Eat. Pray. Travel.

“It is better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.”–Asian Proverb

My life right now is crazy, I have 348 things on a plate that only holds 10. Between working a full time job, planning my wedding, working out, moving to a new house and trying to launch my new business, life just gets in the way. So, I decided I would write about something I love, traveling.

My favorite possession is my passport. I think of it as a key that can unlock just about anything. I was so excited that I got to use it for the first time last August for Mexico!
Before I talk about that trip, I’m going to tell a story.
My junior year at college, I had this professor, lets call him Dr. S. Dr. S. was the biggest douche bag I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I loathed this man. He made me cry, he made me mad, he made me think, he made me question, he made me a more knowledgeable person.

So, my final for this class was a one on one with me and Dr. S. It was going to last 50 minutes and he would ask me one question of his choice and I had to tell him why I felt the way I did. I racked my brain, thinking the question would be about God or abortion or why I ate processed meat. Nope. He asked me the simplest, yet complicated question in the history of mankind. Here is how this final oral exam played out.

Dr. S.: Brooke, you didn’t speak much in class, so I’m curious to your answer to your final question….if you could do anything on earth right now, what would make you the happiest?
Me: (thinking to myself, ‘that’s it?!?! this crazy man wants to know what makes me freakin happy?!’) well…i would travel.
Dr. S.: Travel where?
Me: Everywhere.
Dr. S.: Then quit school.
Me: But, I need money to travel. This will be the hoop I jump through to travel.
Dr. S.: There are plenty of poor people who travel. Get a work visa. I know you’re religious, what if you travel to India and it changes your outlook on “God” (yes, he quoted it.)
Me: Well, school is important to me and my family too.
Dr. S.: Just like God is and the places you travel won’t believe in the same things as you and you will question the way you’re raised. Do you still think traveling will make you the happiest Brooke?
Me: yes sir, I do.

This conversation went on as to why I believe the things I do and surprisingly really did last 50 minutes.

I didn’t drop out of school to travel…shockingly. I have a degree and I travel some place new once a year. I don’t believe we aren’t meant to stay in one place. I yearn for new sites and new people. I remember seeing the Mayan Ruins in Cozumel and thinking how have I’ve missed so much of this world because I was set on going through the motions. I remember driving down the streets in the Cayman Islands and seeing children playing and thinking how small my problems seem. For years, I have stared at the ocean, last year, I was in it snorkeling. I’ve looked at surface for so long that I missed the point of it. I remember walking back on the beach after spending hours swimming with fish and turtles and feeling so accomplished that I got to see a whole different form of life I had been missing. I couldn’t believe that it had taken me 23 years to realize how big the world was.

Going to another country didn’t change my religion though. It made me understand the God I serve even more. That the same God who made me and my little world I had been surrounded by, made that weird purple colored fish I just touched underwater and he made the guy who made my margarita too strong. It fascinates me and makes me want to understand Him even more.

My fiancé proposed to me in the dark, in the front of the ship, in the Caribbean Ocean under millions of stars. I wouldn’t trade that moment for all the money in the world. I will never be the same after seeing those stars.

It doesn’t matter where you go, whether it’s Mexico, California, or an hour away, go some place you’ve never been. It’s worth any cost and sacrifice. If you wait to have money or for someone to come with you, you’ll never go. It’s a matter of courage and adventure. The world is cruel and we are so quick to think how bad it is, but the people I met while in Mexico last year, gave me hope. You don’t realize the people you’re missing out on or the places until you just go. One day, you won’t have the time.

Here is a couple of pictures from Mexico and The Cayman Islands!

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Stay tuned to see our honeymoon ones! Next stop; St. Thomas!

XO,

B

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The Haunting

So…today in my lovely daily calendar it read, “Do your heart a favor and forgive the one who’s hurt you the most.” Of course, without hesitation, i know exactly who the one was. Flash back six years ago, this 17 year old girl just left her hometown to move 3 hours away to a new school without anyone i knew!! SCORE! I remember being so excited that I finally got to be on my own. So much went on that year. It was one of the hardest, yet, most rewarding year of my life. At TN Tech, I wrote an essay and out of 2,000 people, I won. I won a huge scholarship that I didn’t tell anyone about. This is actually my first time mentioning it, ever. I knew then that I could write. That I could be more convincing on paper than with my tongue. Where my words fell short, my hands didn’t.

I also fell in love that year, for the first time in my life. It was my first love and it was indescribable. So was the heartbreak that followed. I learned that you can’t carry that heartbreak to new relationships if you want them to last. I lost one of my very good friends and almost my brother to a tragic accident. I learned to not take the ones you love for granted and to tell them you loved them every freakin day. I won’t go into details on any of these in this blog post but six years later, I didn’t realize how innocent I was. I thought I knew it all…I didn’t. I know that in six years, I’ll look back at 24 and realize I knew nothing now as well. And thats perfectly okay. If I didn’t move away, I wouldn’t have grown. I also wouldn’t have the chance the forgive the person I’m oh so haunted about. The living can haunt you more than the dead.

But, I realize in all my years growing and and learning, that forgiving is one of the hardest damn things I’ve learned to do since not eating 6 donuts in one sitting. I realized a long time ago that you shouldn’t let something that is long gone, control you. That you forgive not because that person deserves it, but because you deserve peace. I had a irrational dream and I woke up with my heart pounding and fighting mad. A dream I couldn’t control, tried to control me. I thought about throwing my coffee cup because I couldn’t yell at who I wanted to (I realized the cup had cupcakes on it so I decided against it). I wanted to be angry. Angry. Is. Easy. Forgiving isn’t.

Things like this, can control you if you let it. I started thinking about all the things I do wrong and my flaws and how God forgives me everyday. How I have to be more like Jesus and forgive even when I want to throw my coffee cup in a fit of rage.  I’ve learned a lot since those days in my cracker jack size dorm room but one that stuck is that you should forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for not having the foresight to know what now what seems obvious in hindsight. I’ve prayed for peace and patience and it seems like God shows 10 people that have wronged me all in the same day just to make me realize if I want a peaceful life, this is what I have to do. You never have to forget what people have done to you, but if you have peace in your heart, you’ll know you’re on the right path to forgiving them. Just think, nothing annoys someone more than you being silent when they expect you to be enraged.

XO,

B

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