Mojitos and Mindsets: What Traveling Taught Me About Myself

Earlier this month I decided to do the impossible. I dug up my suitcase, packed my bags, cracked out my summer sandals, and booked a flight to Mexico. I had never been to Mexico and to be quite honest, I had never even been super drawn to the country. I have also never been the type to spontaneously travel. I always have a clear plan, a designated amount of money put aside, and a couple weeks notice. This time, I let go of all of that. I booked the flight a week before I left, thanked God (and the government) for my recent stimulus check and tax refund, and headed to Newark International Airport with a one way ticket to Cancun, Mexico. For those of you who are new here, I quit my corporate marketing job during the pandemic. Quitting a salaried job during a global pandemic is not exactly the safest decision, but it had to be done. I was miserable and no amount of stability and structure could make up for that. I had no plan. All I knew was that I had to go and I wanted to travel. Every time I imagined where I would travel to after quitting my job, I always figured I would go to California or Boston. Mexico was never in my radar.

You’re probably wondering Gabby, so why Mexico? Good question. My friends had been planning a trip there for awhile and invited. In the beginning, I consistently and kindly declined. I just didn’t want to go. Something was holding me back from leaving home. It is not that I didn’t have the time or that I had something against Mexico. I just felt sort of… stuck. Do you ever have weird paralyzing fear that causes you to stay in the same position for YEARS even though you desperately want to move? Yeah? Okay, cool, same here. It wasn’t until I was laying in bed one day that I realized how stupid it was to say no. I mean someone was inviting me to do the one thing I wanted to do and I was saying no? It just didn’t make sense.

That’s when I booked my flight.

I originally planned on staying in Mexico for 2 weeks, and found myself enjoying the trip so much that I decided to extend it one more week. I am happy to report that I feel a newfound confidence knowing that I did something outside of my comfort zone and that it has all worked out with no issues. It’s funny, when you step a bit outside of your comfort zone you realize that there was nothing to be afraid of in the first place. I love that taking this step is giving me the confidence I need to take similar steps in the future. I have been wanting to plan a Boston trip with my sister and now the thought of it seems so much simpler and more doable than it did before. I always logically knew that the world is my oyster but now it actually feels true. I can leave. I can do whatever I want. And you can too. 10/10 discovery.

The discoveries don’t stop there.There is something about warm nights and salt water that keeps the discoveries flowing. While I was away I had a conversation with my friend about how travel helps us to feel more empowered and confident. The amazing thing about traveling is that it widens your mind and transforms your perspective. When I travel I feel much more levelheaded and rational. Seeing how other people live helps me to see my own life in a more realistic and elevated way. During this trip I realized that I hold a lot of tension in my body. Based on my past experiences and my perception of the world, I feel tense and I have a painful habit of resisting happiness and new experiences. During my massage in Tulum, my massage therapist told me that my body feels like a knot and that I will be freed if I can release it. I believe that so many of us are tense and living our lives out of fear. Instead of living out of love, we spend our time living in a cowardly way because we are afraid of being burned. I know that as long as I live this way I won’t be able to grasp the life that I want. I am starting to grasp the idea that the shackles that I have on were put there by me. This trip helped me to open my eyes to the new habits and mindsets I need in order to be truly happy and free.

What have you all been up to? Any new discoveries on your end? Share in the comments below!

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