Sometimes you have to be your own hero

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It was exactly one year ago this month that I first considered the idea of extended travel. At first the notion gently flickered through my conscious, stuttering and floundering like an awkward fledgling bird. Then, with time, it slowly spread its wings and took flight. One year ago, I was in such a different place. Not geographically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. My world as I knew it had fallen down around me, and I was in a period of deep self-analysis.

I took a good hard look in the old metaphorical mirror, and knew I had to make some significant changes. Not only did I have to change certain things about myself and the way I lived my life, but I also had to change the life I was living.

Looking inward and questioning my choices was a deeply challenging experience for me. Accepting your own faults and fears, and choosing to better yourself, is no day at the funfair. Nobody’s perfect, and I am not trying to be, but I needed to know I was living my life as the best version of myself possible, and I knew that by doing this, the best life for me to live would also emerge.

As I dealt with my demons I shifted my focus away from who I wanted be, to what I wanted to be doing.

What was my dream?

The only thing I wanted to do was travel, but saying that out loud seemed like madness at the time. Then fate played a hand and somehow I stumbled upon a sprawling online world of kindred spirits. Bloggers. I was inspired and reassured – they were doing it – there was no reason I couldn’t do it too. I can wholeheartedly say that reading about people such as Adam Baker, Chris Guillebeau and Christine Gilbert, among others, gave me the push I needed to realise my dream of living a life less ordinary.

That was it. I wanted to travel the world and never stop.

And so it was done; from that moment onwards every second of my life has been geared towards making this dream come true. The dye was cast, the dice were rolled, and I was on my way. And you know what? I have never felt more self-assured or been prouder of my achievements.

Now I live each day with certainty that I am on the right path. My path.

It’s important to give yourself a pat on the back every now and again and appreciate who you are and where you are going.Learning to like myself has not been an easy process, but if you don’t like yourself, how can you expect anyone else to? Now I embrace who I am and find myself sharing this ‘me’ through a medium I have never used before, and with people I have never met.

This is my last post of the month; my first month as a blogger. As I look back on how far I have come over the last year, I also look forward to where I will go over the year ahead. I am already getting so much out of writing and sharing my experiences, and have been overwhelmed by the warmth and generosity of an online community I had no idea existed. I feel welcomed into the fold.

It is a wonderful place to find myself.

Last November my life was full of uncertainty. Next November my future will be uncertain too, but for completely different reasons. This time next year I will be living in Goa with a life of untold travels ahead, and my blog will be one year old. I can’t wait to see what I will be writing about then.

I feel extremely blessed to find myself at this pivotal time of change, with so much growth and acceptance behind me, and still so much more ahead.

Everybody needs a hero, and I have many, but now I am adding myself to that list. I rescued myself from a place of darkness, and will strive to be my own hero for the rest of my life.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Claire November 30, 2011 at 14:52

=) Your countdown ticker thing has gone from 10 months to 9 months since the last time I visited… eeeeeeeeeek =)
But in seriousness, lovely lovely lovely inspiring words xxx

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Hannah November 30, 2011 at 15:21

I know! We leave 10 months today 🙂 Yippee!!! Thank you so much for your kind words and friendship xxx

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Kjersti November 30, 2011 at 19:57

Hi Hannah, again I love your words! And I can relate, I have gone through some of the same changes myself the last year. Never have a year felt so long – but boy, I got a lot out of it for myself. I’m cheering for you!

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Hannah December 1, 2011 at 23:22

Thank you Kjersti, that is so kind of you to say. I’m so glad you have come out the other side too – cheers to you!!! Keep up the good work 🙂

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Sarahsomewhere December 1, 2011 at 13:33

Thank you for this honest, insightful post Hannah. Your blog is definitely my new favorite and I feel blessed to be able to be inspired by your journey. I hope we can catch up some day over a cup of chai …

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Hannah December 1, 2011 at 23:14

Wow, what an amazing comment. I’m blown away – thank you so much. And I feel exactly the same way about your blog and journey. I truly look forward to sharing stories face to face one day… chai sounds perfect xxx

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Chris Guillebeau December 2, 2011 at 21:25

Nice work, Hannah. I love what you’re doing here.

