WHY SELF-FULFILLMENT IS SO DAMN IMPORTANT

passion

I figured one of my favorite quotes was a good starting point here. This quote has always stood out to me because not only is it absolutely true, but I witness people doing exactly this every single day of my life.

self-ful·fill·ment
ˈˌself fə(l)ˈfilmənt,ˈˌself(f)ə(l)ˈfilmənt/
noun
  1. the fulfillment of one’s hopes and ambitions. 

Can we talk about this for a second? Self-fulfillment. This shit is important. Being able to find your passion and being able to find your deepest desires and come to a realization with who you are and who you were meant to be….amazing. Figuring out what makes you happy and pursuing that shit? Yeah. That’s what life is all about.

 

They say that every human being has a purpose. Everyone has a reason on why they’re here. Some people are meant to go through the social norms of life, graduating and going to college, achieving degrees and building their dream house with a golden retriever named Buddy. Woof! Then there’s those crazy ass people that go after some crazy ass goals because they think societal norms aren’t for them…..yeah, that’s me.

 

I refuse to live a routine life and I refuse to ignore what sets my soul on fire. I refuse to do this even if people don’t agree or support me with this lifestyle….even if it’s my own family.

We have to remember that our lives are just that – our lives. This means nobody else has the right to tell you if you are living “right” or “wrong”. This means that nobody has the right to tell you how you should be living and nobody should be able to impact your happiness or ability to achieve your goals. Whether you are going to college to get your degrees, you’re pursuing your dream to be a rapper, or you’re living out of a van and touring the 50 states …..make it your choice, and nobody else’s. Don’t let ANYONE or ANYTHING get in the way of living the life you’ve always dreamed of.

As cheesy and corny as it is – we only get this one life, ya know? I don’t think people take that into consideration too often. On average, we live for around 78 years….if we’re lucky. But sometimes – that 78 years gets cut short. People die unexpectedly constantly…..and my goodness, we never ever can guess what tomorrow will bring.

So why not do what makes you the happiest fucking person alive?

Never forget that everything happens for a reason and everything will end up exactly how it’s supposed to be at some point in time. Never forget that this life is yours – and it can be lived however you’d like it to.

I refuse to be unhappy. I refuse to work a 9-5. I refuse to wake up everyday and think about how miserable I am with the life I am living. I refuse to wonder “what if”.

BECAUSE THAT IS NOT ME.

So yeah, my goals are quite vast and thought of how extensive my dreams are is absolutely terrifying…..but Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said it best….

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So, please, chase after your intimidating goals and prove to yourself and everyone else that you can do whatever the hell you set your mind to. Do what you feel you were meant to do. Don’t live a life full of regret and don’t live a life that you aren’t happy with. 78 years is a long time to be thinking “what if”. Live for yourself. And be fucking proud of it. 

SELF-FULFILLMENT IS SO DAMN IMPORTANT, DON’T LET THAT SLIDE.

LIVE WITH INTENTION. BE BOLD IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY. LIVE THE LIFE YOU WERE DESTINED FOR.

Thanks for reading my blog post. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns: please feel free to e-mail me: kimberlyncharters@yahoo.com

Also – follow me on instagram to see travel photos and inspiration – @waddupkim

Contact me if you’re interested in working with me in any way by e-mail as well.

XOXO, KIM CHARTERS – AS KIM TRAVELS.

WHY SELF-FULFILLMENT IS SO DAMN IMPORTANT

How I Afford Traveling the World By Myself at 21

I don’t travel through any type of program. My parents do not give me money to travel. I don’t have a sugar daddy. There are no travel agents or booking companies that are on standby. I just travel by myself. 🙂

 (Edit: any way of travel is good travel).

Ahhhhh, yes. The question I receive numerous times on the daily.

“How do you do all of this?”

First and foremost, I have learned and still continue to learn “how to travel” every time I step foot somewhere rather than my home state Michigan.

