Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Change Your Scenery, Change Your Life

I'd like to tell you a personal story about the path that led me here.  A few years ago I was feeling stagnant, anxious, depressed, lonely and just generally icky.  I was working at a job I loved, but I was immersed in the grind of working, sleeping, working, etc.  I didn't do anything to nurture myself.  There were three things that changed my life and got me unstuck from that rut.
  1. I read and did the exercises in The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. 
  2. I reconnected with my spirituality, which had been lost for a long time.
  3. I reincorporated nature and outdoor time into my daily routine.
These three things boosted my creativity, made me feel better, and shockingly, made others notice me as well.  They were all cheap or free too, which is great when you work at a non-profit, like I did.  It was right after making these changes that my coworkers started noticing how happy I was, how much prettier I looked and how calm I seemed.  In reality, I was bursting inside to share what these three small changes had done to dramatically improve my quality of life.

I told person after person, friend after friend, but very few took me seriously.  I didn't understand why they didn't make these changes.  After all, free is pretty hard to beat.  They all seemed enthusiastic at first, but they fell back on excuses, and unfortunately, many stayed stuck and miserable.  Since that time, I've always been looking for new adventures to add to my routine, especially if they are not too expensive.

The other day I was reading some new blogs that were talking about  Matador U.  I went to the website and was amazed. I learned that  Matador U is the creation of, which is the world's largest independent travel magazine.  I never would have imagined that because I had never even heard of Matador before.  Apparently they help organize sponsored press trips where writers and photographers travel and explore different cultures and how we're all connected.

As many of you know, one of my goals on 43 Things is to learn to take better photos.  I think the MatadorU Travel Photography Course and the MatadorU Travel Writing Course might give me the extra boost that I need.  You get a discount if you sign up for both at the same time!  And you know I'm all about free or cheap!!!

In order to be a participant in any of the Matador adventures, such as the press trips or Belize Road Warriors, you need to have graduated from the writing and photography courses.  What a dream to go on your dream vacation and then write about it!  You have lifetime access to the course materials and resources, so you can complete the courses at your own pace and refer to the materials later.  Best of all, you can try the 12 week course for the first week for just $10 and then pay the rest during the following week.  The way I look at it, you really don't have much to loose.  After all, many of us waste $10 on less than this.

Have any of you ever taken one of the Matador U courses or something similar?  What do you think?

Posted as part of Inspired by You, The Tattered Tag.