I try and eat healthy every day, but sometimes circumstances make it challenging. For instance, a few weeks I went on a 4-hour road trip to Eugene from Tacoma. I’d only packed one sandwich and the event lasted all day (my fault for not packing better of course).
We ended up stopping for some MOD Pizza, which, don’t get me wrong, is fantastic eating. But because I’d been on such a strict plant-based, minimal processed foods diet prior to that, it caused a stir in my gut.
Luckily I brought all of my multivitamins, which includes my [Life] enzyme pills. Just two of those did the trick within 5 minutes. Outside of poorly planned road trips, here are ways I normally keep my digestive system clean, healthy, and properly functioning:
I heard something interesting about the concept of time. The Infinite Source, or God, or The Spirit, whatever you call It, implemented time in this plane so that manifestation doesn’t happen immediately.
What kind of sense does that make, right? Well let me explain. Suppose you and a buddy get into a heated argument. Let’s say this is in a plane where time doesn’t exist, and thus the idea of “instant manifestation.” You guys throw around some choice words, one thing leads to another, and he says to you, “GOD I wish you were dead!!”
Presto. You’re dead. Instant manifestation.
Time allows us the chance to rethink our decisions. To weigh benefits and consequences. To reflect. To decide, then put forth action to make it happen, before it happens.
This is why you have to be sure of what you want. Then, when you decide what you want, commit to it. Use the force of time wisely and put forth the effort through action to manifest and make it happen while also being highly mindful of your desires as well…
Having energy is not the hard part. We wake up in the morning, do our little routine, grab our cup of joe, then go about our day as perky as can be. It’s maintaining those energy levels throughout the day that’s the tricky part. Of course, there are obvious ways of keeping your energy levels high such as simply drinking more coffee, getting eight hours of sleep regularly, and midday power naps. But for the sake of understanding and respecting your efforts to maintain energy levels, I’m going to only list three unique and healthy ways to get that internal furnace burning.
1) Drink Water
Surprisingly, not drinking enough water is a common reason for midday energy slumps. Think of your body as a vehicle that needs oil regularly to keep it running or it’ll experience burnout. Dehydration can be responsible for symptoms like dry mouth, headache, and sleepiness. Staying hydrated is critical not only to your energy levels but also in keeping your system fresh. It flushes toxins from your body that too can be responsible for low energy. It’s recommended to drink regularly throughout the day rather waiting until you’re thirsty before slamming a glass or three down. What this does is keep your body refreshed and rejuvenated while also preventing symptoms of low energy levels, such as sleepiness and headaches. This also helps prevent over-indulgence in calories and caffeine, which is ironically is a frequent culprit of midday slumps because of the sugar and sweeteners that usually accompany it.
I write and talk about lemons frequently because they’re such an underrated and underappreciated health food. I mentioned earlier that hydrating with water throughout the day can prevent headaches and sleepiness. You can even take it a step further by adding freshly squeezed lemons to your water for added flavor and natural electrolytes. But the benefit of adding it to water isn’t the only thing that makes lemons a powerhouse for energy throughout the day. Some studies and mood assessments showed that lemons can help to improve mood by elevating norepinephrine, a hormone that can increase the number of calories burned for fuel in adipose (fat) tissue, dilate your blood vessels, and restrict gastrointestinal mobility and energy towards digestion. What I like to do is boil some hot water, put a tea bag of Bigelow Green Tea in it, and squeeze half a fresh lemon in there. The combination of the scent of mint from the tea and the lemons brewing in steaming water perks me up immediately. Furthermore, the smaller amount of caffeine in green tea, as well as its digestive and immune benefits, makes it a healthier choice than coffee.
Final Thoughts On Sustaining Energy Levels
Our world is a very fast place. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down for anyone anytime soon. Subsequently, an increase in sleep-deprived and stressed people in the workplace will likely continue. However, when you take good care of yourself, you can feel like a million bucks regularly. All it takes is some dedication to your home and eating habits as well as seeking out quick tips. Of course, hydration, deep breathing, and adding lemons to your arsenal aren’t the fix-all solutions. They do, however, provide simple fixes for you that you can try immediately.
To schedule a free Health History consultation, please contact me at email@example.com. If you have any questions or comments about this post or any other health-related topic please leave a comment below!
