Debra Alison | San Diego Photographer
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the blog

Capturing love, life, adventures + babes

Be Your Own Damn Hero

“Everyone is necessarily the hero of his own life story.” - John Barth


This entry was written nearly 6 months ago. I was too afraid to actually publish it because I was nervous of what people would think. Did people think I was narcissistic, vain or pretentious? I spend my life telling people that it didn't matter what people thought of you and here I was needing my own advice. Today I stumbled upon this post when I needed it most. So, I decided to share this piece with you all, to remind you and myself to be your own hero. You are enough. 


Just when I didn't have any idea what to do or where to go in life, I abruptly decided I was going to do whatever the hell I wanted. I told a few people I would be leaving the states to travel and explore South East Asia on my own. Not many people actually thought anything of it because, I was not a traveler, an explorer, or a well seasoned adventurer.

To be honest, I was not a do-er. I'm a dreamer, I like to say grandiose things like, I'm going to take a flying lesson and become the next Amelia Earhart. I don't even think my boyfriend thought I was serious at first.

Hell, I didn't even believe I was going to, you know, actually do it.

As time drew near, my idea became more real and more terrifying. I started to reach out and ask travelers for advice and there wasn't an ounce of doubt in anyone's advice. I was almost looking for a reason not to go, for someone to say, "it's a bad idea, you can't do it!" Then I could say, at the very least, I tried.

There it was that fear in my head, the self-doubt and insecurity that had stirred in my head for years. And after drop kicking depression and all those negative thoughts on its ass. I certainly was not going to let those maladaptive thoughts creep back in again. Challenge accepted. Go big or go home, right?


And so, I went. Making my way across the continent, backpacking through SIX magnificent countries,camping on a beach in Thailand (read about that adventure here), becoming a certified yoga teacher (read about the Yoga Teacher Training here), learning from amazing travelers, I am no longer the same person. Nothing I encountered was as scary or nearly as impossible as initially thought.


Casually chasing waterfalls & jumping into freezing cold water in Laos.


When we experience things outside our comfort zone, challenge ourselves, only then will we flourish!

Here is some encouraging insight several people have shared with me for taking on new challenges:

  • "You may not have been THAT person, but you are now, you're doing it!"

We've all been a here before. I've said it, "I'm really not that person, but I've always wanted to be!" Guess what, that first step is deciding to BE or taking action. You are what you do!

  • "Don't let your thoughts worry and dwell on wondering what's waiting for you when you come back, look forward and take all the new opportunities that present itself. You may not even want those same things anymore, everything will fall into place."

When we dwell on fear and other maladaptive thoughts, our brain becomes captive to fear. Stewing over "what if's" and possible losses will limit all the possible NEW experiences.

  • "Trust yourself and be confident in your capabilities because you can do it."

When faced with an obstacle, don't think about frightening it is, just take action and do it.

  • "Despite what other's may say or think, even if they want what's best for you, do what is right within yourself."

We are only accountable for our own happiness and only we can make those decisions.

  • "There's a thing called the Hero's Journey that's so important to every character of an adventure. Buddha left the comforts and safety of his Royal home to experience the outside. Then he goes home and brings the things he's learned to better his home life and the lives of those around him. A journey like this is integral to every person's personal evolution."

This is my favorite bit of insight. When all else fails, live life like the main character of a wonderful book or story! Thank you, Christine, for being such an inspiring & wonderful soul.


I love getting to know other bad ass babes from around the world or right here in So Cal! You can say hi or follow me around on Instagram. <3