  • $$$: So basically….I work at a restaurant. Aaaaaaand I work there a lot. I save my money. This is the most important thing I can tell you, folks. Spending your money on NEEDS not WANTS. You won’t see me in the Starbucks drive-thru every morning waiting on a Java Chip Frappe to wake me up. You won’t catch me at Applebees for half-off appetizers every Friday night. I don’t go shopping all of the time. I. Am. Cheap. As. Hell. Don’t get me wrong – I go out and have fun sometimes. Just do it wisely. If I do that – I’ll probably pick up an extra shift that week or next. Learning to be a minimalist and learning how to save money is the first step to traveling. Because if you don’t have money… you can’t buy that first plane ticket.

—– How my mind works: “$32 for a cute shirt? Do I need that? No. $32 is a week of accommodation in Thailand. I’m fine.” Self-control….holla!

  • Flights: Speaking of plane tickets…..those can be expensive. My secret weapon for flights is using Skyscanner. There CAN be some tricks to booking your flight – which I have found to be true quite often. Booking your ticket on a Tuesday afternoon around 7 weeks before your trip can typically give you the best price. Of course this isn’t always the case….but it does work a lot. Sign up for e-mail alerts and check your flights daily. Sometimes you’ll find the prices drop dramatically one day – juuuuuuust book it. I’m someone who does a lot of things last minute and I never really have issues with it, either. Meh.
  • Accomodation: This. This. This. This is my #1 money saver, okay? How do I afford traveling? I never stay in a hotel. You heard it here first. I either…

1. Couchsurf, which is free and life-changing. I love staying with locals because they are always INCREDIBLE people/families and I LOVE being able to live day-to-day like a local. There’s nothing quite like it. I still talk to all of my Couchsurfing hosts except like…..one. Good people, good people.

2. Stay in a hostel , which is so disgustingly cheap in so many countries. I typically lean towards using HostelWorld for booking my hostels because it’s easy to use, has all the information you need, and it’s safe/reliable. Example: The photo below is a hostel that I stayed at in Indonesia for almost $6 a night. Yeah…..SIX DOLLARS. I usually stay in the largest mixed room because it’s cheapest. They have female/male only dorms, mixed dorms, or you can rent out your own room. The more people in the room – the cheaper. I’ve stayed in hostel rooms with 20+ people but most tend to have 6-10 beds on average.

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Puji Hostel in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
3.  Volunteering is another super awesome way to travel. The two websites I use are WWOOF or typically I like to use WorkAway. In most cases, you will work for ___ hours a week doing some odd job wherever you find yourself – and instead of getting paid, you receive free accommodation and SOMETIMES free meals. You can do some really cool jobs and learn how to live a more sustainable lifestyle doing this. Highly recommend.

4. AirBnB is an option that I sometimes use if I want to be alone or have a “luxurious” night somewhere. I rarely use AirBnB because I’d rather stay with people – and I’ll never book a room that is more than like $25-$30 a night. That’s too much for a night, haha.

