Mostly, I like to go to new places when I accept house/pet-sits, (which is my way of being able to travel).  So, when my fellow nomadic friend sent me a link to a house-sit on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, asking me if I knew of this particular sit since I had been here before, I dismissed it –  it was the same house sit I had done 6 years prior.  After immediately saying that I wasn’t interested, I went for  a hike, which is a form of meditation for me.  I realized that this was a bit of serendipity and that this may be what I was looking for if I could tweak the time line.

Although I had a mixed bag of experiences the first time around, it was a stressful house/pet sit due to one of the owners being a micro-manager, which doesn’t mesh well with my personality.  I took it on instead of being able to relax into it and let it be her stuff.  I understood why she was the way she was, yet, simultaneously, I was too anxious about doing everything perfectly; I was always worried that I would do something wrong.  I had heard all of her complaints about other caretakers and I just didn’t want to be one of those.  Now, I probably could care less as my worst job is actually quite

IMG_5983.jpggood, just because of who I am.  But, this was at the start of my traveling via pet and house-sits and I was overly conscientious.  This owner is no longer involved so it was already a different situation.  And, now the 4 dogs no longer resided there, the one cat made this a much easier house-sit.

Mind you, the yard is incredibly big, with lots of mowing and daily weeding and trimming required otherwise it is overwhelming.  Yet, even that was different, as the partner in this situation is much more laid back and doesn’t require all that was required previously.  Anyway, long story short, I took the sit for half of the time requested, which made it much more do-able for me.

I was so looking forward to 3 months on my own, focusing on myself, my creative projects and making this time around a much more relaxed situation for me.  And, I had been living in other people’s space for far too long and I needed to be on my own, even if was in someone else’s home.  Three days into it, I volunteered to help out a person on the island with a stray dog, who was injured, and needed to be captured and brought to the Humane Society.  From there, the understanding was that the dog was going to be cleared for travel and go directly to the continental US.  He was being adopted by people who vacationed on Vieques and started this process, but had to go back to the US before they could get the dog.   Surprisingly, the dog was captured quickly, and I brought him to the Humane Society to be dropped off.  Shockingly, although it shouldn’t have been, the Humane Society refused him, except to clear him for travel.  He needed a foster home.  I was it.  But, it was only for 3 days – no problem.  Three days turned into 5 weeks, and that is only because at 4 weeks I realized this could be indefinite and I couldn’t leave a feral dog for the next caretakers, nor did I want a dog for the full-time that I was here.IMG_5064.JPG

I have to say, I absolutely love animals, and I loved this dog.  The issue was that it was so unexpected, indefinite, and he consumed all of my time.  I had to connect with him to get him to trust me, train him and help him feel comfortable to be in a crate in order to travel.  It required time and patience at all hours of the day.  It distracted me from my original intention of coming to this island, which for the short-term would have been easier.  And, due to the situation, I was not able to use the car freely in fear that he would escape when I got the car out of the property.  So, I was often trapped.  I was on this beautiful island, and I couldn’t go anywhere unless I could manage to get someone to help me – which was a challenge as I didn’t know anyone and neighbors weren’t usually available.

Long story short, I managed to connect and train and I fell in love with this dog.  He was then sent to the US, to a family who loves him.  I am grateful for the time with him and the opportunity because I had always wanted to work with a rescue agency.  I can acknowledge that I possess excellent trainer skills, without being trained myself.  I know that I participated in saving this dog’s life, as if we didn’t intervene he would have died due to his injury and infection.  I am happy that I was there and that I inadvertently fell into it – it really is a gift to watch an animal transform and learn to trust you.

Yet, I had mixed feeling throughout the whole process.  I signed up to volunteer for a day, which became 3 days, and then they bumped him off the flight.  And, then the flight was supposed to be the next week, and then everyone disappeared.  I made calls, texted, emailed and I received no response.  I met someone who inadvertently got into fostering 2 puppies and she had them for 8 months.  I knew then I had to speak up and force the issue.  I came to Vieques to have a do-over and here I was stuck at the property, and after all the training, and the yard work, I had no motivation for me and my creative projects….the heat and humidity were depleting any energy that I had for the mid-day when the dog actually slept – or passed out due to the heat was more like it.  He didn’t do well in the heat either.

