Seize the Day!

How many times a day are we faced with opportunity? Will you seize the day today?

Some look at opportunity for what it is: opportunity. Some see circumstances as road blocks or failures. But it really doesn’t matter what kind of person you are as long as you keep on moving forward.

I will full heartedly admit that I’ve buried my head in my pillow many times when life has beat me down. I have had that feeling that everything has been lost. I have missed the curve ball many times. Just yesterday I was having a great day and then I lost my bus pass somehow just as the bus pulled up… and it’s only the beginning of the month! UGH. Oh well life goes on right!?

Although life can kick you right where it hurts, there’s always a way to turn things around. I haven’t had a full-time job in years and I haven’t had any money to start my business I’ve always wanted to start.

What? That sounds like an excuse T!! Well guess what? It is an excuse.

So let’s find a way to get through the hard times. 🙂 Let’s find a way to get back up when we have been beaten down. Let us rejoice for being alive and having many opportunities knock on our door.

SEIZE THE DAY!

I have a roof over my head and clothes on my back. I am so sick of being my own worst enemy, letting my self-doubt and excuse rule me. Failures are opportunities.

Next week I am starting a new chapter: I am finally going to start taking the steps I need to take to create my first money-making travel website. I have always wanted to do this so why am I sitting here looking for a full-time job when I could be putting all of my energy into something I actually want to do?

On that note, I will leave you with some uplifting and inspiring quotes from some awesome people who graced this planet with their presence and wisdom. And whatever it is that you are doing… GO GET EM TIGER!!!! 😀 And I will do the same.

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.”Buddha

“Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends.”William Shakespeare

“Attitude is a little thing that makes all the difference.” Winston Churchill

“Experience is the best teacher, but a fool will learn from no other.”Benjamin Franklin

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!quote-723073_1280

Bucket List

bucketlist

~London, Paris, Spain and Rome~

~To travel far away from home~

~Walk across the Great Wall of China~

~Travel farther east of Regina~

~Save a child’s life who needs saving~

~Brave a deeper sea worth braving~

~Float above the clouds so high~

~Jump out of another plane 40,000 feet in the sky this time~

~Touch a pyramid and gaze at the mighty sphinx~

~Clean up a beach that really stinks~

~Help a helpless animal live out its life~

~Carve a wooden sculpture with a really sharp knife~

~Convince a group to follow my efforts to save humanity~

~To experience health, freedom and longevity~

~Aid the poor and hungry by any possible means~

~Live a life fulfilled by my desires, hopes and endless dreams~

Happy Earth Day!

~Happy Earth Day to this glorious planet we live on and to every soul that inhabits our mother earth 🙂 Each and everyday I shall share my gratitude and love for the ground I walk on, the air that I breathe and the trees that share oxygen and life.

nature-670025_1280

Thank you beautiful earth for having me as a guest. You have shown me the great beauty you hold and the wonderful powers you posses. Thank you for the privileges I have each day and thank you for spinning on an axis where I am blessed with the sun, the moon and the stars.

THANK YOU MOTHER EARTH!

Let us all show our mother earth how much we love her. Plant some seeds and grow something beautiful. Hug a tree and show that tree some love. Start a compost. Pick up some garbage. Send out positive loving vibes to this grand planet we are so fortunate to have.

If only for a moment, cherish this earth. Cherish this life xox

Happy Earth Day 😀

 

Guest Post- Things I’ve Realized Writing a Travel Blog

vw-camper-336606_1280~Being a travel blogger for a while now, there are a few things I’ve realized. And since this is a guest post, I thought this is the right time to write about it and share it with not just my readers, but T’s as well. This is my first guest post for any blog. So bear with me 😀

I am no travel expert, or some awesome writer, or a critic to lend any tips to my readers. But certainly I can share my experience of blogging for 6 months now and the things I have learnt during the process. I love travelling, cooking and eating a lot and the blog shows my love for it. The thing is, when one starts a blog, he or she is extremely enthusiastic with writing and sharing almost everything they love. Even I went overboard few times hehe 😀 I know the blog is an expression of your passion and being, but try not to go overboard and post a lot of stuff in succession with almost no time gaps. It divides the reader’s attention to your work and each individual post might not get the attention it deserves. Draft the posts for future and click the publish button when it is the time.

