1 Year Nomadic


Who am I?

No matter the amount of flights, it never ceases to become any less incredible. Suspended below me, the earth is a raging sea of clouds that appear frozen in time. Looking above, I reflect on a brilliant blue that fades into darkness. I shift my eyes below to the array of patterns and colors of farmland that seem to stretch into the infinite, the roads and buildings, the tiny vehicles scurrying constant like worker ants. 

We do not truly become aware of our own insignificance until we board an aircraft. We will not begin to understand it until we witness other ways of life, society, and belief. An open mind and patience are the essence of travel. We must be open-minded not only to other ways of life, but to different ideas and beliefs. The ones we hold dearest, the ones we defend with everything we have, the ones we die, kill, and sacrifice everything for; they are the false prisons that tear us apart. This I have learned.


When good things happen, we call them a blessing. When bad things happen, we call that a curse. Siddhartha said “There is no good, no bad, everything simply is”.  It means that life is a mental projection, and no two projections are the same.


The friendships that we build on the road are strong ones, despite the often small lapse in time to form them.  Often it seems that as quickly as we say “hello”, we are uttering the words “goodbye”. With a hug, a smile, and a promise to see each other again somewhere in the world, we disappear on a boat, plane, or train destined for a new, personally uncharted land.



Always moving is a desire as strong as any drug, it is an addiction of the boldest kind. Being alone in a foreign country is wonderfully uncomfortable. It forces us to change, to grow. We must adapt to our surroundings, we must survive. Once we do, nothing can rival the emotions of such conquests.



Three hundred and forty-eight is the number of days I have drifted the earth. The number of days I’ve spent camping, sleeping in parks, hitchhiking, eating supermarket discounts, living on sailboats, swimming in the ocean, maneuvering motorbikes through traffic, hiking up mountains and through jungles, overnight buses, ferries, learning new languages, drinking good wine, and making life long bonds.


I’ve been angry, impatient, soaking wet, stranded, left without money, injured, exhausted, and deceived. I’ve helped others, and in return I’ve been helped. I’ve lost, I’ve loved, and I’ve fallen in love. 

As I sit on this 13 hour flight from Japan to Dallas, (in between two strangers because I refuse to pay for a seat upgrade), I can’t help but reflect on this year, and how things back home will have carried on the same. If I take anything away from my experience as a traveler, as a person, it is this: 

Time is wasted when it is spent in fear, in hesitation, and second guessing yourself and your abilities, in surrounding yourself with people who reflect negativity, and project negative and stressful emotions inside of you. Do not allow yourself to be conditioned into a pessimist. Stay self-aware, recognize and talk about your flaws, but never accept anything as unchangeable. 


Exercise regularly, read books, reflect, see the sun, drink lots of water and stop making excuses for your life, take control of it. 


-Jesse Hunter


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Paradise in Flames




What time is it? 5:45 am!? The village is never so loud at this hour.

I shuffle around under my mosquito net in the dark, still feeling the effects of last nights khmer whiskey celebration. Suddenly, our door bursts open. “JESSE, ALANAH, GET UP! GET UP! THERE’S A FIRE DOWN THE BEACH!”

I rise up to face Jo, an Australian woman whom has become like a mother to all of us on the island. I immediately disregard any emergency for exaggerated panic, and slowly make my way out of bed, down the hall, and out onto the beach. At first, Alanah and I see nothing at all. A few people scattered around, and a sun starting to peak over the horizon.

I decide to make my way out onto the pier to get a better view of the village. Then, I see it, Frank’s Burgers, a small bamboo and wooden shack bar/burger joint with rooms upstairs tightly nestled between other guesthouses and restaurants has become a towering inferno rising out into the sky.

My mind starts racing, but all that comes out is “Oh, shit.”

Everything on this island is made of wood and dried grass. All of the businesses are right next to each other. The kitchens all use propane tanks, there is boat fuel and many scuba cylinders in the pier. There is barely enough water to drink and shower with here, there definitely isn’t enough to fight this fire. The entire village could go in two hours…


The next ten minutes are a blur of grabbing clothing, phone chargers, and shoving everything into bags and backpacks as quickly as possible. In the background I hear the others banging on the guests doors, BOOM! BOOM! “WAKE UP, WAKE UP!”. By the time I had made my way to the beach, everyone was up, and the locals had already moved the gas cylinders and other important items to the beach. Dave came up next to me with 3 tents, which he told me to guard with my life. “In a few hours, these may become invaluable.” he said.

