Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Feeling the Feels Heals

**Amazing Comics by Joan Chan @justcomics_official in Hong Kong.  Follow Her on Instagram!

Have you ever noticed how after a good old session of crying you feel better, lighter?

There's a biological reason for that where we get rid of pent up adrenaline, and other stress hormones which produces an analgesic effect.

But psychologically it's also always a good idea to have a good cry. It's important to "feel the feels" quite regularly. We could face major "volcanic eruptions" of feelings if we don't pay mindful attention at what we are feeling.

Here's the link to today's video in case you want to know "Why does the Narcissist Flaunt his or her new partner?"

Thursday, May 16, 2019

How to Break Learned Helplessness.

Have you ever felt stuck? 

Sometimes we do have a pretty good idea of what we should be pursuing or doing but we just can't move forward. It's as if we are frozen. 

This happens a lot with victims of abuse. 

Any type. Emotional, physical, sexual.

This behavior is a psychological phenomenon called learned helplessness that was discovered by Martin Seligman in 1972 when he was conducting a series of experiments with dogs.

This reaction to an incoherent and adverse environment is ONE of the many things that makes it so hard for victims of abuse to move on. 

If you want to learn more about this and how to overcome it you can do so by following THIS link to the video.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Empaths, Codependents, HSPs & The Dynamic With Narcissists.

Although the dynamic and definition of each concept is explained in today's video I wanted to let you know that if you consider yourself to be in any of these categories: Empath, Highly Sensitive Person, or Codependent, you can always work to feel better in your own skin and change those behaviors that are not serving you.

These three types share one key gift. Empathy. They have the power to make people feel good and I believe it's what we all need more of on this earth.

The good news is also that, unlike narcissism, highly empathic people tend to be great candidates for therapy. This means that you can always work on changing certain behaviors that don't bring you health and wellbeing. 

Would you consider yourself to be highly empathic?

Thursday, May 2, 2019

" How Can I Resist a Hoover? " & Other Interesting Questions From My Viewers...

Hi! I hope you're having a stress free end of the week. 

I thought I'd tell you about my viewers on YouTube. They are really awesome and leave the most intelligent questions I could ever imagine. Really!

Some of them know so much about this that I'm sometimes speechless after reading the comments and only one word comes to mind: "WOW". :D

Anyhow... In today's video I answer some of the questions that came up in my last Hoovering video. 

Oh and regarding the question in the title of this blogpost, "How Can I Resist a Hoover", let me tell you this... 

You can definitely resist a hoover and here's how:

  1. Having a good support system.Friends, family, groups of people that are supportive (for a change...)
  2. Getting counseling? That'd help a lot because you'd begin to take your life back and realize how this person doesn't deserve an inch of your attention.
  3. Engaging in self care, prioritizing YOU. More on that every Friday on my Instagram.
  4. Learning about Narcissism and the dynamics of an abusive relationship.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Arrogant Chameleon Syndrome

A chameleon is a reptile that has the ability to change color to match its surroundings in order to avoid detection.

Similarly, the malignant narcissist and the psychopath will morph into whatever it's needed at the time for him or her to achieve his or her goal which usually involves flying under the radar of those being abused.

It's noteworthy how trying to have an adult conversation with a disordered individual of the sort about the fact that will prove they are in the wrong is like trying to reason with a brick wall. There's just no trace of remorse or guilt or emotion there, nothing like that at all.  

What they'll do instead is divert the conversation to more neutral grounds or just simply blame YOU for it!

Rabon, 2006 says: "confronting the pathological person with facts and details that are contrary to his assertions is like nailing jell-o to a wall"

There are other ways these folks maneuver to avoid detection that are explained in this video  !

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Post Traumatic Growth

Although today's video gives a detailed description of what covert narcissism is and what a victim of this type of abuse endures, I felt like writing about a more inspiring side of narcissistic abuse which is: post traumatic growth.

