During our travels we have developed some phrases and mantras to keep us on track with our beliefs. Some of them encourage us to expand our comfort zone, some make us happier. But all of them help us stay on course to live the way that we want.

Here are some of favourites:

One Direction theory

Yes, this is a mantra about the band One Direction. But keep with us – this isn’t a mantra about getting you to like One Direction!

We went through a phase of liking One Direction’s music. It began with us watching them on a Carpool Karaoke with James Corden. But developed into us watching the OneDirection documentary and singing along in the car. Before seeing them on Carpool Karaoke we were the sort of people that would eye-roll at people who liked them and would hate them and what they stood for. But after watching them on these shows we started liking their personalities and even their music was catchy!

One Direction theory isn’t just related to 1D – it can be applied to absolutely anything. We have just coined it One Direction Theory because it means something to us. To us, it means that we want to feel free to like whatever we like without any stigma or feeling ashamed of what we like.

If you like something, don’t be afraid to like it. Own it! Then, if people try to criticise or embarrass you for it, they have nothing to argue with and their criticism will go over you like water off a duck’s back.

Don’t be a dick

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Don’t be a dick simply means… don’t be a dick.

Life is so much more pleasant if you are pleasant.

Does rushing around and pushing past people really save you any time? Will driving right up behind a slower driver get you where you want to go any quicker?

Does saying thank you to a cashier in a shop take that much effort? They may have been standing around all day being forced to smile and deal with difficult customers. You can make their life a little easier just by saying thanks and making some small talk.

If you are visiting somewhere and there are rules to follow – don’t think that it won’t matter if you break one. They are put there for a reason. There is a National Trust park quite near where our families are based that has a lot of lovely deer roaming free. The amount of times we have seen people getting too close or even feeding the deer is ridiculous. There are signs everywhere not to feed them – but still, people do. Feeding the deer can actually be dangerous for them as well as us – but people just want a quick snap for the ‘gram without thinking about the consequences.

Ultimately just take life a bit slower and more relaxed and you will feel better for it.

Just take the first step

This is one of those popular Instagram quote photos, but it absolutely rings true. Sometimes we find that there is something we want to do, it could be doing something outside of our comfort zone or might take a lot of effort but we want to do it regardless. The hardest part is just getting out of the door. But once you’ve taken that first step the rest is easy – you just have to carry on.

We’ve used this theory when we have wanted to go on long walks up big mountains. It feels a lot more daunting when you are at home thinking and questioning it. Once you commit to taking the first step out the door the hesitation disappears, and you are too busy having a good time to remember why you struggled to get out the door in the first place!

Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of courage (F*ck it, let’s just do it)

This is a based on a quote from the film ‘We Bought a Zoo’. The full quote reads: ‘Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it.’

Following on from the previous mantra, this is sometimes what we tell ourselves to build up the courage to try something new, to get over the first step and to start expanding our comfort zone! Sometimes we only need to reaffirm with ourselves that a task is not a big deal, and that if we just do it instead of worrying about it we can get through it with less pain.

All it takes to give us the confidence boost we need is ’20 seconds of courage’, or in times of real need, ‘F*ck it, let’s just do it!’

Say Yes More

We recently found a group on Facebook called the YesTribe and their mantra to Say Yes More. The YesTribe is a community of people who want to do more with their lives or to do things differently. It’s been a great resource to find more adventurous and like-minded people, but also to give us inspiration and encouragement to say Yes to things that perhaps before we would have made excuses about.

Feeling good after climbing a mountain in the Lake District

Don’t wait for permission

When we first thought about giving up our flat and our jobs to start travelling and looking after pets, we were nervous about telling our families that this was what we were going to do with our lives. The initial nervousness about asking led us to use this phrase. We knew that petsitting and travelling was what we wanted to do next – so we decided to quit our jobs and apply for our first few housesits. It was only after we had confirmed those sits and had concrete plans booked in that we told our families and friends.

When speaking about our lifestyle we have sought out the approval of others to make sure that we what we are doing is something we should be doing. But this can often lead to self doubt, or other people swaying our decisions. If we know confidently in our hearts that the decisions we are making are right for us, we don’t need to seek validation from others.

In the end, our initial nervousness about talking to our families didn’t matter as everyone has been extremely supportive of our lifestyle change. If someone has an issue with what we are doing it is their issue, not ours. If we make a bad decision, it’s on us and we can learn from it. Of course, we will always listen to friendly, well-intentioned advice – but ultimately it is up to us to decide what we do.

Take only photos, leave nothing but footprints

A bit of a cliche to end, but this is something that we always try to follow. We’ve walked through forests, fields and rolling hills up and down the UK and one thing that we always notice now is how much/little litter there is in each place. We always take our litter with us until we can find a way to dispose of it correctly – sometimes this means carrying it for miles until we can find a bin. The same goes for dog poo bags – so often we see that people have bagged it up and dumped it to the side of a path – gross! Not only is it disgusting when someone does it, when other people see it they tend to think it is okay for them to do it as well, and before you know it you’ve got a whole pile of plastic dog poo bags that will never decompose. This is often referred to as Broken Window Theory – you can read more about it here.

Take some responsibility and clean up after yourself!

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