22 Things You Learn At 22

Tomorrow marks my 23rd journey around the sun. I feel so weird about this age - and I can’t really tell you why other than the fact it makes me feel grown. 22 was all about having fun and learning to live with an attitude of gratitude. I embarked on a year of unknowns, travels, and learning a lot more than I bargained for! 

22 Things You Learn at 22 + SaltWaterVibes

1. It's ok.

Life is FULL of craziness. There is constant ups + downs and things just might go wrong more than they go right, but - it's ok. As humans we have to be able to step back take a deep breath and learn to only control what we truly can - for everything else, it's ok! Use the hard times as lessons, and the good times as your escape from the bad ones. The more you tell and remind yourself that it's all ok - will actually help make it all ok 🌞 I promise.


2. People will be at all different phases of life.

Your twenties as a whole seem like a magical time period. You can graduate college, get a job, find yourself, get married, start a family, travel the world, start a business, get divorced, buy a house, learn a new hobby, get a car, and SO SO SO much more. The most important thing is - never compare yourself to other 20 somethings! This decade is full of possibilities so never let someone else's story determine your path.


3. Money will come and go

By 22 you're slowly learning what it is like to be a young adult. You're navigating your way around bills, groceries, and those long drawn out debates with yourself on if you really need these new sunglasses. Managing your money is hard - at any age - but especially at 22. The world is at your fingertips and it's all about how you manage to experience it. Just know - money is always in a constant cycle, sometimes you have it and sometimes you don't. But there is NO BETTER AGE than now to start saving and learning the true value of your dollar.

22 Things You Learn at 22 + SaltWaterVibes

4. Your parents are the most selfless people on the planet.

Maybe it's just from working in child care - but in my 22 years on Earth so far, I truly truly know the value of my parents. Growing up they did so much for me - I know how valuable a minute is and I just am in awe of how many selfless minutes my parents gave to me. Don't ever forget to tell them how much you love them and thank them for all they have done for you.

5. 4 quarters are better than 100 pennies.

In life, you will constantly be faced with people, places, things, and choices. Your not always gonna pick right person or place to eat, but always remember the value in what you do or who you're with. If it's friends in your life, make sure they are providing you with some type of positive influence - if it's things make sure they bring you true joy. You can have 20 different perfumes on the shelf, but if you only use one everyday why let the other 19 take up space!? Find your golden friends and things, the rest won’t matter anyway.

6. Presentation is everything.

Whether we want to look at ourselves in the mirror and admit it or not - becoming and adult means all eyes on us. I'll admit I was still stuck in my 21 year old ways at first, you know the still not brushing my hair and wearing mascara for 3 days straight kinda ways, but throughout the year I learned the true value in how you present yourself is how others perceive you. That doesn't mean become an unrealistic polished person - just own up to the best version of you every. single. day.

7. Life skills will get you far

I'll never forget how hard I was on myself in 5th grade - my brother could tell you anything about all 42 presidents meanwhile I could only remember the names of about 5. I constantly grilled myself into learning and memorizing all I could. Flash forward about 12 years and I can’t help but laugh at my little self. In life knowing a bunch of facts is still important, but knowing LIFE skills will trump anything a school can teach you. Go out into the world and learn for yourself! Get a credit card and practice paying bills, rent a car at 22, grow a plant, cook a new meal - do anything you can to help learn in life's course.

8. You can go anywhere you want.

While I was learning to live care free at 22, I was also learning about the world around me. I traveled to 10 countries last year - experiencing new foods, faces, places, cultures, and more. I used to daydream about the places I would see on Instagram so I decided I would go see them myself. Never let a foreign destination scare you - it should excite you for the new adventure of life! Don’t ever let a language barrier, or a price tag stop you from going where you want - whatever your mind can conceive you can achieve.

9. Our World needs our help

Being a millennial is awesome. I might be biased, but I feel so proud of this generation and our mindset. More than ever, our world needs our help. There are crises happening all over every single day. Last year, it was one of my resolutions to find a cause I truly care about so I can make a change. If you know me, I am very connect to salt water and our oceans ;) so I created Saving Blue and started cutting down on my plastic use how ever I could. Find something you're passionate about it and do something every day to help - even if it's just refusing the plastic straw at
Chick-Fil-a 😊

22 Things You Learn at 22 + SaltWaterVibes

10. Family is Forever

While Rashawn and I have been living together sense we were 20, we took a huge leap to live with families this year in between our travels! We learned a lot living back at home as adults and I'm truly thankful for it. It reminded us how we have a built in support system and best friends in our blood. Never lose sight of your family, because when it's all said and done they are truly all we got!

11. Expand your palate.

Rashawn really helped me with this lesson because when I first started dating him he was such a picky eater! I think we shared a plate of chicken tenders and fries every where we ate out. Now that we have developed an appreciation and desire for cooking we love to try new things! Traveling also forces you to take a step out of your foodie comfort zone because you don't always know what your gonna get 😜 

12. Set your mind on Passive Income.

It seems like the world we live in today will only continue to get more expensive. Rashawn and I have always been hustlers and worked multiple jobs at a time. Having multiple incomes was always important to us so we could separate finances - for example every dollar I made as a nanny went to rent and bills, all my photography money was for groceries and travels etc. But this last year on the road, we haven't been able to work multiple jobs like we were used to. We both decided a key to life is having passive income! Something you work hard for now, to reap the benefits later. I decided to turn my blog into a business and Rashwan invested himself in Sports Betting. There are SO many ways to get passive income - I promise you it will be your best investment yet!

