Be Proud of Your Accomplishments
Recently on Twitter, someone called me shallow for “boasting” about having been to all seven continents before my 30th birthday. That it wasn’t about how many, but what you get out of a place. I definitely know and agree that travel is about the experiences, so I was upset that someone was accusing me of being shallow because my Twitter profile states that I’ve been to all seven continents. She was judging me based on that, and assuming that all I cared about were the numbers.
It got me thinking though, what’s wrong with putting that in my profile? What’s wrong with being proud of something I’ve accomplished?
Nothing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
We’re all allowed to celebrate our achievements
I’m proud of that accomplishment for several reasons. Sure, I think it’s pretty awesome that I’ve done something most people haven’t. But it’s deeper than that.
When I went to Greece shortly after my 28th birthday, I was afraid to travel alone. I hadn’t left the US in years because I didn’t have anyone to travel with. That first solo trip propelled me into so many experiences I never could’ve imagined.
So to step foot on my seventh continent, Australia, less than two years later was pretty amazing to me. I was overcoming a fear and following my passion to travel.
And sure, I like the numbers aspect of travel sometimes. I count how many countries I’ve been to, but really just for myself. It would bug me not to know how many I’ve been to, but I don’t think I’m better than those who have been to fewer countries. Some of the countries I count aren’t technically countries (French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Antarctica) and some I probably shouldn’t count as having been there because the visit was so brief (Macau, Mexico, Gibraltar). But it’s fun for me.
Set goals and go after them
I don’t have any ambitions to visit every single country on the planet, but there are some people who are aiming for that, and some who have accomplished it. It’s an amazing challenge, and definitely something to be proud of.
Some people aim to visit every World Heritage site. Or every state in the US. Or every country in Africa. Everyone has their own goals and challenges they want to tackle, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a numbers-based goal.
I’d like to visit every country in Europe some day. It’s such a diverse continent with so many different cultures I’d like to explore, and living in Germany makes it a little easier to get to some of them. While this is a numbers-based goal, I’m looking forward to the experiences I will have in each place. And I’ve gathered countless experiences from the ones I’ve visited already.
I am good enough
I’m not often proud enough of my accomplishments. Sometimes think I’m not good enough, I often worry too much about what other people think about me, and I compare myself to others too much.
But seriously, why? Why do I do that?
I’m allowed to be proud of my travel accomplishments. I’m allowed to be excited that I’m making money from blogging. I’m allowed to be impressed with how far Andy and I have come in shaping our lives into something less traditional that we enjoy and feel good about.
All of those accomplishments are reminders that I AM good enough. That I shouldn’t compare myself to other people or worry about what they think of me. That I have my own talents and things that make me unique.
Whether your goal is to run a marathon on every continent, to visit every Spanish-speaking country, or to speak fluent Japanese, find a way to do it, work towards accomplishing that goal, and have fun along the way. If your goal is to visit every country that starts with the letter B, go for it. If it’s important to you or it just seems like a lot of fun, that’s all that matters. It doesn’t matter what someone else thinks about your goal.
You don’t have to fit into anyone’s idea of what’s worthwhile except your own. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t be excited about something you’ve achieved. Be proud of your accomplishments and celebrate your successes.
You might also enjoy:
- Being a Contradiction: How Visiting the Dentist Changed How I Think
- The Reverse Bucket List – Looking Back at Some Awesome Accomplishments
- On Living a Non-Traditional Life
- Non-Traditional Interviews: Full-Time Travel at Any Age
July 24, 2014 @ 9:19 AM
Who cares what they say! You are out there doing it and they are online bitching about it, probably jealous and wishing they had done it themselves.
There are two types of people in this world – people who may things happen and people who let things happen to them. You are the first of those two.
Never ever even conceive of apologizing for being who you are and what you do let alone what you have accomplished.
My advice: next time somebody hates you like that on Twitter simply block them. Problem solved.
July 24, 2014 @ 10:11 AM
Thanks Matthew, I appreciate that! I’m trying to get better about not caring so much what other people think. I’ll get there one of these days!
July 24, 2014 @ 5:02 PM
Definitely agree with Matthew. Ali, I love what you’ve done and what you’re doing — creating a life you love, one step at a time. Your post came at the right time for me too, so I really appreciate your words today. I’m finally working on taking next steps again, but in the process, it’s overwhelming, I have self doubts, and I keep comparing myself to others. I ask why I do it too (part of it is just human nature, part is just who I am), and I have to choose every day to try to not be that version of myself (worried, nervous, less than confident, etc.). Keep making it happen, chica!
July 24, 2014 @ 9:16 PM
Thanks Heather! I’m glad you can relate, and that the post came at a good time for you! You definitely have to do what’s right for you and not worry about what other people think, though I do realize just how difficult that can be sometimes.
July 24, 2014 @ 10:41 AM
That person was simply jealous. There is nothing wrong in telling the world about your achievements. It should have inspired them.
July 24, 2014 @ 9:13 PM
July 24, 2014 @ 10:49 AM
July 24, 2014 @ 9:14 PM
July 24, 2014 @ 4:25 PM
It’s awesome that you’ve been on all 7 continents before the age of 30. I’ve only been on 2. I don’t think it’s shallow to count the places you’ve been. Having goals helps push you to keep seeing more, and I agree there’s nothing wrong with being proud of achieving them. So far I can say I’ve been to 7 countries other than my own, and I hope that number will be higher soon.
July 24, 2014 @ 9:15 PM
Thanks Amanda! 7 countries is wonderful, and I hope you continue to enjoy traveling no matter how many more you get to.