Disclosure: This blog post contains an Amazon affiliate link that I receive compensation for if a purchase is made through it.
I do not own any photos in this blog post.
Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved
As a vet who’s held six jobs since I separated from the Air Force in 2012, all of which were in different fields, I can honestly say I have a good feel for what is considered being satisfied with what you do for a living. My positions ranged from a Ramp Agent at Piedmont Airlines (Transportation Industry) to a Client Advocate for Freedom Debt Relief (Financial Industry). I’ve been paid minimum and I’ve been paid some pretty hefty bucks. There were some great bosses and supervision, and there were some I felt weren’t worth the stress of working for (harsh, but true). With that being said, here is a list of things you should heavily consider as a veteran when trying to find the right job fit.
Discover Your Passion(s)
I want to stress this isn’t the same thing as discovering what you’re good at. For example, I’m really good at empathizing with my customers and clients, but that strong soft skill didn’t equate to personal happiness at my job at Freedom Debt Relief. Although great at connecting with people and de-escalating problems, the stress of overbearing, irate clients on the phone worried about being sued by their creditor was too much. It was enough to have me seeking a something different despite the excellent pay and great leadership the company provided.
Instead, focus on things you truly enjoy doing, whether you’re good at it or not. If you’re fascinated by crime scene investigations, law and order, and the criminal justice system in general, try looking for employment as a security guard (in-house or contract). Maybe while doing that, use your resources to search for schools or programs that give you some training in law enforcement to further advance in your passion and goals. Many of these programs accept your G.I. Bill.
As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I enjoy being around fruits and vegetables. I like to learn about the different kinds of a single type, where in the world it’s grown, whether or not it’s organic, how it was grown, and all that good stuff. I even enjoy simply being around the vibrant colors of fruits and vegetables. For all of these reasons, I sought employment handling fruits and vegetables in some form or fashion.
I’m very blessed to say I now work as a Produce Clerk at my local Safeway while simultaneously building up my Holistic Health coaching business. Although I don’t get paid as much as I did at my previous place of employment (Freedom Debt Relief), the work itself is not nearly as stressful. I get a full night’s sleep, feel energetic and enthusiastic during the day, and come to work genuinely happy and ready to display some well-culled, scrumptious-looking fruits and vegetables for my customers.
Once you get a feel of exactly what it is you enjoy doing and separate that from what you’re good at doing, from there you can begin researching jobs related to that.
Find A List Of Places Hiring Veterans
Luckily for you, I’ve already done most of your homework! Provided in this link is my favorite list to go to when I feel it’s time to move forward in my professional career. You wouldn’t believe the amount of companies actively seeking veterans like yourself to be a part of their team. Even better, you wouldn’t believe just how much of an impact your veteran status on your resume has on almost any employer. For example, even if the skills you used for your military job don’t directly correlate to the position you’re applying for, employers still see military experience as leadership experience. They also immediately know they’re getting someone with discipline and a self-starter attitude.
Be Open To Change
The most important thing I want you to get from this article is that you have to be open to change. As a young service member fresh out of the military, you have the world at your fingertips. My articles and services are mostly geared towards my specific clients (single newly transitioning veterans) but this tip applies to everybody.
We may not be able to see it right now, especially during a time of transition and such a life-changing decision as separation from the military, but a lifetime is a loooong time. Take advantage of that. Use this newfound freedom to truly discover yourself and what you would like to do for 8-10 hours out of your day that you would actually enjoy. Even if you initially get it wrong (remember, I’ve had SIX different jobs in SIX different fields since separation!), keep that resume sharp and up-to-date, always add to it and never rule out moving on to bigger and better things!
Part of my Health Coaching service is 1-on-1 resume-building sessions focused on structure and what employers look for, so always feel free to reach out to me at provided in the last paragraph for any questions!
Find The Right Job Fit For You!
Even when it seems like you may have made a mistake by separating from the military or feel like you’ll never find your calling in the civilian world, the key is to never lose sight of what you genuinely enjoy. Even if that means working a job you’re unhappy with for a few months while you plan your next move, try doing something related to what you want to do. For instance, you could always read up on a job or position to prepare for it or even volunteer to get yourself some free experience. No matter what you choose to do, remember that no decision is permanent in regard to your future and the rest of your life!
