I laughed then... but, flash forward... less than 13 months after my indefinite departure from Asia and, plot twist.... I'm still not making Hilton ads.... but I am back in Asia... and I did score a complimentary birthday weekend stay at a Hilton hotel in Penang, Malaysia.
The irony does not escape me.
Long, sentimental post short... life is unexpected. It's tough... rub some dirt in it... get a helmet... no pain no gain... or whatever motivational quote you can most easily identify with. Despite it's inevitable challenges, hard work eventually pays off. In all this hard work, I've found that the (aka my) key to a happy, fulfilled life (coming from a barely upper 20-something year old) is finding a challenge you enjoy... and to always, always, always keep going for it.
This time last year, when I was back home slaving away at two restaurant jobs, my dreams of travel writing (and Asia) seemed, again, like a far away pipe dream... over 7,000 miles away to be exact.
Looking back, somehow, the daily little baby steps have amounted to one big step in the right direction.
I'm not an expert or a professional (like.... at anything... honestly).
I do, however, have one thing... and lots of it. Passion.
My trip back to Malaysia was filled with a handful of brilliant, inspiring little creative sparks (and lots of much needed R&R)... and all together, this rekindled a fire - a burning desire to keep setting foot on new ground, to keep creating, keep meeting people, keep making mistakes
...to keep learning from them and getting better... becoming better at my hobbies and becoming a better person.
The great Albert Einstein supposedly once said, "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving," and I couldn't agree more.
Now, I don't know exactly what the next year of life will bring... but I do know one thing... I cannot wait to find out.
A BIG thank you for all the birthday wishes, and an even bigger thank you to all the people who support and push me towards fulfilling my goals and dreams all the other days of the year.
Here's to another year of life, (albeit a year in my upper twenties)...
...365 days of experiences, changes, and growth... one baby step at a time.