Did It Really Get To This To See How To Find Myself?

Teacake Travels

Who am I? What is my purpose? What am I truly capable of? We all ask ourselves this to reach our full potential. Travel IS part of the answer but you’re missing out on another part completely. Until today. 

How To Find Myself

She who knows others is wise. She who knows herself is enlightened

How To Find Myself

6 month (?) Teacake

I’m back home in the UK taking some time out from travels to focus. I’m here to rejuvenate, reflect and work work work. 7 hours earlier today, I’m happily holding a cup of Earl Grey in one hand and a mustard-smothered ham sandwich in the other. Simple pleasures. Every time I return home, setting off my taste buds stimulates the rest of my senses, confirming I’m back in England.

My Mum’s beaming face is distantly looking out of the kitchen window. We don’t see each other very much. These weeks are priceless. A thought pops into her mind. Her lips’ are quickly cranking up a gear and her eyes joyfully squinting together as she begins to recall my movements, the first day I was born.

[bctt tweet=”She who knows others is wise. She who knows herself is enlightened #travel #ThisIsMe” username=”teacaketravels”]

How To Find Myself

3 hours old Teacake

I’ve seen this photo capturing this moment before. I’ve just never thought to ask or go beyond what is in that single frame; to unravel the movement behind my unusual position at my prime age of just 3 hours old.

‘It was the most peculiar thing. Your fingers were dancing in a set pattern, slowly and gracefully waving through the air, interacting with the energy around you. You appeared so set and confident in how you moved your hands from one place to the next. You knew what you were doing. Of course you’re a pianist’.

I’m A What?

What Do You Actually Know About Yourself?

Who you are may not lie in your future but in your past. This is about the real you. The you that you were born with. I know that I’m strong, passionate, honest, bold, forthright and positive. I believe in love, beauty, strength, breaking down stereotypes and celebrating my power as a woman. Travel gave me a ton of this understanding and conviction but looking back to my past, it was already there.

Apparently, I’m a pianist too. I forgot. I played piano for 13 years straight until I got into bad boys, punk parties, cheap french beer, burlesque and playing drum kits (I played drums for 18 years!). Here’s the proof (thanks Mum).

How To Find Myself

Oh and here’s the other proof (the goth/punk party bit)…

How To Find Myself

Don’t Forget Where You Came From

What Else Are You Forgetting About Yourself?

A photo can burst with electrifying colour and emotion, spewing a tangle of information at you that’s open to being discovered. The visuals. The sounds. Imagining what’s behind the characters captured in that scene at that moment in time. Hot damn. Photographs of your past are the secret to you.

How To Find Myself (The Answer Is In A Box)

I’m getting right in there. I’ve got the ladder out. I’m climbing up those creaky, paint-splashed, scratchy steps on this rickety contraption to get my head into the loft and under that couple centimetres of dust to remember who I really am. I’ve blown the debris off the cardboard box. Inside that box #ThisIsMe

How To Find Myself

I AM An Adventurer (As Well As A Pianist)

How To Find Myself

Let’s get this freaking party started!

I was never fully happy at home. I had a great childhood but there was stress involved with my parents not really liking each other (and telling me…the only child…all about it).

My Dad once told me he regretted not emigrating to Australia when his mates pulled out last minute. My Mum has never really pushed herself to her full potential due to a very difficult childhood she had herself. Being married, stuck in one place, discontent with your situation, is my idea of hell (but in my parents’ defence, they have got so much better with themselves over the years).

How To Find Myself

As soon as University became an option, I left. It took me another 6 years to muster up the guts to quit my job as a psychologist and take a flight to South Korea in 2010 to teach English abroad. I’ve never looked back and have travelled ever since.

My parents question where I’m really from. Rumour has it that there was a world famous travelling magician in our family who used to have one of the biggest collections of exotic birds with him. I can only assume (hope) that I got a drop of his blood.

Regardless, the adventure in me was always there. I’m glad I finally listened to it and did what was right.

Are you an adventurer at heart? If you haven’t left yet, you need to pack your bags and go. Not sure? Here’s 10 reasons why you need to leave home and travel now.