For more information regarding my Veteran Holistic Health Coaching services, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, look for more articles like this on my site here on Anthonyjrichard.com!
I do not own the rights to the featured image or the Veterans Jobs Mission image.
Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved.
Getting out of the military is an emotional roller coaster. You’re excited because you’re taking off the shackles, yet putting on the uniform for the last 4-6 years has become ingrained in your daily life. So much pride goes into that uniform and everything you’ve done in it.
The greatest thing about being a veteran is that the status never goes away. No one can ever take away your experiences, skills, and the comradery you gained while in. With that being said, relax and enjoy the good feelings! You deserve it, and Lord knows the pride you take in your country. Getting out of the military is one of the most euphoric things you can experience. So many opportunities await you on the outside. The possibilities. . .
And keeping on that thought, try not to get overwhelmed with thinking you need to know exactly what you’re going be doing for the rest of your life now. That is simply unrealistic and unfair for you to do that to yourself. BUT, there are some questions you do need to ask yourself both before you get out and as you’re embarking on your new journey. Here are some things you should ask yourself through this process:
1) What Kind Of Lifestyle Am I Seeking?
Before getting out of the military, ask yourself this: What is my main goal? Is money my motivator? Time? What about structure and order? Maybe I’m ok with a minimalistic lifestyle after all bills are caught up?
As someone who is getting out and making strides towards complete independence, it’s wise to have answers for at least a few of the above. You don’t need to have your ten-year plan calculated down to a Prison Break-like schematic, but you should at least have an idea of how you’re going to start out making a living on your own.
It’s important to keep in mind that your plans will frequently change. The key is just to have a plan or two. Not to mention having some money saved up can really come in handy when you least expect it. When I first separated from the Air Force, I had about $6,000 in savings and a USAA credit card with about $3,000 credit left on it; I wound up using all but about $2,000 of it ($1,000 savings, $1,000 credit card). In other words, expect the unexpected. You never know how long it will take to land a job. And this, of course, depends on the kind of job you’re looking for. Not to mention other expenses such as moving and personal issues in the form of vehicle problems or hospital treatment. You never think it will happen to you until lo and behold, it does.
Whatever your motive or goal is when you separate, just make sure it’s sturdy and smooth. Even if your initial plans fall through, at least you have an idea of where your next paycheck is coming from.
2) Do I Have A Strong Support System?
I can’t stress the importance of having a strong support system when getting out of the military. No matter which route you take, if you don’t have anyone to share your experiences with, both the ups and downs, the joys and the fears, it could do you a lot of harm in the long run.
When I got out, my heart was set on moving to California. As an Arizonan (a Yuma, Arizonan to be exact) and living so close to Cali, I frequently visited there. I immediately fell in love with the scenery, the weather, and the vibes. My awe of the state inspired me to vow to live there one day. With the GI Bill covering my out-of-state tuition for many California community colleges, I found my golden ticket to the Golden State. Two of my military buddies, one of them happening to get out of the military the same time as me, were from California. We all decided to room together to ease rent. While it was a great time, with both some good and bad times, they were the only people I knew moving there. There were times where we just sort of got tired of one another’s company and did our own thing. That wasn’t a bad thing always until I wanted some human interaction again.
I wound up joining a veteran’s cohort program at Pasadena City College, a program geared toward helping veterans from all branches find transition smoothly into student life while having a support system of veterans who are going through the same thing they are at the same time. This decision proved to be one of the best decisions I made throughout my college years, as I found some people in that group I can call brothers to this day.
Your plans may sound great and look flawless on paper, but when things get tough and life starts throwing curve balls at you (and it’s not a matter of if but when), you’re going to need people who understand you and know where you’re coming from. This may be family, close childhoods friends, former military co-workers who are now civilians, or people you just met through a community event or group. What’s more important, when Plan A involuntarily turns to Plan B, you’re going to need the kind of company around you who support your decisions, not push you towards something you may not want to do just because it sounds like the “natural” path.
3) Am I Willing To Press Reset Again If Necessary?
