Travelling Unmasked

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During a recent month-long trip to Bali, I finally became okay with not wearing make-up. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it’s actually a big achievement for me. Usually I wouldn’t dare leave the house without makeup on. I am very self-conscious of my skin – my blotchy complexion from years spent in the Australian sun, the dark circles under my eyes that show the signs of my insomnia, the sporadic appearance of pimples that skipped my teenage years and decided to make their debut during adulthood. I usually cover all of this up.Whether I’m going to work or even just a walk up the street, I lather on the concealer and smooth on foundation to hide my blemishes. Heck, I even blot powder under my eyes when I am going to the gym. It’s never been about vanity or what others think of me; it’s my own self-confidence (or lack thereof) that has led me to live a life of hiding behind a mask.

But something happened in Bali. I stopped giving a fuck.

Appearance suddenly became a “who cares” affair. Make-up went from being a non-negotiable part of my morning routine to a non-existent task. The unbearably hot weather and constant stickiness in the air meant it would instantly melt off with salty sweat anyway. Not only did it feel gross wearing foundation in a 95% humidity tropical climate, but I legit stopped caring what I looked like. I barely wore makeup and I didn’t let the fact a couple of pimples were exposed affect my confidence, or my day.

There is something about travelling that changes our perspective on what is important. Showering becomes a once every second, sometimes every third day thing (because swimming at the beach or jumping in the pool totally counts as washing too). Clothing gets worn on repeat for as many times as possible before masking unpleasant smells with deodorant loses its effectiveness. Hair goes unwashed for days – either covered up with a hat or scrunched up in to a messy-bun somewhat reminiscent of a birds-nest. Sometimes even “teeth brushing” gets replaced by chewing a piece of gum or gurgling some mouthwash. It’s just that our priorities change. There’s shit to do and people to meet. Places to go and shit to see. Ain’t nobody got time for excessive personal hygiene.

I have travelled before, usually for weeks or months at a time, and on every single one of these trips I didn’t go a day without wearing makeup. Sometimes I would even rise early in the morning to sneak into the hostel bathroom before anyone else emerged from their hangover slash jetlag slash both to put on my face for the day. Because #iwokeuplikethis. I couldn’t bare facing the world as foundation-free me. Even when it was just my travelling partner who would see me, self-consciousness always won.

Ridiculous I know.

Yet something changed this time round. I can count the number of times I applied a full face of makeup on one hand. Two fingers in fact. Some days I would sweep on a thin layer of mineral powder to cover up sunburn but most days it was al naturale baby. While to some this could seem like a meaningless and kind of vain feat to celebrate, for me it is a milestone. Finally feeling comfortable enough to ditch the cosmetics and just roll with it is insanely elating.

I’m still self-conscious about my imperfections. Aren’t we all? But I am embracing them and learning that life is much more free when you focus less on appearance. Now my next challenge is to implement this “traveller’s mentality” into everyday life. Just maybe not the minimal showering part. There are some hygiene rules that shouldn’t be broken.

Love Eloise xx

Originally published by Global Hobo

 

 

Another Year Over

It’s that time of year again when everyone is starting to think about their New Years resolutions and set intentions for the coming 12 months. We’re all gearing up to kick start 2016 with big plans and a list of carefully thought out goals. Usually including something along the lines of ‘get fit and healthy’, ‘stop eating junk’ or ‘give up drinking’. All of the above are especially common after the party season and all the Christmas (over)indulging. In fact, I feel like I need to write a couple of those ones down myself.

As a general rule, I don’t really do the whole New Year resolutions thing. I think having goals to work towards is great, I even encourage it, but there’s just something about the idea of ‘resolutions’ that I don’t love. Maybe it’s because 99%* of the time (*not an actual statistic) they end up broken. It has almost become inevitable, accepted even, that new years resolutions are destined to fail. There’s never much longevity in them and people are pretty blaze about it when they don’t last. It’s expected really.

With ‘goals’ on the other hand, our attitudes are a little bit different. We are far more focused and motivated towards success. Achieving a goal is something to be proud of and when we don’t quite get there we can feel like we have let ourselves down. This is why I prefer to set intentions and make goals, not resolutions.

So in 2016 I intend to:

  • Exercise daily – I do exercise regularly but sometimes I can be a little lazy and make excuses not to workout. In 2016 I am going to find 30 minutes of activity every day. Even if it’s just a short walk on my rest days for active recovery. The only workout you ever regret is the one you didn’t do.
  • Start yoga once a week – I am not much of yoga person, preferring to get my heart rate up and sweat on in the gym instead. But I have developed quite a few niggling muscle and joint issues that I know will be helped with stretching, strengthening my core and increasing my flexibility. Time to get bendy!
  • Focus on my career and harness my creativity – 2016 is the year I will chase my dreams. I am determined get out of retail for good, follow my passion and start pursuing my creativity. I need a change and I am determined to make a career out of my writing. In fact, in January, I am heading over to bali for 4 weeks for a Travel Writing Internship with Global Hobo, which I believe will be a catalyst to bigger and better things.
  • Daily Gratitude – The more you express gratitude for the things you do have, the more things you have to feel grateful for. Every day I try to take the time to meditate on the things I am thankful for. From January 1st I will start a gratitude journal in which I will write down 5 things every day that I am grateful for.
  • Be the fittest and healthiest version of me – I say this every year and every year I feel like I fail on this one. Why? Because to be honest, it is pretty ambiguous. Like, what does that actually mean? The thing with goals is they need to be both specific and measurable for them to work. Think numbers. I have a body fat % I want to achieve and that is what I am aiming for in 2016.