It’s easy to imagine what you’d do during a fully adrenaline rushed moment of emergency. How you’d spring into action like a super hero, or an actor you admire from a Hollywood movie. In reality, most people just freeze, locked into a state of fear, or self doubt, or more commonly, both.

As we were standing on the beach next to our bags, gleaming at the flames reaching into the sky, no one really knew how to react. The beach around the fire was already full of people. “I’m not trained for this, I’d just get in the way.” I told myself. Just then, Ly, the owner of White Rose Guesthouse came up to address the people standing on the beach. “WHY ARE YOU STANDING THERE!? YOUR THINGS CAN BE REPLACED! IF YOU CARE ABOUT THIS ISLAND, PLEASE HELP!”

He was right, we were standing around like jackasses. I do care about this island! Dave and I abandoned our belongings and made our way down the beach. Locals were on the roof of Coco’s, tearing the entire place apart to stop the fuel source in case the fire made it that far. I started picking up the fallen thatching and boards, and throwing them into a pile on the beach.

The smoke, the heat, was everywhere, sand was flying all over the place, into my eyes, my nose, and my mouth. Dave must have gone to help further down the beach. I was pretty much running on auto pilot now, grabbing, moving, throwing, and occasionally looking up in a semi state of confusion for something else to do. At one point, Dave appeared, and we decided that there were plenty of people taking part in this endeavor at Coco’s so we decided to make our way closer to the fire. Perhaps I could do more to help over there.


At this point, the flames had consumed two more businesses, the blind massage parlor, and “The rising sun, Koh Rong’s best little market. Getting close enough to help with fighting the fire, was impossible. There were people everywhere, kicking sand and pushing ocean water through hoses via centrifugal force pumps. There was nothing we could do more. However, luck was on our side that morning.

First, there was no wind that early in the morning, despite gusty evenings being relatively common. The fire defaulted to drifting in a lefthanded direction. Secondly, all of the businesses on this section of the beach are pretty much connected to each other, except on the lefthand side of Rising Sun, where there is a very large gap before the next business.

This gap ultimately provided what was needed to stop the fire in its tracks, approximately 3 hours after it’s initial spark.

Almost immediately, the quiet, lazy vibe of the island returned as locals and tourists made their way back to their homes and bungalows. Many backpackers lined the pier and crammed themselves onto the first ferry departing the island. Many more, waited on the pier for the next one.

Mr. Run decided to be the only person to open his noodle shack restaurant, an hour before the fire was even out, mind you. It is because of this forward thinking, that he was completely full of customers the entire time.

Upon returning down the beach to White Rose, we carried our belongs, as well as the gas canisters and other valuable Items back into the guesthouse. At this point, we did the only thing left that could be done.

We ate noodle soup, of course.


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Life insight on an Indonesian hideaway.


Is it bad karma to step on a gecko barefoot upon exiting the shower?

I find myself in a two story bamboo bungalow overlooking a field of palm trees, chickens, and the occasional cow. My bungalow has a floor hatch next to the bed where I descend into a ground floor area open to the sky where I shower, have a toilet, and water basin for flushing and washing clothes when I need to. Ko Uchi is the place. The caretaker Ramli tells me that it is named after a friend.



I’ve been on the small island of Gili Meno for three days now. Situated north of the Indonesian island of Lombok. It is a quiet place, with amazing views, fantastic snorkeling, and great food. I love Indonesian food.


After several months of traveling in a group, and time with friends in Cambodia, I suppose I came to Indonesia searching for a bit of solitude, reflection, and tranquility. Upon entering Indonesia, I had been in contact with a woman named Pamela. It is a strange revelation for me, the word “woman”. When does my perception shift them from girls to women?

Pamela is a Family Physician from Belgium. Despite the fact that we are both on the same road to finding ourselves (whatever that means), I find her to be well accomplished. As well as very intelligent, adventurous, and independent. I believe referring to her in any way other than a woman would be affronting.