Finally, as a single man or woman with no dependents newly separated from the military, are you willing to reset if necessary? I want to put emphasis on this point because it is one that is often overlooked. Why? Because no one likes to admit restarting because it’s equated to failure. Many see it this way: they hyped up their plans to all their former co-workers in the military and bragged about how good they were going to have it on the other side, so if things don’t go according to plan, they feel ashamed or embarrassed.
But why? Understand that you’re still young. There are many successful businessmen/women and entrepreneurs who started out trying to do one thing, failed at it, then came back at it with something else. Since getting out of the military in 2012, I’ve held six different jobs, switched my major once (adding two years to my plate), and enrolled in a year-long course that wound up changing my life in more ways than all four of my years at Arizona State University combined. I went from nearly being engaged after a three-year relationship in my mid-20’s and moving up the ladder in a plush corporate job in Phoenix to living with my mother and brother in Tacoma, Washington, a state none of us had ever lived. My new occupation(s)?: certified Holistic Health Coach and Produce Clerk at Safeway, a job I take so much pride in because of my direct involvement with healthy foods. One year before I took this job, I never would’ve considered this position within my pay range.
You never know what your heart has in store for you when you allow yourself to really explore what you like and what you want. At one point you may be focused on racking up the Benjamins (as I initially was), until you realize the things you wanted to do with that money, you could do for a lot less or even free. It’s always important as a single man or woman with no dependents that you take advantage of the golden opportunity your veteran status gives you. You can explore and try so many things. Not to mention there are companies literally looking to hire veterans!
You’re Young And Now A Civilian: No Need For Clear-cut Answers
If you ask yourself these three things and even vaguely dwell on them so you know exactly where you stand in terms of your immediate future, you’ve already set yourself up for success. It’s important to note that these questions are all very broad, open-ended questions with no right or wrong answer. They’re just questions to ask yourself and to give you basic guidance in what you both need and want.
As you’re getting out of the military and dipping your toe into civilian waters for the first time, recognize that the kind of lifestyle you want (and more than likely a major factor in your decision to get out of the military), the support you have around you, and the ability to roll with life’s punches and be willing to start over again are extremely critical in determining how soon you reach you find your calling!
For information regarding my Holistic Health Coaching services to veterans, please feel free to email me at email@example.com. Otherwise, check out more articles like this one geared toward helping veterans smoothly transition into civilian life here on anthonyjrichard.com!
I do not own any photos in this post.
Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved
But it’s exciting. One of the first things that come to mind as your time nears and that DD214 slip is put in your hand is stability: Where is your next steady paycheck going to come from? How hard is it to hold a job in the civilian world? What about medical benefits and vacation? Will my pay be enough to sustain me since Uncle Sam is no longer paying for my roof? I know these were all questions that came to mind when I first got out of the Air Force in June 2012. I wound up going to school full-time and putting off my job search until a few years later when I separated from the California National Guard in August 2015.
One thing I will say; I wish I’d started the process sooner because I’d have even more experience now. There are so many opportunities for veterans it’s almost hard to remain without a job. As part of this series of blogs, I’ll be researching and interviewing veterans, the different jobs they have, and the routes they took to get those jobs. I’ll be interviewing single, married, divorced, and veterans with children to cover the different jobs and careers required for them to sustain themselves and/or their families. However, the jobs in this post are primarily for single veterans with no dependents, as the pay in these jobs is not enough to sustain a family. Here are some excellent jobs you can apply for once the shackles are off and you get your first taste of freedom!
1) Work For An Airline
Sometimes the thing you’ll miss the most when getting out of the military is the traveling. Whether you were Air Force, Army, Marine, or Navy, unless you CHOSE to stay close to home, Uncle Sam brought you somewhere you’d never been before. Many of us actually joined the military for the opportunity to travel. I know that was an excellent pitch by my recruiter when I enlisted in 2008.
This is why working for an airline is an excellent job and opportunity for the military travel bug at heart! I worked for Piedmont at American Airlines for about a year and a half, and I can honestly say it was the best job I’d ever held at that time. I was only part-time and didn’t qualify for the medical benefits or 401k, but the travel benefits were beyond amazing. You can travel on standby anywhere in the United States for free as long as seats are available. Furthermore, you can add a spouse OR domestic partner (girlfriend, roommate) to your travel list and they too travel for free! Well sort of. The seat is free, but the tax of their ticket comes out of your paycheck, which, by the way, is chunk change usually. I’m talking about like $20.
