Mae West once said, “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough” and honestly, it’s the best piece of advice I’ve ever had. Really understanding what she (and the friend who said it to me) meant, has literally led me to sitting in my home office chair in London 10 years on from those university lecture theatres on the other side of the world.
The fabulous Lucy Lucraft founded and runs a podcast called What She Said, centred around inspiring women who have established creative careers online – and every year in December she does Podmas (Christmas and a podcast together). Reading the lovely Monica at The Travel Hack’s blogging twist on Lucy’s topic prompts really inspired me to think back and share the best piece of advice I’ve ever been given.
The words that rang through my head are those 13 life changers of Mae West, “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough”.
Or, to quote those 90s kids, YOLO. (Been there, got the necklace…hah!)
There were a myriad of reasons why I wanted to go travelling, leaving my native New Zealand behind; to taste the world, experience cultures so unlike my own, to try and understand how architecture can change lives (a lofty goal as an inexperienced architecture student), touch ancient history and generally adventure.
By staying in New Zealand, I wouldn’t have had any of those experiences. It was a huge crazy risk to move to London (a so-called ‘temporary’ move) leaving my degree on hold, moving to the other side of the world where I only knew one person and taking a gap in my career to run a pub whilst I travelled through Europe in my time off.
It was the best decision I could have ever made.
Ask any expat – it takes blind faith, courage, having a backup plan, expecting that everything isn’t going to be perfect and being organised the best that you can – whilst still going with the flow. You learn so much about the world and yourself. There are so many decisions to make that could take your life in a million different directions and you never know just where it might take you. I’m lucky that in my case, it’s led to running my own creative business as a social media manager whilst travelling the world as much as I want to.
Actually, blogging has really helped me live life to the max.
Anyone will tell you that I am the blog world’s biggest cheerleader. As an expat living on the other side of the world to her established friends (and long-suffering family), blogging gave me the impetus to get out of a work>home>work rut and continues to inspire mischief long after the honeymoon period of a new hobby wore off.
Sitting behind a computer wrangling words kinda changed me. Far from retreating into myself and the unique loneliness that a big city like London can bring, blogging became the last piece to complete my expat puzzle. It took a long time to come about, but it turned me from a quiet, unconfident mouse into who I am today. I also met many of my friends through my blog and my passion for travel, and that made all the difference.
Make those terrifying decisions – they could be the best ones you’ll ever make. (Oh, and have a backup plan.) If we don’t take life by the lapels, 10 years will fly past full of regrets. It’s definitely the best advice I’ve ever been given. I’m just a regular person, with regular experience and regular hopes.
What is the best piece of advice that you’ve been given?
<< pin the below quote for later inspiration >>