Hello dearies and HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2016 was by far the most adventurous year of my life thus far traveling 19 states, living in 5 of them, + a 6 week trip to Sweden! I learned many a lesson through all the ups and downs of traveling, volunteering, working, and being homeless; which I am going to share with you now! I hope you can find some truth or inspiration from all the lessons I’ve learned through all my adventures & misadventures of 2016!
- FIND YOUR ADVENTURE: What impossible dreams do you have? Life feel like it always gets in the way or your goals? It may be because the right thing is just around the corner but you need to have a spirit of adventure to see it! Here is a compilation of all our 2016 Tales of Sheaves adventures we captured for our Married Life YouTube channel:
2. LIVE IN THE MOMENT: When I’m stressed or depressed I often find myself either pining for things of the past or dreaming of the future. Those things have their place and time of course, but I realized that I was letting my days fly by and not being thankful for the precious seconds of my life as they were happening. Speaking of, it’s amazing what you can capture in 10 seconds. Here’s time lapse video of nearly ALL my Snapchat/Instagram stories from Nov 2015-Dec 2016 compiled into 5 minutes but *BE WARNED: FAST IMAGES*
3. INSPIRATION COMES & GOES: As much as I love documenting our epic adventures on Tales of Sheaves and all my fashion adventures on Lindsay of Sheaves there are MANY times when I have no inspiration and I would feel guilty for not putting out enough content OR I wouldn’t put out anything new because I didn’t feel good enough. It took me FOREVER to finish my USA road trip lookbook but it was worth the wait! It was in those times that I would post on my Snapchat/Instagram the most where I felt it was OK to be raw and unedited, and guess what…it’s helped me learn to love myself in every shape in form and realize it’s ok when you’re not feeling inspired, it will come back in the right time!
4. LET GO: Saying “bye for now” to everything and everyone I love in California (again) was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do but over time I saw that by letting go of something in your life that isn’t meant to be is the best thing you can do and opens your heart to new possibilities, your mind to freedom, and life to new adventures!
5. CLIMB MOUNTAINS: “Climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow until you find your dream!” Those lyrics from The Sound of Music certainly inspired me during our time in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia and Virginia.
6. TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY: We did a last minute “Gone With The Wind” photo shoot before we left Georgia to move to Virginia and had no idea the hard road of ahead of us. We encountered many dishonest people who took advantage of us but we kept taking it one day at a time and did some have fun adventures in the Shenandoah Valley despite the many misadventures.
7. LIVE ON LESS: I definitely learned how to TRAVEL LIGHT and even came up with my own packing hack of using Ziplocs to stay organized in your suitcase that came in SO handy as we traveled by car across America and by plane to Sweden! Living on less has become a lifestyle and it’s always fun to see how everything you need comes your way even if it’s not what you “want”, it’s always enough.
8. TIME HEALS: It’s no secret Sweden left me with a few scars both physically and mentally. I had carpal tunnel syndrome surgery there 6 weeks before moving to America with Jonas in 2015 and it was much longer recovery than expected. I felt guilty and pressured to find work but deep down always knew my body would tell me when it was ready and 2016 was finally the year of healing for my hand! It was bizarre passing the hospital on our Swedish summer trip and realizing how far I’d gone and how strong I’d become since then.
I was a little nervous of what it would be like going back to Sweden and a different language environment again and there were days where I had major anxiety and panic attacks…but I was ok! I knew how to navigate it better (though it’s never fun to go through) and had a glorious summer time of picnics by the sea, exploring castles with Jonas & his family, and you can see some of my Swedish summer lookbook here:
9. EMBRACE CHANGE: When we moved to California (for all of 7 months) I had such aspirations of starting my #RoadToRetro and dressing vintage but all of that was changed when we decided to move to the East Coast and work on a farm. At first I was embarrassed that I had “changed” and wasn’t what my social media accounts expected anymore. I did lose a lot of followers but I realized…WHO CARES!