Post Traumatic Growth is a positive psychological change experienced as a result of adversity and other challenges in order to rise to a higher level of functioning.These circumstances represent significant challenges to the adaptive resources of the individual, and pose significant challenges to their way of understanding the world and their place in it. Post traumatic growth involves "life-changing" psychological shifts in thinking and relating to the world, that contribute to a personal process of change, that is deeply meaningful. 
Source: Wikipedia

I believe post traumatic growth is the light at the end of the tunnel for victims of narcissistic abuse and for victims of any type of abuse or tragedy. 

This is basically why I absolutely love what I do and being a counselor. I believe wholeheartedly that these things definitely happen in life, but we have a very hard and difficult choice to make. We have to decide whether this will destroy us or it will be the push we need to step it up and grow exponentially: emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.

Overcoming a tragedy, or abuse for that matter, is a devastating event. We feel lost, alone, empty, hopeless. 

For a while it's very hard to find our way. But with just enough help we are able to move past it and, believe it or not, understand that this was a disguised opportunity to evolve. 

You may not see it this way and you may be rolling your eyes as you read this right now. But I believe that if you work consistently to recover and heal you will agree with me soon enough.

You can take my word for it. It comes a time when you talk about these issues and are able to smile and appreciate what a long way you've come. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

"Why do narcissists come back after the discard?"

Hoovering is a term used to describe highly narcissistic people going back to old sources of supply. The victim is re idealized and love bombed in order to hook the person back into the cycle of abuse. 

Hoovering refers to the vacuum cleaner and is representative of how they suck you back in after no contact.

I was asked this exact questions many times so I'm answering it in today's video: "Why do they come back after they discarded me?"

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Develop a Warrior Mentality

Hello on a Sunday! 👋 👋 

I hope this post finds you well and recharged for the week ahead. If not, you still have time to do some self care practices. 

Breathe deeply...or relax and read a book, or... go for a walk...anything that you enjoy. Do this for at least half an hour and you will definitely feel better!

Now, let's move on to today's recommendation. 

If you have to remain in contact with a highly narcissistic person you may want to incorporate this concept to your every day life: A Warrior Mentality. Especially if you are coparenting.

A warrior mentality implies that we will protect all that we love and hold sacred.

A warrior mentality involves strength when things get difficult, being relentless in the pursuit of boundaries, mental health and self-care. Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self-care. 

This video series will be about anticipating typical behaviors that toxic people engage in and how knowing what to expect will reduce the damaging consequences of this conduct. I

In this video: communicating with a toxic person. What to expect?

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

How to Respond to Victims of Narcissistic Abuse.

One of the worst things a victims of abuse can go through, besides being abused, is being re-victimized by people that are supposed to protect them: a friend, a family member, a lawyer.

But what's even worse, and way more damaging, is when this re-victimization comes from the therapist. When this happens it could delay the recovery for years. I've had clients that said that their previous therapist even did couples therapy with their former partner, for years! Working on the victim's "communication problems".

This is extremely damaging and should stop. One of the most important things a victim of abuse needs, if not the single most important one, is validation. The victim is continuously portrayed as guilty, bad, or is continuously wronged by the abuser. The last thing he or she needs is to feel guilty or wrong again in therapy.

More on this in today's video.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Do they really have no empathy? Personality Disorders.

Empathy is the ability to understand and feel what the other person is going through. The ability to put yourself in other people's shoes is essential for our survival as a species. It's a pro social quality. 

The problem comes when a person only has cognitive empathy to the detriment of affective (emotional) empathy.   

This is very common in cluster B personality disorders. 

However, in this video I explain why I don't agree with the idea that narcissists have NO empathy at all. And we look at empathy in Histrionic PD, and Borderline PD. 

Malignant Narcissists who are well known for being the least likely to put themselves in somebody else's shoes, they too have some kind of empathy. The cognitive one. Otherwise, they wouldn't be able to manipulate others so well.

They need the ability to understand others so that they can obtain what they are after: narcissistic supply. 

Sounds creepy, and it really is, but they use it (cognitive empathy) to their own advantage. Very narcissistic and damaging to others, indeed!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Drained Energy After Narcissistic Abuse. How to get it back?

