Browse Tag by Quarterlife Thriving
Millennial Lifestyle

How to Overcome Fear and Follow Your Dreams

How to overcomer your fears

Recently, I went bungee jumping for the first time off of a 160-foot bridge (I like to go extreme or not at all) and I convinced my little sister to join me. As the older sister, I went first. Of course, the jump was scary, it is a massive bridge. But she was watching me. I knew that if I hesitated she would see it and it might affect her confidence jumping after me. I had to look over the ledge, take a deep breath and jump. It was amazing. However, I had to take a moment to face my own fear in order to instill confidence in someone else. We often praise those who overcome their fears and achieve great things. In facing your own fears, you may become an inspiration to others. You will not only achieve your own dreams; you will help others achieve theirs. Overcome fear and follow your dreams.

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Fear is a fickle friend. It can both motivate but also paralyze. Everyone feels fear, even the bravest people have been afraid at some point. Working past that fear to face a challenge can be so liberating. What fears are limiting you? What is making you afraid?

I had a fear of starting this blog. I was afraid I wouldn’t be good enough or that I wouldn’t have anything interesting and new to say. But I’ve been working past that fear to try something new.

Sometimes, taking the full plunge all at once might be too scary. Necessary for bungee jumping but not always necessary for other areas of life. If this is the case and fully jumping into something all at once is too much then take it in smaller steps.

A common treatment for phobias is exposure-based therapy. This is essentially, gradual exposure to the feared object. While a phobia is an irrational, extreme fear of something, this concept of gradual exposure can be utilized in coping with other fears as well. If jumping all in at once feels too unattainable for you then try breaking down your fear into smaller pieces and slowly build your way up to overcoming it.

In my blog example, it took me forever to actually start it. I slowly brainstormed my concept and researched and researched. I bought my web address but did nothing with it. Then I designed my site but didn’t make it public. But eventually you do just have to take the plunge. Accept the fear, acknowledge the feeling, and do it anyway. 

When I planned my recent trip to Spain I often found myself being asked about how I feel going to Europe with all of the terrorism happening. This frustrated me because I’m not going to change my life based on the idea that something might happen. I can’t stay home and live my life in fear. The city in which I live in has a mall that was called out as a possible attack site. I’m just as at risk at home as I am there. Letting fear take over can prevent you from having incredible opportunities.  Please, don’t let fear of what could go wrong stop you from following a dream (That being said, if there is a true and actual risk to your safety then don’t do it).

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Ways to Tackle Fear:

  1. Accept the feeling. It is okay that it scares you.
  2. Explore the fear. What is causing you to feel afraid? Truly. Be open and honest with yourself. Brainstorm what the possible causes might be. Figure out where this fear is coming from. If you don’t know the true reason why you’re feeling afraid then you can’t truly address it and change it. If the fear is that you won’t be successful in your endeavor, then know that any step in the direction of your dreams is a learning experience. It’s possible that you might not be successful by your standards but you learned something along the way that will make your next endeavor more successful.
  3. Face the fear. Whether it’s in small increments or all at once. Face the fear. You have to take that plunge. Trust me, it feels amazing.
  4. Live Your Dreams.

Please join me in the comments with some of your fears and how you have overcome them!

 

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Millennial Lifestyle

The Number One Reason You Need to Start an Emergency Fund in your 20s

the number one reason you need an emergency fund in your 20s

Uncertainty. You need to start an emergency fund in your 20s because life is so full of uncertainties and unknowns. Even when you think that you have planned for everything, those unknowns can rear their ugly head and ruin everything. Having an emergency fund is the perfect antidote to uncertainty. As we go through our 20s, many things will affect our financial situation. Be it job loss, a car breaking down, or some other incidental expense that you didn’t see coming. Some people may have parents who can bail them out of a tough spot, but what if you don’t? An emergency fund will save the day.