It should be noted that starting pay for a ramp or gate agent is usually minimum wage. When I first started at Sky Harbor in Phoenix, AZ, I started at minimum wage, which was $8.05/hr. Thankfully I was going to school and I was receiving my GI Bill money. In other words, this job is EXCELLENT if you are single and/or don’t have any children, or if you are with a spouse who makes a great deal of money doing. This way you can put your whole family on your travel benefits list and use the money you make from your hours at the job to spoil the fam bam!
You could always check for jobs and position availability here at www.jobs.aa.com. You can also check out other airlines, as many of them have very similar benefits and some start you off with more than minimum wage pay.
Sure, this may sound like a “demotion,” but I’m here to tell you there is no job not worthy of taking when it puts money, and therefore food, on the table. Now bear in mind that this particular list is geared primarily towards single individuals with no kids. If you’re getting out of the military after 4-6 years, you’re still young and have plenty of time to figure out exactly what you want to do. In the meantime, great jobs like security are all over the place. Think about it; everyone needs security. You could do in-house security or go for a company who’s outsourcing security via contracting. Hospitals, schools, retail and grocery stores, and apartments/condominiums are great places to start looking for security jobs locally. When I got out of the military completely in 2015, my Air Force experience got me instantly hired for IPSA Security at the Phoenix Convention Center. If you live in a city with heavy public transportation services such as light rails or trains, they’re always looking for veterans to hire.
The pay working as a security guard varies. First, you’ll have to get your security guard card (check your local government laws on working as a guard and how to obtain your card). I only had to sit through an eight-hour course, most of the material of which I already knew from my military training and background. It wound up costing me about $75, as I had to get my fingerprints and background check and all that good stuff. Once all of that was completed, I got my card (I was already hired at the time), and was put to work immediately the following day. I started out making about $10/hr before receiving a $1 raise for both time (six months) and performance.
Security is an excellent job to have when you get out of the military because it’s fairly easy to get and the job itself is not that stressful. Of course, this all depends on where you work and who you work for. As a single man with no kids and a GI Bill to take care of other bills, what I was making as security walking around the convention center asking transients to leave (my least favorite part of this job), securing doors, and performing simple routine tasks was more than enough to be thankful for!
3) Grub Hub Delivery
When I first got out of the military, there was no Uber or Lyft. I started from scratch on my job search, attending resume shops and driving around the city handing out hard copies of my resume. Now all you have to do is have a car.
Signing up for Uber and Lyft is excellent and you can really make good money on your own time and dime. Unfortunately, though, you can’t predict awful passengers. Enter Grub Hub, a contracting company that partners with restaurants that don’t normally deliver. The best part about Grub Hub is that you’re driving all alone and never have to pick up passengers. This means you can have your music up and cruise the city on your own time, enjoying life all while making money. It doesn’t get any better than that, right?
All you have to do to is sign up is have a vehicle, current insurance, a quick background check (mine was done in 24 hours), and fill out the online application. The pay varies, as times of the day, holidays, and weekends can all affect how many deliveries you make that day. Whenever I drive, usually for some extra money for a trip I’m planning, It’s for about six hours. On average I make between $75-$100 depending on tips. Now keep in mind that you’ll be driving around a lot, so take gas into consideration when adding up expenses. This is very handy money, especially when it’s just a few hours spent on the road in a day on your own time.
Plenty Of Opportunities Outside Of the Military
If you’re planning on getting out of the military or you’ve already gotten out and you’re just getting your feet wet in the civilian job world, hang in there! I know the mixture of worry, anxiety, and excitement can be overwhelming, but we have support, community, and plenty of resources to be successful outside of the military. Not to mention the skills gained in the military that transition to civilian jobs is unmatched.
The three excellent jobs I mentioned in this blog post are just a few of a slew of jobs I’ve been blessed to gain experience from. As I cull experience from other previous jobs and current jobs as well as gain more experience in my own business and services I’m growing, I will be writing more blog posts regarding this subject. What these three jobs all have in common is that they are perfect stop-gap jobs for the single person still finding out exactly what they want to do as a career. The pay is great, especially if you’re going to school, and all of these jobs offer some form of flexibility, especially Grub Hub. No matter what job you choose when you get out of the military, just remember that this is only the beginning of a wonderful experience. Most importantly, you have a support system and resources at your disposal if you’re willing to reach out and look for it!