This is where your own journey begins. It is time of letting go of the darkness the negativity and criticism. It's time to take care of you, put yourself on the map for once. You will need your energy, from now on.

You have been conditioned to not think about you. You are always thinking and working for the psychopath.  Always walking on egg shells. What will they criticize today, what will I do wrong today? What will they need from me. The moment you realize that you exist, that your voice is important, that you occupy space too on the planes, it's one of the best feelings.

So. Let's assume you are free from the psychopath or narcissist. That is a lot. In and of itself. Hats off. Well done. Don't be afraid of realizing that you were a victim. It's the first step towards getting your energy back.

If you want to start your recovery process with the right foot then no contact is your friend. Reduce all communications. Everything. Social media, phone, text, whatsapp, everything.

If you have children e-mails will do. Sometimes the phone is a good alternative but in my experience communicating by phone especially at the beginning is too much contact, and that can make you go back to square one in a second during this initial phase.

Your identity is not there anymore. It's a memory of who you used to be. You doubt yourself a lot, you may even feel numb, and almost every night (at 2 or 3 am maybe?) your inner critic pays a visit reminding you of the narcissist's judgement, false accusations and emotional neglect that you endured for months, years, decades.

Let go of that darkness.


It takes time and work.

1) No Contact

2) Learn about narcissism, abusive behaviors, manipulative techniques. Learn about what happened to you. Read Psychopath Free by Jackson Mc. Kenzie and In Sheep's Clothing by Dr. George Simon.

3) Treat your CPTSD symptoms in therapy.

4) Mindfulness. I released a video with exercises you can do to be more aware of the present moment.

5) Self care. If you are angry. Feel it. Be angry. If you can express it through a sport or go for a walk in nature, release that anger, write it down. Writing this will help you in the future if you ever have doubts and you start projecting your own goodness onto the abuser and only remembering the good times. This journal that you wrote while angry will keep you real, grounded, and  will remind you of all the abuse you went through and endured.

Eat healthily. Eat protein in the morning. And reduce caffein intake. Maybe just have one coffee in the morning and that's it. Drink lots of water. That helps you flush your system of cortisol the stress hormone. Do Yoga. It's been proven to reduce the effects of abuse on the amygdala.

Work on your self esteem, work on deconstructing how you ended up with a psychopath. Look at the red flags. Again. Dr Simon's book In Sheep's Clothing is a great resource.

Time and self care will help you regain your energy. All these things together, exercise.

But remember before all this to be compassionate with yourself. You've been deeply violated. This is a violation of the spirit. Your innocence, your trust has been corrupted. You have seen darkness and decadence. You have given everything until there was nothing more. You need to care for your self like you've never done it before. Train. Train your mind. Train your body with mild exercise.

Reach out for your friends, your friends of life. Those that stood by you through thick and thin. If you are lucky you have one or maybe two. If not a member of your family. And if not. Go to survivor meetings in your area. Go to counseling.

I assure you with the help of all those things you will find your self again. Different. Never the same. More mature, less innocent but even more compassionate, and empathic than ever before. You will be evolved enough to give your superpowers of empathy and love and kindness only to those who have proved to you that they are worthy of your empathy, love and kindness.

Friday, March 1, 2019

5 Mindfulness Exercises

*Today's Video

Mindfulness is being in the present moment without judging. 

This awareness is the basis of a different state of consciousness, and is used in therapy to treat PTSD, CPTSD, anxiety and depression.

Mindfulness seems easy by definition. At first it's difficult to put the monkey mind to rest but soon enough you'll go back to it whenever you need to calm down, relax or focus. 

What is Mindfulness?

"Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally." -Jon Kabat-Zin

In 1970 psychologist Jon Kabat Zin developed Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to treat his patients. 

He run tests on buddhist monks who are well known for their meditation capabilities and neurologists found impressive results. 

It's widely known among scientist and therapists that there's a positive correlation between mindfulness and wellbeing.

The first exercise will introduce you to mindfulness. It's where all the other variations stem from: Your breath. 

