Today I turn 25 which is very exciting for me. Each birthday I always have a completely different connection with. I loved turning and being 23, 24 felt weirder but this year I am very excited to be 25. I feel like it is a massive milestone in my life and I am so happy with all my choices and the direction in which I am pushing myself.
I have previously done:
23 things I have learned in 23 years (a full 23 bullet point list)
24 things I have learned in 24 years (a ’24th’ item broken down into a. b. c.)
Last year when adding to my list I decided that instead of just adding one thing I will do 24a, 24b, etc. To allow myself for a few more points to sneak in and I will do the same this year.
Let’s do it. 25 things I have learnt in 25 years.
25 a. I love my home: I spent a long time telling myself I hated England and did not need to be around my family to love them and felt like I could live my whole life in a far away country and be happy. I recently found out this is not the case. I really really love being around my family and truly believe I couldn’t live a life that is not near them (albeit I still don’t want to live in England). Nothing drastic happened for me to figure this out, although Quincy can take some of the credit. Maybe it was just a ‘growing up’ thought. But it goes with Quincy’s family too. I want all of our lives to merge and for us all to (somehow) have lives that weave between one another.
b. I can do it: I have been backpacking actively now for nearly five months (3 and a half years of travelling/since leaving home) and I never saw myself getting this far. Even when I was in Mexico I didn’t know how I could do the rest of my trip, I couldn’t picture myself making it. Everything is unknown and scary but throughout my travels and any obstacles I have had to overcome I have learnt that I can do it all. I can navigate my life and look after myself and make decisions that I think are best for me. I write this as I am in Colombia, after travelling through six different countries in Central America. I am incredibly proud of that and myself.
c. Veganism isn’t black & white: I have been vegan for over four years and I always thought it was simple; you do not consume or use animal products. I don’t and I won’t. However, certain experiences have opened my eyes to bigger ideas and concepts. If someone brings me a veggie burger with cheese on, do I ask for a new one therefore wasting this perfectly good meal and it potentially gets thrown in the bin, or do I eat it to prevent waste. If someones livelihood is made from making chocolate, they own one cow and milk her daily, they have no other means of making money. Is it wrong? Now, I know that the concept of veganism is that ‘everyone is equal’ however, when you see other people in the world struggling it is hard to put animals as equal to a human life.
This is a massive philosophical debate that I am not going to talk about to much but just leave that there for now.
d. It is important to be informed: I used to pride myself on not reading the news because it is too ‘depressing’ but man, that is just so ignorant. You have to know what is going in the world, to stay informed so you can act if you need to and to not just turn a blind eye to things. The news can be bad but you have to know what is going on, and it can also be incredibly interesting and sometimes, happy. My biggest form of news intake is from the podcast Today in Focus which is incredibly informative. I listen to them on a day to day basis, they come out four times a week I believe. I also feel like as it is run by The Guardian its more central, although left leaning and that is how I prefer to receive my news. Only slightly biased (haha).
d.i. Podcasts: A little mini thing I learnt here it is that podcasts are awesome! I LOVE listening to them and was only recently put onto them by a friend. I never used to struggle with motion sickness but have been more so since travelling Central America and being on long bus journeys so it is a great way to learn or be entertained without having to read. My favourites are Today in Focus , Shagged, Married Annoyed, Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Happy Place. I also use it to learn Spanish with Coffee Break Spanish.
e. It’s okay not to like things: Two things I don’t like: hiking and getting into water (especially cold). And these are generally things I am ‘shamed’ for or its always a big deal ‘just get in the water.’ Well firstly I hate being cold, I will only ever get in water if when I come out I will be hot and I will very rarely get in freezing water, like a lake. I just do not enjoy it so why do I get shamed for literally getting no pleasure from this. I mean we all do ‘oh my god how can you not like chocolate’ but maybe it is something we can work on as people. Similarly, when I was in Nepal everyone and their dog asked me what hike I was doing and were dumbstruck that I was just visiting Nepal without the means of hiking. God I hate hiking. And it is okay, and now if someone asks I will now tell them without shame. I just don’t like doing it.
And those were a few of things that I have learnt this year. I am also very interested in any podcast recommendations as listening to them is something I really love doing. I hope you enjoyed me sharing some of my old age wisdom and I look forward to all my future life education. If you want to catch up my previous blog post was on one week in Panama and one week in Costa Rica.