What Traveling Has Taught Me

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, traveling really changes a person. I’ve learned so much about myself each trip I’ve taken but the most eye opening and life changing was when I backpacked my way through Thailand and Australia with my bestie after college.

I mean, I was the girl afraid to dorm 40 minutes away from home my freshman year of college. Then dormed the next year, yet came home twice a week for 2 shifts at my old job. There was no reason to keep that job for such few hours but they knew as much as I knew I would feel better knowing I had an “excuse” to come home so often. Following my junior year and first year living in my own NYC apartment, I had built up enough courage to study about for a month in Italy. That was a huge step but one that I am so thankful I had the chance to do; it really was when I knew I had this special love for travel. My family has always been one that traveled and I grew up so fortunate for that.

Now here I was freshly out of college and I was flying around the world with no real concrete plan. Sure I had built my way up to this point and sure I grew a hell of a lot from this scared 18 year old girl but it really was a shock for so many people to hear the adventure I was about to go on. It was far out of my comfort zone but also in a weird way not at all. I felt so calm even before I left and just knew it was going to be a trip of a lifetime that I needed to take and I was exactly where I was supposed to be at this point.

  • I learned about the importance of alone time and listening to yourself. Yes, I was traveling with my best friend but without her I wouldn’t have even gone. I was on the other side of the world and knew 1 person, so for me that was huge and really gave me time to be in my thoughts and listen to them for once.
  • I learned what I deserve and what I want aren’t always the same thing.
  • I learned to let go of certain things and to hold on for dear life to others.
  • I learned as much of an OCD clean freak I can be, I”m also super low maintenance (if you haven’t traveled on an overnight train through Thailand then I don’t want to hear any comment on that last point HAHA. If you know, YOU KNOW).
  • I learned how to live life while facing your fears head on; they don’t define us.
  • I learned New York always has been and always will be home.
  • I learned traveling with someone who is chasing after the same dream of positive living that you are; who wants to live, learn and grow as much as possible and take in all the world has to offer is such an important thing.
  • And probably most importantly, I learned the strong connection I have with my loved ones really is there and as strong as ever. By the end of the trip I was having the time of life but aching to hug my family.

We so easily can get caught up in this bubble we live in day after day, but I promise you all there is so much more out there. This world is full of amazing beautiful cultures and traditions that we know nothing close to nothing about. You know how easy it is to get an idea about someone or someplace based on what we hear about it from others but I mean it when I say, don’t let that happen. I never thought I would meet some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met because they were showing me around temples in Thailand, but I did. Take baby steps. You don’t have to travel around the world, it can be across town from where you live. Just experience something new and beautiful.

XOX – Alysser Marie

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Getting Outside Your Comfort Zone

It’s easy to take a chance on something when it’s a “safe” move or an easy decision. Of course it is. When you don’t have to leave your comfort zone, you don’t even have to think twice about taking that step. But when you’re scared as hell and have no idea how it’s going to turn out, yet you go after it anyways …THAT’S LIVING!

“Be afraid and do it anyway.”

This is honestly some of the best advice I had ever been given and really wanted to share it with you all. See, even if that risk you took doesn’t turn out exactly like you wanted it to OR it doesn’t work out at all, you still are winning; you still can check off the accomplish box.

Now following along – this is because you will never be the same after that. You will have grown and learned so much because you believed in yourself. See, you can never fail when you follow your dreams. You will have changed yourself and have such a stronger mindset by taking that risk and really going for something you wanted. It’s so important to be kind to ourself and be proud of the steps we take outside of our comfort zone. It’s not an easy task but it is so worth it in the long run. Just wait and see for yourself.

XOX – Alysser Marie

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Find Your “Coffee Shop”

One of my favorite things to do is visit new coffee shops. I love how each shop has their own identity and aesthetic yet similar calming vibe. Aside from having an endless supply of coffee at my fingertips, I love the feeling that overcomes me when I’m in this kind of setting. Much like my safe place at my home, I get that sense of relaxation and focus. I get the most work done on all my different projects whether that be work, blog, or self related without any interruptions.

I love people-watching and hearing all the different orders people make. I love seeing the little exchanges made between strangers or loved ones. I love real raw authentic moments and I see a lot of those from behind a mug and laptop while making myself at home in a cafe.

There is actually a very special coffee shop to me that has become a second home lately. Its just a little shop in my town but it is so cozy. I wish I could explain what makes it so perfect but it’s honestly just a feeling I get every time I walk inside.