When in doubt always go back to your breath.

1) Breathe Mindfully

Find a comfortable position. 

Focus your attention on your breathing. What does it feel like? Listen to the sound.

Bring attention to your belly. Feel it rise and expand when you inhale. Feel your belly fall every time you exhale.   

Continue to focus on your breathing.

Whenever thoughts come up and you notice your attention drift away, acknowledge that thought and let it go like a cloud in the sky. 

Go back to your breathing.

2) Conscious Observation 

Choose an object. Any object. A cup of tea, a pen. Any object at hand. 

Now let it absorbe your complete attention. Just observe. Being conscious of what you are looking at gives you a sense of being aware.

Now observe how the mind frees itself of thoughts and focuses on the present moment.

You can practice this exercise using your ears as well. Close your eyes and listen. What sounds are present in the room?

3) Body Scan

4) Count to Ten

Center your attention on counting. 1,2,3... If you loose concentration and thoughts interfere start again.

What usually happens is this "1,2,3..I forgot to call Margaret" "1,2,3, I need to buy milk" "There comes a thought again..." 1,2,3 

Seems easy but it is not! ha!

5) Sit Down and Observe Your Thoughts

This is a good exercise for people that are very stressed and busy and can't focus on breathing long enough.

Just sit down. And don't try to eliminate or let go of thoughts. Simply observe them when they come up. Don't get involved with them. 

Notice your thoughts as if you were an outside observer: "Ok, now I'm thinking about my meeting with Carol tomorrow" 

Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

How Narcissists Erode Your Personality

Everything starts with mirroring, and idealization.

You sacrificed yourself trying to absorb every bit of guilt the abuser throws at you in order to maintain the relationship as it was before.

You then were discarded like a bag of trash in a matter of days.You are left alone, guilty, feeling drained and very confused. Your identity gone. 

How did this happen?

1) Gaslighting 

A very harmful manipulative technique. It is relentless, long term. Also known as Crazy Making.

They devalue your opinions, ignore them or deny them. They accuse you of being completely crazy, jealous or of being guilty of everything.

They deny things they promised, or events that happened. "I never said that" or "That never happened".

They create a situation of anger within the victim for others to witness so that they can later on accuse you of overreacting, or of being jealous, or of having "anger management issues".

They hide things, deny they ever did what you know they did, or they even destroy signed papers telling you that you never did signed them.

They tell you "you see things that are not there" they make you doubt your memory

They try to isolate you while they accuse you of isolating them

This is so ridiculous and out there. Normal innocent people wouldn't even think that someone, who by the way may be a relative a partner or a friend, could ever do this intentionally so the victim of gaslighting ends up believing what the abuser is saying creating terrible damage to their self esteem, eroding bit by bit the identity of the victim.

This creates a complete mess. Survivors have to work on themselves once they've left the relationship to regain their stolen identity and self esteem, self worth, self trust and self respect.

2) Everything is About the Abuser 

Your world revolves around every need, cry, sob story, pity ploy, victim playing, or new whim of the psychopath.

Your agenda is long gone and forgotten. In fact you forgot you had a right to have one. That you have a right to even express your needs or ideas.  The abuser's twisted mind sees you as an object. Everything revolves around the manipulator. By then your world view is so distorted by the constant complains and projections that you are flooded with constantly, that you start to internalize the guilt that the abuser makes sure you feel.  And then your self esteem goes on a downward spiral with feelings of inadequacy and of being less than because anything you do is never enough to fulfill the abuser's needs, who makes a point of letting you know that you are not doing enough ever. Meanwhile the devalue phase is operating in full. The abuser will ignore you, leave you guessing, feeling like you now became a detective trying to see what is happening. You now not only turned into a desperate investigator which you never were before but you feel awful for doing things that were unacceptable before. Your identity eroded a little more.

Sometime along the way you realize there's nothing else you can do and that's where the already mapped out discard is imminent. To the victim this is a complete surprise but we know it's part of the cycle of abuse. It was planned long ago but the devalue phase is so much fun for the narcissist who is enjoying every bit of your desperate effort to please them.