13. Smiles are universal.

I have always been intrigued and excited by new places - but I'll never forget how much anxiety I had going to Nicaragua. I was in High school and ALL my friends were taking Spanish, but I of course like to be unique so I signed up for Mandarin Chinese (that's a whole other story HA)! When were getting ready to leave for Nica I was so terrified of the language barrier because I felt my whole crew could all understand but me. Fast forward to last year - and I didn't speak the language of 7 of the countries we went to - but it was never once an issue. You'll be surprised how much you understand by using the clues in your environment. Never be afraid to ask for help - there are more good apples then bad apples out there! Oh and a smile will take you far 😄

14. 22 was meant for traveling

I traveled growing up, but this last year it felt like a calling! We asked a lot of trusted adults in our life what they did or wished they did when they were 22 and almost all of them said they traveled or wished they did. We're young and limber and can make an adventure out of going to the grocery store - so don’t waste this time on anything else but having fun and seeing the world! Travel while you can still fit old t-shirts in a backpack and sleep on the floor. You will learn so much about yourself and the world around you.

15. Invest in yourself

This lesson took me much of my 22nd year to learn. Everyday I open my closet and put on the same jeans and t-shirt form 8th grade (blessing and a curse I haven't grown). But it wasn't until a few months ago I realized how important it is to love the skin (and stuff) your in! Find your style and don’t be afraid to invest a little more than that Forever 21 shirt - you're getting older now and it's important to have things you love and represent you as a person so don’t be afraid to go the extra step and by the big girl perfume instead of Bath and Body Works Spray 😉

22 Things You Learn at 22 + SaltWaterVibes

16. Keep a Positive mindset.

Through all of the fun this year, I also had a lot of growing pains and tough choices. There's been a lot of situations that got me really down and dimmed my shine, but I always always picked myself right back up and hit the reset on my brain. Focusing on the good instead of bad will take you so far in life. In fact, nothing in life has to be bad, I guarantee you can ALWAYS find the good if you want to. Keep your head up and know the sun will always rise the next day.

17. Now is the time to hustle

No matter what your doing HUSTLE. Whether it's working at a job, staying up all night working on a passion project, or taking care of a loved one - always hustle. Your hard work and effort will always get you out on top. Your at a point in life where things are up to YOU! You have the power to make money, you also have the power to spend it. You have the power to work out, but you also have the power to watch Netflix in bed. I promise you - nothing bad ever came from a little hard work and effort.

18. Think outside the box

Rashwan has been telling me this for years - and I used to get so mad because I felt like I was! My creative juices were constantly flowing and I always keep a very level head. But time and time again he tried to show me just how to always keep the bigger picture in mind. Changing your mindset to this is SO powerful because it allows you to think about how your current actions + decisions will affect you, your family & friends, your future, and just your whole life! Think about others and step in their shoes when making a choice. Before buying a $5 coffee think about 6 things you could do with $5 - constantly open your mind to the world around you and I promise life will pay it forward.

19. Write it down.

While visiting my Omi and Opi this year I learned a lot about my roots, but I also learned a lot of great sayings! My Opi is full of wisdom and great advice, this year he told me “Even the shortest pencil is better than the longest memory”. Our brains are responsible for a whole lot - it constantly amazes me what I can remember, but it also saddens me to think of all I have forgot! Whether it's a new business idea, a funny memory, or even a dot on the map - never ever forget to write things down. Carry a journal, or use your notes app on your phone - I promise you will not regret holding onto information and memories.

20. Protect your knees

As a kid how many times did you hear the phrase, “oh I can't do it like I used to” or "I'm getting too old for this”?! DON'T LET THIS BE YOU! Every time I conquered a new hike or speed down the road on my blades, I can’t help but be thankful for my still young and limber body. Appreciate it and TAKE CARE of it because it is the only one you got - it will only last as long as you are willing to take care of it. Rashwan and I both have bad knees and truly do feel like we're getting old!! This year we constantly wore our knee braces and stretched out every night - 23 is going to be all about making this little body my temple!

22 Things You Learn at 22 + SaltWaterVibes

21. Drink WATER!

Being 22 and on your own, you have the ability to make every decision for yourself. That means making the decision to not get Dr. Pepper with every.single.meal (which sounds impossible I know, I know). Make the effort to always drink water - you'll never ever ever see me without my blue hydro flask. I drink a minimum of 1 a day ( I have the 32oz one) and sometimes 2! Drinking water is one of the best choices you can make for yourself. A hydrated person is a productive person!

22. Always always always - stay young.

Were all growing up for the first time together. Life is really really hard, and sometimes it's nothing like what we expected. Our days become bustier and our minds have more to keep track of, but never ever forget the feelings and memories of being a carefree kid. Your only going to get older, so don’t waste your youthful days pretending to be older or more mature than you are. JUST BE 22

22 was an awesome year and I am so thankful for all 364 days of it. I learned so much, I hope you can apply some of these lessons to your life too! 23 is going to be so fun - I can’t wait to share what I learn this year - Cheers!

22 Things You Learn at 22 + SaltWaterVibes

marina choy

All these pictures were taken on my 22 birthday last year by Marina! This wicked cool girl was just visiting Hawaii when I took the plunge to meet an insta friend in real life :) It was such a special birthday for me because I got to do everything I loved - swim in the sea, take pictures, show a new friend my favorite spots and celebrate this beautiful life! Go check out her site and Instagram - I promise you'll be drooling over her creative eye for hours!!

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