” Make each day your masterpiece” – John Wooden
Life is full of choices and if you think life as a painting and you have the paintbrush in your hand so you can paint your life with detailed and colorful images, there is no right or wrong in the image, you just have to be happy with it so make today your masterpiece and ask yourself what is it that you want to achieve this year? Would you like to travel more, maybe start a new tradition, make a new friend, learn a new skill? Then take the second step, what do you have to do to make that happen? Nothing is impossible.
Wow, it almost feels unreal that we are already in 2020. Towards the end of a year or beginning of a new year, I always like to reflect on the past year but in this case, I would like to reflect on the past decade and see what has happened. Say goodbye to 2019 and hello 2020 and I am ready for a new year, ready to meet new people, ready to learn new things, make a difference, ready for challenges, new adventures and make memories all over the world. Also, I would like to let go of a few things.
Here are the most valuable lessons that I’ve learned:
- It’s okay to say no. At times I’ve felt obligated to go to events to go to or spend time with people I don’t want to be around so all you got to do is to say no thank you, you don’t have to explain why but having said that it depends on the situation as you can’t say no for a conference to attend for example.
- It’s okay to let go, give yourself time. It’s okay to be happy and single rather than lonely and in a toxic relationship.
- Do what makes you happy. Don’t do it because other people are doing it or you feel that it is expected of you.
- Be open-minded and always be honest – it doesn’t matter on your background, race, nationality, likes or dislikes – just listen, talk to strangers, spread kindness, show people and especially loved ones that you do care. Don’t be so set in your ways that you refuse to talk about certain things but remember it’s not what you say its how you say it.
- Family is important – always lived in different places and when going home and be around with family was really special moments. Moments that i can not describe in words.
- Be more selective on friendships. Have a fewer valuable friendships is way more important to have many friends and no one care.
- Learned to actually talk about my feelings and be okay with it. The main thing is to acknowledge how you are feeling.
- Let go of the past because you are not living there anymore.
- Go and see places, travel, create moments – memories are more important than things.
- The power of your mind is incredible so be careful what energy/words you put out there – the universe is always listening.
In 2010 I turned 25 and I was doing an internship in food and beverage in Australia, 10 years later I am an English teacher and living in Thailand. Lets see what I have experienced in 10 years in a summary:
- Had 6 homes up till now, I’ve moved a lot but hopefully, soon I don’t have to ever move again 🙂 but my favorite place to live was in the countryside, Midlands in my home country.
- I did a few photoshoots, was amazing 🙂
- Been to a few amazing places & experience incredible things
- I had a few wedding celebrations, one I couldn’t attend. I attended a traditional Thai wedding, two friends weddings and a few in the family. Very special moments and very beautiful people.
- Celebrated my 30th birthday (French themed)
- Lost a few loved ones
- Fell in love and also out of love (had my heart broken a few times)
- I was all my life in the hospitality industry and loved it but I wanted to give back and children was always a passion of mine so I decided to try to be a teacher and 3 years later I still do it. Of course its a huge career jump and who knows maybe I can combine the 2 in the future.
- Ran my first 10 km race
- Started my own travel blog
- Learned a new language
- Did volunteer work
- Did zip lining for the first time – I have a fear of heights but glad I did it.
- Started with yoga and meditation
- Went to a yoga retreat in Thailand
- Read a book that has changed my life
- I started to enjoy having conversations with strangers and some that turned into a beautiful friendship. I made a few good friends and also lost a few along the way.
- Reconnected with a few friends and family members.
- I started to write more regularly.
- My country made me proud – won the rugby world cup in 2019, SA got the Miss Universe title, fell in love with Ndlovu youth choir
A lot has happened in 10 years time. I’ve seen the most spectacular places from my home country, Thailand, Australia, Zanzibar, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, England, Lesotho. I’ve moved a lot, met a lot of people, experienced the most amazing things like zip-lining, danced till 2am at a wedding, long conversations, camping with a friend, hiked up a 7 tier level waterfall, attended a countryside wedding in England and so much more…and I’ve also been through tough times but overall I don’t regret anything because i I feel through all that it made me stronger, I’ve learned from it and it made me who I am today but most of all I am grateful for family and for the few good friends that I have in my life.
Sometimes we have to remind ourselves it’s not where you go but who you are with and when I travel I travel mostly alone but when I can spend it with someone I do appreciate and embrace that moment. So here is to let 2020 be the beginning of big dreams.
Let the new year be the time, and let you shine, promise to make every day the best day of your life. Happy new year to you all 🙂
Hi there! My name is Ané du Preez and I am from South-Africa but currently teach and live in Thailand. I am a writer and a solo traveler. I love learning about other cultures and traditions. My interest started when I was only a child and my grandparents shared their travel stories through pictures, stories, and writing. This blog is to share my wonderful adventures with all of you. I’ve been discovering the gems of mother nature and its amazing people. Join me as we venture into the beauty and inspiration that is all around us. I am an advocate for all to live their life to the fullest. To travel is to live!