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I normally don’t tell many personal anecdotes but for this I will. This week I was hit with an unexpected vet bill (my cats are my children). The first vet I took my cat to told me that they think he has a blockage and if this is the case then he will need a $2000 surgery immediately to remove it or his bladder will explode in less than 24 hours. If you’re an animal lover you can imagine how hard this hit me.

One of the reasons this hit me so hard was because I am currently trying to stretch $500 over the next 12 days before my next pay check. I thought I was going to have to put down my beloved pet because I am financially unstable. (Luckily, I took him to a second vet and everything turned out okay).

Like many millennials, I am strapped with student loans and credit card debt. Somehow student loan has come to be known as “good debt” as if any kind of debt is actually good. When we have debt, big or small, it limits our options in life. It eats away at our financial freedom and stability. In my low point, I started to attack myself, “If I wasn’t in debt I could pay this vet bill no problem.”

We never like to think that things will go wrong. I enjoy my ignorant bliss that my cats are invincible. But what if something does? An emergency fund will make you so much more prepared to handle that incidental expense. Now sometimes it might be that you do have the money to fix the emergency but choose not too because you realize that it isn’t as important as you thought it was. That’s fair, but at least you were able to make that decision for yourself. The option wasn’t taken away from you due to poor financial planning.

As I sit with my cat lovingly beside me, I don’t regret spending the $400 it ended up costing to get him the care he needed. I just wish I could have done it in a more financially secure way.

So how do you start saving an emergency fund?

Figure out what an amount that you can save is per month and then have your bank set up an automatic withdrawal to your savings. If you make saving as effortless as possible the more effective you will be at it. I have been successfully saving $200 a month for the last year using this method. My savings account is one that cannot be easily accessed. Taking money out of it can have a processing time of up to 24 hours. This prevents me from making rash decisions. As someone who has always struggled to save, this has really helped me out a lot. Plus, I’ve been able to watch my progress grow. Having those savings has given me such a peace of mind. Even without something bad happening, simply knowing that there is money ready for me if needed is reassuring.

Any goal is always more attainable when you have a clear end point (My post on bucket lists, relates to this concept). Start small and slowly build your way up to 3-6 months worth of wages. For example, you could start by only wanting $500. This is much more attainable that starting off with aiming for $5000. With an emergency fund you will be well on your way to financial freedom and security. Being prepared for an emergency that may never happen is far better than being struck down by an emergency that you were never prepared for. 

Uncertainty can strike at any age; however, building up this emergency fund in your 20s lays a solid foundation for a financially secure future.

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A Millennial's Travel Advice

The Ultimate San Sebastian Tapas Pub Crawl

Donostia San Sebastian is jam packed with crowded tapas bars. This makes it a perfect place for the ultimate San Sebastian Tapas Pub Crawl. Everywhere you turn in the old town you are greeted by delectable options. In other words, the only way to maximize the tapas and bar experience is with a tapa bar crawl. To save you the effort, we have prepared an epic tapas crawl experience for your savoury pleasure. San Sebastian will give you the true tapas experience, the tapas are on display around the counter and you must elbow your way in amongst the wall of people surrounding the bar to make your order. We often found that in San Sebastian knowing a little Spanish went a long way as English was not as commonly spoken.

 Without Further Ado, The Ultimate San Sebastian Tapas Pub Crawl

Stop Number 1:

First, head over to Paco Bueno and sample the prawns or calamari with a glass of white wine. For a grand total of 5.50 euro we enjoyed two glasses of wine and two tapas. Despite the low price, the food was excellent. We actually both started and finished our own pub-crawl with this place because we were so impressed. The second time we visited that night we got to bear witness to the bartender’s frustration over the football game, it felt so Spanish.

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Paco Bueno prawns and calamari. Muy bien

Stop Number 2:

Nagusia Lau is located right next door to Paco Bueno and does excellent sangria. There are a variety of tapas spread out on the bar to choose from. You can’t go wrong as they all looked wonderful. The prices were all around 3 euros a tapa. The atmosphere of this place is less fast paced. Other tapas bars make you feel a rush of adrenalin trying to squeeze up to the bar to get your order. But, at Nagusia Lau, you can casually saunter up to the bar to make your selection and peacefully sit at a nearby table. Hence, this is great for first timers.

