You heard it right, I am living out of a bag and a half. And by half, I mean I have a supreme fanny pack and a small backpack that only fits electronics. Besides that, I am living out of a 75-liter Osprey that cost me more than two whole plane tickets to the east coast. That might seem big to you, but my clothes basically take up all the space because no matter where I go, I want to do it in style for the most part. My mom came over a few days before I left the country for a year and picked up each individual item to ask if I wanted to keep it with me or not. I made the decision based off if she accompanied it with a look of disappointment. The funny part is, I re-picked up a majority of those things the moment I landed in Colombia.
Not only was leaving my life in America behind for a year very difficult, but I also had to leave behind my daily routines. I tried my best to bring what I could to make me feel like I was at home though. That includes mint tea for the mornings, Laneige Night Lip Mask, an eye mask to sleep with, silk pillowcase to protect my skin and hair, and my tongue scraper. Obviously, the list goes on and on, but I took facials/massages/self-care very seriously at home and I did not think to leave for a year meant giving all that up. The best way I can serve others is when I know I am also taking care of myself mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
PHOTO BY @RIGHTUPYOURALLEE
The first month out of my 11 countries in 11 months mission trip was difficult because all 40-something of us lived in one building. I put self-care on the bottom of my list which really affected the way I ministered. I made a list of how I'm going to change that once I move into an apartment of six girls, where there is more room to cook breakfast in my underwear and not have 3 people in the bathroom while you are showering. I'm going to let you in on my self-care plan of 2019: big pack style. The first thing is to understand that self-care isn't just the face mask you put on. It's about allowing yourself to reflect, listen to music, meditate, and journal. It's about giving yourself space from the world so that you can serve the world better. The most important thing to know is your self-care plan doesn't need to look like this or that, it is whatever brings joy to your heart and peace to your mind. Let's get refreshing!
In my medium size shower roll, I got from REI, I managed to bring half my bathroom from back home (whoops). So I start (or am planning to start) my mornings with digging into the word of God. If that's not your cup of tea, dig into something that renews your mind in the mornings. I want to hold off from updates, work, and social media until I am completely ready for the day. I will start with reading the Bible, a devotional, and some mediation during yoga stretching. I couldn't do yoga this past month because of where we were living and how it could affect ministry in Colombia but I'm excited to get those juices flowing again.
Then, I want to dance my way into the kitchen and make some mint/ginger/lemon tea. It depends on what is available in that country. This helps your digestive system get going along with vitamins and probiotics. I also want to get active, whether it be a walk and a podcast or a run with worship music. Something in 30 minutes that can provide me with natural energy and something I can learn from or open my mind with. I am not a runner and, to be honest, I don't like working out, but I know how I feel when I do and I love that feeling so my team is holding me accountable to the promises I'm making with myself.
PHOTO BY @LANEIGE_US
My day will change depending on what the organization asks of me, but it is nice having a routine then going with the daily flow. It's exciting and new. I plan on blogging and journaling throughout my day and I put a two-hour limit on social media each day. Two hours seems like a lot, but I had to up it since the app we use to chat with our squads is considered social media. I asked my team to be on "scroll watch" as well so I don't mindlessly waste my days scrolling instead of connecting.
At night, I want to focus on getting that 7-8 hour of sleep that my body needs and only nap when it is very necessary. I want to finish a book each month I am out here, so I want to read each night and make sure I have spent my time with the Lord. I also journal through a devotional I do before I sleep so that I go to bed on a good note. Before going to bed, I do the most. I brush my teeth, floss, tongue scrape, Listerine it up, wash my face and follow it up with witch hazel and glow recipe moisturizer, lotion up my entire body after a shower (I shower at night so my hair dries when I sleep), dance around to music in my robe (my poor roommates) and then I put baby powder on my pillow because it's my "natural melatonin." Don't I sound like a missionary?
Anyway, these are the things that bring me joy. I love early bedtimes when Netflix is not an option and re-organizing my life each day. I love day planners and knowing what's happening, but I also like each day to look different. I managed to have one of the lighter bags on my team, but I'm the only one not needing to drop things I did not need. Before coming on the World Race, I spent months perfecting a list of everything I needed. I designed outfits just so I could feel good about myself and not messily throw things together each day. I picked up the miniature version of everything and found out my favorite deodorant will actually last the entire year.
PHOTO BY @GLOSSIER (THE HOLY TRINITY)
Sometimes, I'd get feedback or comments about how "boujee" I am on the race, but to me, that's just me picking out what is important for me and my body and doing it. I love being a full-time missionary and serving others, that job is not only for the "granolas" or "minimalists" of the world. We are all called to love people no matter where we are or what we are doing. I am taking time to make sure I'm treating my body like a temple and filling it with a healthy amount of carbs/protein/fats, even though I lost sight of that my first month and considered PB with graham crackers a substantial meal. So, to all my world travelers and missionaries out there, take time to budget your money, take care of your body, and invest in your overall health. The way you feel on the inside reflects on how you treat people on the outside. xx