  • Food: This depends on where I am, I suppose. But basically – I don’t go out to restaurants for every meal. I tend to lean towards accommodation that offers a free breakfast. That’s always nice. If I’m not receiving meals, depending on my location, I still tend to eat for super cheap. If I’m in Europe, for example, I’ll stop into a grocery store and pick up bread/meat/cheese/fruit/veggies for cheap and that’ll hold me over for a couple days. Cook your own food. Always look for hostels with kitchens! If I’m in Asia, it’s harder for me to find grocery stores and places to cook. What isn’t hard to find, however, is street food. And this isn’t nasty, unhealthy, street food. This is authentic rice, meat, and veggies that I can become full off of for less than $5. I also tend to eat a lot of fruit when I travel because fruit is primarily cheap everywhere and I could consume fruit for the rest of my life. I do go out to a restaurant every now and then, especially in cheap countries. I like to go out with people I meet in hostels and my couchsurfing hosts. Just be smart about it.
  • Shopping? Souvenirs? Yes, of course I do some shopping when I travel. Nothing extreme. I’ll pick up souvenirs for my parents and my closest friends. I don’t have a lot of room in my backpack and I don’t buy anything heavy because I have to carry that thing on my back for hours at a time sometimes….so not havin’ that. But clothes that I can fold up and little knick-knacks are always good options.
  • Activities: This is what I spend the most money on when traveling – but it’s always worth it. Things like skydiving, scuba diving, paragliding, riding on a gondola in Venice, swimming with sharks, etc….etc….etc….I have ideas on activities that I want to do in certain cities/countries and I always try to allow myself to do them. If that means I have to pick up extra shifts at work or maybe I don’t eat dinner for two days…..so be it. LOL.
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Scuba diving in Hawaii
  • Misc: TREAT YOSELF……wisely. I’ll buy a dessert and I’ll go out and have drinks with people I meet along the way. If I go to Madrid, Spain….you KNOW I’m going to invest in some amazing churros and if I’m in Paris you KNOW I’m going to indulge on some Nutella/Strawberry crepes. And yeah, I’m going to throw back a couple 75¢ beers in Asia with people I meet at my hostel. Also: in some countries you can get full body massages for like $20 soooooooo. Whateva. Life’s too short. TREAT YOSELF. Just don’t be stupid.

Hopefully this blog post helped answer your questions – and hopefully it inspires you and made you realize that traveling the world is SO possible. If you want it – go get it.

Thanks for reading my blog post. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns: please feel free to e-mail me: kimberlyncharters@yahoo.com

Also – follow me on instagram to see travel photos and inspiration almost daily – @waddupkim

  • XOXO, KIM CHARTERS – AS KIM TRAVELS.

 

How I Afford Traveling the World By Myself at 21

The Beauty of Balinese Hindu Ceremonies

To learn about the meanings behind these ceremonies: CLICK HERE.

This month I spent some time in Indonesia – and one of the best memories I have taken from it was attending Hindu ceremonies in a small village called Amed in northern Bali.

I’ll be posting about my entire trip to Indonesia probably within the next week, I just really wanted to post about the few days I experienced the ceremonies….

So, I was staying at a scuba dive center in Amed…..

I was laying in my bed and I heard a lot of music, chanting, people talking, and children laughing. I rushed to the front of the scuba dive center and saw a parade of local people dressed in traditional ceremony clothing. Baskets of fruit and offerings were being carried on the heads of some beautiful women, and children were clapping and skipping along to the music as they all headed towards the beach.

I immediately ran to my room and grabbed my camera and headed towards the beach on a motor scooter. When I arrived to the beach, there were groups of men playing instruments and everyone was taking seats in the rocks or the black sand.

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As expected, I got a lot of stares. I mean….I look quite different from the other 500 people I was surrounded by.

Here are some photos from the beginning of the ceremony:

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Before prayer, I was trying to play with the children. They were a bit confused by me. All of their eyes were on me, but they wouldn’t approach me. So I made eye contact with them, I got down on my knees on the black sand beach by myself and I started collecting small white rocks and shells. I brushed my hand over an area of the black sand, cleaning the area and creating a blank space. I began to make a sun with the white rocks on the black sand, beautiful contrast 😉 The children continued to watch me.

Suddenly, a brave little girl walked slowly to the front of the beach towards me. I later learned that her name was Ketut, she was the fourth born. We shared the same Balinese name. She got down and started to collect white rocks and she sat down next to me and started placing them on the black sand, helping me create a sun. We exchanged smiles. More children approached me, excitedly running around and finding white rocks, ready to help.

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OUR MASTERPIECE.

The kids then started touching my arms, and my face, and my hair. I played games with them, where they tried to slap my hands but I moved them away quickly before they could reach them. They thought this was the best game ever. We played in the water, splashing each other with the salty ocean water. I started to copy them as they moved their legs and arms, jumping, the faces they made…..then they did this to me in return. This was now the best game ever.