3) Reality Twisting.

The abuser twists your reality bit by bit. A methodically planned execution that takes patience and time. These personalities will go to the extent of bending your perceptions, your beliefs and everything that makes you you.

Suddenly you are not as independent as you were before. You no longer take pride in your kindness and open mindedness. You are unable to grasp why you now are plagued with guilt, shame and feelings of not being enough, "I'm not ok" Everybody else is Ok but me kind of mentality. The crazy part is that you always took pride in your independence, your happiness, your positivity. Now all of that is gone.

Your identity eroded. Stolen. The psychopath took your empathic gifts and tried to internalize them. He steels them but they don't stick. The abuser may even use your gifts when their chameleonic personalities require them to groom other victims but they need more. Constantly. From other sources as well. Because nothing is never enough.

Meanwhile your reality is what the abuser worked hard to instill in you. Pessimism, disgust, negativity, judgement.

What to do?

By now they discarded you if you realized what they were doing all along. If not you need to leave. Regain your identity. Go to therapy. Work on your self esteem. Self care to show yourself that you are worth the time and attention.  Learn about psychopathy and narcissism. Start your journey, your own agenda. Re discover yourself. You will go through a journey similar to the ave phoenix a rebirth of an even better, wiser and more caring spirit.

References: Iñaki Piñuel "Amor Zero"and "Psychopath Free" Jackson MacKenzie

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Modeling & Allowing Emotions in Children

Highly narcissistic people don't validate emotions that aren't congruent with their own agenda. They can simply ignore what you are expressing, minimize it, go to the extent of denying your own emotions, guilt trip you for having them, or even mock you for feeling a certain way.

That, in and of itself is traumatically frustrating for other adults and if endured during a long period of time can lead to chronic deteriorations in a person's psyche caused by this kind of abusive behavior. 

Now imagine the object of this devaluing behavior is a kid who is looking up to his or her parent to learn how to behave in the world and how to handle emotions. It would create a complete mess to say the least.

Luckily, if you are the other parent. The healthier one. You can model what is supposed to happen when we experience any emotion. And it can be enough if you make a point of talking with them about it.

Teaching your kids to express anger and every emotion is one of the main reasons, if not the most important one, why it's so important for you to heal and recover.

In today's video I explain why anger is a secondary emotion and why it's very healthy to express it.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

How to Break a Traumatic Bond

Today's video

We develop bonds when we relate to others. Healthy bonds are strong. Traumatic bonds are stronger. 

Trauma bonding is the normal reaction of the human brain when faced with abuse.

Trauma bond & Stockholm Syndrome

traumatic bond occurs as the result of ongoing cycles of abuse in which the intermittent reinforcement of reward and punishment creates powerful emotional bonds that are resistant to change.

Intermittent reinforcement is one of the strongest approaches to ensure certain behaviors are repeated.

A traumatic bond can be stronger than a healthy bond.  It is established when an abuser exposes their partner to mixtures of kindness and meanness. It is inconsistent and therefore behaviorally very reinforcing to the target.

Victims of abuse stay not because they are irrational but because they are trauma bonded. This traumatic bond can take a huge toll on the victim's health for example health induced eccema, high blood pressure, gut problems.

Stockholm Syndrome: it's a psychological response where a captive person begins to identify closely with his or her captors, as well as with their agenda and demands.

The name of the syndrome derives from a bank robbery that occured in 1973 in Stockholm, Sweden. Four employees were held captive in the bank's vault for 6 days. During that time a hostage stated that she fully trusted her captor. They were good to us ... they gave us water all this while they were wrapped in dynamite.

"The bond is initially formed when a captor threatens a captive's life, deliberates, and then chooses not to kill the captive's life. The captive's relief at the removal of the death threat is transposed into feelings of gratitude toward the captor for giving him or her life. It takes only a few days for this bond to cement..." Source Encyclopedia Britannica

"The survival instinct is at the heart of the Stockholm Syndrome. Victims live and enforced dependence on the captor and interpret rare or small acts of kindness as good treatment." 