So, be careful what you wish for.  I wanted to be involved in a rescue, but the timing was not what I had planned.  The communications with the Humane Society and those involved were dysfunctional and frustrating.  Yet, I had this feral dog that morphed into the sweetest dog in those weeks. IMG_5069.JPG A range of emotions ran through me…happy to be doing it and grateful that I could do it, and frustrated that I got stuck doing it and pissed off that the Humane Society is really pretty dysfunctional, albeit with reasons.  And, maybe there were cultural differences at play. At the end,  I was exhausted as the dog didn’t like to be alone, but refused to come in the house.  He would howl and bark at night, and it was difficult to ignore, nor could I sleep through it.  Sigh….it was what it was….

So, half my time here has been wrapped in the dog, albeit a beautiful and soulful dog, whom I truly love.  Now, I got my life back, with great relief for me and for him.  He really needed to be off this island due to the heat and to get medical care that he needed.  It is a good thing.  I now am feeling stressed to get all that I wanted to do completed in half the amount of time, and still find time to enjoy the beaches and all that this funky little island has to offer.  I spent days catching up on the yard work, and almost died of heat stroke.  But, for now, I can shift my focus to me, for which I’m grateful.

So, what is the lesson?  I am not sure.  I know that partly it was about boundaries and speaking up for my own personal self-care.  And, that it was okay to put me first, something that I have difficulty doing as I am so aware of other’s needs and my kindness just kicks in, and I give often times at my own expense.  Still learning that lesson…that it is okay to have me as my priority even if it means that I can’t be there for someone else.  Yet, I couldn’t not do what I did for the dog either.

I was reminded that I could be doing a great thing, and still have my range of emotions, and that it is okay.  I didn’t need to be thrilled during the daily happenings, especially during the frustrations that arose from this unexpected situation.

Throughout the ordeal, I was often feeling stressed and anxious. And, with this I felt as though I fell into, but maybe participated in, creating a very similar experience as my first time around energetically.  There wasn’t the ease that I had wanted, but the stress and anxiety were there, as it was the first time around.  I just wanted 3 months of ease and focusing on myself and that didn’t happen because I stepped up to volunteer, and then my kindness allowed the situation to linger on, way beyond what I had imagined.  My do-over wasn’t quite a do-over, the way I had planned.

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Calle at his new home.

I’m writing basically so that I’ll let go of it all including reflecting and analyzing what the lessons are for me.  They will present themselves, hopefully before another situation presents itself so that I don’t repeat it for the sake of learning those lessons.  Time to move forward…

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The dog is doing well. I spend time with the cat.  And, I still feed the neighborhood strays, so I have plenty of dogs in my life, and chickens, horses and cats, but it is in balance.  I am making some progress on the projects and my online course.  I find my way to the beaches, and am exploring the island.  I’m being gentle with myself with varying degrees of consistency …giving myself the time I need before my next travels, which is to a situation where the focus on others will take priority, just due to the nature of the job.

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Processing….all that is for me, presently…

My creativity was previously tied up in my career, as a teacher of the Deaf.  I created a classroom that was vibrant, fun,meeting different learning styles and my students interests, all the while incorporating the curriculum goals.  I allowed that creativity to flow as I moved throughout my days….weeks, months, years.  My goal was toDSCF1325_2 ensure a fun learning environment, with different themed lessons, and to accommodate the different learning styles.  And, it was fun.  I loved it, until burnout.

Partly, my burnout was due to this creative passion, but mostly it was due to the educational system, the increasing unrealistic expectations of parents and  administration, and what the government decided was best for the students – which basically added more paperwork, a focus towards improving standardized testing scores and less time to focus on the students.  It was no longer fun.  Apologies…I may have already said all of this in a previous post…but this leads somewhere….