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Hannah December 2, 2011 at 21:56

Wow, thank you so much Chris, I really appreciate you taking the time to check out my blog. Your comment just made me do a little happy dance 🙂

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Phillipa Sen December 2, 2011 at 21:28

You are my motivation… My truest and dearest friend and I am so thankful and proud of you!
x

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Hannah December 2, 2011 at 22:11

Thanks honey xxx

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Therese December 3, 2011 at 07:58

“Now I live each day with certainty that I am on the right path. My path.”
It’s so evident to me that this is true! When someone has found her own voice; her own path, it just shows… it shines through in some mysterious way. So excited to see how your journey progresses, Hannah 🙂

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Hannah December 3, 2011 at 19:21

Hi Therese, thank you so much for stopping by, and for your amazing words. I really appreciate it 🙂 I’ve subscribed to your blog and am looking forward to Monday’s email x

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Kirsten December 17, 2011 at 15:05

I could not relate to this more. I’m a little over one year ahead of you and my dream of being an expat hasn’t materialized yet but I did FILL this year with travel to places like France, Argentina, Austria, Barbados, Bahamas, Jamaica, the UK, Canada and dozens of US states … Planning to make 2012 the year I actually live overseas and not just visit. None of it has been 100% easy but all of it has been 10x better than the life I had before. (A little bit about that: http://www.aviatorsandacamera.com/holiday/happy-thanksgiving-im-thankful-that-ill-die-someday/)

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Hannah December 17, 2011 at 18:19

Hi Kirsten, thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it. I am actually a big fan of your blog and love your message – I’m thrilled to connect with you. I wish you all the best for your future travels, and life as an expat 🙂

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Dayna December 17, 2011 at 20:42

I think it’s great you are beginning the blog now… that’s one thing I wish we had done! We didn’t really get our own site up and running til this month (almost 10 months in) and I’m sure we missed documenting quite a few adventures!! Here’s to next year!

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Hannah December 17, 2011 at 22:34

Here’s to next year indeed! I feel like 2012 is my year, when I will finally get going. Though it is nice to get a head start with the blog, it is so frustrating being a non-travelling travel blogger! My itchy feet are driving me crazy!

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Mark December 17, 2011 at 21:22

The distance between “further” and “farther” is a heroic journey. Traveling in this way will be a way to see how everything is illuminated. I’m 31, too, and have been living abroad for five years, and I’ve felt a major alignment to a life of surrogate experience and monotony to something like an “everyday hero’s journey.”
I look forward to further reading,
M

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Hannah December 17, 2011 at 22:30

Thank you so much for your comment Mark, I really appreciate you stopping by 🙂

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Rav December 20, 2011 at 10:54

Great Job! I mean on the whole, Bravo!!! (Ah language is short of words to explain how I feel).
I hit subscribe after reading the first line of your first post. By becoming your own hero you also give us the pleasure of having you as ours.
I will continue to look up to you for inspiration and joy, My Hero!!!

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Hannah December 20, 2011 at 17:57

Thank you so much for your lovely comment Rav, what kind words. I am so glad you enjoyed reading, it means more than I can say 🙂

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Marisol April 19, 2012 at 17:06

Hi Hannah, just found your blog through SarahSomewhere. I did enjoy enjoy reading your About page and this post. Your story is touching and inspiring. Congratulations on being so so close to your travel dream. I look forward to read more of your journey from here.

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Hannah April 25, 2012 at 22:00

Hi Marisol, thank you so much for your comment. I have just been looking at your beautiful travel photos – it looks like you have had some wonderful adventures 🙂

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Klaus Kommoss June 6, 2012 at 17:49

“Now I live each day with certainty that I am on the right path. My path.”
You were and are on “your path” all the time. In fact, you cannot really step off your path. However, you make your path every day. The path appears when you look back, when you look forward everything is possible. I think the “feeling” of being on your path is this feeling of freedom to choose. The opposite would be looking back on the path behind you and feeling an obligation to follow the direction it ‘seems‘ to dictate. The dictate, even the apparent direction are illusions. The path is never straight, not even close. The freedom in front of us can be scary, but it is true.

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