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This is me saying hello.

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

So I'm doing it. I've always wanted to write, and here we are. I'm writing something, and you're reading it.

A warm thank you is in order, I'm truly smitten over it.

In all honesty, I'm unsure of whether this will ever gain any traction or success, especially since I've changed my mind a gazillion times about the content of this blog. Also it's kind of weird to say "I have a blog".

I can't even tell you how many times I've written and re-written entries only for my saboteur to sneak her way into my ear and whisper things like... "perhaps travelling isn't what this blog should be about, maybe it should be about something entirely different..." or, "are you sure you want to include that.. kind of bold, if you ask me."

Then I take the time to change my site, -or design an entirely new site, start writing, and again, that devilish voice invades my mind with, "you know what? I was wrong the first time, go back to travel."

Now repeat this cycle again and again but with new ideas, careers, places, people, or hobbies I want to pursue. See, I've started many projects and as many as I've started, I've left unfinished - so it wouldn't come as a huge shock if I gave up on this pursuit, as I have with so many others. I think a lot of people are like that.. they never finish that project they were once so excited about and I think the main reason for that is, the fear of failure.

Don't act like you've never done it before... You start imagining all the ways something could go wrong, or about the people that might mock you for trying; and then overthink your new idea to the pits of broken dreams. In other words, give up before you even tried.

I know because I do it all the time.

I've started e-commerce sites with big ideas and plans that have gone no where past a purchased domain and account set up. Dreamed of courses I would never actually take. Researched eco projects that I would never actually participate in. Created resumes for jobs I never applied for. All because I was scared. Those moments passed, got replaced by regrets until enough was finally, not enough.

It took me a long time but at 25 years old I finally realized I couldn't wait any longer for my life to get started, I was living in the shadows of blissful ignorance and if I continued, you bet your ass there would be a major mid-life crisis rapidly approaching. So in the summer of 2019, I bought a one-way ticket to Portugal, a place I knew I loved and the country where both my parents were born and raised. To me, it was the perfect start for my new independent life and journey to meet myself, whoever that may be. My flight would only be for March 1, 2020, to give me some time to organize even though I still ended up being VERY unorganized come departure day (oh well, c'est la vie).

The months leading to my departure date were a rollercoaster of emotions - fear, excitement, sadness, pride, regret and repeat. I kept second guessing my decision but then in October 2019, I began asking myself this one question before making any hard decision, and it's a question that I still ask myself today:

"What would you do if you weren't afraid?"

Typically, the first answer that pops in my head is the answer I know I need to go with. When I was first posed with this question, I was in a small, hidden cabin with an ex-boyfriend who I booked this airbnb with. While he took a nap, I pulled out a random book from a shelf at the airbnb and started reading it. The book was called, Who moved my cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson. I don't know why I read it, mostly because it was a quick read but if I were honest with myself, it was because I was secretly freaking out about the move.

The book describes change in one's work and life, and four typical reactions to those changes by two mice and two "Littlepeople", during their hunt for cheese. It sounds weird, and that's because it is, BUT I got some pretty great insight, thanks to it. Now whenever I am faced with a difficult choice, I ask myself, "what would you do if you weren't afraid?" and whatever the answer is, I do it - or at the very least, try.

Sometimes all it takes is one question to ignite an act of bravery.

When I finally moved in March, I was struck with terrible news - I guess we all were. COVID-19, otherwise known as Coronavirus, rapidly spread across the world like wildfire and countries were going into lockdown. I, of course, was distraught and couldn't help but think I had made a HUGE mistake. My first few months in Portugal were spent locked in a small apartment by the ocean. I can tell you right now, if I didn't have the ocean, I would be a mess even by my normal standards. The ocean saved me (bless her wild soul) as well as the only people I knew at the time, some family (an aunt, uncle and 2 cousins) who would pick me up from time to time - a blessing since I was nearly going insane!

I actually almost left Portugal, I had purchased a flight back to Canada in April because family, friends and my boss got me scared shitless of the virus and worrying about being stuck in Portugal for good, if situations got worse. Just as quickly I had bought the ticket, I made the decision to miss my flight. All because I asked myself that simple question. I decided to stay because going back was not an option, not this time. That, even if things got worse, I could and would deal with them. I decided that very day, set backs were no longer going to stop me, they might derail my plan a little, but I'll make a new one and if that one falls through too, I'll make a new one.

Since then, COVID-19 has gotten better, its not great, but its not as scary and grim as I once thought it was. Today, I'm happy I missed that flight. I've made friends, explored some parts of Portugal and will continue to go on the road to new places and a new me!

As for the how I'm going to go about with this blog.. well I decided to approach it as I would with anything in life; head on, hoping for the best but still expecting the worst. My focus for this blog will be travel advice and recommendations but I'll have a separate section for other things I am passionate about, like reviews of great books I've read, fashion & interior design, some D.I.Y I've gotten into, poetry & music I fancy, and basically all the Tea. Please leave your feedback, let me know what you like/dislike and I probably wont listen to you.

Thats all for today, I won't apologize about it being a long one.

xx Jess aka the tiny olive

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