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  • Writer's pictureLaRissa Paras

A Traveling Mindset

Guess what? I'm writing a book! It's all about growing into your best self, taking care of your brain, setting boundaries and being brave in the world. Here's a sneak peak.

When I was young I was super curious about Paris. I read books about France, I learned about the people, the food, the culture, the history. I sought out fiction that took place there. I even took four years of French in high school. I started building a mental map of Paris when I was eight years old. Curious might be an understatement. I was obsessed. If you ask my husband, I still am. It was always my dream to go to Paris and travel abroad to places I had only ever read about in books.

I was 39 the first time I traveled abroad. I had opportunities to travel abroad before that time, but never took the steps to do it or to even try. Unfortunately, there were many lies that I told myself that prevented me from living my dream for so long.

Things like…

It’s too expensive and I’ll never have the money.

  • I should spend the money on other things of status, like cars and clothes.

  • I should spend my vacation time with my boyfriend who was serving our country instead of doing something for myself. (Sidenote: I did not marry this boy.)

  • I’m not smart enough to get around a new city.

  • Planes are scary and crash all the time.

  • Foreign languages are scary.

  • I’m too fat to blend in.

  • I might not blend in and they’ll know I’m an American tourist.

  • I might have a bad time.

  • I might get lost.

  • I might get pickpocketed.

  • I don’t speak French.

  • I have bills to pay and it’s not worth my money.

  • I’m not fancy enough. (Such a lie as I am damn fancy sometimes.)

  • People will call me uppity, think I’m wealthy and make fun of me for traveling.

  • People will wonder if I’ve gone into debt for this.

  • I shouldn’t leave my kids at home.

  • I don’t have a passport.

  • I have nothing to wear in Paris.

Here’s why that litany was bad news: it was fear-based. I had to change my mindset and my inner dialogue before I allowed myself to really make my dreams a goal and then a reality. I had to research all the ways to make this happen in a way that worked for me and my family. I had to work for all of that. I had to say and believe:

  • I can save money by not buying the things that I didn’t need at the mall.

  • I can save money by setting it aside before spending it.

  • I can work a side hustle to get more cash flow.

  • My dreams don’t have to be like someone else’s.

  • Millions of people fly every day. Statistics show us it’s safer than cars!

  • This trip will give me and my husband an adventure to bond over.

  • Paris will not disappoint.

  • I am worthy of this trip.

So, once we decided to go, we saved up for it. I had to research how much it would cost, where we could stay, options for what we would do, and what I should wear. I had to figure out who would watch the kids. And we even updated our will a few months prior to the big trip. I asked a lot of questions… To Google, to Pinterest, and to people I knew that had traveled before. Being curious had never felt so good. Because curiosity was leading to adventure and catching my dream.

I had to take the same concepts and attitudes when I wanted to design my websites, create blogs, and publish my first book, the Lotus Project curriculum. I had no idea what I was doing. I had to stay curious, ask questions, and turn down the defeatist negative inner dialog. (Again! Thank you Internet search bar! Thank you people that went before me and let me pick their brains!) I needed to keep a positive mindset. And when I didn’t, I needed to remind myself that I was good enough to try. I was inquisitive enough to follow tutorials, attend workshops, and learn how to do things on my own.

I think now being curious about life is what makes life so good. Sometimes it’s just knowing something new… Like a documentary about tiny creatures. Sometimes it turns into an action or an adventure… Where can I hike near the lake shore? Sometimes it turns into a job… I’m going to ask for a job application or I’m going to start my own online service.

And sometimes it takes you to Paris. And Paris does not disappoint.

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