can’t possibly be everywhere, do everything, know everything, own everything…it releases the pressure of expectations I set for myself. Without pressure, there’s freedom. With freedom, there’s responsibility. My responsibility is to myself to build a life that reflects who I am and what I love. For me, it means buying less to do more, scheduling less to leave room for spontaneity and tea with friends.

Our choices lead us to experiences that cost us time, energy and limit us to a space in time. No one knows how long they’ve really got on Earth. Some of our choices also cost us in dollars. This seemingly adds another layer to our decision-making. In truth, no matter the factors to consider, the steps should lead back to us, to our centre. Don’t we want our lives to be our works of art? Don’t we want our lives to be a reflection of who truly are inside? In essence, the process enhances mindfulness.

What matters to me right now? Does this decision respect my core values?

Someone who can make choices with which he or she is at peace is leads his or her life artfully, from their heart-centre. Commitment easily follows choices that honour our personal truths. Having to make choices helps me refocus as I come back to my values, priorities and goals.

When we chose consciously, we better appreciate what we have and ultimately, we know ourselves better.

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