Pamela and I didn’t actually organize a meeting time or place on the island. She simply ran into me as I sat along the beach eating Nasi Campur from a cafe named Ya Ya Warung. This should gives you reference to the size of Gili Meno. Pam had already made a few friends on the island a couple of German guys, one French Canadian, and a holistic, in touch Aussie named Jeremy and his daughter Om.

I’ve spent the last few days lounging at the beach, practicing yoga and handstands, eating coconut, playing volleyball against the locals, and reading Paulo Coelho. Pam and I have been having ginger tea from Ramli’s kitchen every morning (minus the tea) and talking about life, travel, and future pursuits. I find my self repeatedly drawn back to these topics, in a good way. They seem to be what I resonate with most, as of lately.

Tomorrow I will leave Meno and return to Sengiggi. From there, I will make my way to southern Lombok for a few days to surf, and hopefully meet a few interesting people. Pam and I have plans to meet up in Bali for a few days before we both go our separate ways, back into the world.

This island, and the people I’ve met have had a large impact on me. Despite only spending a short time here.

Several months ago, In Bodrum, Turkey, I purchased a pair of blue snorkeling googles. I have been carrying these googles all over Asia to use when I want to free dive. What I experienced yesterday opened a door to immense growth.

As I exited the ocean from a swim with my googles something stopped me in mid step. I immediately turned around to face the ocean and a view of the mountains of Lombok, for reasons still unknown. With my ankles still submerged in the water, and my eyes fixed on the peaks, a wave rushed up the shore and across my legs. In this moment, something hooked itself perfectly around my right ankle. I reach my hand down, and what I pull out of the water was a fully intact blue snorkel that perfectly matched my googles.

Some may call this extreme coincidence, but this event was much more significant for me. The snorkel represents the other piece of the puzzle, It completes the set. Hundreds of thoughts rushed my mind all at once, all merging together, coming to one obvious conclusion. I am exactly where I am supposed to be, where I belong, out here in the world, always moving, always learning, always growing.

My life is changed, forever.

-Jesse Hunter


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Journey through the Scottish Highlands.


I hear the faint splash of water approaching. As the sound draws closer, the warmth of the mid morning sun awakens me from a deep sleep. I lift up to see five groomed stallions trekking across the shallows past me. Their riders, staring in a combination of curiosity and wonder. After all, it’s not everyday that you see a man sleeping on top of a dock situated right in the middle of the great Loch Ness.

How did I slept until 10 am? Nights in Scotland get a bit cold, and this fleece barely cuts it! It’s probably time I invest in a tent, but finding a cheap one is proving difficult. I’ve spent a lot of money in this country already!

It all started two weeks ago in Edinburgh. I arrived via Vueling airlines out of Barcelona. I would have been here two days prior, except that I missed my flight. Luckily, two plane tickets on Vueling equals one plane ticket with anyone else. Upon arriving at immigration with no plan or place to stay, as usual, I met an American named Patrick, A weathered, bearded, army veteran who’d been on the road awhile. I decided to list Patrick’s hostel as my Scottish address in Edinburgh. I thought it seemed like a good plan to breeze through immigration, I was wrong. I was asked my purpose for this visit to Scotland, which I regretfully gave a response of “just hanging out”. After a mild interrogation, by a rather intimidating Scottish lassie, I was permitted in to “hang out”.

After a few nights in Edinburgh, I ended up at a rowdy, rather dingy hostel on Cowgate due to a complete lack of accommodation elsewhere. It was here that I met up with an Israeli girl named Dana whom I had been in contact with via Couchsurfing. Dana and I decided to head north out of the city towards the highlands. After a short time, we were picked up by a very nice gentleman named Colin headed home from work. He dropped us at a Co-op supermarket where we grabbed a bus to Perth for the night.

Upon wandering into town for food, I stumbled upon a small pub with a handful of locals inside. They welcomed me in very invitingly, bought me a few pints, and wanted to hear about my travels. They were a lovely bunch, and as the pub closed up, we exchanged Facebook accounts, and I said farewell.

From Perth, Dana and I made our way to the small town of Pitlochry. I found it an enchanting place, resting beside the river. We strolled up to the Moulin Brewery to try local ales, before retiring to the local park for the night. We slept behind an old ship container being used for tools resting at the north east corner of the park. After sleeping in, Dana and I rolled up our sleeping bags, and made our way into town for food. After a short time, we were on a bus headed for Blair Atholl to visit the famous Blair Castle. Blair Athol is a small place, very small. The castle and it’s royal garden is quiet impressive. There was a nice campground only meters from it as well. Unfortunately, the price was much to our disliking, so we opted to push forward towards Inverness.

