Someone asked me the other day, “Janiel, what do you like to do?” It took me a minute to think about it— for some reason it was hard for me to name what exactly my favorite things are. I think I have made sure I’m always busy doing ‘tasks’ or ‘achieving goals’ or doing ‘things’ so people don’t view me as lazy. As a result, I forgot what it is I ACTUALLY want to do and like to do. BUT WHY SHOULD I CARE SO MUCH ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK? Most of the time people are so wrapped up with themselves, that they aren’t even bothering to think about what it is you are doing or not doing.
First: One of the things I really like to do is blogging 😉 of course! DUH! Especially when talking about travel and the people I meet while traveling. So I am officially knighting myself as a travel blogger, lol.
Second: I love the human connection and getting to know a stranger’s story and what makes them motivated to do the things they do within their personal lives. Have you ever thought about how different we ALL are, throughout the world. Everyone has a different reason for getting up in the morning and going about their day.
I’m not the type of person that has a ton of friends, nor do I like all the attention in large crowds from multiple people looking at me. I am the definition of an extroverted introvert!
Third: Another one of my favorite things is being outdoors. I don’t feel like there is another place in the world where you can feel closer to God than when you are outside with a beautiful landscape in front of you. While I was living in Dallas, Texas, it made me realize how much I love the mountains and the dry heat and air.
I missed the way the river sounds when you fall asleep in the tent while camping; this natural and organic white noise that lulls you to sleep. I missed seeing the Milky Way as if I was Nostradamus himself. The Milky Way and all of its stars are so bright when you are in the mountains and away from the city lights, and you feel like you can almost reach out and touch the stars.
I love the smell of the pine trees as they heat up during the hot summer days. I love the surprises that lay around every corner when hiking in a canyon; a waterfall, a lake, an unusual rock formation, and plenty of natural Hot Springs. These are all things that I missed while I was living in Texas and I realized I was longing for Utah, my home.
Utah has unparalleled natural resources and all of the things I listed above. It truly is a special place to live. Did you know it has more National Parks than any other STATE in the U.S.A.?!?!
Traveler Tip: If you ever visit Utah, plan to rent an RV and then travel for 2 weeks in the most beautiful state in the U.S. of A.
Fourth: I like to spend time with my dog Zoey. She really has the best temperament, huge puppy eyes (my sister calls them human eyes, lol) and a loving little heart that seems to make the world seem right even on the darkest days. She is six years old as of June, 2017.
Fifth: One of my favorite things is to receive hugs from friends. I’m not talking about regular hugs, but the type of hugs where they wrap you up in their arms and don’t immediately let go. I have found a few people in this world, and within my close knit circle of friends, that actually do this. Maybe I can start giving more hugs to others so I can find more of these people. So if we ever cross paths, be sure to get a FREE hug from me:)
Sixth: Cuddling under blankets on a cold night or a rainy day watching a great movie, is another favorite thing. I really enjoy CIA movies, fantasy movies, and documentaries about ancient castles, my Scottish heritage, Old England and medieval times.
If there is a handsome, intelligent, giving, kind man next to me, that makes this dreamy situation even better 😉 — I will be taking applications for new boyfriends October of 2017 lol.
Seventh: Inviting loads of people over for dinner (including strangers) and testing new recipes on them is the absolute BEST:) I haven’t had anyone gag or die from my creative creations yet…. I will say most of the time, my guests end up asking for my recipes (insert cheesy proud grin). This fun experience of having guests ask for recipes is quite comical to me, because growing up I was known as the sibling that couldn’t cook. I remember one time I tried to make some cookies and thought it would be ok to substitute regular sugar for brown sugar; I didn’t have any butter, so I used oil. Well, as you can guess, I ended up having to pour the runny batter onto a cookie sheet lol. I thought it would be fine…but it wasn’t. It really wasn’t.
Eighth: I love discovering new historical facts about the time of Jesus and the daily life of the people in that era. It makes it quite fascinating for me to read the Bible after that, because it makes the meanings of what they say or do so much more profound.
I took a class from an Archaeologist about the Jewish sects that existed during Jesus’ time, and I felt like I could have sat there and listened to his discoveries forever.
I haven’t been doing this lately, because for some reason I feel like I have disappointed God for some reason, but all in good time right? Every ‘thing’ or life milestone has its season and time when stars will align, and everything will be done or completed at the exact moment it should be. I just have to make sure that the activities and tasks I do fill my life with are helping to build my character, not break it.
Ninth: Helping other people and providing a listening ear for their problems is one of those favorite things that I think humanity needs more of. I hate when my friends feel like they have no one to talk to, or they feel alone. I don’t want anyone to feel alone and it seems more often than not, that people do feel alone, undervalued, underpaid etc. It would be interesting to see the statistics on self-help, confidence, anxiety, fear, and ptsd, and if they have increased over time or decreased, or just become more talked about.
Tenth: I love walking in the rain in Utah during our rare, but fantastic storms. The warm rain, the feel of it hitting my face, soaking my clothes to keep me cool; I still love to splash in the puddles and feel the squishing of the water in my shoes.
My Grandma’s house in Bountiful has always been this magical place of peace. I remember one day in this HUGE rainstorm (think 3-4″ within an hour or so), garbage cans were sliding down the street in a flood and then the owners of those garbage cans were sliding after them. I had to laugh at this. It was probably not the kindest thing to do, but I couldn’t help it when this guy looked like a fish out of water, flopping around on the street. (Don’t worry, he gained his footing a short time later and was able to get out of the street unharmed).
Eleventh: I LOOOOVE to give myself meticulous manicures and pedicures. I like applying different colors, polka dots, designs etc., as long as they lie perfectly against the cuticle and the sides. I don’t like it when there are little jewels and such because I always end up biting my nails and then plucking off the tiny embellishments.
Traveler tip for saving money: Doing your own manicures is a great way of saving money. I know the fancy nails and massages you get during a pedicure are great, but add up that $35-$55 you spend once or twice a month over 12 months, and it adds up incredibly quick!
Last but not least: I leave these for last because these are things I know I used to love to do, but somehow they became lost in the cacophony of what we call life or the daily Rat Race.
I used to love to push myself physically at the gym. I completed my first Triathlon 3 years ago and have never felt so proud of myself and of my dedication to never give up, despite the self-doubt, and the friends and trainers who doubted me. I finished one of the hardest Triathlons in the West, the ‘Pumpkin Man,’ in 2 hrs and 36 min.
I love the feeling of riding a bike and seeing the world pass by quickly with the wind in my hair. I enjoy sunsets and the smell of Lilacs, Lavender and Arabian Jasmine. I love painting, playing the violin, and writing poems. I love rock climbing and the feeling of conquering my fear of heights and knowing that I didn’t let fear stop me from reaching the top–which is often a metaphor I use for my personal life.
What are some of your favorite things?
What are some of the things you used to love to do, but seem to have disappeared from your life as you became too busy?
What is life if you don’t live it to its fullest? Love my readers, love my followers and a HUGE THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING ME IN EVERYTHING!
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