How These 10 Non-Travel Rituals Helped Me Travel More
You can't crush your goals if you are running on empty.
Over the past year, I started to allow more time for self-care and self-development practices during my weeks, and introduced some new rituals to my regular routine.
Having these 10 rituals be part of my life indirectly affected my life, and in turn, my travel and career goals.
These practices helped me see a clearer big picture, focus on certain steps that would make massive impact on my goals, and help me move forward with creating the lifestyle I desire...
...such as landing more work + travel opportunities (exciting ones are coming up!), growing my blog over time to reach more people (and help them travel more), and feeling more in alignment when I am doing things I love, like creative projects.
Here they are - perhaps you'll decide you may want to include some of these in your weekly routines as well!
1. Having a creative outlet (blogging, Instagram, YouTube)
I've been blogging for years, and even before I was blogging I was taking and editing photos, writing for online fashion and lifestyle magazines in college, and creating my own "magazines" and editing home videos as a child.
Creating for the pure joy of creating is something I've always done and always will do.
Sometimes I make money from the work I produce, sometimes I don't.
But I know that it is a constant in my life and getting a motivation wave (being in a "flow state") fills me up.
Allowing myself to take time for creative work feeds my soul and gives my thoughts and ideas the attention they deserve.
Writing and self-publishing my book last year?
That started out of pure flow state.
I was writing an email for my weekly #MotivationMonday newsletter and kept going and going.
I came to the realization that this would be the beginning of my book, and I had to put it out there.
There was no moment where I was like, "Hmm, should I write this or not? What if no one reads it?"
I didn't have a choice. I was feeling called to create, no matter how many people would or wouldn't read it.
Knowing that there are some people out there reading or watching my creative work who tell me it has inspired or helped them in any way is icing on the cake.
2. "Just do it" mentality
There's a reason why "Just do it" is Nike's famous tagline.
Sometimes you don't need a bunch of reasons to do something big.
Sometimes we hesitate on taking action toward big goals because we are afraid we'll fail (or we may even be afraid we'll achieve them).
If you want to say YES to life, to move closer to where you want to be, there will be times where you have to think, "Just do it."
For me, the "Just do it" mentality helped me start this travel blog, accept a job in DC and New York only days after getting the offer, moving halfway around the world to work in Italy, solo travel through Paris, Iceland, Southeast Asia, Australia...quit my old job and move to California...
Where in your life are you hesitating on making a decision?
What does your intuition tell you to do?
Just do it.
3. Reading good books
I love to learn. Call me a nerd, I don't care!
I enjoy learning about new topics, business, and ways to improve all areas of my life, whether that's through YouTube, social media, podcasts, at in-person events, or by reading books.
One of the best benefits to reading is that it forces you to be in the present moment. Sometimes you zone out and get to the bottom of the page without remembering what you just read, but then you have to go back and re-read it to comprehend what it says.
When you're reading, you can't register what you're learning if you get distracted on your phone or your friend sitting nexts to you strikes up a conversation.
It forces you to be present and eliminate all other distractions while you learn.
I'd call that a win-win!
4. Miracle Morning routine
I read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod a few years ago and still wake up early as often as I can to do my Miracle Morning routine.
Even if I only do a few steps of the routine, I instantly feel more grounded and prepared to take on the day.
Highly recommend this book if you haven't read it yet.
5. Law of Attraction and positive thinking
I used to think the "Law of Attraction" was pure BS.
Years ago my mom told me she read The Secret. She said I had to read it, that I'd love it.
I rolled my eyes and scoffed at her, saying, "Ohhh-kay, yeah, just think positive and make a vision board and all your dreams will just magically come true."
Oh. My. GODDDDD. If I could reach back in time, shake my shoulders, look into my eyes, and say, "ALLY, be open-minded and give this a chance!" I would.
Alas, I continued staying close-minded to the thought of Law of Attraction and tirelessly worked toward my goals.
