Lessons learned from 2021 and how I will move in 2022. I know everyone is afraid to claim this year as "their year" after the past two years of disappointments, but I have higher hopes! This year is a milestone for us '92 babies - our 30th - and for the past two years, I've been forced to put off BIG plans I had for myself before turning 30. Right before the lockdowns of 2020 (conveniently), I moved out of the delights of my own apartment / neighborhood to live "home" 1.5 hours from the city. The goal: to save up a fat travel fund in six months and trek around the world with it. It wasn't going to be easy with the longer commute to work, but it would be worth it. Alas, while lockdowns meant no more 1.5 hr commutes to work, it meant no traveling either….
I was always so sure that "it will be over soon," and in the blink of an eye, six months turned into two years because moving back out didn't make sense when I would be leaving "soon"! This made it hard to focus on the long-term because I was so focused on ridding my travel bug, specifically in Asia and Europe (two of the hardest places to travel during the pandemic, with most of Asia STILL closed AF *cry face*).
But entering my 30's, this is probably the first time I've taken seriously the question "where do you want to be in X years?" Travel is still a top priority for me! But I have other priorities too now, such as:
Building that second income stream (or third), preferably through an endeavor that resonates with my personal interests and strengths
Continuing to save for my future self
Spiritual growth and inner peace
Building healthy habits to age gracefully (y'all can laugh but I've heard more than once from the horses' mouths that 30's is all downhill for your body); and
Thinking about where I'd like to settle down because I'm pretty sure it's not New York (or NYC at least). I'm not spending half a mill on a 1 bedroom apartment....
So what does this all mean?
Good question! Because this post was written as a bunch of incoherent thoughts that I eventually re-ordered and tied together, so hope it makes sense! To summarize:
What have I learned in 2021?
Live life now! Tomorrow's plans aren't promised, and this pandemic sure showed us! While thinking about the future is great and necessary, the present is all we have now. Why sacrifice my most able-bodied years now to save money if it means losing out on time, energy, experiences, and peace? And why wait 10-20 years to retire early to travel the world IF I am able to find a way to do it now?
Count my blessings. In the past year, I've started Whimsically Britt, began the most serious fitness journey of my life, and slowly began traveling abroad again. I've survived lay-offs and settled more into my job and have had my family, friends, and cats by my side. I am blessed.
Convenience matters! I'm pretty economical, always have been. But commuting 3 hrs every time I want to work out, hang out, or get reliably fresh produce is no longer worth the money I've been saving, and I DID already meet my travel savings goal. So the thing I'm most excited about in 2022 is having my own apartment again in an awesome neighborhood - parks, restaurants, grocery stores, the Sunday farmer's market, even a lifting gym across the street!
I AM motivated to do the things that are important to me. I spent the past few years feeling unmotivated - at work, at working out, at sticking to anything new I wanted to learn. But in 2021, I treated my fitness journey so seriously despite my 3 hr commute, from logging meals to making sure I stick to my workout routine while traveling. I hope to bring this same energy to my other priorities in 2022!
My job is a means to affording the lifestyle I want like traveling, eating out with friends, and taking care of my cats, so I want to do the best I can. As soon as I framed my job in this mindset, it became 100x more bearable (While I work on my alternatives, of course!)
2022 New Years Practices:
I saw an IG post that suggested rebranding the term "resolutions" to ease the pressure and disappointment when we find it hard to stick to new years resolutions. (Because seriously, I've been saying I'm going to "drink more water" for the past 10 years now.) Anyway, here are mine!
Travel more! Instead of limiting myself because of travel restrictions, I will look for the available travel opportunities that interest me and go for them. I‘ve watched plenty of other women do it (full-time jobs and all), so why can’t I?
Use the extra time I will gain in my move out to focus on those priorities I mentioned above. With an extra 3 hrs a day, I can cook, take a course, or work on a business! Can't believe I've been losing almost a full day a week in commuting the past two years....
Find peace through spirituality, trust in God, finding purpose, and living in the present moment by embracing, but not dwelling on, the bad. Leave a comment if you’d like some recommended books that have really helped me!
Say No and stop worrying about letting other people down especially when the effort wouldn’t be reciprocated.
Drink more water because practice makes progress!
What about you? What are your biggest takeaways from 2021? Rooting for you, especially you '92 babies or anyone in the midst of your next big move! This IS our year!! <3