Tapping Into Your Potential

by Beth Whitman (March 23rd, 2015)

PotentialI’ve been thinking a lot lately about possibilities and boundaries. The possibilities to accomplish things we never dreamed of and the self-limiting boundaries we put on ourselves on our way to pursuing certain goals.

Many of us tend to talk ourselves out of doing something before we even think through what the end results might look like.

Certainly multiple times each week I hear people make excuses for why they can’t do something. Here are just a few that come to mind:

  • I have no money to travel
  • I couldn’t travel alone, I don’t like eating by myself
  • I have no time to exercise
  • I could never meditate, there’s too much going on in my head
  • I can’t run, I have bad knees (or a bad hip or…)

The truth is, often we’re only motivated to do something when the fear or pain of NOT doing it outweighs whatever it is we’ve already talked ourselves out of doing. In other words, it isn’t until that balance is tipped that we become motivated enough to pursue what we’ve been telling ourselves we can’t do.

I’m not immune to this. But I think the fact that I’m aware of this bit of human nature is helpful. I often stop myself from saying “no” and “never” when it comes to new opportunities because under most circumstances whatever excuse I have is simply BS.

For example, I had always told myself that running was not for me. I had a whole list of reasons why. But one day a few years ago I stopped making excuses, bought some running gear and am now training for my first marathon.

Never say never.

As I push my own physical boundaries to see what I’m capable of, I realize there are a lot of women who are trying to push their travel boundaries to see what they are capable of.

For one woman, it might be taking the first steps toward a solo journey after the death of a significant other. For another, it might be putting everything in storage and traveling for a year while she rents out her house.

It doesn’t matter where you are on the experience scale, we all struggle with pursuing some aspect of travel. Whether we think we’ll never be able to afford our dream trip or never be healthy or bold enough to pursue some exciting adventure, we’ve probably all used one excuse or another.

Most of us are have some internal self-doubt talk. We’re surrounded by it, whether we get it directly from family, teachers and community or culturally through messages we receive about our race, gender or age.

But it’s important to make thoughtful decisions that are based on a world of possibilities rather than limitations. Allowing these attitudes, these excuses, to influence the decision-making process is a lazy way to live a life. If you buy into the fact that you are only capable of certain things, that’s all you will ever accomplish. As Henry Ford is often quoted as saying, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”

I challenge myself every day by asking what’s holding me back from accomplishing something or feeling at the top of my game. What can I do to be a better, healthier, more centered person? And as a Buddhist practitioner, I’m often reminded that not only does improving myself Vietnam Lotus flowerhelp me but it benefits others as well. Kinda like the instructions for putting on the oxygen mask on a plane – you gotta take care of yourself first before you can help others. If I’m not living my best life, how can I help others live theirs?

I’m a work in progress (for sure) and am always looking to others for inspiration. I generally find it in those who approach every day with a can-do attitude despite their setbacks–whether it be age, illness or personal problems out of their control.

Whatever is holding you back from fulfilling a travel dream or personal goal, remember that it is (likely) a temporary setback and that you can make a plan to overcome your obstacles.

If a lotus can bloom from mud, we can certainly make our own beauty in this world.

Be Bold,


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Photo credits:
Potential – Thejas Panarkandy via Flickr


REI Venturi T-Shirt ~ WanderGear Wednesday

by Beth Whitman (March 18th, 2015)

REI Venturi ShirtA woman I know told me that when she shops for travel clothes, the first place she goes to is the activewear department of a store. You know, the area where you find yoga, running and hiking clothes.

I thought that was a brilliant idea and did a little head slap that I hadn’t thought of it before.

Generally, these clothes are going to have a relaxing fit and are likely made of a technical material that will wick away sweat. Since so much of my travel is to warm climates, I totally get the benefits of packing active-style clothing for travel.

I spotted the REI Venturi T-Shirt when I was in REI’s flagship store in Seattle and knew this would be a great top for both travel and running.

Here’s why…

The material is a polyester/spandex mix, giving it a bit of a stretch. This extra play in the material is not only great for being more comfortable but it makes putting on and taking off a backpack much easier. It’s got a couple of mesh panels (including under the armpits), allowing for some airflow.

There’s a zippered front pocket where I put my house key when I go running but I could conceivably see carrying some cash and my hotel room key in here if I was out and about in a city on a short walk.

Truth be told, one of the things I like most about the Venturi T-Shirt is the scoop neck. It’s a nice added touch of femininity that you don’t often find in more technical clothes for women. It’s also got built in UPF40 sun protection.

This is definitely a piece that won’t get stuck in either my running clothes drawer nor my bin of travel clothes (yes, I have a bin dedicated to travel clothes). Instead, it’ll be a versatile piece with multiple uses.

The only thing I would change about this top is to tighten up the waist a bit. For me, it’s just a tad (and I do mean a tad) billowy. Not enough to make me not want to wear it though.

The Venturi T-Shirt is really reasonably priced at just over $45 and is available on the REI website. It comes in multiple colors including Cavern Shade (pictured), Morning Rose and Brilliant Blue.

Now, tell me where you find your travel clothes?

Be Bold,


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Disclosure: REI provided this top to me for review. Regardless, everything I have said in the post reflects my honest opinions.

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Icebreaker Quantum Long Sleeve Zip Hood ~ WanderGear Wednesday

by Beth Whitman (March 11th, 2015)

Icebreaker QuantumYou might recall from my post in the fall reviewing the Icebreaker Tech Top that I’m a relative newcomer to the Icebreaker bandwagon. It wasn’t until I really started hiking in warm weather that I “got” the value of merino wool. I hiked day after day on the Snowman Trek in that Tech Top and it held up really well. And by held up, I mean the natural odor resistance properties of merino did its job. :-)

Now that I’m such an Icebreaker fan, I had to add the Icebreaker Quantum Long Sleeve Zip Hood to my layers.

This is a breathable merino top that makes for a great midlayer in cold weather (think: hiking, skiing, snowshoeing) as well as an excellent outer layer for spring and fall days when all you need is a lighter jacket.

With spring-like weather throughout February and early March here in Seattle, I’ve already found it to be great for neighborhood walks. But this will also be perfect for wearing in-flight when my travels pick up again in April. It’ll also be ideal at destinations where the weather is cool (I’m thinking Maui at night this April).

Even though merino wool will keep you quite warm, it tends to be on the thin side. This means it will pack down really well making it ideal for stashing in a backpack or luggage.

What I Love

  • Thumb holes. Need I say more about this feature I’ve come to expect on all my jackets?
  • A mesh material runs from the underarm to the bottom of the sleeve. This provides some breathability and airflow which is really nice, particularly when I start to warm up on a walk or run.
  • There are two zippered hand pockets as well as a zippered chest pocket (great for an ID or some cash).
  • The hood is lightweight so it provides coverage for my head but doesn’t make me heat up too much.

Icebreaker clothes are not cheap, but I fully expect this jacket to last a long time and that it will come with me on the Snowman Trek when I return in late 2016.

The size small is pretty trim on me but I think the medium would be a bit big. And damnit I’d rather wear a small. :-)

My only complaint is that Jon now has this same jacket, also in black. So we now have to coordinate who gets to wear theirs when we go out. I have seen the new colors coming out in the fall so I just may have to pick up a second one in purple.

Available now in Black, Panther, Aquamarine and Grapefruit for about $220 on the Icebreaker website.

Be Bold,


Want to stay up-to-date on all things Wanderlust? Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or RSS/email.

Disclosure: Icebreaker provided this jacket to me for review. Regardless, everything I have said in the post reflects my honest opinions.

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