City life getting the better of you? It gets the better of me I’d say at least three times a day, (on a good day) so I’ve made it my mission to never get swallowed up in a pit of commuters with back problems and ridiculous head phones and escape at any given opportunity, whilst maintaining a full time career in Magazine publishing. It all became surprisingly easier than I thought once I became strict about applying throwing these rules into the agenda…..
1. Good forward planning
As much as it seems romantic to randomly pack the car and drive off into the sunset to a mystery destination that involves waves and cliffs of a weekend, the reality sadly isn’t that simple. When I’m travelling for a weekend in the UK I like to nail dates a few weeks before I leave, particularly over school holidays to avoid traffic mayhem, high prices and crazy people in ice cream van queues. (It happens)
2. Don’t be scared and/ or fussy.
The only way you’re going to get a real adventure is if you push yourself out of your comfort zone without limitations. If things like weather, climate, strange insects and diets from unknown territory are bothering you before you leave, that’s city life getting the better of you. Shake it off and just go!
3. Anyone can do it.
People comment on pictures of me walking along a beach in Cornwall after I’ve had a long week at work saying ‘I want your life.’ Flattering as that is, I’m a few hours drive down the M4 from London. Anyone can have that life should they want it, just set intentions, not limitations and get out of the bubble. Word.
4. Money… it isn’t what makes you rich.
To quote Wild & Free’s Philly Lewis, you can have ‘empty pockets but a full heart.’ I know which I’d rather have. Plus, in my experience, the biggest investment to myself has been simply to travel. It stretches your mind to new dimensions, your memories are worth their weight in gold and in my opinion, a well-traveled person is rich beyond content. The best news here is that taking yourself away from the daily grind actually makes your work ethic a lot more solid, meaning money comes as a result. Travel is an investment in every sense of the word.
5. Go it alone.
Gathering city based friends to join you can end up being the reason you find yourself back in the same boozer come Sunday, elbowing your way into the only sunny spot of the pub garden. Don’t let other people’s schedules stand in the way or your freedom. Retreats are a great way to escape and be with like-minded people, and they’re the best place to make friends for life.
6. Listen to you.
I’ve planned adventures in the past and the people around me have seriously queried my motives. Did I listen? No. Did they come to me with their tail between their legs asking for a step-by-step guide on how to live my life? Not quite but they did back track once I returned. Now don’t get me wrong, taking people’s advice, especially those who’ve travelled a lot and care for you is a natural reaction to making a bold move. Listen, and then go with your gut. It’s not always right to believe that someone else, who doesn’t live, breathe and think the way you do knows best for you.
7. Make the city your base, not necessarily your home.
It took me a long time to accept the fact that London was where I needed to be if I wanted the career path I had chosen. So I dove in headfirst and took the hit. In my experience big cities are incredible places for manifesting big dreams, you can be whoever you want to be, which in time for me meant not necessarily being there all the time. Work hard in your city, never take your eye off the prize and then as soon as the Friday’s out, reward your hard work with escape. Trust me, you were not born to simply pay bills and die!
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