13 Things I Learned About Myself From Traveling to Puerto Rico

April 2, 2023

If you follow my Instagram stories @melodeeforbes, you know I spent this last week on vacation! You probably also saw how obsessed with the colorfully architectural designs from the doors, windows, floors, etc. that I was… blame it on the interior designer in me! I love, love, love color and this country was eye candy for my soul.

Without further ado, here’s the 13 Things I Learned About Myself From Traveling to Puerto Rico…

a colorful street in Old San Juan

  1. Moving your body is easy and effortless when you’re actively involved in your life.

What do I mean? When you walk to the store, to the restaurant, to your hotel, to the shops, to the museum, to the beach… it happens automatically. Almost magically.

Takeaway: I’m moving to a city where everything is within walking distance.

another day ending exceeding my daily step count of 6k
  1. Thriving in water and sunshine is a minimum for joy in my body.

What do I mean? I need to be by a beach and out in the sun daily.

I’m not sure how I forgot this, but some of my favorite childhood memories were out in the sun and in the water.

Takeaway: I’m moving to a city (or country) that has access to beautiful beaches and are sunny (not rainy) 95% of the year.

getting in that vitamin d and salty ocean water
  1. Enjoying my life has very little to do with Netflix, Hulu, or social media.

What do I mean? I didn’t watch a tv show or movie the entire time, I wasn’t checking for anyone’s posts or stories. I didn’t feel compelled to open my iPad to “get a little work done” or peruse emails. 30 minutes at most is what I spent on social each day.

Takeaway: I’m not that into social media or digital media… as much as I thought. When I’m truly enjoying my life, I’m uninterested. So, when I’m on social or digital for hours it means I’m bored not that I’m interested or that something is important.

  1. Loving your work isn’t an excuse for tolerating your life.

What does this mean? You can love your job, be grateful for your job, make an incredible income, and desire a bigger, better, and bolder life that requires you to release everything you love for greater.

Takeaway: I’m not meant to work 8 hours a day behind a computer even though I deeply love my job. It isn’t God’s design for me. It doesn’t matter how much money is made… it’s not worth it.

being saturated by a waterfall
  1. People are kind. Truly.

What do I mean?
Every single human I met or passed by on the street in this country looked me straight in the eyes, smiled, and greeted me in some form or fashion and it was as if to not only let me know that I was welcome here, but I was safe.

Takeaway: I’m a big believer that there are more good than bad. More kindness than ugliness, and my thoughts turn out to be true.

  1. I like being unbothered about my hair.

What does this mean? While I’m not a fan of the heaviness of braids, I enjoyed not taking even 30 seconds of brain power to think or devote any energy to my hair.

Takeaway: I’m going to find a better hair solution than weekly blowouts. Stay tuned.

  1. I’m not willing to wait, even if that means going solo.

What does that mean?
So many married women looked at me in awe after hearing that I traveled here alone.

“I could never do that..”
“I wish I had the courage to do that before I got married…”
“Omg! I would be so scared…”
“I really admire that because I could never…”

Takeaway: Apply this to other areas of life where there’s fear. If I can do it with traveling to another country, where else can I…

  1. God is everywhere.

What do I mean? He’s in the shop where the Haitian woman is selling her art. He’s in the spa where the pampering is exceptional. He’s in the Cuban man beating drums while everyone eats tacos. He’s in the mud while a mom and her baby girl build sandcastles along the ocean.

Takeaway: God never meant to be confined to a building.

about to get pampered at the spa
  1. I love money.

What does this mean? I love that I booked this trip less than a month ago. I love that I didn’t have to save up for it. I love that I booked my excursions on the day I arrived. I love that I didn’t have to flinch, inquire or barter. I love tipping unnecessarily and generously. I love that when your financial baseline becomes more abundant, you’re able to focus and allow for other things.

Takeaway: Money is never the enemy, it’s a gateway to beautiful experiences, opportunities, and possibilities. I love money and I love it for me.

zip-lining in the rainforest
  1. I consume less when the quality is better (either that or my stomach has gotten smaller).

What does that mean? Food outside of the Texas is better. Fullness doesn’t require huge portions. You can have a few bites of this & that and be satisfied, because the quality is so much better.

Takeaway: I’m getting better at listening to my body, and it’s okay to leave food even if it’s delicious. There’s always more and you can never waste.

tacos and non-alcoholic passion fruit beverage
  1. I love dressing up and being a woman.

What does that mean? Dresses to dinner, embroidered shorts to activities, bows in my hair… it was fun not wearing the same attire I wear when working from home.

Takeaway: Dressing up doesn’t have to be for vacation or a special occasion. I can doll myself up even when I’m working from home.

getting dolled up before dinner
  1. Politeness is not outdated.

What do I mean? I don’t think I’ve been to a country where I’ve heard more, “please and thank you’s”?, men addressed me as Miss, and insist on being chivalrous. It was surprisingly refreshing.

Takeaway: There are some traditions worth keeping.

  1. Having a supportive coach and community is essential even on vacation.

What do I mean? When an unexpected, unpleasant moment happened earlier in my trip, I could’ve let that ruin the day and week for me. I didn’t. It wasn’t because I hid or ignored it to focus on the positive. It wasn’t because I’m super human, I’m not. It was because I was able to tap into my tools I use when my brain goes bonkers and I was able to voxer my coach and community for support.

Takeaway: I’m not a coach and have no desire to be a coach. And I will always have a coach in my life to support me when my mind gets funky.

So many more wisdom & lessons, but these came to me as I’m waiting for my plane to return home! 🥹😢

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it! If so, leave a comment below and let me know!

I don’t usually blog about my personal life, but who knew a trip to an island would shift so much for me?! Tell me if you enjoyed it below and perhaps, I’ll share more another time.

With love and joy,

Melodee Forbes

  1. Well, as I cry happy tears, I must say that we have a lot in common! I love this and I love you my new friend! Keep rockin’ it and keep doing YOU! It feeeeeeels sooooo goooood, doesn’t it?

    God is great🙏❤️
    I chased my favorite band through Canada on a solo trip, and then again across 7 states for 5 more shows (solo)…

    • Melodee Forbes says:

      Dixie!!! Thank you so much for your sweet, kind words and comment! So grateful that we’re connected and I love that you traveled solo across 7 states. Nothing like making a decision and going for it! <3 <3 < 3

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