If you’re ever feeling “stuck” try going somewhere with an entirely new view. This will make you literally and figuratively see things different. Then, watch out world because your productivity will be sky high again! It’s so important for each of you to find your own “coffee shop”. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a place, it can be an activity, just someplace or something that makes you feel your best and you look forward to.

Until next #ThursdayThought XOX – Alysser Marie

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Speak. Up.

Happy #ThursdayThoughts to my favorite people. I’m going to be giving you all a little tough love this week; starting the new year off with some advice we all need and I hope you all take.

“Make the first move, tell people how you feel, stop being so scared of rejection, stop feeling so engulfed with thoughts that aren’t even yours, and stop wasting your fucking time.”

Life is short and at the drop of a hat anything and everything can change. We have to stop being scared because it isn’t an excuse when it can all be over tomorrow. If I’ve learned anything as of lately it’s that I don’t want to be someone who looks back on a life full of

would’ve, could’ve, should’ve.

Of course you shouldn’t want to have those in any aspects of your life but the part that’s been standing out to me the most lately is in the form of words. It’s scary to think I can look back and be haunted by words that I never said; that’s something I don’t want to experience.

I think it’s so important to take the time to say the things that matter and make sure you are heard. If nothing else you can look back and know you did your all and have no regrets. So go after what you believe in and what you deserve. Say it loud and say it proud, no matter what! Who is with me?

XOX – Alysser Marie

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New Year, Newish Me

Happy New Year my loves! Am I the only one who can’t believe it’s 2019!?!? When did that happen? I remember in full detail when the clock struck midnight and it turned 2000…now we are 19 years in. The saying sure is true, time stops for nothing.

As you all know, I’m not the best with change so you can imagine an entire year ending and new one beginning isn’t all smiles for me. It’s weird because I love celebrating New Years Eve, all the excitement and dressing up is so much fun. It’s the days leading up that aren’t my favorite. Christmas is over and now we’re in this week of not knowing what day it is or what we should be doing aside from preparing for the start of a new year. It’s all just a lot to take in and I tend to reminisce not only on the past year, but on all those who weren’t a part of it and how long they haven’t been around, and that makes me emotional. If you ask my friends they would tell you I feel so many emotions at the end of the New Years countdown that I’m celebrating and tearing up all in one.

What I do love is all the new year resolutions, the fresh journals and plans. I’m the kind of person that looks at each day as I new start but there is something nice about being on page 1 of 365 and able to write a whole new book for the year while taking all past years experiences with you. Thats why I twist the saying a bit to –

New Year, Newish Me.

We should always be growing and evolving, thats a good thing, but we shouldn’t be changing so much that we lose ourselves. Each year my new year resolutions have a lot to do with personal development. I want to be the very best me but know that will always be a work in progress. I sage myself and my bedroom one last time for the year before going out for New Years Eve in hopes to cleanse all negativity and keep only the best of me and my space for the new year.

2019 is for love not hate, light not dark, and good not evil.

I learned a lot about myself in 2018 and feel so blessed and thankful for all that occurred. I took chances, stepped outside my comfort zone, started a business, learned to put myself first, met so many new people that are now some of my closest friends while regaining old friendships, had a quarter-life crisis when I turned 25, traveled to new places, stood beside my bestfriend as she got married, started my blog, focused my energy on positive and good vibes, lost my way a bit but learned a hell of a lot during that time, loved and was loved a whole lot, and so much more. I walked away from last year knowing (some) of what I want out of this crazy world, a lot of what I deserve and with my new favorite saying –

life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies and that’s ok.

I really am so excited for all to come this year and to fill it with love, positivity and realness. A little present for you all is that I am going to hold myself to publishing a new post each week. I’ve decided to start calling them #ThursdayThoughts as far as Instagram is concerned, so look out each Thursday for these posts and Tuesdays for #TeaTimeTuesdays when I will be spilling some advice, personal stories, gossip, answering questions etc. on Instagram Live.

Here’s to – Good Vibes. Bigger goals. Better experiences. More happiness. Less pain. Stronger relationships. More focus. 12 new chapters, 365 new chances. #2019 I have big plans for you and I’m so happy to have each and everyone of you along for the journey.

XOX – Alysser Marie

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Know Your Worth

Don’t give people so much power over you that their silence leaves you questioning your worth.