For my Lifestyle Coaching services related to transitioning from military to civilian, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, look for more articles like this here on Anthonyjrichard.com!
I do not own any photos in this blog post.
Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved
Prayer is an amazing thing. First thing’s first, I’m not a religious man. After a series of events in life, I decided that I will never pray for myself again. I felt that no matter what happened in life, no matter how much you prayed, it was going to happen anyway. All of the negativity, the violence, the injustice, personal life crap, no matter how much I prayed, I realized it was only going to continue to happen as if I didn’t pray at all.
When I first stopped praying for myself, I’ll admit, that it was out of selfishness and resentment; I was tired of being let down. As I started to internalize this, I realized how selfish I was being; who the hell am I to think the Creator is just going to stop working life and the universe just soothe my problems, my bitching and my complaints? My goodness, what a victim. This was when I began to realize that the Creator’s purpose is not to answer my prayers the way that I want him to and cater to me, but to keep the energy and the flow of life going. I can either contribute positive energy and flow into the world or wallow in pity and let the negative energy of the world consume me rather than BE the positive, the light, that I was praying for.
For this reason, I never pray for myself. I only pray for others.
At the times you need something, anything, during times of stress or despair, is when the Spirit seems to lift you. Someone sending prayers your way, no matter your spirituality, sends such good vibes and energy towards you; it reassures you that you aren’t alone and that other souls care. Even when you’ve given up, the Spirit speaks to you through the prayer of others.
No matter what my situation is, no matter how much danger I’m in, distress, or if I’m just being selfish and wanting something I don’t need, I never pray for it. Ever. If I want it, I’ll plan, envision, then get my ass out there and get it rather than praying for it, then point bitterness towards the wrong entities when I don’t get my way. That’s not how the Creator operates. If I’m in a stressful or dangerous situation, I know that others are always praying for me, so there’s no need to ask for it. FAITH I do believe that is called.
The more I internalized my prayer and made it about me, no matter if I needed it or not, the more selfish I realized that was. When that prayer is received from others, sent outwardly, it carries a different meaning. It’s your Spirit, no matter what you may believe, giving you what you need. When that prayer comes in abundance or at the most unexpected times, when you needed it most, it shows you that you are not alone in your struggles in life. I’m not a religious man, but prayer takes on a whole new meaning to me.
Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved
Everybody gets the traveling bug, but how do you feel about traveling alone? You finally muster up the courage to actually invest in a trip you’ve been planning for months. You start getting ecstatic as the plans become more in place. So much so that you begin extending invites. Soon a coworker is in for the ride. Then a close friend within your circle suddenly becomes available. Before you know it, you’ve got at least two cars full of people ready for an awesome weekend!
But then you guys start coordinating plans. All of a sudden the way you imagined your trip going, it’s now quite the opposite. On the road, friends and coworkers start suggesting ideas and stops that were neither in your plan or budget. Of course, to keep the peace, you go along with the suggestions. Hell, some of these suggestions don’t even sound half bad.
However, despite branching off from original plans and having fun with your friends’ suggestions, you can’t help but feel like you didn’t quite get what you wanted out of the trip. Maybe you imagined more bar hopping. Or you might have wanted to stay put in a town a lot longer than the time actually spent there. When it’s all said and done, these are the little details you can’t help but recall.
This is why traveling alone can be such a good thing.
How Traveling Alone Can Be Therapeutic
When you think of traveling, you often think of memories; all the goofy things that either yourself or your company will do. The new things you’ll see and explore together. The random, sometimes insane conversations on the way there and back. These are all, of course, valid reasons to invite the buddies. However, what if you just took off all by yourself? What if you just hit the open road with no one to worry about but yourself?
When I was stationed in England, I used to never imagine traveling by myself. For one, I was a youngin’ (18-20). Since the legal drinking age in England is 18 and our military abides by the host nation’s drinking laws, my attention was focused elsewhere. But when I did travel, I was never the one to come up with the idea. I never had the plans. I was always along for the ride if I were invited and always had an incredible time. Despite the good times, I never thought about just picking up and traveling alone when I had the chance. I mean, I was only stationed in one of the most popular, well-known, and historical countries in the world; one with neighboring countries just as rich and diverse in culture and history as itself.