How To Find Myself

I Have Drive And Don’t Care What Others Think

How To Find Myself

I was a bit of a loon. Jumping about like a kid who had had too many E numbers from the sweet shop with their 50p pocket money. I was full to the brim with enthusiasm and still am. One thing stands out clear to me though: How I look at the camera in every photo completely impresses me. What happened to that?! I have confidence in myself, who I am and what I am capable of.

There’s A Point Where You’ll Lose A Sense Of Who You Are

Most likely when you’re a teenager and that childhood innocence starts to disappear. I became really uncomfortable.

How To Find Myself

I didn’t like having my picture taken. To this day, I’m embarrassed to say that I HATE having my photo taken. I love myself but in front of a camera I’m like ‘%$#@$…look cool, look cool, oh f&%k this isn’t cool’.

I’m working on it.

You Still Might Be Lost

The problem is that you might just not lose yourself in your teenage years. You might go through adulthood feeling disorientated too. You need to pause, think and be truthful with yourself. Who are you? What do you like? What do you need? The answer might just be in your old photos. Take a long hard look then do everything within your power to make things right for you.

How To Find Myself

Travel not to find yourself but to remember who you’ve been all along

How To Find Myself

Did it really get to this to see how to find myself? A box of photographs?

Pretty much. I’ve ventured into lands and situations that my taste buds and senses have no previous experience with: there’s no mustard-smothered ham sandwiches there. What is there is an invaluable worldwide education about who people are, what I am and what we can be.

Was all of this travel worth it to know how to find myself?

Absolutely. I couldn’t have got to this point without travel. Yet, travel not to find yourself but to remember who you’ve been all along. Unearthing these childhood memories will show you what is under all that ‘adulting’ you’ve been doing and the foundations of your soul.

[bctt tweet=”Travel not to find yourself but to remember who you’ve been all along #travel #ThisIsMe” username=”teacaketravels”]

There’s Always Room For Improvement

How To Find Myself

You’re always going to look back and think, ‘What the hell was I wearing that for?’ and ‘God, who thought that hairstyle was cool?’ I mean, just look at my Spice Girls 90’s get up in this shot. It’s so terrible it’s great. Regardless of the fashion, look at your photographs as a reminder that you’re constantly on a path to a better you. Keep working on yourself. You’ll find it.

How to find myself?

Don’t Be Afraid Of Your Fears

Whatever you’ve been up to, the point of living is to wake up everyday to be a better person for yourself, other people and the world. Don’t be afraid of your fears, they’re not there to scare you; they’re there to let you know that something is worth it. Look at where you’ve come from, what your values are and keep working on being extra awesome today.

How To Find Myself

Do this, then your life purpose and what you’re capable of is right there for the taking.

[bctt tweet=”Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re there to tell you something is worth it #travel #ThisIsMe” username=”teacaketravels”]

What can your photos teach you about yourself?

Share A Photo With Me!

How To Find Myself

Dig into your photo album right now and take a look at yourself from the past. What does it show you about yourself that you’ve forgotten about? What can you learn from your past? Remember what you’re capable of!

Tag me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram @teacaketravels with your photo and the hashtag #ThisIsMe. I’ll retweet your inspiration and put my favourites into an upcoming post!

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About Alice Teacake

I'm a kickass girl who believes in women facing their fears and pushing their boundaries, to reach their full potential through solo adventure travel! Follow me for travel advice and inspiration, so you can go forth and challenge yourself to reach your own personal goals!

9 replies
  1. The Barefoot Backpacker
    The Barefoot Backpacker says:

    Something that I’ve realised for a while, but never really brought to mind, is something you yourself mention too; maybe it’s a common thing?

    There are hundreds of photos of me as a child. Literally hundreds, possibly into the low thousands. This was in the days of analogue film too. I’m an only child, and I lived with my grandmother who was somewhat protective of me and doted on me a little bit too much.
    But there are none of me as a teenager. None whatsoever. I seemed to grow to hate my photo taken and actively avoided it wherever possible. I’m still a bit like that now – most ‘selfies’ of me have me facing away from the camera in an artistic “let’s look into the distance in a wistful manner” pose but really it’s so I don’t have to show my face on film … :D

    I’m not sure what those old photographs tell me. I feel a little awkward and embarrassed looking at them to be honest. Maybe what I’ve lost then, most of all, is self-confidence. I do remember being quite exuberant (bordering on being a whirlwind of chaos, disorder, and attitude) at primary school, but I seem to have lost it once I hit secondary school, and by and large never got it back. The older I get the less I care what other people think, which is helping a bit, but I’m certainly not the person I was.