So what are your intentions for 2016? And how are you going to stick it out?

If you are someone who struggles to stay committed to goals and new years resolutions, you might like the idea of Promise Or Pay. Promise or Pay is an awesome little initiative where you make a promise to achieve a goal but if you don’t stick to it you pay money to charity. Your promise is made public on the website and people can also donate to charity on your behalf if you do achieve your goal. So its a win-win, AND it keeps you accountable.

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The close of another year is also a time when we reflect on the past 12 months, the good, the not so good and the amazing! It’s an opportunity to think about all the things that we have achieved (or did not achieve), the challenges we faced, the people we met and the lessons we learned.

For me, looking back on 2015 makes my heart swell with gratitude and joy. I actually would go as far to say (and this is a big call), that 2015 was the best year of my life so far! Not because everything was perfect. It wasn’t ALL rainbows, sunshine and smiles. But even when I was faced with challenges I pulled through and found an inner strength I did not know I had. In life there are no mistakes, only lessons learnt and thats the approach I had towards any ‘wrong turns’, which were never wrong turns at all. They were part of my path for a reason and those reasons were valuable lessons.

I also met some of the greatest people this year, in circumstances I never could have foreseen. People I now cannot imagine my life without. Including my soul sister and someone I now consider one of my best friends. (You know who you are). Someone who is equally as awkward and dorky as me, but also has a heart of gold and so much love to give. Someone who has brought out a part of me that I feel has been hiding and just waiting to escape up until this point and I am so thankful for that. Someone who I have the most intense, deep, spiritual and emotional conversations with one second, and then we will be belly laughing on the floor the next.

I really came to genuinely and wholeheartedly love myself this year. I have become accepting of the person I am and have no concerns of what people think of me anymore. I cannot even begin to express how elevating this is. To be so content and happy with the person I am has only strengthen me and helped me to grow further.

I put a lot of faith in the universe this year, trusting in the timing of my life and guess what, things really did seem to fall into place seamlessly. I know that things can only get better and better from here and I am so thankful to have had the best year of my life in 2015.

Cheers to the New Year! I cannot wait to see what 2016 brings.

Love Eloise xx

Happy Mind, Happy Life

Happiness is a choice. It is a state of mind. In the same way you select your clothes each day, you need to learn how to select your thoughts. This is a power you can cultivate.

Your thoughts create your world. When you wake up in the morning you have the choice to be happy or not. When something bad happens, you can decide to dwell on it, let it affect you and allow negativity to manifest. or you can choose to brush it off and let it go. How you think and how you feel is entirely up to you. If you want to be sad, no one in the world can make you happy. But if you make up your mind to be happy, no one and nothing on earth can take that happiness away from you.

You can’t live a positive life with a negative mind.

I am a huge believer in the power of positive thinking. I believe you are a product of your own thoughts. What you think about, you bring about. It is all in the mind. Where your mind goes, energy flows. Focus on negativity and you’ll only attract more negativity. Possess a positive mindset and you’ll attract more positive energy into your world.

I am not saying it is possible to think, feel and be positive 100% of the time (as amazing as that would be), but it is certainly possible to try. Living a life of positivity is about trying to see the best in every situation. It is about moving past the things you cannot control and focusing your energy on the things you can. You may not be able to control events or the way others treat you, but you can control how you react. The only person you are hurting by holding on to negativity, is yourself. Think happy thoughts and manifest positivity. With a happy, healthy mind, you can create a happy, healthy life.

Happiness is a choice. Not a result. Nothing will make you happy, until you choose to be happy.

Choosing to be happy isn’t always easy but you can train your mind to cultivate the art of positive thinking. Here are some ways you can take control of your own happiness.

Practice Gratitude: Gratitude turns what we have into enough. It can be so easy to focus on all the things you don’t have but when you stop, take a moment and think about all the things you are thankful for, it becomes apparent how blessed you truly are. When you express gratitude for all the things you do have the more things you will have to feel grateful for.

Be More Mindful. Live in the Moment: ‘If you are always rushing to the next moment, what happens to the one you are in?”. The secret to happiness could be as simple as becoming more mindful. Sometimes you need to slow down, remain within the present and not stress about the next moment. This can reduce feelings of anxiety.

Enjoy the Little Things: It’s usually the little things, the small acts of kindness, the simple things that bring us the most joy. It isn’t always about the big picture, but the little moments that make us smile that truly matter.

Smile: It’s amazing what a smile can do to lift your mood or even make someone else day. Smiling is contagious after all.

Do More of What Makes You Happy: Life is too short to waste precious time doing things you do not like or spending time with people who bring you down. Do more of the things that you enjoy doing and bring you happiness.

Love Eloise x