So I made a rough post calendar. Didn’t publish it or anything. But I had it framed out in my mind with few ideas written in a diary. That brings me to my another point. Have your ideas framed out beforehand to stick with your calendar. Of course there are no rules or anything, still jotting down the ideas helps you when it’s the time to write something. All this – making a calendar, and jotting down post ideas helps you build a writing discipline, polishes your writing skills with time, helps you explore and generate new ideas and yes, keeps your set of readers intact. Remember, consistency is the key.

When I started my blog, I had my family and friends read it out even if they wanted to or not haha 😀 ohh everyone does that :p So the thing to remember here is that do not take their praise seriously. Some of it is genuine, some is not. Oh come on! They love you and cannot hurt you. So do make them read it and ask to even share it with others.

Promotions 😀 ohh yeah!!

Keep up with the work, let the blog grow with time, and then analyze if it is generating any buzz. You will know what to do then. Have some goals for your blog. Mine is to be consistent, and post high quality material even if it is one post a week. So frame out your own goals and aims to make your blog better. Also, try making it visually appealing as well. I know some of you don’t wanna confirm to rules, and just pour out what your heart says. I do that too. But then again if you want more readers, do add a picture or two. Any person would love few pictures while reading a piece. Make your blog what you would love to read and see in a blog.

These are some pointers I think are good to make your blog and readers grow. Then again, it is your choice what to do in the end. For me, blogging is expressing and sharing what I love with the world. And have my own identity. I love it when people ask me about my blog. And you should be too. Do what suits you the best and you can add on these pointers if you wanna find your own niche.

P.S I blurted my heart out with no proofreading whatsoever. Advice from the heart 🙂

~Upasana

starfish-74535_1280

A Short Sunday Story xo

Sacrificed to the Ends of the Earth

~The dense grey fog was intoxicating that brutal night Lady Ongela was taken from her family. Her frail lungs struggling for a touch of oxygen through that damned disheveled bag was too much to bear. It was only a fortnight until her 19th name day and the harsh twisted minds of the bandits had poisoned her ever so slightly as to knock her into a fuzzy haze of bizarre hallucinations. They were ready to make their sacrifice to the lords of the realm. Sweat and tears dripped down her soft skin and immersed her lavender wine hair in a salty mess against her chest. The knobby ropes cinched around her tiny chafed wrists. Her flush pink lips quivered with fear. 

The trees hissed and crackled in those dreaded moist winds while they danced the dance of the melancholy vibrations that rang throughout the thick green forest. There was no moon to be seen in the dark somber sky. chains-19176_1280

The once magnificent palace was now broken.

A young man by the name of Alias the 2nd quickly caught word from the Duchess of the realm that her daughter had been taken. He instantly knew that he had no choice but to save her, for he had loved her for many years. Lady Ongela had been so gracious in her adoring friendship for the young lad and he had fallen so deeply in love with her that his heart longed for her touch. If only just a chance at a mere graze of her hand or a short evanescent look of tenderness. If only for a brief moment in time.

His striking blue eyes wept in a silence so loud it could break the hearts of 1,000 men. It would melt the ice that engulfed the souls of the wicked. 

The agonizing ritual would endure for 4 days and 4 nights, as the legend had been told. Alias had but a small window before the final cut would drain the last ounce of the fair beauty’s innocence and end her life. Alias jumped on his trusty steed and charged into the ominous night, his choppy ash hair thrashed by those winds. Those awful dreaded winds.

His horse was fierce, and the duo surged through the night like a tornado destroying a hay-field just before ripping a barn in half and spitting the wooden pieces into oblivion. Before long, Alias could hear the clamoring hooves of the hijackers horses, as black as they were he could not see them very well. But that did not stop his tenacity.

With a white horsepiercing stab to the side of his faithful white stallion, he crashed through the trees as if they were nonexistent.

