Move over chocolates and flowers, unless of course I’m eating local chocolate in Belgium or exploring the Feria de Las Flores (Festival of the Flowers) in Medellin, Colombia. This Valentine’s Day I will be running solo for the first time in 9 years. Wow, it sounds even more crazy when you type it or say it out loud. 9 years! But instead of dwelling about it, I am 100% welcoming this new change with an open mind, an open heart and a front door swung wide open. Why hello there new adventures and opportunities, come on in!

For the first time in a long time, I now only need to make decisions that affect me, myself and I. I thought this would come easy but to be honest sometimes it has been a real challenge. Old habits die hard, right?! When I was at Rainbow Beach camping for the first time on my east coast road trip; I had set up my tent, my camp chair, my camp table and gas cooker and then just sat down. Did I want to go for a swim at the beach? Or should I find a nice place for an afternoon drink? It was in that moment that I realised I was subconsciously waiting for someone else to reaffirm what I should do. I immediately laughed, out loud. Yes, I probably looked slightly ridiculous to the other couple camping near me but I smiled and said to myself ‘Dude, do whatever you want!’. So I went for a walk, found the Surf Life Saving Club and had an ice cold cider on the balcony. And then I went for an ocean swim. Nailed it!

Valentine’s Day is often associated with a celebration of love between people, but for me, I am declaring it a celebration of love between people and places. With this new found freedom, I am quickly falling in love with places I have never been and the only thing that is stopping me from finding the beauty in new landscapes, exploring hidden gems and chasing sunrises is my own self-belief and determination. Yesterday I set my first travel goal for 2017. Myself and a good friend of mine are going to hike the Annapurna Base Camp Trek and experience the magic of Nepal. For those unfamiliar with this mountain, the Annapurna summit sits at 4,130 metres above sea level. That’s just over 13,500 ft for my North American amigos. I’ve only ever experienced altitude like that once before in a little town of Bolivia called Potosi. The effort required to walk just a short few metres honestly feels like you’ve just run a marathon, thanks to the incredible lack of oxygen up there. Nonetheless, I am super excited for this challenge and to prove to myself (and hopefully you too) that life is either one crazy adventure or nothing at all, and often the things we fear doing most – leaving a good job, leaving a relationship, moving to a new town – are the things that offer the greatest reward. You just may not see it yet.

Have you recently felt a huge shift in your life recently? Has there been a massive change that you didn’t see coming? Have you too become a one man or woman wolfpack ready to take on the world like me? If you have then I am so excited for you. The door has just opened for you to make this your best day, your best best week and your best year yet, I promise! And if a little inspiration is what you need to kickstart your new found sense of adventure and to #findyourzest, connect with me on Instagram and let’s make each day count together; because life is far too short to dwell in the empty space between the door that just closed and the one you should open.