Today is December 30th, 2021 and most are wondering how to close the year and ring in the new year, while others are at home sick with the flu or Covid or taking care of a loved one or waiting in line to get tested. Yes, I will not omit the white elephant in our lives, Covid, Omicron, and whatever else pops up.
Regardless what each of us is doing, we are so absorbed in the situations at hand that we forget that life is passing us by and we are not fully living it because we are allowing external factors (some of which are no fault of ours) to consume our every moment, minute, second. This was happening to me and this Blog is to write about my personal experience and how I am choosing to do all that I can while I’m alive because I’m willing to leave undone things that don’t really matter after all. “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” --Pablo Picasso, artist
What has 2021 been like for me? 2021 has been a year of personal challenges, new developments, business growth & uncertainties (we all know how volatile the travel industry has been since 2020), moments of disappointment in myself and others, heartache but also moments of joy and laughter. At the end, I realized that working 7 days a week, over-exerting myself, and abandoning my self-care was leading me to a destructive path that affected me emotionally and physically. I’ve been to more doctors due to health concerns and scary moments this year than any other year and it had nothing to do with Covid. Can you relate? I’m sure most of you can.
What have I changed? For one, I stepped back and took a good look at how I’m living my life; the value I’m placing on people’s perception of me instead of seeing the value God sees in me; being a people pleaser instead of just living my life in accordance with my moral values and principles (which are aligned with my faith); and giving people too much power over me. I began a 20 day journey of self-reflection focusing on me and my relationship with God and in the first 4 days of my journey I realized how misguided I was about who I am and my own self-worth; what triggered emotions that steered my life since childhood and adulthood; and I learned that I love those that I choose to love but I don’t always have to like them or their decisions. I’ve raised amazing kids and they are very successful and accomplished. My husband and I are now what we have learned to call ourselves “empty nesters” and we are truly enjoying this new segment in our lives. Together with God, we are entering a new Chapter in our book and our children have the freedom to fly and live their own lives making their own decisions (some good and others not so good-but that’s how they learn).
Why do I write this personal message on a Travel Page Blog? I write this because the reflection began in the several trips my husband and I took this year to explore new places and enjoy destinations and cultures to better guide our clients. During these times of travel, when we actually had down time, I learned to just “be”, something I never do due to my passion to multi-task. In those moments of quiet, I realized my life needed some changes; my husband and I were not getting younger; our kids no longer needed us as they did in the past; and life goes on… with or without us.
In 2022, I will continue to work on myself and my relationship with God; practice self-care (exercise, splurge on my personal care routines) and explore the world that God gave us with my best friend, my husband. In 2022 we will be exploring Great Britain for 14 days, and taking a 10 day Norwegian Fjords Cruise that allows us to fully explore Norway, and some of Amsterdam, Bruges, Paris, and London. We celebrate 30 years of marriage and that celebration will take place somewhere special (but I can’t share that info yet…. It’s a surprise!). I’ve made a commitment to myself and my marriage that this year and all future years will be spent enjoying life, enjoying our marriage and family, laughing, living, and loving.
Live life! don’t put off until tomorrow anything that you truly want to enjoy because our time is uncertain and as dark as this may sound, it is a reality that helped me value each second. Travel, eat your favorite foods, try specialty restaurants, be adventurous, learn a new language(s), explore new venues, listen to all types of music, and never stop dancing!
Wishing each and everyone of you a new year full of hope and remember you have an obligation to use your skills and talents and to live your life to the fullest. May God bless each of you and keep you safe in 2022 and beyond!
Yenesis Alfonso, Owner & Certified Travel Specialist
Hide & Seek Travels, LLC
Share the knowledge
I have learned that one must step up to challenges, since these are growth opportunities. Planning a trip is my way of relaxing and re-energizing, whether it is my trip or that of a client. Nothing is more therapeutic than leaving behind your daily routine and experiencing something new in a vacation.