25 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self about Life, Travel, and Business
I started this travel blog in 2012, with no idea what it would become over the past 7 years. This blog has brought me to corners of the globe I never could have imagined, it has brought me a career I could never have even dreamed of. It has brought me a community of Jetsetters that I am so beyond grateful for.
This blog has brought me my life.
Every day, I feel so lucky to be doing what I love (traveling, writing, photography, designing swimwear!) while simultaneously making an impact on other people’s lives. I can’t tell you how emotional it makes me every time I receive an email, DM, or comment from someone saying what a huge role I played in their honeymoon, special anniversary, girls trip, or family vacation. I love that this blog helps you guys see more of the world. It’s those messages, the Instagram stories you post of a rec you got from this site, the pictures I get tagged in where you’re wearing your Watercolors suits, that keep me so passionate about JSC and Watercolors every day!!
I know how lucky I am to be able to make a career out of my passions, and to do what I love every day, but I want everyone out there to know that I didn’t always know what that path looked like.
In fact, I started this blog in 2012 with ZERO intention to make a cent from it, ever. It was a total hobby. A creative outlet from an otherwise very corporate, very normal 20-something life.
In my early 20’s, I was working in San Francisco in brand marketing. While work was blah, life was great – and I wouldn’t trade my moments in the corporate world for anything. Working in a 9-5 taught me so much, and the lessons I learned in the corporate world not only helped shape me for running my own business with Jetset Christina, but also have helped me succeed on partnerships with some of the top corporate brands in the world. If I didn’t have a corporate background in marketing, I don’t think I’d be nearly as successful in marketing my own brand, and in turning this passion into a business. Not to mention by being in the corporate world for a few years, I got to spend a few years living in the City with my best friends, (before moving into my suitcase 24/7/365), traveling in my twenties with girlfriends, and enjoying years which I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Anyway, I recently did an interview for a role model of mine in the travel blogging industry, Becky Van Dijk from We Are Travel Girls, and one of the questions she asked me was “What advice would you give your younger self, with regards to business and life?” and it really got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could go back in time and use all of the lessons we’ve learned to do things a little bit better, a little bit sooner, a little bit more thoughtful. But then again, it’s the mistakes, the rough roads, the missed turns that end up shaping our lives. I wouldn’t change a thing that got me to where I am today.
But boy do I wish I could go back and tell my 22-year-old self to breathe. Things have a way of working themselves out in a miraculous fashion you could never even dream of.
Here are 25 things I wish I could tell my younger self:
1. Keep hustling. Every day, you’re working toward your dream, even if you don’t know what that dream looks like yet.
2. One moment, one introduction, one lesson, one decision can completely change the course of your life. Never say no to an opportunity.
3. Make new friends. All the time. Some of your very best friends five years from now are people you don’t even know right now.
4. Go out of your way to help people achieve their dreams. One day you’ll need their help in achieving yours.
5. You don’t succeed by being like anyone else. You succeed by doing things different than everyone else.
6. Trust your gut.
If it’s not a HELL YES, it’s a no.
7. Book that flight. Ask for that extra day of PTO. When you look back on your 20’s, the spontaneous trips you take with friends will be the happiest memories.
8. The bubble you lived in in high school and college is just that – a little bubble. You won’t grow living in a bubble. Expand your horizons.
9. Don’t be afraid to change course if your gut is telling you something. It’s those gut decisions that change your life.
10. Let go of the people who aren’t genuinely happy seeing you succeed. It has nothing to do with you. They’re not happy with themselves. Put horse-blinders on and run YOUR race. Not anyone else’s.
11. Don’t let negativity stunt your growth. I’ve never met a hater doing better in life than the person they’re hating on.
12. Everything will make sense someday. So, for now, laugh at your mistakes. Keep going. And keep reminding yourself everything really does happen for a reason.
13. Remember to always see the bigger picture.
14. Write more. Photograph more. Journal more. Your creativity is a gift to be cherished.
15. Be the reason someone smiles today. Building others up around you, and energizing them to be the best they can be, will make you happier than anything else can.
16. Do things before you’re ready. Better finished than perfect. Always.
17. Life doesn’t give you lemons to make lemonade. You have to go out and pick them yourself.
18. It’s okay to not know what you’re doing. Nobody does. If you’re making a positive impact on other people’s lives, you’re on the right path.
19. That feeling of climbing uphill and fighting for success against all odds? That doesn’t ever go away. But don’t worry, you’ll learn to embrace it. You’ll even learn to thrive with it.
20. Love is the biggest gift we get in this world. When you find the person whose soul fits like a puzzle piece into your own, you’ll know.
21. Don’t waste your time working for someone else when you were put on this earth to be an entrepreneur.
22. You are your own brand. Stay true to you. Own your own channels. Be unapologetically yourself. And get that brand to market.
23. You don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Get mentors. Ask for help.
24. Take chances on people. And never forget those who took chances on you.
25. Don’t settle for anything less than extraordinary.