bilan travels // 17 life lessons for 2017

To be honest with you all, 2016 will go down in history as one of the most difficult years of my life.

While I am grateful for all of this year’s blessings, it doesn’t take away from the fact that so many terrible things happened all throughout this year. Rather than dwell on it, I want to share with you all, in true Bilan fashion, a list of lessons I have learned from all of these experiences.

  1. Life is so incredibly short. At the same time, try not to think of moments as wasted because every step of the way has brought you to where you are now.


2. As you get older, it gets so much easier to just be yourself. I feel like as we get older, whether we like it or not, we realize that the one person we are stuck with for the rest of our lives is ourselves lol. Therefore, you might as well learn to love yourself for all that you are!

3. You are so much stronger than you know. Unfortunately, you never truly know how resilient you are until you have no choice but to be strong. Don’t let one failure, one person, one bad moment bring you down. There is so much more in store for you, and there is so much more to live for, I promise you!


4. Take risks, but just know that it doesn’t necessarily get any easier the more you do it. There is a reason the harder moments are the ones from which we learn the most.


5. Surround yourself with good vibes. Enough said.


6. We are all a work in progress. You are not perfect. I am not perfect. Nobody is perfect. Nevertheless, aim to never stop growing, learning, and improving.  In the process, look back on how far you’ve come/all that you have been able to overcome.

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7. Invest in yourself. Invest in skill-building, in experiences you’ll never forget, in learning, in your health, in your happiness, in your overall well-being. Mom was right, and skincare routines are lifeee. Plus, your future self with thank you haha.


8. There are people that want to put you down for reasons out of your control. Don’t give them a second of your time, unless it’s to say a prayer for them on your path to greatness.

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9. Take the time to appreciate those around you. I can’t even lie that I have moments where I can be a bit anti-social sometimes haha but just know that if you are reading this now, I appreciate you so much. I can’t even tell you how much your support means to me, internet hugssssss!

10. Life can be really unfair and in those moments, it’s best to lean on faith. Just know that hard times don’t last forever and God is always on your side. Even if you aren’t religious, faith is such a strong concept. It is defined as the trust or confidence in something. Trust in the fact that better days are coming and keep on keeping on.


11. Never stop chasing after your dreams. Even if you have no idea what that looks like in terms of 5, 10, or 15 years time, don’t worry because your dreams and goals will probably change as you grow up. The important thing is that you have drive and motivation, so set smaller goals for yourself.


12. Find that one thing that makes you truly happy and NEVER let go of that. Whether that means jamming out to old school music on your record player or simply spending every Sunday watching football, hold on to those things that make you happy and save them for a rainy day.

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13. Every day is a new beginning. Reinvent yourself. Change your hairstyle. Do different things with your fashion sense. Explore your love for documentary films by attending an early screening. Start training for a race. Learn a new language. Don’t be afraid to be a beginner! You can do anything you put your mind to.


14. Don’t be afraid of your own company. This is for those teenage years where being alone would mean you were a loner, an outcast, a weirdo. Don’t hesitate to do things that even slightly interest you, even if it means going by yourself. Do it. Once again, do things that make you genuinely happy. You will never regret it. Plus, it could be a chance to meet amazing people with similar interests.


Nassra J. Mohammed – champion for women’s rights through equal representation in football in Zanzibar, Tanzania (everyone see the film Zanzibar Soccer Dreams)

15. Love isn’t like the Disney movies. Falling for someone that’s not, “right for you” is oh too common. Just as common as not falling for someone who is, “right for you”. At the same time, don’t let your heart decide what your brain knows isn’t right. Try to step outside yourself if you feel something isn’t right. Do what will be best for you boo.


16. Love is like the Disney movies. Okay, you’re probably confused now. Before you re-read number 15 wondering if I made a mistake, let me tell you that both are true. It’s like the Disney movies in the sense that when you know, you will just know. It will feel like a whole new world. Haha, no but in all seriousness, it should not be overly complicated. Love is a beautiful thing, so trust your instincts and just live in the moment.


17. It’s all about the silent grind. Work hard, stay humble, and let your successes speak for themselves. Don’t forget to help others along the way.


Whether or not 2016 was a great year for you, what are some things that you have learned this year?  

instagram: @bilantravels

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