Editor’s note: Shiva Tadayon has been like a sister to me since I was about eleven years old. This phenomenal woman is a world-traveler, a spiritual being, an exercise fanatic, and an overall intelligent, talented human. I look up to her and I believe that her experiences might be eye-opening for a lot of you, as well. We have to learn from people who have experienced things that we have yet to discover. Enjoy!
This post will talk about ‘living fully’. When you hear the word ‘living fully’, what does it mean to you?
There is no definition or instructions on ‘how to live fully’. You can choose to live a full life by your own standards, values, and beliefs. That is the beauty and uniqueness of life. For me, one aspect of living fully is to travel.
For me, one aspect of living fully is to travel.
“Why would I buy an expensive hand bag when that money could be spent on a plane ticket?” I will never forget my friend Taylor Blair who said that to me.
I agree with Taylor! Traveling allows me to live freely without boundaries, and embrace my free-spirited side. I love being able to wake up with no plan, and book a flight to another country. Everyone has their own style of traveling, but I live for spontaneity. I live for meeting strangers I would never think to be friends with on a normal basis of reality.
I live for meeting strangers I would never think to be friends with on a normal basis of reality.
When I was 19 years old, I was by myself at a hostel when I met two young ladies in Eilat, Israel. I was invited to tag along their trip to Jordan. On this trip, I got to ride a camel in the desert to my Bedouin tent, where we were to sleep. It was the most amazing and unforgettable experience of my life.
Traveling not only allows you to gain new experiences, but to get out of your comfort zone. If you haven’t already traveled, you should try it! You can always make time to travel, and take a break from real life. I make traveling part of my reality.
Travel by yourself, a friend, or a stranger, and see where you end up. Hostels are a great and safe way to meet other travelers who want the same experiences as you!
So go – eat freshly made Italian pasta for breakfast in Italy, fall in love with someone in another country, eat too many ice cream-waffles in Greece until you’re sick to your stomach, go on a first date in the south of France with an English guy (true story), get lost in someone else’s reality and culture, and swim topless (for my ladies) in the Mediterranean Sea (as it is socially acceptable in most European countries).
I promise, you won’t regret it.
I always say, “You will forget about material possession, but you will never forget your experiences.” So, what does it mean to you to ‘live fully’?
Side note: Traveling is not as glamorous as it may seem! There are ups and downs, as there are in life. But it’s how you deal with situations that make all the difference. You actually don’t need that much money to travel as it is possible with a small amount of money!
Editor’s note: Comment below if you want Shiva’s tips on how to travel on a budget, or if you want to hear more about her vast travels!
Feel free to ask me questions on traveling. Including but not limited to; where to go, popular/safe websites to find hostels or discount flights, and what to eat.
Shiva Chang Tadayon
A Los Angeles native, Shiva Tadayon is 24 years old. She lived in England for a year and a half, and has traveled to at least 45 countries (revisiting some at least 3 times). Shiva studied Biology at CSU Channel Islands (undergraduate level), and Global Health Science (masters level) at University of Oxford. She is currently involved in working on clinical research at UCLA in the neurology department focusing on improving treatment for stroke. She will be applying to medical school in 2018. Her hobbies and interests include hiking, nutrition, health and wellness, science, and working towards sustainability efforts. Health and fitness inspiration can be found at @tonedwithshiva on Instagram.