Oh 2020, what a year you have been! You are a mix of bananas and sanity, sadness and happiness, anxiety and serenity, hate and love, death and life, loss and victory. 2020, you are CRAZY!
Of the multitude of foreboding headlines I read this year, coupled with personal events that added to my entangled thoughts, I am not surprised that 2020 was the year that I had the worst of my anxiety and depression.
I had so many ugly cries, fits of anger, jealousy, insecurity, disappointments, pain. At different points, the world just seemed to stop. I felt stuck and it seemed like I couldn’t do anything about it. But, every time, a miracle will happen. And, just with a snap of a finger of The Most Powerful, everything will clear out. The worries, pain, tears, and anger will stop and it seems like everything is bright and shiny again.
I thank thee.
Because of the seemingly incessant barrage of anxiety-inducing events that you had in your pocket, I was forced to forge and define my coping mechanisms, to survive.
I was forced to look deeply into myself, be vulnerable, and embrace my imperfections. Because of you, I realized that it is time to stop hiding from who I am. I realized that it is time to start having the courage to be vulnerable, create, and tell my story. This is my way of breathing love back into my life.
So, 2020, let me thank you for the milestones that you have given me. For the deepening of relationships, and for stepping up and making things happen. For The Boho Travels, specifically:
Travel therapy. Mental health matters. Love yourself.
In the past years, I struggled with who I am and who I would like to be. Because of the pandemic, I experienced being in lockdown for three months unexpectedly by myself. With the anxiety and depression that went with the experience, I realized the importance of travel, mental health, and self-love in my life.
In 2021, these will be my focus – travel, mental health, and self-love. I will write articles and IG posts relevant to these three. I hope you will continue to support me and my causes this year.
First time getting published outside my blog
I was ecstatic when I read my submission published on the Ladies Who website. I have written tons of work-related papers and reports but this was my first time ever getting published as me! Why did I not try it in the past, you may ask. Well, I honestly fear judgment, rejection, disappointment. I pour my heart out when I write, so I was so scared that I would not be able to handle negative feedback about my article. But, one thing I realized this 2020 is that it is okay to be scared and vulnerable. Everyone gets scared, and it takes courage to be vulnerable.
I also thought that my article would possibly help many people who are struggling with anxiety and depression, processing their emotions, managing their mental health, especially this pandemic. So, if you have time, please check out my post: “Letting go” using the power of music and body movement.
In 2021, I promise to write at least three articles to be posted/printed in a venue outside my own. Wish me luck!
Telling travel stories through my Instagram posts and stories
Instagram was a life-saver this 2020. Through Instagram, I helped myself disengage from the negativity I got from reading posts on Facebook. While I wanted to keep myself in the loop, I also needed to take charge of my mental health. So, I left Facebook for a while and occupied myself with writing travel stories and struggles in my mental health as I posted pictures on Instagram. While a lot of people are still only looking at pictures, I realized that many read my captions.
Traveling and exploring the city in the new normal
2020 is a year of discovering and supporting local products and businesses. Because of derailed travel plans due to the pandemic, we had extra resources that would have otherwise be for traveling. Thus, we had the opportunity to try out new and exciting local products and businesses. It is like traveling and discovering my city with fresh eyes!
I honestly have materials on these local businesses that we have personally tried, but I have not yet had the chance to sit down and write about them. In 2021, I will finally share my stories and reviews of these products and experiences. I hope that, through my articles, you will be inspired to explore our city newly and support local products and businesses.
At the infancy of this pandemic, I found myself at the height of my depression and anxiety. Unexpectedly, I spent the first three months of the lockdown by myself. As you can imagine, I found it challenging to keep my positivity.
Looking at old photos and blog posts reminded me of how blessed a life I have. And most of the time, my depression, anxiety, and fear are replaced with gratefulness, love, and pride. I thought that if this practice helped me take care of my mental health, then people out there may also benefit from this.
With the many anxiety-inducing news that we are barraged with every day, I believe that we also have to find a way to take care of ourselves and our mental health – this is so we can recharge and be able to contribute again to the community.
Forging my first partnership
I partnered with Mai of Budget Biyahera, who also believes in the power of writing and telling stories of travel experiences as a way to spread positivity through our Instagram accounts. We hosted the event, #MulaSaBaulTravelStories, to help inspire other people to celebrate the many beautiful things in life despite the challenges that we face.
Successful run of our first campaign/giveaway
Through the campaign, we received over 30 quality #MulaSaBaulTravelStories, which included stories about their travels within the Philippines, Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. We are so grateful to all the participants for sharing their travel stories from the archives. We are also indebted to our collaborators who helped make this happen.
Setting in motion partnerships with female-owned small businesses
One of the things I am grateful for pursuing #MulaSaBaulTravelStories project is meeting and collaborating with powerful women entrepreneurs: Maru (Freedom in Motion), Aph (Las Islas Lifestyle), Tata (Sartcast), and Rose (Hull & Stern). One of the highlights of my 2020 was working on their features and learning more about them and their brands. If you would like to see our features on these amazing women, you may visit my IG and click on Collaborators on my highlights or visit this link.
2021, please be kind to us.
2020 defied expectations. It was both a meltdown and an opportunity to rise. I acknowledge it takes grace from The Most Powerful to emerge victorious amidst the struggles and challenges. I feel love and gratitude as I end 2020 and welcome 2021.
This year, I pray for my faith, positivity, love, and respect to transcend to everyone I interact with. I pray that we all find gratefulness and contentment, and acknowledge and bask in the blessings that our Creator showers us.
May 2021 be a year of love, life, abundance, contribution, well-being, and serenity.
Sending you love and good vibes,
P.S. Thank YOU! And, in whatever space you are in now, I hope that you got something from reading this post. Talk to you soon!