We were attempting to hitch hike from Blair Atholl to the Braur junction where the Blair road meets Highway A9. From there, it is a straight shot to Inverness. Unfortunately, the ride never came and we instead ended up walking the entire 3 miles to the junction. It wasn’t ideal, but I found the walk to be beautiful, despite the dangerously narrow road, with frequent traffic. Upon arriving at the junction, we pulled out a cardboard sign that we had scribbled “A9 North” on with a marker. It wasn’t anything fancy, but It could get the job done.

After finding a good spot situated on a median where the two roadways meet, we started to smile, wave, and dance our sign around in enthusiasm. As a car approach the stop sign, waiting to pull onto the very busy A9, we performed our usual routine. The driver, seemingly oblivious to our attempts to attract, proceeded to pull out onto the A9 while her daughter engaged her in conversation.

What happened next must have only taken milliseconds, but for me seemed to occur in slow motion. The way a Hollywood action star leaps from an exploding building. From my right, I heard the screeching of the tires. I turned just in time to witness a pickup truck and horse trailer combo whiz by my face at a proximity that could almost shave a man’s beard. Suddenly, the pickup truck collides with the driver’s side door of the car a mere 10 meters to our left. The sheer speed and force of the impact creates a storm of flying debri in every direction. As we attempt to shield ourselves, the car spins uncontrollably before coming to rest in a field on the opposite side of the road. The horse trailer detached and situated in the middle of the highway, the pickup truck resting in the ditch just down from us.

Suddenly, everything is silent. I watch as a small trickle of white smoke makes its way from the cars engine. The passenger emerges from the car almost instantaneously, running around to the driver side to help her mom. In an attempt to open the door, the handle breaks, and she goes falling to the ground. I found myself watching this unfold in a completely frozen state. It was not an act of fear, mind you. In fact, the entire experience had my adrenaline racing!

Finally, I snapped out of my trance and ran over to assist the girl. Opening the driver side door was futile. It was crushed and without a handle. The police arrived in just a few minutes. Since Dana and I were the prime witnesses to the crash, we had to be placed into the police car and interviewed. He started off with the basics, asking us our names, ages, nationalities, then drifted toward our business here. He began with “So you two were here trying to get a lift, right?” Which led me to reply with “yeah…Is that illeeeegal???” In a fashion you’d much expect to hear from Steve Eurkel. A weight of relief lifted when the officer informed me that I wasn’t breaking any laws.

After a bit more information from us, a Middle Aged Dutch woman approached the police car to ask if she could get through, as she was just heading to Blair Athol. Dana turned on her girlish charm and we landed a ride back to Blair Atholl with The woman and her husband. The couple dropped us off at the bus stop. No more that 1 minute of standing at the bus stop, a man pulled up and asked us “Do you need a ride to Pitlochry?”. What luck!

Getting back to Pitlochry where we started was a bit discouraging, but neither Dana nor I felt up for night travel this evening. We decided to get a dorm bed at the local backpacker hostel and relaxed. The next day, we gave in and bought bus tickets all the way to Inverness. Although much less adventurous, it proved to be much less exhausting.

Inverness was a nice enough city, we spent our first day walking across the Kessock bridge, and exploring the river. Dana had a rather amusing dispute with the young hostel worker over dorm room fees, as well as a street hoodlum who would not stop incessant blowing on a horn. After, a few days lounging around Inverness, we made our way up to Loch Ness, or a town close enough rather. We bought some food in town and hiked through the woods, and farmland until we found a small dock situated on a small patch of land. Dana secured her make shift tent in the trees, and I rolled my sleeping bag out onto the dock. After a few Strongbow ciders and a nice sunset, I drifted off to sleep.

Which brings me back to the present. As, I sit here eating my last can of sardines, an unintimidated duck family picks up the fallen pieces from beneath my feet. I reflect on what has led me here, to this moment. Living on the road is not always as peaceful as you might imagine. It can be a lot of work, and just as much stress. Occasionally however, time seems to freeze, and there is one perfect moment where nothing else matters. A now that is utterly perfect, and captures the whole of me.