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Do not be fooled by the lack of a crowd. The tapas were delectable.

Stop Number 3:

Located close to Paco Bueno, we next hit up Atari. Here, we did not end up going for tapas. Instead, we ordered a plate of palatable calamari and two gin tonics. This place is “famous” for its gin tonics. Not that we get how a place can be famous for gin tonics. You take gin, you take tonic and voila! You have a gin tonic. Sadly, we do not even like gin tonics but ordered them anyway just to try the “famous” version. The glass was massive and freely poured to half a glass full of Tanquery gin. And drumroll….. it tasted like every other gin tonic. We struggled to finish them. However, if you are into gin tonics then this place is for you!

Atari was a little bit more highly priced than some of the other tapas bars we explored. Fortunately, there is a lot more seating. Since we ordered a meal not a tapa we got bread which we promptly pocketed as the massive gin tonics went straight to our heads.

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This is the most gin tonic I have ever drank in my life.

Stop Number 4:

Karrika Taberna looks like a hole in the wall, as do most of the San Sebastian tapas bars. But, once inside, they offer well-priced white wine at 1.30 euro and a relaxed ordering experience. Above the bar you can see ham or jamon hanging. It was by this point that I got more drunkenly confident in my Spanish and attempted to both ask and then order the bartenders favourite tapa. “Tu favorito?” I ended up with a sausage with an egg on top. I actually highly recommend this! If you see an item that looks like this, try it. It was mouthwatering.

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This is what the bartender’s favourite was and it was an unexpected delight.

Stop Number 5:

Bar Restaurante Gandarias was another tapas bar stuffed to the brim of people where you really need to work your way through the crowd to order. Do it though! Their selection was hard to choose from as it was all so enticing.

Stop Number 6:

Bar-Goiz-Argi is known for its prawns. This place was again a little more expensive, we paid about 9.50 euro for our tapas. However, we really enjoyed the prawns and all of the other food that came out looked equally as scrumptious.

5205579A-002D-4A5A-9498-94408F4E3CE0         This post is making me crave tapas.

After our tapas crawl we staggered back to our hostel, Urban House, while our taste buds sighed with delight.

Final Words

These are the six places we visited when we went out on our pub-crawl. You cannot go wrong though. If you see a place that look tasty or interesting, pop in there. Most of the time the tapas and drinks are fairly cheap so it does not hurt to sample. We stopped at six because that is where we got too full.

A Millennial's Travel Advice

Things You Must Do In San Sebastian, Spain

how to see san sebastian on a budget

If I had to choose one word to describe San Sebastian I would have to go with stunning. There are many things you must do in San Sebastian.

One of the things that you need to do in San Sebastian is hike Mount Urgull. The top of the mountain can be reached in two ways. One is by walking past the aquarium. You should be following the castle signs as the Jesus statue is located on top of an old castle.

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Jesus from atop the hill.

The alternative is to take the stairs next to the San Telmo Museoa. What we ended up doing was starting at the aquariam and finishing at the San Telmo Museoa. This your best bet because you will be able to catch a variety of different view points. Trying to actually selfie with the Jesus statue results in very unflattering angles but you can definitely try it out. Taking the exit towards the museum gives a viewpoint of Zurriola Surf Beach; however, it was not particularly wavy during our visit.

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Zurriola Surf Beach from the Museum exit. Does life get any better?  

Near the Zurriola Surf Beach you can board either a little red train tour or a hop on hop off bus.

We opted for the small red train as it only cost 5 euro. This has no stops but does provide an audio tour lasting about a half an hour of San Sebastian. We liked the opportunity to see more of the city.

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The view from atop Mount Igueldo. The larger mountain behind us is Mount Urgull.

Another mountain that you must visit in San Sebastian is Mount Igueldo.

