22 New Things I Tried In The Past Year

Wadi Shawka, Ras Al Khaima

Wadi Shawka, Ras Al Khaima, UAE

Three days ago, on 25th June, I turned 22. I felt a jolt of bittersweet feelings rush down my spine as a I blew the candles on my surprise cake filled with utter denial of having to adult.

Time does fly by.

I thought it’d be a good idea to reflect back and reminisce on how I grew as a person over this year. Here is a list of 22 new things I learnt in the past year:

1. Learned how to scuba dive

Spent spring 2017 completing the PADI open water divers course. (Read more)

2. Got certified in Fashion Styling

Learned fashion styling in Instituto Di Moda Burgo, Milan, Italy, to satisfy my passion for understanding everything fashionable in more depth.

3. Learned a new language

Obviously, having lived in the country during summer, I was ought to want to learn Italian, which I did in the fall as a college credit course.

4. Worked on my fear of heights

First in the Arches National Park in USA and then during the summit of Mohare Dande in Nepal, I nauseously worked on my fear of heights. It’s not like I had a choice. Just kidding.

5. Backpacked across a country

After getting my certificate in Fashion in Milan, I toured around the rest of the cities north to south in Italy on buses, trains and by walking.

The Colosseum, Rome, Italy

The Colosseum, Rome, Italy

6. Climbed a tree

Believe it or not, I had never climbed a tree before attending the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. few months ago.

7. Hosted a conference

Was appointed the Master of Ceremonies of a Women’s Conference organized by our University’s Leadership Centre. To be able to empower women has been the most profound experience of my life. (Read more)

8. Earned my first gig as a travel writer

Even though my website has been making money, I earned my first real gig in May 2017, when I was invited to Nepal on an all sponsored press trip. (Read more)

9. Cut my hair as short as a bob cut

I was always one to have hair longer than my shoulder, but not anymore; I decided to go all the way to my neck with a bob cut last year and that took a lot for me to do.

10. Got my first tattoo

In February 2017, right around the Valentine’s Day, I got the world map tattooed on the back of my shoulder, the representation of my love for this planet. (Read more)

Tattoo of the World Map on my back

Tattoo of the World Map on my back

11. Embodied minimalistic living

At this point I have 35 pairs of tops in total, six pants (including yoga pants), a mattress without a frame, a simple study table and bookshelf in my room when I was the complete opposite of this one year ago. It was some real letting go business.

12. Stopped using plastic bags and straws

This one’s very recent and has birthed from the awareness I gained on the World Environment Day. I am slowly cutting out all plastic usage in my life. (Read more)

13. Watched Cold Play live at a concert

Cold Play has got me through so much in my life and I finally got to see them perform live in D.C. last August. It was the most surreal of experiences I’ve ever had in my life.

14. Went Road tripping from Va to NoLa (USA)

After my Uni year ended in 2017, I went on a road trip with my three close friends from Virginia to New Orleans in Louisiana. It was a week long trip and we stopped in Georgia and North Carolina along the way. I learned how much fun it is to have the freedom to stop wherever you can without any set itinerary.

Overlooking the sunset at Jackson Square

Overlooking the sunset at Jackson Square

15. Mended broken friendships

I realized it wasn’t worth giving up my relationship with a couple of my friends over grudges that won’t even matter five years from now!

16. Learned that writing is my calling

Biggest of all, I realized that there is nothing I’d rather be doing than writing, so my entire career took a turn and I do not regret it. It is the reason I am happier than I have ever been.

17. Learned to put myself back together

On the flip side though, I had to go through a major depressive state before that (number 16) happened. A breakup, unhappiness from my (then) career, and family issues had caused my mental situation to deteriorate. But to have survived the storm is the greatest gift universe has given me thus far. (Read more)

18. Started self reflecting

With everything that was going on, journaling daily became my biggest escape from the reality. It also became my medium of expression, channelling of unwanted emotions and a book of memories, good and bad.

19. Taught myself technical photography

Took an online course, bought a book and watched endless youtube videos on learning how to take pictures with a professional camera.

Sunset at Phewa Lake, Pokhara, Nepal

Sunset at Phewa Lake, Pokhara, Nepal

20. Went to a new state spontaneously

I had absolutely no plans, but I tagged along with a friend who told me he was driving to New York (from D.C.) just because. I threw in some clothes and a novel in my bag and without accommodation, I left to New York and figured it out as I went.

21. Learned not to get rushed by others’ timelines

Most of my friends graduated college two months go. Many of them have gotten married and a couple of them engaged. A lot of them have their own apartment and job. I have another year of college to go, and as much as being left behind bothered me in the past, I came to learn that my competition is only with myself and no one else.

22. Realized that it is all in the head

Be it climbing mountains, diving in oceans, or being in the now of the plain ground, it can all be achieved if you let go of your inhibitions. How to do that? there is no easy way to say this, but FACE THEM! Easier said than done, you can only move forward when you cut ties with everything that is holding you back. So why wait?

Hiking the South Rim of Grand Canyon, AZ, USA

Hiking the South Rim of Grand Canyon, AZ, USA

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4 Comments

  1. Alia S says:

    Amazing Amazing Amazing!

    Like

  2. Abhilasha Choudhary says:

    Such a good blog! Love how you’ve incorporated everything from mental, to physical, to emotional ❤ Writing truly is your calling!

    Liked by 1 person

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