In the blink of an eye it is over, but it is unforgettable. Like a drug, I long for that moment. A permanent state of now, where I am forever conscious.

-Jesse Hunter

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Random thoughts on a Vietnamese bus


Could it be any colder in here?

This question serves no purpose, as I become a human Popsicle, clenching this complimentary thin green blanket. It’s been 6 hours since I left Mui Ne on this sleeper bus headed for Ho Chi Min City. Through all effort on my part to land a window seat, I’m in the middle.

To my left, an adorable 3 year old girl doing what 3 year olds everywhere do. Rolling, tapping the glass, making sound effects, singing, and the occasional sharp squeal which is abruptly silenced by a tap on the head by her mother. She’s cute, but thank the stars I don’t have one of these things.

To my right, “Queen Smacks-a-lot” chomps away at her bus stop candy, while occasionally man level belching, and drenching herself in what I can only assume to be something between vanilla extract and rubbing alcohol. I really wish I would have learned “close your mouth” in vietnamese. I really want to get to wherever it is I’m supposed to be going. Who even knows anymore?

The floor is lined with sitting travelers, overflow that was ushered onto the bus anyway. It’s of no concern to me really, I was here first, I secured a seat (neh neh neh neh neh). Asia starts to change you a bit that way it seems. They are always competing with each other, survival of the fittest, if you will.


The bus consists of 3 sections, left, right, and middle. There is a bottom and top layer. Guess where I ended up? That’s right, the shitty one. I’m being dramatic, my seat is fine. This is a very nice bus, much better than my last sleeper bus equipped with a merciless suspension system, roadside bush pee breaks, and cockroaches.

Ok, so anyone who really knows me, knows I enjoy peeing outside. They flipping do it everywhere here! Dudes are standing next to the burger king just rocking it like it doesn’t even matter! The west is too damn coddled.

Dogs do whatever they feel like doing around here, as well. They are running all over the place, no leashes or fences, peeing and sleeping on everything. No one cares…I saw a dog sleeping on a table at a restaurant in Laos, these canines are a menace. They never get hit by cars! They look both ways, walk to the median, look both ways AGAIN, and cross over after the motorists!

I’m so glad I bought a new pair of fake crocs. These are way better than my last pair, nicer colors as well. I’ll never make fun of people in Crocs again. These shoes rule, flip flops are a joke. I’m walking on clouds, world! I recycled the old ones. By recycled, I mean that I “forgot” them at my hotel with the hope that someone will adopt them after I’m gone. Whew, I feel good about myself. You’re welcome.

What is that smell!? No wonder everyone around here are wearing masks! Hey! Some cool neon running lights just flipped on! Ohhhh…pretty colors…

Wait, what was I thinking about? Oh, who the hell cares, the bus is stopping! What’s up Saigon!? let’s get down!

-Jesse Hunter

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Adventures In Paris

My trip to Paris was supposed to be only 2-3 days, but I ended up staying 5. I arrived on Monday at 6:30 am via a lay over from Iceland. From the airport, I took a train to a station called “Gare de nord” in the north of the city where my couch hosts lived, a very nice holistic/vegetarian couple named Sylvain and Aurelia. I decided not to contact my hosts so early, so As I FINALLY found the exit to the train station, The first thing I saw down the road to my left was Mcdonald’s. Public restrooms, and free wifi sounds good to me!

The first thing you notice about Paris when you arrive…it’s crazy busy! So many people packed into such a small place, it makes NYC look desolate. What I didn’t know (before I arrived) is that the Gare de nord area is the roughest part of Paris. You have many homeless, junkies, and scammers lurking around the train station. I can’t think of any better way to truly experience a city, than to throw yourself into places you can’t visit on the tourist website. The advantage of being in this area is that, I was able to hang out at Mcdonald’s (and even sleep awhile in there) without anyone paying any attention to me.

I got in contact with a girl on the Paris couchsurfing news feed named Katya. Katya is African/German, she has an afro, and aspires to become an electronica DJ. She has been living in Paris for 6 weeks, I ended up meeting my host Sylvain at 8 pm on Monday and he came to the station to pick me up via bicycle. I then proceeded to rent a bicycle from the street and cycle to Sylvain’s house with my full pack. Cycling in Paris is pretty hardcore, the roads are strange, and the traffic moves fast! I spent two days at Sylvain’s, they cooked for me, and showed me some very cool sights. I spent the next 3 days in a hostel named “Arty” in the south of the city. It was a pretty long walk from the Metro station, and making the trip uphill with full pack, walking too fast…my knee was feeling it for a few days. I decided to be my own doctor, so my first night at the hostel I drank a very large biere and took a few advil, my leg feels great.

