Today, I am delighted to introduce to you the first guest blogger to be featured on SamsWanderfulLife. Georgia Boutsalis is an avid travel, lifestyle and “adventure” blogger from Toronto, Canada, and also happens to be one of my closest friends. She hosts a unique blog entitled Adventures of the Bun – the name deriving from the messy hair bun you commonly see Georgia rocking on a day basis – regardless of the occasion. With “adventure” being her other middle name starting with an “A,” it was fitting that she had the opportunity to share her insights on this topic as a guest blogger. Within a day of me reaching out to her about writing for me – she was able to find time in her busy schedule to publish this incredible post. I hope you can sit back, relax and enjoy!
My life changed the day I realized my passion, and started living it.
It took me a while to think of what I was truly passionate about. I competitively danced all through from ages 12 to 18 (how I met our lovely Sam) and even enrolled in an arts high school where I danced at least once a day for four years. But I knew I wasn’t passionate about it. I didn’t crave it, it didn’t consume me, and if I missed a day or two, well to be quite honest, I enjoyed my days off.
Then I entered university and I still couldn’t find the thing that drives me every single day. It took a conversation with my personal trainer to help me figure out what my motivating element was. After pondering the simple question “What are you passionate about” for a few hours, it finally hit me. Once the word left my lips, I felt an exciting surge run through my body, followed by a moment of sheer relief.
Travel has always been a constant theme in my life. From a young age, my parents would take us on car trips to the east coast of Canada or down to New York, Boston, or Florida (we flew that one). Even better, we would take month long trips to Greece where I had the freedom to aimlessly run around my tiny village (which seemed huge at the time). Getting on a plane meant I was taking a break from my regular day-to-day activities, and jetting off to explore new places, meet new people, and experience new adventures. Now, I didn’t realize this at my young age: I was just excited to be near a beach or get off school for a few days. But looking back now, I see that I’ve always had a passion for adventure, and it grows stronger each and every day.
Now, for those of you saying, you have school or a job or something stopping you from going on an adventure, I call bullshit. Life is not getting in the way of your next adventure; you’re stopping yourself from getting creative. Break free from the commercialized idea that you have to be backpacking in a different country to go on an adventure. Explore your own backyard. I’ve lived in Toronto my entire life and I haven’t even witnessed 1/800th of what this city has to offer. Make it a goal to explore a new neighbourhood, new restaurant, or new activity. Your enthusiasm and open-mindedness are what make it an adventure: not a new stamp on your passport.
But yes, the new stamp is always an exciting moment. It means you get to explore a new city, state, or country, and learn as much as you can in the time you’re given. I truly believe travel is the greatest learning device out there. Not only does it teach you about a county’s cultural, spiritual, economical, physical, and emotional beliefs, but it also teaches you about your own cultural, spiritual, economical, physical, and emotional beliefs. When you travel, you’re put in different and sometimes uncomfortable positions, but it’s in these moments where you learn the most about yourself. You discover a side of you that you never knew existed. These new life lessons mould you and turn you into the person you were destined to be. Sometimes it takes climbing a volcano, conversing with a monk, or swimming 60 feet below in the bluest oceans to realize who that person is. These experiences expand your knowledge and open your mind and your heart to a whole new world of opportunities.
Another incredible thing I have learned through my adventures is that sometimes it is not the adventure itself, but the person or people you share that adventure with. I have developed some of my greatest friendships while on trips and/or trying a new activity. The best example I can give is the fact that I am about to celebrate my 2 year anniversary with an amazing guy I met one summer in Greece. Because I was in my element (going on an adventure to a new greek island) I was completely carefree and had a positive attitude the entire weekend. This attracted his carefree and positive attitude and we spent a majority of the trip bonding over our love for adventure. Since then we’ve shared endless adventures together, and each one is more exciting than the last.
A more recent example was agreeing to go on a 5 week trip to Southeast Asia with 2 girlfriends from university who I hadn’t known for very long. Well after 5 weeks, it feels like I’ve known them for forever. We have 3 very different personalities, but I learned so much about them and myself in our time together. That’s what happens when you spend day and night with someone: you get to know their pet peeves, their habits, and their aspirations on a very personal level. These are the friendships that can overcome any obstacle. These are the friends you call up when you’re planning your next adventure, because you know no matter what, it’s going to be a fabulous time!
Lastly, write about your adventures. I started my blog for the sole purpose of having a way to document my experiences without having to lug around a journal. Adventures often happen when you least expect it, so having the ability to type it out moments after, when the feelings are fresh and new, is an incredible asset. Not only this, but eventually, you get to share these adventures with friends and family who love to see what sort of trouble you’re getting into. And last, but certainly not least, you pass on the adventure bug. People see you doing these awesome things and are inspired to go out and do something equally as awesome. If we all wrote down and shared our adventures, we would never run out of ideas and there would never be a dull moment in any of our lives. You’ll also thank yourself 50 years from now when you’re having trouble recalling the specifics of your Euro trip.
Pictures are also a beautiful thing. I am a huge picture taker and love printing them and putting them in albums to look back at every once in a while. But sometimes I let picture taking get in the way of enjoying the adventure. Lately, I’ve been reminding myself that 1 or 2 photos will do the same job as 75. Pictures are there to remind us of the time we had, not to take up the entire time. So take a couple, and then put the camera away. Don’t fret if you don’t have 500 photos up on Facebook; your friends will understand that you were just enjoying yourself and taking in the full experience.
If you’ve taken anything away from my rambling, I hope it is that you’ve read the word adventure so many times that it becomes that nagging voice in your head that tells you to go on an adventure today! Get up off your chair/bed/couch, walk out your door, and find your next adventure. Don’t forget to call up a friend, pack your enthusiasm and open mind, and get ready to start living!
xo gb & the bun.