Every single one of them spoke zero English. 

We didn’t communicate with each other verbally due to the extreme language barrier. All of them surrounded me, trying to speak and yell over one another in Indonesian, and I couldn’t tell them I didn’t understand them. So I put both hands on my chest and said “No Balinese. American.” and pointed at them and said “Balinese”, then back to myself, “No Balinese”. I then said “Hello, my name is Kim, and I am from America” – so they would understand we don’t speak the same language. They looked at me in awe….and then continued to play with me. I brought out my camera and we invented another new game. The one where I pretend I am about to take their picture and they r-a-n.

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They were having so much fun, running, laughing, running….

I ended up snagging some really beautiful photos, however….

I heard a bell ring, and it was time for prayer. I sat down in the middle of a bunch of beautiful Balinese people, sticking out like a sore thumb, but ready to learn and experience. The boys next to me gave me pieces of the flowers to use during prayer. I followed their direction and caught on immediately. I was smiling from ear-to-ear as I prayed, and then placed bits of flowers on top of my head and behind each of my ears.

Men came around with holy water, showering us each individually. We then cupped our hands as they poured. We drank from our hands three times, and the last times we used the holy water on our face and hair. Then, we were approached with a bowl of wet rice, where we placed rice grains on our forehead, our temples, and chest.

To see an example of this ritual: go here.

After this, the kids ran to me again, because the ten minutes away from each other was too long. One of the little boys ran up to me with a rose made out of a napkin, he laughed and pointed to the group of boys behind us and they waved at me and laughed too. They spoke broken English, but managed to ask me to take a photo of them:

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I continued to walk around with my camera, and people continued to point at the camera and then to themselves. I shot photos and they rushed to see the back of my camera for the results. Giving me a thumbs up, a smile, and occasionally a “HEEEEYYYY!”

A few of the adults that spoke broken English came up to me, holding my hand and thanking me for coming, making the kids happy, and appreciating/respecting their culture and religion. I teared up numerous times.

 

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Moonlit sky over the beautiful ceremony

Over the next few days, I got to go to the actual temple and experience the ceremonies there. I went each night. I didn’t capture as many photos like I did from the beach/nor were they the best quality…..but I will share them with you anyways.

 

This post doesn’t fully capture the beauty I endured these nights – nor will it ever amount up to the amount of love and pure, genuine happiness I held in my heart throughout my time there. I really hope you looked into the provided links to take a look into their culture/religion.

I will never be able to thank all of the beautiful souls I encountered in Amed for their open arms and amazing energy. I will always remember the little girl that first approached me and hung onto me throughout the entire evening.

Also: thank you to Nyam for taking me to the temples with you and your family and letting me experience all of this first hand. You are the greatest and I will see you in Amed again one day. This is another home for me.

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Thank you for reading my blog post about my experiences with the magical Balinese Hindu Ceremonies in the village Amed. Hope you enjoyed.

As always, you may e-mail me at kimberlyncharters@yahoo.com with any comments or questions.

Find all of my travel photos on my instagram – @WADDUPKIM

Xoxoxo – Kim Charters • AS KIM TRAVELS •

 

 

 

The Beauty of Balinese Hindu Ceremonies

Why I chose to gain my education from world travel – to those who I have disappointed.

This post may have a little more text than normal – but I’ll throw in photos too, don’t fret. Bear with me and read on.

I strictly remember a moment months ago where I was visiting my old high school to watch one of their shows for theater. I was walking down the hallway and stumbled by my old high school vice principal. He stopped and greeted me. Typical small talk ensued – and the questions “What are you doing? Where are you going to school?” couldn’t have jumped out of his mouth any faster after our “hello”.

I’m thinking to myself……everyone else he has seen since graduation would probably answer that question like:

  1. “I’m graduating from Michigan State University in 5 months with a Bachelors Degree in business”
  2. “I’m an engineer now – I graduated from Michigan Tech this year”
  3. “I’m a nurse working at the local hospital”

But here I am. Wanna know what my answer was?