I just love this quote so much because it really hits home. I have to remind myself of this every single day. Multiple people I never imagined putting me through this, have, and it simply hurts. When the other end of the line goes silent it’s only natural that your mind starts to question : 

  • What did I do?
  • How could they just stop all contact?
  • What could I have done differently?
  • Does my presence in their life mean that little?
  • What did I really mean to this person?

…and the list goes on and on, always putting ourself at fault. I’m such a “let’s talk this through” kind of person. Everyone in my life means so much to me and I don’t ever want to picture my life without them. I think that’s where I have the biggest struggle; that someone could so easily ignore and remove me from their life without a word.

I can sort of even understand a blowup or something of that nature ending in two going their own ways, but if I’m being honest, even that’s hard for me to grasp. I guess it’s all really situational at that point.

I will always fight my hardest for you and never want you questioning how special you are and how much you mean to me. I could never let someone go on thinking they are anything less. You and I both deserve so much more!

XOX – Alysser Marie

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My Struggle With The Concept Of “Time”

So heres the thing – time scares the crap out of me. I know I’ve touched on this before but it’s a concept that I can’t seem to shake and keeps coming up in my thoughts so I figured it deserves it’s own post. I don’t understand it and when I don’t understand something it gives me all types of anxiety.
I don’t know how else to put it but that time truly terrifies me. I don’t know how something can move so quick in one moment and so slow in the next. How can I remember an event from last week and it feel like a lifetime ago but when I think of high school graduation, I panic that it was 7 and a half years ago. How is that possible? Now stick with me here, but in a moment of pure mind blowing thought that high school (which I can remember so crystal clear as if it were yesterday) is something that could be close to a DECADE ago, yet if I change my thought process and think of all that I’ve done in those 7 and a half years, well then it feels like a different life.
I even confused myself explaining that HA!
But it’s the truth and an EVERYDAY burden I try and deal with. I don’t know why but time is a constant battle I have to fight through. I don’t want anything to happen too fast but I want to get to another point in time but I want to slow it all down but I can’t no matter what I do. It’s a mind f*ck (excuse my language). I think it’s something I’m going to struggle with understanding for a long time if not forever.
Recently I’ve even talked it over with my dad and he laughed and told me
“you want to talk about time scaring you, I look in the mirror and I’m  like how the heck am I 59 years old.”
And that really stuck with me. I’ve always known how precious time is but if you’re not careful you can wake up one day and be in a whole new stage of your life without ever enjoying the last one. He told me how he has that same feeling if he thinks back to 10 years ago or even 5 he feels so accomplished even just seeing how far my brothers and myself have come and he told me thats when you know you’re living right.
What I take away from all of this and all that I’ve figured out thus far is that when you can look back and remember all that has happened you’re lucky. You’re lucky if you lived in the moment enough to enjoy them and soak them in. That way you know no matter what no time has been spent wasted. And that my friends is how I am choosing to continue to look at time. It makes it less scary and makes me feel ok with it because I know I’ve been handling it right.
That being said, if anyone out there has tips and tricks to helping coping with time and understanding we have no control over it PLEASE send it my way. I love to read up on topics I don’t understand or need a better grasp on.
XOX – Alysser Marie
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World Mental Health Day

We live in a world where “Mental Health” is not spoken about nearly enough and thought of as dirty words so I wanted to take the time to speak up about it on World Mental Health day. Nobody wants to speak on the matter because they fear speaking about it will make it real yet in reality not speaking about it is what’s making it worse for everyone.

I am someone who openly speaks out about both mental health and my struggles with anxiety from a young age. I have just about all forms of anxiety (except for social) which has led to depression and OCD flare ups.  I haven’t always been so open about my struggles partially because I didn’t want to deal with peoples judgmental ways and thinking it wasn’t real (which is exactly what is wrong with society) and partially because I hadn’t really come to terms with the fact that this was really something I had. It took until about 5ish years ago for me to realize I wasn’t helping anyone, not myself or others by being afraid to talk about what I deal with day in and day out, and decided to change that.

Another huge issue with mental health is a lot of people throw around the term “anxiety” way too freely and honestly taint it for us true sufferers. I get it, anxiety can show up in many shapes and sizes; just about everyone experiences some level of anxiety in their life and I would never ever take away from that. But there are people like me who don’t go one day without fearing something, we don’t go one day without not understanding why their mind and body are acting out, or one day without internal struggle to get up and live your life or lay in bed and hide from the world. There are so many people like me who despite therapy and medication still struggle with this on a daily bases for the rest of their lives. Even on our good days, there is still always something lingering in the back of our minds and the random times that no matter how happy we were the day before, we are now sucked into an endless spiral of self-doubt and fear.