I hung out with Katya every day that I was in Paris, we explored the city, had a picnic at the Eiffel tower, ate Lebanese food, and exchanged English and French language. I keep making life long friends here on the road, and it helps remind me that this is what it is all about. Sometimes I am being rained on, sometimes I am stranded at Mcdonald’s, sometimes I don’t know where I’m going to stay for a few hours, sometimes I live on nothing except bread and nutella knock-off, or go 8-10 hours on 1 apple. I am slowly becoming addicted to living out of a bag on the road. My life back home was very predictable, And I constantly lived inside a mind of fear, and worry, and anxiety about life, and problems that were insignificant. I don’t worry on the road, I’m not afraid. I have no choice except to live right now in this moment, because I have no idea what is going to happen tomorrow.

Before I started this journey, I imagined myself lounging around all day reading books and relaxing. I have opened a book 1 time since I left 13 days ago. World travel is a lot of work! I’m far too busy to spend my time focused on things I can’t control. Truly though, who really wants to sit around and relax all the time? I spent the last 4 years living that way, and it is for the birds. Today I leave for Orleans to catch a train towards Spain. The drive to Orleans should be a quick one considering the casual speed limit is nearly 100 mph.

In conclusion, Paris is a nice place, and I hope to go back someday soon for sure! Two things, Older French business owners really do hate you if you don’t speak French, and the city is full of people who apparently just piss where ever they feel like it. Occasionally you will walk into a gust of overpowering urine smell. I like to think urine stench has a story to tell, of a classic city with much history to share…or maybe not. Much love everyone!

-Jesse Hunter

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Willpower, child-like happiness, reaching your goals


I’ve made a lot of adjustments in my life over the past few years towards a healthier path. People always ask me how I abruptly stopped eating unhealthy foods, or if I ever crave things that I’ve stopped eating. The truth is, I love the way that I eat! Do I ever crave junk food? Sure I do, Pizza used to be my favorite food. When I stopped eating fast food, I ate it 7 days a week! The thing is, small cravings for items from my past will never outweigh the information I now know regarding those items and my well being.

When I decide to cut anything out of my lifestyle, I first make sure that it is a sound conviction and that I am passionate about the decision. Next, I simply say “Today is the last day I indulge in this act.” I mean it, mentally, physically, and emotionally. This may seem obvious, but it really is that simple. You can apply that to any aspect or task life throws your way. The power of change is inside YOU. It isn’t a herbal potion, medication, or a pricey seminar, It is a state of mind. The world around you is just an illusion. You have shaped everything you see, think, and feel. As Tony Robbins would say “You base every decision you make in life off of two variables: pleasure or pain.”

We are constantly shaping our life this way. If something causes us pain, we will forever associate “pain” with that action. The same goes for pleasurable situations. Comfort food is a good example of this. We have a tendency to choose short term pleasure over long term pain. As well as, avoid short term pain even if it will bring long term pleasure. The way in which you perceive the world is created inside your mind. As adults we constantly live inside our minds, and we constantly compare new experiences to old ones. This is why things always seemed so magical and exciting as a child. Children do not live inside their minds. They do not evaluate every action they make, and they do not constantly worry about things they cannot control. Children live in the moment, aren’t constantly trying to live in a way that they want to be viewed by their peers, and aren’t basing their experiences on past experiences. These are key elements to happiness, and they have been under your nose all along.

The first step to changing your life is being aware of your mental flaws, your weaknesses, your pains, and your pleasures. Don’t be afraid of what other people will think of your views or ideas. Your idea of what your peers think is really just a reflection of how you feel anyways. So again, voice your ideas and be passionate about your convictions! Your friends or family may give you grief about your actions or beliefs sometimes, but that’s ok! There is no need to get angry or collapse under pressure from peers to partake in an action or activity that you don’t agree with. All you have to do is ask yourself, “Am I a sheep or am I a shepherd?”


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Posted in Spirituality