The treeline broke into a large open field. It was suddenly a race to end… the final point of no return where the earth dropped off and the floating castle of darkness would consume its sacrifice into the vortex. The place where frightening nightmares are made.

Gaining speeds of immense urgency, Alias advanced the ratty carriage and noted 3 men atop of the freight.  In one mighty bound he rocketed of his horse, pulled his razor-sharp blade and slit 2 of the men’s throats in a single plunge. The bloody limp carcasses fell to the soft mossy ground as Alias grabbed the reigns and halted the carriage before the 3rd rotten villain could let out a scream. The horses hollered into the dead of night and dug their hooves into dirt. The filthy brute regained his balance and threw a lazy fist at Alias. He missed but Alias fell off the wagon hard into the earth. 

A bright flash of lights blinded Alias as his head hit. Then black.

Alias slowly opened his eyes to a dull yellow light above his head. A soft fluffy pillow lay under his frosty ash hair. He ran his hands along the surface where he lay as the silky sheets brushed against his skin. Turning his head ever so slightly he peered to his right to see a small frame close to him. 

He blinked once and then opened his eyes as wide as he could as if admiring a beauty so bold it was nearly impossible. 

There she was in her light delicate negligee. Her long lavender locks nestled against her smooth ivory back. Her skin was gleaming like a newborns. She smelled of luscious sweetened honey.

His hand gently touched her shoulder, just for a brief moment. His heart skipped a beat.

She had been by his side all along. She was more than a dream, she was an everlasting eternal love. 

He would have sacrificed himself… to the ends of the earth. His body sank into hers and they were intertwined in a warm, fiery embrace for all eternity. 

30-love-photos-anime-boy-girl-love-castle-hd

Why save the Sea Turtles?

Did you know that the Leatherback Sea Turtles are the largest turtles in the world? turtle

The heaviest one recorded was over 2,000 lbs. That’s incredible!!

Last year I decided to join GoVoluntouring so I could experience my first conservation project and pay it forward to those endangered animals in need. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

“GoVoluntouring is the leading full-service specialist for both volunteering and applied learning programs around the world.”  http://govoluntouring.com/

So, why should we save the sea turtles? A lot of people ask me why I chose turtles in particular. Why is a sea turtle so important?

Well, why is any animal important?

When I was looking for the perfect project I could really focus on I had a hard time choosing. There is no one animal more important than another. Every living thing on this planet is fundamental to our survival. If I could, I would volunteer all around the world helping as many animals as possible.

So why don’t I? Money. It’s the one excuse and roadblock I always run into. Stupid money.

Since I can’t afford to travel the world and volunteer everywhere… I chose an animal I’ve always loved. Turtles 🙂 That’s when I started my “Save the Sea Turtles” campaign and began fundraising.

When I was a little girl I had a pet turtle named Beverly. Why did I name her Beverly? I have no idea. I have an Aunty named Beverly… but I don’t think that had anything to do with it. I thought of my pet turtle Beverly when I decided to join a sea turtle conservation in Costa Rica.

I’ve learned only 1-2 turtles make it to sea after hatching. That usually means a single survivor in a nest full of hundreds of babies. Poaching, drag net fishing or just the loss of habitat will prove fatal for most of the baby turtles. There are a lot of forces working against them.

baby-turtle-0

http://fundraise.govoluntouring.com/campaign/1000074

Why wouldn’t I want to save this little guy? He’s so cute!

The project is located in the north of the Caribbean province Limon. The beach is part of the 50km coastline stretching between Tortuguero National Park and the port of Limon, one of the biggest ports of Costa Rica. This beach is extremely important for the Leatherback and Green Sea Turtles. It is an essential nesting ground for them and sometimes it’s also visited by Hawksbill Sea Turtles, which are very rare. This area is very remote and uninhabited, other than the volunteers at the conservation. 

The cost for the conservation is $600/per week and that includes room and board the entire time you are there. The staff provides 3 meals a day and a clean place to sleep. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of the quarters and all the tools necessary for turtle research. In an email I received from my program co-ordinator, she told me this:

“Volunteer work includes assisting the staff with data collection, egg protection of the sea turtles and rescue and rehabilitation duties. It involves night patrols and hatchery shifts as well as daytime work like beach cleanup or construction of the hatcheries.”

