I’m so grateful to have experienced some of the highest highs a human can by intentionally living a fulfilling life. Seeing the northern lights dance in Iceland with my brother, having the breathtaking mountains of Switzerland all to myself for days, getting to build a life around travel, and experiencing ultimate freedom. I’ve experienced the high of feeling truly alive, and completely in love with life.
But the thing is I’m not special. I grew up in a typical middle-class family. My parents didn’t have extra money but we certainly weren’t poor by any stretch of the imagination. There was always food in the fridge and I got to participate in every sport I wanted to. But we didn’t take family vacations and I bought everything I’ve ever owned with my own money. I moved away at 18 with only the money I had saved myself working in high school. I didn’t get on a plane for the first time until I was 20 years old. But as soon as I did, I worked 60 hours a week with a 2 hour commute each way for years in order to afford to do it again.
It was that feeling of being on top of the world and in love with life that I loved about traveling. It’s why I’ve always prioritized living a life that is fulfilling to me. And we all should! Keep reading to learn my top tips on how to live a truly fulfilling life.
What’s really on your bucket list? Write a list of your biggest dreams in life. It doesn’t matter how outrageous or terrifying it is. Money is no issue, and neither is your day-to-day responsibilities. If you want to do it, write it down. Now make it your life’s bible. Here are a few of the top items on my personal bucket list:
-Visit every country in the world including Antarctica
-Summit Mount Everest
-Dive with sharks in Hawaii
Take one goal at a time. Now figure out how to do it. This is the part where most people get stuck. They let their mind bully them out of turning their dreams into a plan. They tell themselves that they’re not worthy of living their dreams or don’t see how they could “realistically make it work” off the top of their head. Summiting Mount Everest sounded like a crazy dream when I put it on my list in high school. I hadn’t ever even climbed a mountain, I just saw a photo of one. At this point I am very comfortable climbing some high altitude mountains and plan to continue on that path until one day summiting Mount Everest is just the obvious next step.
If you don’t see yourself in your bucket list ideas, become the person who achieves these things. Develop self-discipline, and healthy habits, and get after it. Crossing off the items on your bucket list should be your highest priority in life. If you can’t make your goals work with your lifestyle, change your lifestyle to align with your goals.
Related Post: How To Get Over Your Fears of Solo Travel
If something doesn’t work out the way you planned, you learned something from it. You’ll always finish the experience better, stronger, and wiser. You had the guts to try and that is rewarded with character-building. Look at “failures” as lessons or opportunities to try something else.
Quit looking at setbacks as failures, and quit comparing yourself to others. Everyone is on a different journey in life. We all have different priorities and different timelines. Look at setbacks as lessons and focus your energy on yourself.
You can only show up as your best self in life when your own cup is full. Gravitate towards things that make you feel good. Friends, jobs, hobbies. Listen to your intuition. Trust yourself. Meditate daily. And tune out the noise. Make your peace a priority. Be picky with how you spend your energy. Build the life you want, not the life you think you’re supposed to have. You’re the only one you have to answer to at the end of the day.
Related Post: The Solo Mentality: How to Get Comfortable Traveling or Moving Alone
You can’t control how someone feels about you or what happens to you in this life. You can’t control how someone treats you.
But you CAN control how you show up in life and react to what happens around you. You can control where you live, how you spend your money, where you work, who you are in a relationship with, whether you have kids or pets, what you eat, what you own, which thoughts you choose to dwell on, and what you focus your energy on. You are in control of your mindset and how you choose to move forward in every situation.
Related Post: 12 Life Lessons I Learned From Solo Travel
Do all the things that make you smile, face your fears, make dumb decisions, waste your money, fall in love, and do everything you’ve ever wanted to do. That’s what living a fulfilling life is all about!
I’ll tell you a secret: My biggest fear in life. It’s not dying falling off the side of Angel’s Landing, getting hypothermia climbing to the top of Mount Everest, or getting kidnapped while traveling alone. It’s being on my death bed, looking back, and saying “I wish I would’ve summitted Mount Everest.” or “I should’ve learned to dive.”
Forget anything that doesn’t align with your values and goals in life. Listen to others with an open mind, but don’t take their advice if they haven’t accomplished the things you want to accomplish. The people who are where you want to be and your intuition are the only voices you should listen to. The rest, including the resistance, is just noise. Tune it out.
At the end of the day, the only person you have to answer to in this life is you.
Click here to read more blog posts about life as a full time solo traveler. If you want to make traveling more of a priority this year, watch my free webinar that will teach you how you too can travel full time. And lastly, connect with us on Instagram! We’d love to get to know you! Happy traveling!