I go through cycles, sometimes that last months long of not being me, of not wanting to leave my house and of thinking someone is wrong with me and that I’m never going to get better. I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I don’t know if these cycles will ever go away and the only way around them is learning how to cope a little better the next time. The hardest part of all is that during these times I’m not thinking logically. If anyone else was going through it I would list out all the reasons they are ok but until you are living it yourself you don’t understand how logic doesn’t matter; how I don’t care what you have to say I’m still fighting this battle and have to see it through.

It’s not ok until it’s ok.

I finally came to terms with being on medication and with my brain having a chemical imbalance just like any other illness leaving your body out of whack that we so openly understand and believe. And once I came to terms with this I knew if I could reach just one person by telling my story and letting them know they are not alone and I’m here for them, thats exactly what I had to do. Since then I want to believe I’m a mental health advocate and someone any of you can turn to. I”m always just a phone call, text message, email away and I always will be there for any of you. I am a safe space for you all, judgment free zone that gets it!

XOX – Alysser Marie

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The Days Approaching 25…

Alright everyone I have to come clean about something – I always thought when friends and family members were about to turn 25 and said something along the lines of “I’m having a quarter life crisis” that they were full of sh*t. Seriously, I would laugh or tell them they were being ridiculous. Welp, let me tell ya – I was VERY wrong. This “quarter life crisis” business is no joke and I’m right in the middle of mine.

I tell myself over and over again my mom’s favorite “age is only a number” line and I do believe that. I also believe 25 is so young, heck 50 is young. It’s not about the fear of running out of time or anything like that (for me at least) because I can say whole heartedly that at 25 and even 50 you are young and have so much to learn and do and be; our whole lives are ahead of us.

In so many ways I’m excited to see what is next to come but there is just this feeling that 25 means we’re full fledged adults and that’s scary. What I mean by that is it’s unsettling for someone like me who is not a big fan of change, to think of all that is going to change in the next decade of my life. Sure a lot of it is all good things but it’s still nerve racking.

I think it was at the 2 week mark to my birthday that it really all started to hit. I was in SUCH a bad mood and couldn’t shake it (plus every damn planet decided to be in retrograde but I’ll leave all my astrology issues out of here for now).  My anxiety and OCD were high and I knew something was up; everything made me want to curl in a ball and cry.  I was doing everything to try and feel better – I meditated, sagged myself and my entire room (daily), would go on long runs, let myself have that cookie I wanted but none of it mattered because I was still not myself.

It took until I had a total meltdown one night that I finally had the realization and cried to my parents “I think I’m on the verge of a quarter life crisis”. I let out all my fears and tears and slowly started accepting that this is something I don’t have control over, this is only a new age and there are ways to handle what feels like your life spiraling out of control.

I decided what I was going to do was make a list of 25 things I’m proud of for accomplishing before I turned 25. It really put’s everything into perspective and was a lot easier once I started than I thought it would be. Even the smallest things count and can make the biggest impacts on our life. I recommend taking some time and doing this yourself if you are feeling the same kind of stresses I have lately, but also in good times too. It’s important to take some time to look back and reflect on yourself and all that you are and all that you’ve done to help you reach all you plan to do.

XOX – your favorite almost 25 year old – Alysser Marie

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The Travel Bug That Was Afraid To Fly

For as far back as I can remember I was afraid of planes. It’s kind of crazy to think about now and sounds ridiculous when I admit it out loud because I’ve literally traveled around the world. I’ve never been afraid of heights, I’ve always loved going new places and I found roller-coasters and all those insanely dangerous rides your mom would cringe at when you asked to go on them, to be a thrill from such a young age. Yet, the idea an airplane has always been such a huge fear of mine. I still remember I was 6 years old and my parents and aunt and uncle were taking my siblings and cousins to Disney for the first time. That is HUGE and exciting for a 6 year old, but I’ve always been the worrier in the family and actually cried the entire night before we left and the entire time in the airport. I still remember walking through the “tunnel” as we called it, to get from the gate to the plane. I was terrified and my parents knew that so they surprised me once I was in my seat with my first ever Nintendo Game-boy. It was raspberry colored and they had gotten me a Pokémon and a Barbie game (I needed to fit in with the boys yet still be a girlie girl my whole life). Well it was a great gift one that I loved and still have buried away someplace in my childhood room, but it didn’t take the fear away for too long.