Just Hit The Open Road
It wasn’t until I was getting ready to separate from the Air Force that I discovered the euphoric appeal of traveling alone. To get out of the house I stayed at in Vegas, one with four other residents, I had to drive. Just drive.
Sometimes it was just to run errands at the Wal Mart across the town in North Las Vegas. Other times it was to hit The Strip, have a few drinks, and talk with the tourists and locals. Then there were the times I just needed to hit the open road. I mean get the hell out of dodge.
There aren’t too many things that beat being on the open road at 2 pm, your own choice of music blaring, and no destination in mind. All of a sudden your mind is unshackled. When you were once thinking of simple, obvious trips that tourists often go on every weekend, now you’re realizing that the world is truly yours to explore.
The Endless Possibilities Discovered When Traveling Alone
I’m drawing mostly off of my driving experience, but make no mistake I’ve done my share of alternative traveling as well. As majestic as it is to see the beautiful landscape from the air, there’s just something about being on the open road that can’t be beaten.
For one, you have the option of completely traveling alone when you’re on the road (unless of course, you’re a pilot). You have the complete freedom to be on your own time. Literally nobody to alter your plans, with the weather being the only true exception.
After I got out of the military, one of the first things I did was use my new-found freedom to explore via driving, travel backpack in hand of course. With my hometown of Yuma, AZ only a 5 1/2 hour drive south and Phoenix only about 4, I was always hitting the road. Not to mention Los Angeles was only 4 1/2 hours west and San Diego 6 hours.
Some of us don’t mind solitude. In fact, most of us need that solitude. There is no other place you’ll find solitude, peace, and answers than traveling alone on the open road. Sometimes all I’d bring is another pair of underwear and shirt and call it a weekend. It wouldn’t even have to be that far from Vegas sometimes. One weekend, I spent the night out at the Red Rock Canyon Casino near the national park of the same name, about 25 minutes west of Las Vegas. There I had one of the greatest nights of my life just enjoying the luxuries of the casino and the surrounding beautiful scenery. Nowhere in the country will you find sedimentary rocks so finely colored and layered. All this and it was cheap and all by myself.
Discovering Yourself, Your Surroundings, And The World
Traveling alone definitely has its share of perks. Not only are you in control of your trip, you’re also in a judgment-free zone. Unless of course, your hardest critic is yourself, which isn’t a bad thing. Being by yourself while getting away, whether you’re the one driving or you’re taking other means of transportation, allows room for introspection.
And plenty of it.
Especially en route to somewhere new where you’re subjecting yourself to a different and unique experience. When you’re alone and exploring new places, you gain a level of respect and understanding of that place and culture. This is even if you’re just traveling only thirty minutes away from where you stay!
I’d say my favorite part about traveling alone is the “me time” I get. It doesn’t matter how I travel, whether I’m driving or if it’s by bus or airfare, I always figure so much out when I’m out there and undistracted. Undistracted is the keyword. There’s something to be said about the freedom of having an unoccupied mind. You add this to the fact that you’re about to go on a whole new journey with new pictures and experiences to share, and you can see how traveling alone can be therapeutic.
Try It Out For Yourself!
Discover the amazing, therapeutic experience of traveling alone. It may sound nerve-wracking at first, but when you wake up that morning already packed, do your final walk-around to check house security, and head out the door, you’ll quickly see that euphoria fills your mind, body, and soul almost instantly. Of course, I’m not saying don’t travel with buddies. That too is one of the greatest joys on this blessed Earth. Not to mention there’s safety in numbers. I am, however, saying don’t underestimate the beauty, pleasure, and unique experience of traveling by yourself. Appreciate the break from your daily routine as well as cherish your solitude and independence. Take this time to regroup, meditate, breathe, and focus on the moment. Come back to yourself and cherish your current situation. Then come back home and share your experience through pictures, writing, and stories!
I hope you enjoyed my reasons why traveling alone is good for the soul. For more stories and articles like this one and other lifestyle story and tips, be sure to follow my lifestyle and recreation blog at Anthonyjrichard.com!
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