Awesome right!? 

I’ve been fundraising for a whole year by posting facebook updates, selling my stuff, having sidewalk sale fundraisers and making jewelry. So far I’ve raised $1400 towards the project, which is a lot less than I thought I’d have by now. But, unfortunately a lot of people can’t get involved due to finances. Most people don’t even have $1 to spare… which is strange because they do seem to have money for other things… just not a dollar for a turtle. A good friend of mine even said that my fundraiser looked like I was just trying to get others to fund a vacation. Which kind of hurt but, I get it. That wasn’t my intention. And if you know me, you know I am not the kind of person to ever have those intentions. I truly want to help endangered animals.

To those people who have supported my cause and actually care enough just to wish me good luck … I am forever grateful. I am so lucky to have those people in my life who care about me. So I will keep on fundraising until I reach my goal and then go save some turtles!There’s a lot of controversy when it comes to volunteering which I’ve obviously learned about since starting my campaign… and you can read about it here:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/jul/29/wildlife-conservation-projects-more-harm

and here:

http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/lion-pets.html#cr   and a ton of other articles out there.

I share this with you because I want to know what the general consensus is. What do YOU think about conservation? Is this something we can do to change the world?

I personally think conservation is important. So are a lot of other projects out there including feeding the hungry, standing up for women’s rights or even children’s education programs.

My future goals definitely include working as a full time volunteer and humanitarian. It’s what I want to write about. I would love more than anything to be a travel writer and use conservation efforts as my main focus. And so, this is all part of my journey to becoming a successful writer. I want my work to have purpose. To reach more and more people until we see a drastic change. So surely, you can count on hearing about the trip down to Costa Rica next year and about those magnificent turtles.

There are so many sea turtle conservations other than the one I’m getting involved in. If it’s something you’re interested in check out the GoVoluntouring website and browse through the wonderful campaigns. There are many opportunities to give back to the world or even support someone who has a passion for volunteering. You can also volunteer here:

http://www.conserveturtles.org/

OR here:

http://earthwatch.org/

OR here:

http://www.seeturtles.org/

I could go on and on…

5 Reasons You Should Jump Out of a Plane!

~During my travels to New Zealand I met a wonderful girl named Benedetta from Italy. The two of us decided that we would both jump out of a plane together in Taupo, a town on the shore of Lake Taupo in the centre of the North Island of New Zealand. http://www.taupotandemskydiving.com/

Skydiving was something I always wanted to do and since I had someone to go with I just could not pass up the opportunity. Nerves were sharp, butterflies ruled my stomach and my palms were so sweaty I could have filled up a glass. That was the day I experienced the most exhilarating feeling I’ve ever felt in my entire life. So why do I think YOU should jump out of a plane to?

Well here are 5 reasons:

1. To overcome fear– Fear is something we all live with. Whether it be a fear of small spaces, a fear of spiders or even a fear of talking to people. But let me tell you, if I ever had any previous fear of heights… well that fear was crushed when I jumped out of a plane strapped to a stranger. Not only can I say I am no longer afraid of heights, but I can also say that I would do it again in a heartbeat just to feel that crazy rush all over again.

2. To experience something completely different– Skydiving is like no other feeling in the world. Bungee jumping, skiing, skateboarding… you will never feel the same intensity as you will jumping out of a plane. OK maybe something like cliff jumping would be even crazier… maybe I’ll try that next? 😛

3. To push your own limits– Everyone has their limits. You may be sitting there shaking your head thinking, “Nope, I could never do that!” But what if you did? What if you went against everything your mind was saying? What if you ignored your fears and doubts and just went for it?? Which brings me to my next point:

4. You gain strength and trust– When you jump out of a plane something incredible happens to you. I can’t really put into words how it felt… you just have to go do it… but I can tell you that when I hit that ground again I felt like I could conquer the world. Not only did I gain strength as a person but I learned to trust myself to go experience life. The overwhelming feeling of accomplishment and self-worth you gain from pushing yourself to the limit is indescribable.