That was the first of many trips I would take from then until now and still get that same jittery feeling. I remember the next time was a trip to Italy. Who in the world would sob because their parents wanted to take them to Europe? It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go because I did; I knew it was going to be an amazing trip. It was just that I was so terrified to actually get on the plane and for that long of a flight. I was 9 years old and can still remember it was a rainy Thursday evening. My grandma Aiello was coming with us and she told me something I never forgot. She said “Lyssie once we get in the air we will be above the clouds and higher than the rain”. Now I know how that might sound scary to someone afraid to fly if they are afraid of heights, but someone like me actually got comfort in it. See I was afraid of flying on a nice clear skied sunny day so you could imagine my fear during a thunderstorm. To this day I don’t know if it’s true but I do still believe the words my grandma told me and find comfort thinking of it during crappy weather flying days.

I definitely have gotten better I can tell you that much. I’ve gone through phases and I’ve seen myself grow. I used to only be able to fly with my mom. I couldn’t even imagine her not being with me. Yes I know say what you might about being a “baby” and needing her “mommy” but it’s true. I know this is going to sound morbid but I always thought God forbid something happens I will be with her and we will go through it together. Don’t get me wrong I would never ever wish anything bad on my mom she is my best friend and one of the few people I would give my own life for, she is my comfort though and guiltily needed her. She isn’t the best flyer either and I know I get a lot of my fears from her because I just always have wanted to be so much like her. I don’t blame her at all or hold it against her it’s just the truth like elevators, I hate those things and will do anything to avoid using one (yes I’ve climbed 13 flights of stairs every single day when visiting my grandfather in the hospital so I didn’t have to take one, that is a true story).

To give a little insight into the different phases I’ve had of flying I’ll list them out as embarrassing as this might be :

  1. Crying at the thought of a plane and through the entire flight needing mom next to me and holding my hand.
  2. Crying at take-off and landing – still holding moms hand the majority of the flight.
  3. Touching the outside of the plane as I walk on for good luck and saying prayers before the flight. Holding moms hand at take-off and landing.
  4. Touching the outside of the plane as I walk on for good luck and saying prayers before the flight. Only gripping the seats and holding hands during turbulence and take-off. *still only flying if mom is with me*
  5. Finally flying without mom but continuing to touch the outside of the plane as I walk on for good luck and saying prayers before the flight. Also still gripping the seat during turbulence and take-off which you can imagine was interesting for strangers to deal with.
  6. Now – we’ve made it to current day. I do still continue to touch the outside of the plan for good luck and I do say a few quick prayers but nothing like before which was such an OCD related long list of people to talk to that I know all hear me and know my fears anyways.  I also do tend to grasp the seats at take-off and feel my heart beat faster during turbulence but I have more faith and feel calmer all together.

Okay, one last confession. I am that person who claps when we touch down. I know it’s annoying and funny but I am thanking God and letting everyone know it. (That’s something I get from my mom too! Sorry mom but a lot of my silly habits are from you).

Would you believe me if I said I was about to take a flight SOLO next month? I wouldn’t but IT’S HAPPENING PEOPLE!! This is huge!! I think you all can tell from this post alone how far I’ve come and what a big deal this is for me but definitely those who know me personally (especially those who have had to fly with me) can say the progression to where I am now has been a long process but one to be proud of.

Traveling the world is one of the most important things to me so I had to figure out ways to face my fears. My grandma Franny teased me once and said “what are you going to do take a boat everywhere?” and that really had me thinking. That was so unrealistic. If I wanted to do what I love I had to find a way to mentally get in the right place. Fears come in all shapes and sizes and flying was more mental than anything else when it came to my fear.  It’s possible to come out on top, I think this is proof of that and I think that’s something that I want to stand out for all of you. Whether it’s flying or public speaking or the dark, whatever it might be, you can come out on top too. It’s not always going to be fun but it’s going to be worth it in the long run.

I hope you all know that you can always reach out and express those fears you might have with me and I will do my best to talk you through them as I had to do for myself. You don’t have to go through anything alone. I am always here.

XOX – Alyssa Marie

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