    Sometimes, this is a good thing …

    • Alice Teacake
      Alice Teacake says:

      Hi dude! I believe you were at Traverse in London but I never got to say hello! I think it is a bit of a shame that when we hit the teenage years, we do lose that confidence. We become aware of SO MANY THINGS. I guess we’re learning that the world is not as simple, that things can be tough and that there is a whole lot more going on than what we were aware of before. The problem is that we also think too much about ourselves…and maybe not the ‘good’ things. This is of course, all part of growing up. It’s just funny that we seem to spend the rest of our time learning how to see just how awesome we are again >< Adulting is hard lol.

      • The Barefoot Backpacker
        The Barefoot Backpacker says:

        Haha, yes I was there, but Traverse is Traverse and sooo many people, plus I’m quite introverted so find it hard to make myself known (the weird sandals help as an ice-breaker!).

        I suspect too with teenage years there’s a lot of ‘peer pressure’ and teenagers themselves can be harsh critics. It’s quite easy to fall into a feeling of low self-confidence anyway in those years, and it often takes a long time to come out the other end. (This may just be my personal experience!). It’s much easier to feel critical of yourself than feel positive when everyone around you is being critical of you.

        • Alice Teacake
          Alice Teacake says:

          You rock those weird sandals dude! I think almost everyone here will stand behind you and say it takes quite some time to shake those teenage years and reflect on all of it well. We all have a lot to process in those years! Keep travelling, keep being awesome and I will no doubt see you on the road at some point again very soon :)

    • Alice teacake
      Alice teacake says:

      Hey Anika. Thank you for your continued support and high fives! Glad you’re digging the Teacake content :D Reflection gets you to the next step on your journey! Keep rocking it girl <3

  2. Laura
    Laura says:

    Alice, are you reading my mind?! This is sooo weird, I was JUST going through old photos myself last night and then your post pops up! Seriously, this is coming at exactly the right time for me and I went through almost the same thought process as you. Also I think we might secretly be twins.

    2016 was a crappy year for me, and the year I kind of accidentally lost myself because I tried to make everyone else happy. I got married this year, and the moment our families found out we were engaged my husband and I were under so much pressure. Everyone started to question our life choices: why are you travelling so much, why are you getting married so soon, why DIDN’T YOU GET AN ENGAGEMENT RING (umm…because we spend our money on more valuable things than diamonds, like noodle soup and train tickets, d’uh.), don’t get married in Switzerland, don’t get married in England, you can’t possibly get married in Thailand, bla bla bla. This all turned into a ridiculous family drama and somehow I completely forgot who I was in the process. Luckily, we did the right thing and escaped everyone (ye, nobody was invited to our wedding ha, that’s what you get for not minding your own business) which gave me the time to reflect on what I want from life. Which is to travel the world and go on epic adventures all the time. I don’t want to live in the English countryside in a house with garden!

    Looking at old photos helped me so much in realising that the happiest times were always when I was outside, exploring the world! I took my first steps at the beach in South Africa, I rolled down a dune in Namibia as a toddler and I clearly remember finding almost drowning as a 4-year old absolutely hilarious. I’ve spent most of my adult life travelling and I was so HAPPY. Why should this change just because I got married?! So anyway, after wasting a year trying to live in Europe to make our families happy, we are now moving around again and have sworn to never stay anywhere for too long ever again (let’s see how that goes haha). Lol sorry for this long story about myself.

    By the way, I went through an awkward goth/ punk/ metal phase as well as a teenager. While I looked absolutely ridiculous at least I was myself and didn’t just blindly follow stupid fashion trends or listen to other people’s opinions about who I should be.

    And I hate taking photos of myself. Oh and you looked adorable as a child! x

  3. Natalie
    Natalie says:

    There is nothing like the hair and fashion from the past to make us rethink things. Love the musings of ebbing through life evolving…..We travel with the kids and know that seeing the world will help them evolve. I’m keeping photographic evidence for their soul searching one day.


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