Sunset, Long Beach, Koh Chang, Thailand

Unleash Your Happiness: On Six Weeks in Southeast Asia and Staying True to Yourself

Sunset, Long Beach, Koh Chang, Thailand

Six weeks in Southeast Asia.

I hardly know where to begin.

But I do know that time away was for ME. To explore. To recharge. To LIVE. I hadn’t taken a vacation in nearly five years.

I flew to Thailand to meet my brother for a little over three weeks. (He lives there now.) We traveled throughout the country, to the island of Koh Chang first and then up to Chiang Mai and a few other northern mountain towns. Life was easy. I learned how to be a backpacker. I slept in the jungle. I shared bathrooms. I ate amazing food. I met people from all over the world. I learned a bit of Thai, thanks to my brother, to better negotiate the prices of the scarves and pants I was buying. (So.many.cute.pants.)

Then I flew to Indonesia, where I visited a good friend from graduate school in Jakarta. My new man met me there and we explored the chaos of Jakarta, the temples of Yogyakarta, and the culture and beaches of Bali. Again, life was easy. We ate. We drank tropical cocktails. We watched the sunset. We continuously refused taxis. We swam. We surfed. We dodged drunk Australians. We relaxed. In one word, it was magical.

Flying back in a snow storm to NYC was a shock to our systems. Seeing that the Jersey Shore, where I grew up, was destroyed from Hurricane Sandy was a major shock.

While it was easier than I thought to come back home and remember the cold weather, it hasn’t been easy to get back to the life I had. Obviously my jet lag is a major culprit of this. Instead of sleeping properly, I was basically taking four hour naps throughout the day.

But then I realized that I want to change some things about my pre-Asia life. I want to set a better work schedule for myself. I want to get started on my half marathon training plan. I want to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. I want to teach more classes for seniors. I want to create more useful content for you so you can live the life you want as well.

I want to live more like how I lived in Asia: I was more present and in the moment. I only focused on one day at a time. I didn’t worry. I did things that scared me. I faced fears. I tamed my anxiety. I tried new things every day. I learned how to do things I’ve always wanted to do like surfing. I drank coconut water straight from a fresh coconut I pulled out of the tree myself. I said YES. I said NO.

But most importantly, I stayed true to myself. I was me the whole time. If I didn’t like something, I spoke up. If I loved something, I did more of it. If I wanted to leave where I was, I left. If I wanted to stay, I stayed. If I felt uneasy, I asked myself why. If something really didn’t feel right, I did something about it.

It sounds so simple, but how often do we do things we really don’t want to do? Things that others want us to do. Things we think we should do.

I always felt good about myself, even if someone else questioned me.

And that’s all that matters. I stayed true to myself.

What are you doing right now that isn’t for you? That doesn’t feel right? That you are doing because you think you should? Let me know in the comments below.

Ask yourself: Why aren’t you living your best life? Why aren’t you living the life you want? I’m asking myself the same questions.

No one is perfect. There are always going to be things we have to do that maybe we don’t want to. But ultimately, we can control how we feel and it feels damn good to be MYself.

It’s time to unleash your happiness. More coming soon…

Some notes::

Monday Mantras are back on November 19th! Woohoo! Not a member? It’s free. Click here to sign up.

Super Soul Sunday on Oprah’s OWN Network is featuring a few authors/bloggers I follow every day: Gabrielle Bernstein, Marie Forleo, Mastin Kipp. Tune in on TV or online November 18th at 11am EST. It’s about the next generation of spiritual thinkers. I have a feeling this will be good. 😉 Click here for more details.