Whereas Mount Urgull involves a hike, this gem can be reached by taking a funicular up the mountain. The funicular is a little hard to spot but it is essentially a cable car that you take you up to unbelievable viewpoints of the entire city. For only a few euro it was well worth it. There is a little café up here if you are a sucker for a meal with a view, which I am.

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I’ll take my morning coffee with a view any day.

Finally, the tapas of San Sebastian make this a must see for any trip to Spain.

Millennial Lifestyle

Is Being Single Really That Bad?

is being single really that bad

There is a lot of societal pressure to get married and settle down. This in turn, can make people who are single with no prospects feel lonelier. I can’t count how many times I have heard women make self-depreciating comments about how they might as well get ten cats now because they will never find anyone. I don’t even know how cats became the poster animal for single life; they are actually wonderful. But is being single really that bad? I don’t actually think it is.

When you are single you can work on yourself. The quest to find the perfect mate becomes a lot easier when you know your own values, passions, and goals in life. Knowing yourself makes it so much easier to know what you need to get out of a relationship. Don’t get me wrong, as someone who is chronically single, I do get lonely and I do sometimes find myself wishing that I had someone. But by the same token, I know that being in a relationship right now would be a barrier to me truly working on myself the way that I want to.

If anything, being single when you are young leaves you more open to opportunity. As a single woman, I don’t need to stop and pause to think about whether a decision to travel to South America for three months would impact my relationship. I could just do it. How wonderful is it that we can explore our own lives and create stories to tell our future partners someday? Being single, you can job hop, city hop and go after whatever it is you want freely. Not that I’m suggesting that you can’t do these things with a partner but for some this might make the decision more difficult.

I’ve seen so many people bounce from relationship to relationship without truly being happy. Many of these relationships lack quality and depth. Often, they aren’t getting what they need out of their partner. The idea of dating many people or cycling through relationships has never appealed to me. Being single, means that you can think about what you want. If you need a relationship to feel whole, that may be a sign that not everything is right.

Successful relationships happen when both parties have their own passions and goals. Healthy relationships look more like a Venn diagram. We each have our own circle and sometimes we overlap. I hate the expression, “They complete me.” No, you alone can complete yourself. A partner should equal you or complement you. Relationships should help you grow.

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My Venn diagram of love. The intersection in the middle is beautiful.

If you are single, trust me, it is perfectly okay. Take this as an opportunity to learn about yourself and what you want. Instead of fretting, seek opportunities.

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Millennial Lifestyle

Why I Started Quarter Life Thriving

Dear Reader,

My name is Arielle and I’m a 25 year old living in Edmonton, Alberta. I started Quarter Life Thriving because ever since I was a young child I had dreams of being a writer. However, I suppressed these in favour of something more practical. I ended up completing a degree in psychology two years ago with the intent of pursuing a Ph.D. Throughout the course of my degree I ended a six year relationship with someone who was not the best fit to say the least. Ultimately, I realized that I didn’t have to follow the streamlined pattern laid out for me. I did not have to finish high school, get higher education, and settle down. Hell, I haven’t even had a meaningful relationship in three years.

As powerful as this realization was, I no longer know what I wish to do. Plus, I now have student debt (I don’t regret my degree though as it laid a strong foundation for all other pursuits). Part of me does want to go for the masters/Ph.D. that I built my university life around; however, part of me wants to gallivant around the world.

For a long time, I thought I was alone in my turmoil. Everyone seemed so much more put together than me. But, then I realized that this is something that so many other 20-somethings can relate to. It took me a long time to start a blog because I worried that my ideas would have been done already or that I just wouldn’t be good enough. Then I realized that I can do this.

Since finishing my degree I have travelled at every opportunity. I have said, “Yes” to so many different things. And I have completely grown as a person.

I don’t even recognize myself from who I was four years ago.

This is why I started Quarter Life Thriving. I hope to share this journey with you, my reader, and provide you with the tips that I have learned along my transformation so that you too can join me in Quarter Life Thriving.

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