Sounds familiar? Wait for this...they often become hypervigilant to the needs of the captors making psychological links between the captors happiness and their own.

This syndrome has since expanded from hostages to victims of abuse, domestic violence, prisoners of war, and abused children.

Why this happens and how this works.

Trauma bond happens because of a polarized flow of events. Too good vs extremely bad. One moment everything is great victims are flooded with kindness, love, and attention, the next moment or day,  they are neglected, there's silent treatment, abuse. 

These two extremes cause oxytocin release in the brain. Oxytocin also called the prosocial hormone, because it reacts to others, to the environment. It's the one involved in uterine contractions, and in milk ejection. Also in love, sex, hugs. It also acts as a neurotransmitter. Oxytocin has two different ways of acting when heightened: Calming and Anxiety provoking.

Ronda Freeman hypothesized that:

When partner is kind calming oxytocin receptors activate. (Anxiolytic)
When partner is mean anxiety oxytocin receptors activate. (Anxiogenic)

To this the brain adds the reward system of the brain, opioids dopamine and others that make you feel good when partner is kind. So then you add to this cognitive dissonance which is all the confusion and other factors as well. 

All this makes leaving extremely difficult and confusing for victims of abuse so it's not only reason. That is why people outside the relationship, family members, or friends don't really understand and can get frustrated to see how the friend puts up with the abuse and never leaves.

But now that you know this here's what you can do.

How to overcome a Traumatic Bond

1) Withdrawal. Like from a drug. The "oxytocin drug..."

How? No contact. Sustain no contact. Or minimal contact if you have children. The thing is the victim loves the abuser because he or she bought the lie at the beginning in the "love bombing phase" of the cycle of abuse. And it's completely normal. The dysfunctional thing is not loving back. The abuser never loved really, it's all a lie that they constructed to get narcissistic supply.

2) Get a replacement for the calming feel good oxytocin with good social contact. Good friends and family that understands. Even dogs are good at eliciting good oxytocin.

3) Find a good therapist, counselor or coach that specializes in this. Talk therapy is part of recovery.

4) Self Care. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Co-Parenting & Narcissism

The last video of my interview with Balance Psychologies was shorter and sweet. And with way better sound!

We talked about co parenting with highly narcissistic people and what things we can do to improve our children's quality of life. What works best for kids and how to deal with problems that may come up when co parenting with these individuals.

"A narcissistic parent won't allow the child to have their own autonomy" - Anoushka Marcin

Anoushka shared very useful concepts that are always welcome if you are co parenting with difficult personalities. I hope you have enjoyed these series.

Some key concepts to keep in mind  when co parenting with a highly narcissistic person are:

     1) Strive to keep good boundaries with the ex. (Takes practice don't panic)

     2) Lead by example. If you are doing your own work with self care, therapy, being healthy; this will impact positively on your kids.

     3) Make sure the children feel heard and "seen", validated. Problems will come up but keep your center and focus on guidance with love.

     4) Try to avoid taking the bait when the narcissist uses your children to manipulate you. Instead focus on your behavior. That is what children ultimately see and learn. 

P.S. Find these videos with subtitles in Spanish here.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Physical Health & Toxic Relationships

There's a variety of health issues that can appear as a consequence of enduring emotional abuse. Some are more manageable than others. 

The importance of leaving abusive relationships is a matter of life and death. Not only psychological but physical as well. This is why we encourage victims to leave these situations, go no contact or minimal contact if necessary, and start a self-care lifestyle.

In today's video, the second part of my interview with Anoushka Marcin at Balance Psychologies, you'll find tips on how to calm down your nervous system, and what to do about the inevitable consequences of dealing with abusive people.

First we talked about what common health problems that can come up after enduring chronic stress due to emotional abuse, and then we mention ways to counteract them, and get rid of this unhealthy toxicity.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Interviewing Balance Psychologies

My favorite part of the trip I made to the UK was meeting Anoushka Marcin in person. Besides her education in the area of psychology and personality disorders, -she is in the process of obtaining her PhD level certification-, to me she is a natural healer. 