“I’m not in school currently. I work at Lucky’s Steakhouse. I decided I’d rather travel the world for now. But!!! I graduated from Delta College with my Associates Degree last semester…..pretty cool, huh?”

I got the whole ‘Aw, Kim. You’re better than that. Get back to school!” spiel. I just kind of smiled…..walked away…..and then thought to myself……

Wait, what? Did he really just say “you’re better than that?” I was 20 years old when he told me this. When he told me this I had traveled to almost 20 countries. When he told me this I had lived with local families from numerous countries: literally living within different cultures and experiencing life from various perspectives. I was gaining education every single second while I traveled. I wasn’t sitting in a desk or writing in a notebook – but I was becoming more and more educated everyday.

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This is the problem. Two words.

Societal norms.

We are expected to graduate from high school and immediately enter a community college or University. We are expected to continue our college education consistently for years and years until we reach the desired degree. Putting ourselves into a massive debt just so we can get a “good job”….that we may or may not be miserable doing…..just so we can…..pay back all that debt? Wait, what? Skkkkuuuuuurt!

No. Not I.

You see….

I’m young. I am now 21. I don’t quite know what I want to do for the rest of my life – but that’s okay. Why should I? I still have a lot to experience and when I fall in love with something I’ll work to make it my career. I’m not going to waste my money and time going to college right now to take random classes and rack up a huge debt under my name. And honestly – I just wanted a break. I’ve been going to school since before I can remember (literally) each and every year.

So….the world is my classroom.

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I get every subject out of it, too.

Sociology. Math. Science. HISTORY. Language. Art. Fitness. Religion. You name it.

I am learning about humans from all around the world. I am learning about their cultures and how they live their daily lives. I am learning about different countries’ history – strolling through ancient sites and ruins in Rome, visiting concentration camps and WWII museums in Germany, or paying a visit to various sacred temples in Indonesia for example. I am seeing and touching what I would be looking at in a textbook.

I’m constantly surrounded by different languages and accents – where I’m picking up words, phrases and rules as I go. I’ve been eye-to-eye with some of the most important/impressive pieces of art in the world at art museums like The Louvre in Paris and the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. (Yeah, I have a selfie with the Mona Lisa….no big deal). 

I have to use my brain and do math while traveling – estimating costs of plane tickets and how much I spend each day. Converting currency daily and being able to do conversions for distance, weight, temperature, etc…..

I am exposed to different religions everywhere I go – being able to visit their churches, mosques, temples. Going to ceremonies. Experiencing their way of worship.

And of course – I have my fitness class. Not only do I walk miles on end with two large backpacks on both my front and my backside….but I hike. I swim. I scuba. I hike mountains, in the desert, through the water, and sometimes even an occasional volcano. I’ll do yoga in Bali and I’ll scuba dive in Hawaii. My body is constantly moving, on the go, and working hard.

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And I’m happy. 

I am doing what I love to do. I am living my passion. I am living out my dreams and goals.

 

As of right now, I don’t want to be in a classroom setting. I don’t have any idea what I want to do. I’m young. I’m growing. I’m learning. I’m finding myself. And that’s okay.

So – yeah, Mr. EX Vice Principal….if you so happen to read this….

I’m traveling the world instead of going to college right now.

But I’ve got one hell of an open-mind, a big heart, and a zeal for life.

Sorry to dissapoint you….but I’m happy with this lifestyle for now. And that’s all that really matters.

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I am living – not surviving. 

Thanks for reading my blog post. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns: please feel free to e-mail me: kimberlyncharters@yahoo.com

Also – follow me on instagram to see travel photos and inspiration – @waddupkim

  • XOXO, KIM CHARTERS – AS KIM TRAVELS.

 

Why I chose to gain my education from world travel – to those who I have disappointed.