Spending the afternoon with my close friends yesterday, while enjoying sunny weather (a rare occasion in London at the end of October) and eating delicious food, slowly (previously unthinkable on a weekday), I realised how happy I was at that moment and how much I like my lifestyle. This made me think about the same time last year and how different I felt then – stuck, uninspired, unhappy with my lifestyle. Something had to change but I did not know where to begin. Luckily, the right opportunities come at the right time. I invested in a private coaching session and booked a ticket to Paris, my ultimate lifestyle inspiration destination. Despite that familiar voice of fear persistently saying this was ‘not sensible’ and going alone would make me sad and even less happy, I decided to take the risk.
I know this may sound a bit dramatic – going away by yourself for 3 days in Europe is not a big deal, when many people travel solo for months to remote parts of the world. But travelling alone, even for 3 days, seemed big at the time. After my more adventurous students years I got less comfortable with the idea of travelling solo, always preferring the safety of someone’s company. My main worry was how I was going to eat out by myself all weekend! I felt uncomfortable and self-conscious even imagining myself alone in a Paris restaurant.
But it was this step – pushing myself out of my comfort zone – that helped me to move from a (mental and emotional) place where I felt stuck. And I loved every minute of my trip.
Recent conversations with a number of my friends who feel stuck one way or another prompted me to share my experience.
If you are looking for inspiration to create change in your life, whether it is in your daily lifestyle, career, relationship or personal style, and don’t know where to begin I really recommend booking yourself on a trip to your dream destination, even for a couple of days.
1. Why travel?
I truly believe that it is difficult to see the big picture when we are in our usual environment. Travelling (the actual going away) helps us to distance ourselves from our problem or situation and see it in a different way.
2. Going alone has its benefits.
Going by myself allowed me to do what I love without having to compromise. As I already explained, it meant I had to move out of my comfort zone, and this is the place from which we are capable to change something. We are also more open to opportunities, conversations and meeting people when we are alone.
3. Gift yourself the experiences that light you up. It is the fun and enjoyment that will shift your thinking and move you out of a place of stagnation, not actually sitting and doing the thinking.
For me these activities included exploring new areas of Paris, shopping, eating in local restaurants and cafes and connecting with people. I loved walking in streets of Paris by myself, enjoying the beauty of the city, taking photos, discovering new areas, popping into art galleries and cafes for inspiration without any rush. This really helped me to re-connect with my creativity.
4. Try a new style
As a woman who loves fashion and style how could I not shop in Paris?? What I wear is a very important element of my lifestyle. Seeing myself in a new outfit that reflects my lifestyle aspirations helps me to first visualise and then create a new lifestyle. Shopping in stylish Parisian boutiques gave me more lifestyle inspiration than sitting at home thinking for hours about how to change what was not working in my life.
Even a year later, these lovely pieces help me to get into that chic Parisian mode each time I put them on.
5. Connect with people
In Paris, I wanted to eat delicious food and meet new people so I signed up for a private supper club called New Friends Table, hosted at a Parisian home. This experience completely exceeded all my expectations. Even though I was a little shy and self-conscious about the idea of going to a dinner party with strangers by myself, the promise of exquisite food in a real Parisian flat got me more excited that I had been for a long time. It had always been my dream to see the inside of a Parisian flat where real Parisians live. The food indeed was exquisite, the hosts very welcoming, the setting was very stylish, the company was brilliant and we had a truly engaging conversation around the table that only strangers can have, not being limited by the boundaries of common memories of the past or gossip about common friends. This evening was an incredible experience. Meeting people who follow their passions was most inspiring.
Surrounded by the beauty of the city and its inspiring people, I, without realising it right away, got what was missing – my ability to dream big again and see the lifestyle I desired. Knowing what our desires are is a first step in creating the life we want. Getting out of my comfort zone inspired my to do what I love more, even if it seems uncomfortable at first – travel by myself, host my own dinner parties, go to fun events alone and connect with more people.
If you are looking for lifestyle inspiration, style or travel idea, feel free to get in touch with me here.