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This is 30

So often in life it seems that where we end up or where we thought we would be is so very different than reality.

10 years ago I was in college and if you had asked me about my life plan, I would tell you that I would by a certain age like to be married and settled down and maybe be thinking about if not already have 1-2 kids, maybe a house, a thriving photography career and maybe a dog for good measure.

5 years ago I was about to get married. This was the plan, right? I don’t know if I could tell you I was truly happy because it was a toxic relationship and I was so far in and caught up in the lies and expectations that I was convinced it was the right thing to do despite my better instincts fighting against it. I was ill all the time and had lost an alarming amount of weight.

I was raised in a way though that if something was wrong with your relationship you just deal with it, you never talk about your man, boyfriend or husband. You stay and support your man and you love him no matter what. You pray for him and you keep your mouth shut.

3 years ago my husband & I were ready to buy a house. As soon as we closed on the house things got worse, a close friend of mine went through an unimaginable trauma that somehow popped the nightmare bubble I had been living in.

I slowly started realizing how bad my marriage really was and how awful I always felt, thats when I was introduced to the term, “gaslighting”. Things progressively got worse and sparing you all the dirty details I found myself desperately trying to get out of this marriage that had swallowed me whole.

2 years ago I was finally free. He took most everything and I was starting over. But I was free! I could finally breathe again but had no idea where to start and what to do with my life as everything I had ever thought was the obvious path for me to take was completely stripped away. I visited several cities in the US with the thought of moving but nothing ever felt quit right. I continued working my new part time job at Starbucks and working on my photography and working on myself. I had plenty of trauma to overcome.

A little over a year ago, I had become content to just stay in New Mexico and travel when I got the chance and then my dad got really sick, really quickly and passed away. So much had changed and so much had happened in such a short amount of time. My life was nothing even close to what I thought it would be at this stage of my life. I had just lost my father, I was divorced, no dream house, no children, working at Starbucks and struggling with serious depression & anxiety.

This last year has been a whirlwind of life changing moments. I traveled to Mexico City for Dia de Los Muertos and experienced a true sense of peace & acceptance about loosing my father. I traveled to Morocco, Tunisia and Portugal. Each place I have traveled to has taught me a different lesson much like each person that comes & goes from my life. I have found a sense of peace about not knowing or needing to have every single thing planned or even having a true clear direction of where I am heading.

In the last 3 months I have returned from my latest trip with the determination to follow my heart and instincts and dive head first into the world with my heart wide open. I sold almost all of my belongings and I purchased a one way ticket out of the US. As I sit in my very empty living for the last time enjoying a cup of tea, I am reminded that at 30 things are just starting to get good. This is where it all starts.

While I spent most of my 20s worried about missing out or not doing the right thing or not saying the right thing, not making the right decision every single moment of my life or worried I was going to miss out on the man of my dreams, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief as I truly understand and accept there is so much freedom & adventure ahead of me. I look & feel good! This is 30!

 Photos by Hailee B. Photography

Photos by Hailee B. Photography

 Photos by Hailee B. Photography

Photos by Hailee B. Photography

 Photos by Hailee B. Photography

Photos by Hailee B. Photography

Coco Betty Travels About Me

Hi Friends!

My full name is Courtney Elizabeth and growing up some of my nicknames were Coco & Betty, thus the name Coco Betty. Feel free to call me Coco, I still answer to it. I empower women to love themselves through travel, one trip at a time.

4 Comments

  1. Denean Massengale on July 2, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Hey cuz! You are absolutely beautiful! Always stay in contact! I love you!

  2. Denice Thomas on July 2, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    I love you. No matter how far you travel just know you have a Texas hillbilly aunt that loves you more than……..

  3. Zakia fatnassi on July 2, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    Damn,You are sooooooo beautiful Courtney.

  4. Cheryl Laidler on July 8, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    You have such a beautiful soul Courtney, I pray you are happy and safe in your travels. I will miss seeing your face and feeling your light. Love you, stay in touch!

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Coco Betty Travels About Me

Hi Friends!

My full name is Courtney Elizabeth and growing up some of my nicknames were Coco & Betty, thus the name Coco Betty. Feel free to call me Coco, I still answer to it. I empower women to love themselves through travel, one trip at a time.

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