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Up-close with Nikki Gogan: Why you should never settle for less than you deserve

Taj mahal, Nikki Gogan

I was born and bred a country girl having lived in Northam my entire life (Northam is a country town about an hour East of Perth in WA with a population of nearly 7000).

Since leaving school at 16 years old, I have worked in the local Real Estate industry harbouring a successful selling career spanning over 10 years. I fell in love quite young and after my 12-year relationship ended, I had some time to myself….

On a short overseas trip with a girlfriend in Bali, I received a text from another girlfriend to suggest I apply for ‘The Bachelor’, on a total whim, I did! Before I knew it, I was rolling up to a mansion in a limo along with 20+ other girls to meet one suited up Bachelor. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned since my time being on The Bachelor and my trip to India with Contiki…

#1: For the last couple of years I have made a conscious effort to simply do more in the coming year. Go on more adventures, smile more, be more. Make the coming year better than the one previous. Simply make the most of the time you have.

#2: I am thankful for my Bachelor journey. I am thankful for the adventure and the people I met along the way. My trip to India is another example of adventure and meeting some wonderful people – my Contiki crew and guides were fantastic and helped make Eternal India the unforgettable trip that it was.

#3: Seeing a tiger on safari was pretty momentous. The tiger was mystical in the way that it strolled along, almost as if in slow motion. Being in the presence of such a large and strong animal and not feeling fear, only being in awe is something I’ll remember for a very, very long time.

#4: Bree (one of my best friends) and I have been lucky enough to travel Scotland, Germany, Egypt, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bali and now India together. We both agree that India is our favourite so far. She’s my ultimate travel buddy and we travel extremely well together. I have never travelled solo and I am not sure that I ever would. My preference would be to have family, friends or partners to share in the magic and memories of your travel adventures.

#5: Travel has the potential to make us appreciate more and that in turn, makes us better humans. I think travel has the power to help heal a lot of things but while travelling may be an amazing way to temporarily escape, it shouldn’t be used to run away from feelings or fears. I think travel helps to broaden horizons, perhaps help to see a different perspective or help you to appreciate home and all of the treasured people and places that you already have in your life. It definitely has the power to heal a heartbreak, but that’s not all it’s there for.

#6: The secret to my happiness is appreciating and being thankful for the little things. Enjoying a coffee on the beach with my sister, getting a cuddle from my Mum or belly laughing with a friend, drawing happiness from walking my dog along the river and seeing those I love smile. True happiness isn’t material; true happiness is people and experiences.

#7: If someone doesn’t love you the way that you want them to, it doesn’t mean you or they are bad people, simply, it wasn’t meant to be at this time and that’s ok. My advice for relationships is to never settle for something less then you deserve. Taking some time to discover who you are and taking time to be alone is ok. It’s healthy to spend time alone and not be defined by another person.