10. BE UNIQUE: I have so many different aspects to my personality and interests and I should NEVER be ashamed of changing my style. In fact, I learned to EMBRACE change and run with it for that it truly when the magic of adventure happens. Plus, it’s just SO much fun to play with different fashions and who is to say you can’t be a faerie, or pinup princess, or retro spooky, or country western whenever you please?!
11. TAKE RISKS: Workaway is the most rewarding thing Jonas & I have done with our lives so far. Helping others while they help you is just such a magical thing. We met such incredible people through this volunteer/cultural exchange program and will forever hold the adventures we had together near to our hearts. How could I ever had known that I’d be spending my 30th birthday in New England with my Workaway family in search of faeries?!
12. BE POSITIVE: This can go SUCH a long way in beating depression when it hits. When a dark cloud of negative thoughts are swarming my mind I try to go for a walk in nature and remind myself of all the blessings I have! Positiviy and gratitude are powerful tools and I’m learning more all the time about the law of attraction.
13. WORK HARD: If only my coworkers now, knew that I spent most of 2016 homeless, wouldn’t they be surprised?! The meaning of “work” and having a “real job” has certainly changed for me after my time spent volunteering. Working hard can mean something different to every person and you don’t always have to adhere to a “traditional” method of how you support yourself. Jonas & I had to think outside of the box when we we had no where to live and decided Workaway was the best all in one decision even though most people thought we were nuts to up and move across the country. Volunteering at bed & breakfasts gave me knew skills and experience on my resume PLUS references! We never went hungry, we never needed to ask for money, we worked on building our credit and eventually we were able to land really good paying jobs! We basically turned our whole lives around in 1 year from nothing!
14. FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS: So many “impossible” dreams came true for us this year! I not only got to work with weddings but see dream destinations places like New Orleans, Sleepy Hollow, and even spend Halloween in Salem!!! Jonas got to be a professional pumpkin carver in New York and I got to do my 1st collab (thanks Sourpuss Clothing!) and hope to work with more amazing companies!
15. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED: When we moved to Georgia I had no idea when I’d see my family again. My mum planned a trip to Connecticut for November to see her best friend long before we knew we’d be moving to New York and I got to see her there and show her all my favorite places of Mystic and it was such an unexpected blessing! You never know when your paths may cross again with a loved one or WHERE it may be!
16. BE READY FOR ADVENTURE: I’ve found that whenever we move to a new place the best thing we can do is look for local events and activities. We’ve experienced some once in a lifetime things just by keeping our eyes out at flyers or on social media! Who knew I’d get to see Frosty the Snowman parade in his hometown!
The same goes for looking for new opportunities, some of my favorite sites to check frequently (or signup on an email list so it comes automatically) are:
17. FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: Whether near, far, or new…friendship is such a blessing and I’m so thankful for all the beautiful souls I’ve gotten to share my adventures with in person or via the internet like dancing with a polar bear on Sinterklaas day or seeing Christmas in NYC with a life long friend! I’ve also enjoyed sending post cards to my pen pals from all the places we’ve visited; a fun old-fashioned way to keep in touch.
18. LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE: This year I felt like many things and people tried to crush my sparkle but I learned how to reach deep down and always keep my inner SMILE shining. I learned to have COURAGE and be KIND to others even if they don’t treat you with the same.
19. YOU’RE BRAVER THAN YOU BELIEVE: Strong than you seem and smarter thank you think… These words from Christopher Robin to Winnie The Pooh really rang true for me this year! I was faced with my challenges that I didn’t think I could ever conquer and I often felt totally inadequate but I learned to not be so hard myself and most importantly to believe in myself more!
20. TRY EVERYTHING: Zootopia knows what’s up and these lyrics helped me through some of the craziest times!
“I won’t give up, no I won’t give in
Til I reach the end and then I’ll start again
No I won’t leave, I wanna try everything
I wanna try even though I could fail”