July 24, 2014 @ 5:14 PM
Don’t let the bastards get you down. 🙂
That’s a great accomplishment and I think you should brag about it. Although it’s less of a brag than just a fact that you’re proud of. I think this means you’ve “made it” in a way – you’ve got someone complaining about something you’ve accomplished. And this post is a great reminder that you should never let other people’s opinions of you get in the way of achieving your goals. I think it’s awesome.
July 24, 2014 @ 6:31 PM
Oh geez! I think it’s amazing what you’ve done, and I enjoy reading about it all! I know that’s something I’ll never achieve, but I wouldn’t think you were bragging about it. It’s part of your story! Keep on keeping on!
July 24, 2014 @ 9:19 PM
Thank you Amy! I appreciate the encouragement!
July 24, 2014 @ 9:18 PM
Thanks Carmel! It really bothered me that this woman felt the need to tweet that at me, but I’m glad I didn’t let her get to me for too long. I have every right to be proud of myself, and it doesn’t affect her in any way. It’s hard enough to accomplish goals sometimes without having other people saying rude things.
Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
July 24, 2014 @ 8:49 PM
I hope you replied to that Twitter troll with “Y’all are just jealous!” Because, seriously. Some people only feel good about themselves by tearing others down. I mean, it’s not even like you were giving your “7 continent” accomplishment a value judgment: you weren’t saying that made you better than people or that this even made you a better person. It’s just something impressive that you’ve done and not that many people (proportionally speaking) have, and what’s wrong with that? I would say this person was the shallow one for judging you based on something as slight as your Twitter profile!
July 24, 2014 @ 9:22 PM
Thanks Steph! I think I said something like “Don’t call me shallow, you don’t even know me. I have 2 websites that encourage other people to travel and clearly show that I enjoy travel for the experiences, not the numbers. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Obviously that took a couple of tweets. Yeah, you can’t fit your whole story into a Twitter profile, and I decided to include an accomplishment I’m proud of. No reason to tear me down for that.
Reclaiming Your Future
July 25, 2014 @ 4:10 AM
Preach it Ali!! You should ALWAYS be proud of yourself and your accomplishments! Not enough people are willing to truly accept their achievements because they consider it ‘boasting’ when nothing could be further from the truth.
As you said, we all have our own goals and things we want to achieve in life so when we DO manage to achieve them, we absolutely have a right to stand up and be proud of ourselves! Good for you 🙂
Unfortunately, we are now in the days of ‘keyboard courage’ where the anonymity of computers allows people who have fear and anger in their hearts to spew it in the direction of whoever they want :s But take comfort in the fact that whilst they’re still bitter about their lives, you’re out living yours 🙂 xx
July 25, 2014 @ 9:28 PM
Thanks, I appreciate the encouragement! You’re right, so many of us are overly modest when it’s perfectly fine to be proud of ourselves.
July 25, 2014 @ 4:24 PM
Talking about experiences and things you have accomplished because of hard work is never shallow! Until I can accomplish all my travel and career goals I love living vicariously through blogs such as your own. So keep on “boasting!”
July 25, 2014 @ 9:30 PM
Thanks Camille! I’m happy to have you around living vicariously through my blog!
July 26, 2014 @ 2:50 PM
Your achievements are awesome. Considering that only around 30% of Americans even have a passport, and considering that many Americans never leave their state or even their home town, you should never feel bad about owning your accomplishments. Travel is a good thing.
You make me jealous though- when I move back to the US, I’ll only have bit 26 countries on five continents. I’m an inveterate list-ticker as well, so not having been to the rest just makes me crazy.
July 26, 2014 @ 9:05 PM
Thanks Steven! I think 26 countries on 5 continents is awesome! Just think of all you’ve experienced traveling to those countries, plus the experience of living in a foreign country. Nothing compares to that. And just because you’re moving back to the US doesn’t mean you’ll never travel again. If anything, I think living in Germany and traveling around Europe while you’ve been here will stick in your soul, and you’ll have no choice but to keep taking trips whenever you can.
July 26, 2014 @ 9:14 PM
I’ll definitely keep traveling, but I have just as many items on my domestic to-do list as I do on my international one. Still, it will be much easier for me to travel now that I’ve had all this experience. It’s much easier to travel internationally than I ever would have imagined just a few years ago.
July 29, 2014 @ 11:03 AM
That’s awesome, I’m so glad you had this experience to show you it is easy to travel! And yes, there are tons of great places to see in the US. I’d love to see more there someday, especially out west.
July 28, 2014 @ 3:33 AM
RIP Thrashers! Sounds like someone on Twitter is on the Haterade.
July 29, 2014 @ 11:04 AM
Yep, people are just rude sometimes. And so sad about the Thrashers! I know it’s been a few years already but I had so much fun at those games.
Peter Korchnak @ Where Is Your Toothbrush?
August 4, 2014 @ 11:35 PM
I don’t know if I should be surprised or impressed you’ve given this much energy to a Twitter troll. Saying you visited visited every continent (kudos, by the way) isn’t boasting, it’s stating a fact. Who cares what people think? Especially jealous ones? I’d say ignore them because giving them your blog space means they accomplished just what they wanted.
As a Canucks fan, I can’t say I look forward to your photos with a Jets scarf, should there be any…
August 5, 2014 @ 8:53 AM
To be honest, this person’s tweet came in while I was sitting in a train station at 4am waiting for my second switch of the night to get home from Budapest, and in my exhaustion it really got to me. But it was also what made me realize just what you said, that it doesn’t matter what someone else thinks. I felt like it might help others to hear that reminder to be proud of what they’ve accomplished even if some people don’t understand or make rude comments.
I so enjoyed Thrashers games. Damn Canadians stealing our team away… 😉