Learning to be Content

by Lauren on June 15, 2012

On Tuesday our adventure will finally come to an end. Over the last 6 months, we’ve visited 6 different countries, and travelled a total of 32,889 km. I started thinking about all the places we’ve been, and each one is special to me for a different reason:

Colombia – great food, music & friends

Buenos Aires – amazing steak, grilled provolone, pizza, & empanadas, shopping & memories

Uruguay – the best beach vacation with great friends

Mendoza – wine, wine, wine & the Andes

Santiago – biking & hiking, food was amazing (& cheap!) and we survived an earthquake

Jamaica – best family vacation & wedding celebration

Barbados – working & playing hard in one of the most beautiful places in the world

It’s been such an amazing experience and I’ve learned a lot – not only about myself, but also about my husband (I can’t believe how much time we’ve spent together, and we’re not sick of each other!), other cultures, and nutrition.

I have one more subject left, 6 case studies & than I write the final exam. I can’t believe the end of studying is in sight. I feel so much more confident in nutrition, and feel like I can really start to develop my own unique point of view on the subject. I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to focus on what I love every day for the last 6 months.

One thing I’ve learned these past 6 months that really stands out for me is the concept of being content no matter what the circumstances.

I think we all have a tendency to constantly focus on the next thing. Even though I spent the last 6 months living & travelling in exciting places I would find myself constantly planning for the next destination.

While I think having something to look forward to or planning exciting events is important, it’s also important to remember to live in the moment and enjoy the present.

I’ve had to remind myself of this these past few days.

With our departure date on the horizon, I’ve started to think about how life will be when we finally move back to Toronto in September. How am I going to handle getting up every morning and putting on make-up & heels and blow-drying my hair? I’ve grown to love my daily uniform: a bikini top & shorts, and letting my hair air-dry (side-note: I’ve always wished I could be one of those girls that you see on the subway in the morning who lets her hair air-dry, and it looks great – I’m not one of those girls).

This got me thinking: yes, life in Toronto will be different, but like I’ve learned from travelling: no matter where you are, you have to focus on the positive & learn to be content no matter what the circumstances.

Before reality really sets in, my hubbie and I will be moving up to his family’s cottage in Quebec for the summer. I’ll have another beautiful setting in which to finish my course, blog and try lots of new recipes using fresh, local, seasonal produce. I can’t wait. Oh, and we’ll be able to see family & our puppy all the time. Life is good.

But, I’m not going to think about that yet. For now, I’m going to enjoy every last day we have in beautiful Barbados.

Goodbye to tropical sunsets…

Hello to Canadian sunsets…

For interest sake:

Toronto to Medellin, Colombia: 4,178 km
Medellin to Buenos Aires, Argentina: 4,889 km
Buenos Aires to Punte del Este, Uruguay & back: 634 km
Buenos Aires to Mendoza, Argentina: 986 km
Mendoza to Santiago, Chile: 172 km
Santiago to Toronto: 8,620 km
Toronto to Montego Bay, Jamaica & back: 5,630 km
Toronto to Bridgetown, Barbados & back: 7,780 km

Total: 32,889 km

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jesse June 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Great post Lauren, and very timely advice. I am going on a scuba trip with the whole family for two weeks… my latest preoccupation is: how am I possibly going to find healthy food when ‘going with the flow’, living in the moment and being influenced and tempted by numerous outings to Pizza/Sushi/Mexican restaurants??? If you can solve that problem, I’d love to hear about it. Sometimes its hard to just get some fish cooked in olive oil and vegetables when are you travelling.

Anyways… Looks like you guys have a super hard life these days! Nice snaps.

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Lauren June 15, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Thanks Jesse! It’s a fine balance when you’re on vacation – to enjoy yourself, but also make healthy choices so you feel good. There are usually healthy choices at restaurants. For example, at a Japanese restaurant, go for the miso soup, edamame, sashimi, and keep the maki rolls w/ rice to a minimum (6 max), and obviously avoid the tempura & all-you-can option. Italian restaurants have great soups to start: minestrone, or pasta e fagioli and something called bolito misto – a huge plate of blanched or steamed veg with chicken. In terms of pasta: choose a pasta primavera or options made w/ pesto or tomato sauces vs. cream sauce, and avoid the bread & butter at the beginning. Fajitas are always a good choice at Mexican restaurants because you can control the amount of cheese, and choose guac & salsa vs. sour cream & rice. Stay active and if you’re faced with unhealthy options, just keep the portion sizes small. Overall, vacations don’t happen all the time, so relax & enjoy yourself!

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mom June 18, 2012 at 2:52 am

We are so excited and looking forward to you being home on Canadian soil. 1 more sleep! Lots of love! Hugs xoxo

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Sara June 18, 2012 at 11:09 am

Great post Laur – we are so excited to have you guys back! Can’t wait to hear more aboute everything on Friday! xoxoxo

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Lauren June 18, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Thanks sis!! We are excited to get back too! oxox

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Cynthia June 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Lauren, well said! How much you have learned and experienced!? We miss you and John and look forward to another chapter of your journey in Canada; especially at Danford!! Xox

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Lauren June 19, 2012 at 6:53 am

Thanks Cynthia! We are excited for the next leg of the journey:) oxox

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