5. You come back to earth– Talk about ‘The Ultimate Grounding’ experience. When your breath is shallow and your heart is in your throat, your body tenses up and you freeze like an iceberg. Letting go of that feeling… well that happens part way down. You don’t actually think you’re going to live. But you do! When the air hits your face like a thousand tiny prickles and your eyes water so much that you can’t see a thing, that’s the greatest rush. But when you finally hit the ground once again, your mind and body come back. Within one minute it’s over and you feel more grounded than you have ever felt before.

In the end, after it was all said and done, I could honestly say Skydiving was the single most sensational experience of my life. Aside from all these wonderful things, the number one reason you should go jump out of a plane… is to say “I did it!” 🙂

So go jump out of a plane!!

IMG_9964 IMG_9969  IMG_9980IMG_9989IMG_9962

What am I Doing with My Life?

~I close my eyes, the clock rewinds and I see myself in my early twenties. My skin is a bit softer and my spirit is less jaded. I am 20 years old and I am wondering what I should do with my life. Should I go to college and get a career? How will I find the perfect job? What if I get a student loan and can’t pay it back? Is this what I really want?

~I don’t know what I want to do with my life.~

Fast forward.1795724_10153783477570444_852409181_n

Now I am 21 years old and my mind is full of new-found knowledge. I am a Dental Assistant. Why? I have no idea. One day I went to a career counselor and took a Myers Brigs test and this test told me all the professions I would be best suited for. I took the test and now I am a Dental Assistant because there were so many things to choose from. I just closed my eyes and placed my finger in the center of the paper. Now I have a career.

Fast forward.

Now I am 23. I worked in an office for a short while and saved a bit of money. What if I could travel the world? What if I could experience new things? What kind of adventure would I find? Is it possible to live your dreams?

So I travel.

I take out a loan and I take my life savings and I don’t care what anyone says. I travel. I have the most incredible journey I could ever imagine. I see animals I have never seen before. Colors so bright. I am so happy standing in the ocean with hands in the clean air and I just…cry. I cry for the happiest moment of my life. I jump out of a plane in New Zealand. I cascade down white rapids in Thailand. I dive into a cave in Fiji. I live and work in Australia. I never want to come back.

Fast forward.

I am in an office again. I am 26 years old. My student loan payments are behind and I’ve racked up a credit card. All I want to do is travel again, but how can I make that happen? How can I get out of this debt? What am I going to do? What am i doing with my life? I wish I could travel again.

So I travel.

Fast forward.

Now I am 28 years old. I traveled down to Mexico for a short trip. It was a tease. It was not long enough to satisfy my desire to travel. I am no longer a Dental Assistant. I am struggling with debt. I have anxiety which really puts a damper on things. I am a Personal Trainer, but that’s not making me any money. I want to write again.

So I write.

I am struggling for money. My first career didn’t work out. My second career is not really working as well as I’d hoped. But I am happy. I love life and I know one day if I am patient, I will travel again. I’m staying positive.

Fast forward.

Now I am 30 years old. My skin is not as soft as it used to be. I am slightly jaded but that’s OK. I am no longer a Personal Trainer. My first career didn’t work out. My second career didn’t work out. I am happy. Why am I happy? Why would I be perfectly OK that everything didn’t work out?

Pause.

Because now I write.

NOW I follow my dreams. I follow the path I was truly meant to be on. I was never meant to be a Dental Assistant. I was never meant to be a Personal Trainer. I was never meant to stay here forever.

I was born to travel the world. I am a writer. I was always meant to be a writer. I was always meant to be a traveler. No one can ever tell me anything different ever again. I will not conform to the everyday norm. I will not just go get a job because it’s what everyone else does. I will not sit here and let life pass me by any longer. I will write. I will travel.

What am I doing with my life?

I know what I want to do with my life.

I am doing whatever I want. I am finally following my dreams.

