Do you wish you could go back in time and tell your younger self a certain few things? Given the chance, would you change the direction your life went? If you could, what would you say to yourself 10, 20, 30 years ago?
Dear My 20 year old Self,
I know right now you’re thinking ‘this is my life is, there is nothing better going to happen to me’ but let me tell you that the world is waiting for you and you need to get out there and see it.
Save money, as much as you can, jump on a plane and go spend 2 years in England. Do it because in 20 years time you will regret not doing it. Trust me!
You’ll regret not thinking about life beyond your own city.
You’ll regret not following thousands of other Kiwis and doing your OE in the UK for minimum wage and living with 15 other Kiwis & Aussies in a shoebox.
You’ll regret not taking the time to explore your own country sooner and seeing the amazing sights that New Zealand has to offer.
You’ll regret not talking to your father about his travels and learning about the places he visited because you didn’t think about your dad as an actual person but only as your ‘dad’.
You’ll regret not being brave enough to just jump on a plane.
You’ll regret listening to other people’s travel stories and not having your own experiences to share.
You’ll regret not following not following your dreams.
You’ll regret working 9 years in a supermarket because it was the ‘easy option’.
You’ll regret letting your insecurities rule you & your life.
You’ll regret not pursuing photography more & not believing that you could actually be good at something.
You’ll regret thinking that you can’t do better than what you are doing right now.
You’ll regret not saving money instead of wasting it away on nothing.
But most of all, you’ll regret not realising what your true potential actually was.
They say that it’s never too late to do the things you always wanted to do but the older you get, the more restrictions life throws in your way. You will get to the point where you will say “I can’t travel because I have bills to pay” but if you had just got off your butt when you didn’t have those kinds of responsibilities, then who knows where you might be today!
But Sarah, life did get in the way and those ideas you had when you were 20 soon left. But you know what:
You did get out of the job you hated
You did study a subject that is now something that defines you. You may not be working in travel but people come to you for advice on travel & you are eager to give it.
You did move to another country, admittedly Australia is still as far from England as you can get but you’ve had more opportunities here than you ever would have in New Zealand.
You did jump on a plane and visit England and even though you can’t go there to live now, you have been there 3 times now and each time you love it more and more.
You have been to places that you never thought you would travel to like Vietnam, Amsterdam and Hawaii.
You did learn more about your dad’s life before marriage & kids, even though he wouldn’t be around to tell you himself.
You have managed to balance working, travelling and paying bills.
You did gain a huge appreciation, love and respect for New Zealand, the country that you are still proud to call home
Things might not have turned out the way you thought they would when you were a youth but you know what, that’s ok. You’ve done alright even if you do have regrets.
Something I heard in a training session recently, where I was learning about a system we use at work but I thought this phrase was quite apt “You can’t change history” and it is true.
But you can change your future.