There's just something unique about her. Anoushka's YouTube channel  grew exponentially in a year. To be honest, this rare and rapid growth is no surprise. She is genuinely kind, smart, and comes across as the type of person with whom you instantly want to be friends with. Warm and empowering at the same time. Plus ladies, very chic! (Don't tell her I said that)

In today's video I wanted to find out a bit more about her take on triggers, anxiety, codependency, and treatment for recovery in general. Stay tuned for parts II and III in the upcoming weeks. 

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did filming it, background-noise-edited-to-a-point-of-exhaustion, and all.

Happy weekend!

P.S. Check out her blog here. It's my favorite when it comes to Recovery from Narcissistic Abuse.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Fill Your Cup From The UK

Hello! Happy weekend! 

As you may know, I'm already home now, but I'm updating you, in case you missed this live video I filmed in the UK about filling your cup.

I hope you take time to do just that this weekend.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Would You Travel Alone?

I would and I did! I was 17 the first time I went to the US on my own. This time though I went to the UK and Spain.

As I sit comfortably at the airport waiting to board the plane that will take me back home I can honestly say I love traveling.

From the "What if I made a trip?" part to the going back home flight, I truly enjoy every bit of it. Actually one of my happy places is the airport. Yup, dreaded by many loved by few. I'm one of the lucky few! I absolutely enjoy the airport experience. I always want to arrive early so that I can relax, have a cup of coffee, and finally, la pièce de résistance: explore the duty free shop!

Today I savoured the “happy place” like never before. I left the hotel at 6 pm and although my flght leaves at 11:50 pm, I went straight to the airport. Ahh... those hours flew by. I'm about to board the plane any minute now. 

I've had enough time for perfume testing and chocolate buying. I also had a heavenly coffee + donut combo. 

But enough about my happy place. Let's talk about traveling solo.

Why Travel Alone?

1) It's liberating. 

You can literally do whatever you want. After all, there's only you there, so you better do that which only you feel like doing! Like visiting the Goop store in Notting Hill...

Literally, you can walk around Notting Hill streets all day long if you feel so inclined.

Or spend a whole afternoon learning how each and every painting came to be at the Museo del Prado in Madrid.

Or just listen to live street music 🎼in Barcelona's Gothic Neighborhood.

2) It's empowering. 

You are in charge of what, when, where, and how regarding absolutely every single event during that trip. Empowerment and responsibilities go hand in hand though, meaning there's nobody there to remind you of important check out times, flights and hotel reservations. Totally doable if you ask me. Just keep good track of those specific things and problem solved.

Did you arrive on a Kings Day in Barcelona and the taxi cannot reach your hotel because streets are closed and there's people everywhere watching the Parade? You walk baby...yes with all the luggage. 

But then again, keep in mind that on the plus side you can take the ultimate #ootd photo at Kensington Palace without potentially being frowned upon by fellow family members...

3) Adapt, learn, and evolve

Challenges, unforseen circumstances or last minute changes can happen. A great way to learn and improve. 

If you tend to be more of an extrovert you might feel a bit lonely at times but you can always hire a guided tour, meet fellow travelers and chat away. Regardless of where you go I'm pretty sure you'll find a wide array of tour modalities available.

4) No need to plan too much or follow a schedule. 

Just wake up, and ask yourself what you feel like doing that day over breakfast. "Yourself" can be very kind with you and will do whatever you prefer. 

Me: "I should go to Harrods".

Also me: "Definitely, Harrods it is!"

I didn't have to even make a point of it being decorated for Christmas or anything of the sort. 

5) Know thyself. 

You learn a lot about YOU while traveling solo. You discover what you really enjoy sans the kids, husband, significant others, etc.

Have you ever traveled alone?

P.S. This is me and myself in Barcelona talking about traveling alone and about my interview with Balance Psychologies. The Interview will be a three video series coming up next week on my YouTube channel! Please do subscribe so you don't miss this series. It's going to be awesome.