For the last few months there has been a yearning in my heart to travel. I don’t need to travel far and I don’t need a companion, I just need to go. To see this world, to be alone, to discover myself when there is no one else, to see things I’ve never seen before. But I have resided myself to the fact that I would have to wait; until Christmas so I can see my family, or to next year if I couldn’t afford that. That hurt my heart, but my business and my blog are important to me, so while I apply for jobs and write my blogs and my book and market my business and work random shifts at other businesses and invest in my business, my heart would have to wait, and I made myself be ok with that.
As you may have heard, I am a finalist in the Bupa Blog Awards in the Healthy Lifestyle and Fitness category. This is something that I consider to be a incredible honour, because I am just doing what I love, and the fact that what I’m doing is something that you connect with makes doing what I love all that more rewarding.
The award ceremony for the BUPA awards is next Friday, 14th November in the middle of Sydney. And guess what?!
After a long and incredibly inspiring day of talks by Global1, with speakers, Ben Harvey and Dr John Demartini, I came home to find my invitation for the Bupa Awards sitting in a brown envelope on my bed. I knew that I was invited when I was initially told that I was a finalist, but due to all the start-up costs of my business and shifts slowing down at work, I didn’t really believe I’d be able to afford to go, and looking at my account that night and the costs of flights, it was clear that I was right.
My friend Seanna, who is several years younger than me (and an awesome personal trainer), has been talking about Dr John Demartini to me since the day that I first met her. Of course, I couldn’t help but be a bit sceptical – these sort of talks all seem a bit corny from the outside – but Seanna is an intelligent woman who I trust, so when she invited me to the event with a complementary ticket, I thought, why not? I can’t remember which one of the speakers said it on the day, I think it may have been Ben Harvey, but I wouldn’t have gone if I was content with my life, there was a reason I wanted to go, and I knew this, so I didn’t deny myself the chance to make some sort of improvement. I wont go into detail about what they talked about, I will simply say that I left the experience realising what was important to me, and where I had been letting the existence of other people impede my life. I’m not going to say that I’m a completely new person with no issues, but I’ve realised the areas where I need to work hard on in order to let go of the preconceptions I have of other people and their expectations (real or presumed) that have been holding me back.
So after telling my housemate, Ash, about my invitation, she said, “If I had the money, I’d give it to you so you can go”, and my immediate response was “I could never let you do that anyway.” After I said, “goodnight”, I sat on my unmade bed, my diary in front of me and my invitation beside it, thinking about how amazing it would have been to go. The author of one of my favourite healthy cookbooks, Supercharged Food, Lee Holmes, will be there, as will Olympian Matt Welsh, not to mention the amazing other finalists of the awards that I would get to meet and network with – very incredible opportunity. Then I thought about the things I had learnt during the day of Ben Harvey and Dr John Demartini, realising that the only reason why I feel shame about my situation is because of what other people might think of me. The thought crossed my mind, I wonder if I could ask my friends to help me?, but I immediately dismissed it: People are going to think you are pathetic/hopeless/useless/embarrassing/too old to not be able to fund this for yourself. And maybe people did/do think this about me. But the day’s talks had made me realise, why does it matter what they think? Who are they to judge me? They are no better or worse a person than I am. Just like me – they’re only human. This is who I am right now and I have to embrace it.
So I did.
I put it out to the universe, not sure what to expect, because what I was asking wasn’t an “important” charitable thing. I wasn’t asking for money to help pay for some incredible life-saving surgery, to give clean water to a child in a third world country or basic supplies to hurricane survivors, I was asking for airfare so that I could technically go on a holiday. And yes, its a selfish thing to ask, because the only person this money would serve, is me. But I realised the worst thing that would happen is that I wouldn’t get help and people would say no. So with the knowledge that I had nothing to lose, I took a deep breath and a leap of faith and learned a valuable lesson:
You can only ask.
Within a minute of my post on Facebook (at 9.30pm Brisbane time/10.30pm EST Thursday) I started getting offers. Generous offers. Some from people I haven’t even seen in 5 or 6 or 9 years! Some who I wasn’t even friends with on Facebook, but they reached out to me. Some who aren’t in great financial positions themselves. Some who actually apologised to me because they couldn’t help. Before midday Friday I had reached my goal of $290 for flights, but the donations just keep coming! I must be doing something right to have so many kind and incredibly generous people in my life, who genuinely just want to see me go to these awards and there are no words for how truly grateful I am. Not only do the people in my world donate so openly to me through means of donations, but they share the work that I do here on their own Facebook, recommend that their friends come and see me in clinic, give me lifts to places when I need, share food, or an ear, or even just a hug. It’s gestures like this that make me a people person, because when you dismiss your own insecurities and take a leap of faith, people always come through.
So THANK YOU to everyone who donated, shared the message with their friends and wished that they could help me. Because of you I get to live my dream and have an adventure. I’ll be doing this on the cheap, Couch Surfing for accommodation, packing my own lunches and using public transport to get around (maybe hiring a bike).
But while I’ve still got you, I’d love to know: Where should I go while I’m in Sydney? Do you have any travel tips for me while I’m there?