Right now.

sexy-499099_1280

So you want to be Travel Blogger? Me too!

globe-454479_1280SO I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to talk about Travel Blogging  as I continually warp my blog over and over. I’ve landed on a new look I really like and I’ve made changes so my blog is more responsive.

Now let’s talk about being a Travel Blogger! 🙂

Travel Blogging is one of those professions everyone secretly wants to have. Wandering around the globe with only a backpack hanging off your shoulders, stopping to “work” beach side from a lovely little café in Europe somewhere or just relaxing while you write your next post from a hammock tied to a tree in some humid rain forest in South America.

OK these are my visions of being a Travel Blogger. What are yours?

During these past few months I’ve gone into great detail on how to be a Journalist and the many ways people make money as freelancers. You can post online to magazines and newspapers, send pitches to print publications or send portfolios to publications who are specifically looking for completed articles.

Well guess what?! Travel Blogging is pretty much the same thing.

Most travel blogs I come across do a hand full of the same things Journalists do, like pitching to an online magazine. The only difference I’ve found is that those bloggers are pitching to travel publications. It’s the only difference I can find.

sign-429419_1280

In many cases, it’s a matter of finding ways to make money. As I’ve stated in earlier posts you can make money on the road by writing for magazines, using ads on your blog, direct sales or copy writing. If you take a look at Sebastian’s blog from Off the Path, you will see he does a number of these jobs to make ends meet:
http://www.off-the-path.com/

Another great site I stumbled upon is The Travel Bloggers Academy. It has a course you can take through their website, which is a couple of years old, but still has relevant information.

http://travelbloggeracademy.com/how-to-become-a-travel-writer/

Aside from posting on your blog about amazing places you’ve been, Travel Blogging can go as far as you want to take it. If you want to keep travelling, you must find ways to make money.

My travel blog is still in its beginning stages so I’m just discovering the many ways to actually make this work. If you have a look at my post from yesterday you’ll see all the changes I’ve made:

https://thetinywriter.org/2014/10/23/thursday-thoughts-on-blogging-201/

The next step for me is triple checking that I don’t have copyrighted images on my blog. If you want to use Word ads, that’s a crucial thing to be sure of. You can’t have any ads promoting through your blog if they are not your own or from legitimate free-to-use sites. It may take some time, but go through ALL of your images if you’ve taken them off the internet and if you don’t know about an image then email the website you took it from.

I hope this helps!

Travel Blogging is a “Dream Job” everyone wants to be in whether they say so or not. What separates you from the people who are keeping it a pipe dream?

GOING FOR IT!!

Happy Travel Blogging! xo

accessories-84528_1280

PS: I just started using Zemanta as well. This plugin helps you find related articles, tags and images through its own search. Pretty cool right?! Check it out: http://www.zemanta.com/

That’s where these articles came from:

A Letter from a Successful Future Me~10 Years Later!

Dearest T,photo-172

It’s 2024. You’ve made it! You are a very successful writer and I have to commend you, it wasn’t easy to get to where you are today. All those grueling nights you stayed awake just to build your “online presence” I know at the time, you thought it was tedious and sometimes a pain in the ass, but look at you now! It was all worth it and you are incredibly grateful. You have an amazing community of writers, agents and clients knocking at your door. Now you are their source for information.

Do you remember when you started your online blog and you had no idea how to use it? Oh I do recall those days. What fun it was to dive into something so unknown… so alien.

All the technical stuff was so frustrating and confusing at times, but eventually you figured it out.

Your travel blog has blown up now and you have lived the life you had always dreamed of. You have finally seen the world and written so many wonderful stories about the places you’ve been. What an extraordinary journey!

I am so proud of you for all of your accomplishments. You’ve written articles for National Geographic, Travel Life, Conde Nast Traveller, International Living and more…

You go girl!!

I know back then, when you were closing in on your 30th year, you were lost. You felt like a failure. But I am happy to tell you that now… that young girl would laugh at herself for feeling that way! 🙂 You are NOT your mistakes. You are your own lesson in life… and what a grand life it is.

Congratulations!

You followed your dreams. You ARE a successful writer ❤

Love always,

Your future self xox