It's not like I didn't get anywhere on my goals, but when I eventually discovered a Wayne Dyer audio that pretty much sums up the Law of Attraction, I couldn't believe I never gave that this idea a chance.
I've shared that audio clip on this blog countless times. I've shared it with all my family and friends. I've listened to it probably 15 times at least over the past year.
So yeah. That opened my mind up to Law of Attraction, and the best things started happening left and right. I'm being 100% honest. It's crazy! But it works!
However, I always say that the Law of Attraction is nothing without action.
You must think positively, visualize the life you want to create, and then do something.
Things appear and the universe conspires in your favor, but you must follow your intuition and take steps toward where you want to be.
6. Yoga & Spirituality
Last year I started doing more yoga because I've always enjoyed the practice, found a great outdoor class that looks over the ocean (the views are incredible!), and liked how opposite it was from my HIIT fitness classes (Orangetheory).
The more I did yoga, the more I focused on my breathing and the meditative side to it.
Finding moments to work on being in the present is so important, especially these days when we are constantly connected and tend to be too busy for our liking.
I used to not be very "Namaste," but...wow. I can certainly say I have a "Namaste" side to myself now.
When you continue to consistently work on your practice, focus on being in the present, and feel gratitude for the simple things in life, you may be surprised at how yoga can add a sense of peace to your life and it may bring you closer to your spiritual self.
7. Planning ahead of time: nightly, weekly, quarterly
I'm a big planner. I like to know what is coming up and am far more productive when I have a list of tasks I'd like to accomplish versus aimlessly letting my day slip past me.
Planning ahead of time is something I learned from 90 Day Year. This simple step of planning out and prioritizing my tasks for the following day (and weeks, months, quarter) has significantly impacted my productivity.
If you haven't tried this, try it!
Every night, get out your planner or Google Calendar and schedule out your work, appointments, etc. for the following day. Then add in tasks for everything else you need to get done, including errands. This helps so much!
8. Investing in myself
This one can be difficult to justify if you aren't in the best spot financially.
There were a few moments last year, especially when I was brand new to freelancing/working for myself, that is was hard to justify spending money on any tiny thing that wasn't absolutely necessary.
I'm all about proper budgeting and cutting unnecessary expenses, but sometimes you have to live a little...and most importantly, you need to invest in yourself and your business in order to thrive and grow.
For example, I realized an opportunity to fly to New Zealand from Hong Kong for far less airline points than it would have been, had I went there on a separate trip/flew from the US.
However, this was only a few months into working for myself and I knew that the cost of traveling in New Zealand and Australia were much higher than Southeast Asia.
After much debate, I seized the opportunity and booked the flight. Investing in myself in the short-term would pay off in the long run. I also knew I would regret not taking the chance to see two countries high on my bucket list.
I was filled with rich travel experiences, countless memories, new travel friends, and even knocked out a ton of client work during the end of my trip.
Same goes for business expenses. You have to spend money to make money. Obviously you want to earn more than you make, but consider taking a chance to do something that can elevate your business, career, or life.
9. Money mindset
On that note, "money mindset" is something else I've started working on over the past year as well. Financial mental blocks are what keep most people from getting from one place financially to the next.
It's also so important to release the feeling of stress when it comes to money!
You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero is a great book on money mindset, as well as Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I also recommend the podcast "For the Love of Money."
10. Paying it forward and giving back
You don't have to donate huge sums of money to charities in order to give back.
Tony Robbins suggests starting by giving 10% of what you earn, no matter how big or small that is.
For me, paying it forward and giving back means that I donate a percentage of my profits from Jet Set Escape and book sales to Pencils of Promise.
However, there is more than donating money to charity or volunteering your time.
I believe you can pay it forward and give back to others by taking care of yourself, so you can be your best self. That in turn will help you spread positivity and kindness to others. You never know how your positivity will change someone's mood, or even their day.