This was the impetus for my lifestyle change – in becoming a nomad.  I’ll admit it, I did function outside of the box before this change, but not as much.  Mostly it was in my  perspective of life that made me a bit different…but that weirdness was okay with me.  However, I was still doing a traditional job that required 10-12 hours of work, daily.  I lived closer to family and was in the city that I called my home, Boston (USA), with some really good long time friends.   I was in the traditional paradigm.  Now, I’m not.  I wander.  I am what they call, transient….but, I’ll leave out the underlying negative current associated with that term.

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I do house and pet sits as a means to travel.  Mostly, I love it.  It allows me to travel.  I meet new animals who I can love and care for without the long term responsibility.  I resonate with animals more than I do people sometimes…who am I kidding…most of the time.  I’ve traveled this way for several years now.  I feel a shift though….we’ll see where it takes me.

Initially, traveling and wandering was all that I needed or wanted.  Overtime the productive and creative part of me eventually surfaced.  I sought out ways to express this in a manner where I’d be able to take them with me – my travel philosophy is to travel lightly – as lightly as possible.
I began several projects over the years – two different blogs, a Traveling Lightly store on Zazzle, CafePress and Printfection (which no longer exists) – these sites offer products that can be made with my Traveling Lightly logos).  I formally began to study photography, (although I’ve taken photos for years) and photo editing software.  And, I began to write my life story – for my own personal reasons.  Then my creative mind started 3 different books….they are all in different stages of development.  Sigh…

And, with the passing of time, new ideas/projects and a desire to experience something more, something different, have bloomed, which require some attention…
I wander with these goals – goals outside of seeing and exploring the world, that is.   The progress is slow, for a multitude of reasons.   Mostly, it is because I Traveling Lightly_v1a-iusually need some grounding to be in a creative space. After landing at a new house/pet sit, I eventually get focused and disciplined.  I then lose it as I transition to a new place.   This cycle continues as my sits tend to only be 1-3 months long.  I’m working on the ability to remain focused on my projects while I’m transitioning.  I see others doing it, why can’t I?

But, the pattern exists – that I drift away and revisit all of these projects, repeatedly.  So, what is my point? Maybe there isn’t one.  But there are life lessons.  And, maybe one of them is acceptance of where I am at any given moment.  When I restart these projects, I go through a process that is more detrimental than beneficial.  I berate myself for the time wasted and the lack of progress.  I am frustrated that I am not where I want to be with any of these goals – a professional photographer, a published writer, and earning income via my Traveling Lightly products.

I compare my discipline and commitment to my life within that traditional paradigm.  And, although I am not called to be there any longer, there was an ease that came with being in that paradigm…and a security living within it.

And, then my new desires and ideas compound these negative feelings. Instead of being exciting and positive as new desires can be, they are overwhelming, and add to my frustration, because I’m now adding more to my plate. The feelings are convoluted, but whatever they are, they block my movement, my progress.

I eventually let go of those detrimental feelings and refocus.  Some progress is made and then I transition.  The dance is the same each and every time.

For me, the gifts from any experience are the life lessons I learn from self-reflection. Acceptance.  Being gentle with myself.  Moving forward, no matter the pace or progress.  Loving what I am able to do in the moment.  Being open to doing it differently.  Letting go of this seemingly unnecessary process. Allowing that shift I am feeling to occur. Enjoy the transitioning….and be okay with not being productive in the traditional sense – something that was ingrained in me from an early age.  My sense of value is probably linked to this productivity.  Show myself…all of me, not just what I think is acceptable, or what I think won’t be judged and criticized.  Be vulnerable and be okay with others knowing my vulnerabilities.  Existing, experiencing, and living authentically is more than enough, or rather, it is all that is.

1962326980-4fc21b32c6a65635743cc8c4472881ca.jpgPresently, I participate in my projects with a bit more ease – with less intensity and expectation which seems to help with remaining committed and focused.  Ease…there should be an ease in walking through this life, which I think we unlearn as we grow up.  Ease is good.  Life doesn’t need to be so difficult.  So, I guess that is my point…May you travel your own journey with ease…and authenticity.

 

Thank you to ZenSational Living for the photo.

Transitioning….

My home for many years was in Boston, Massachusetts (US).  I loved it until career burnout consumed me and then wanderlust set in and I had to move on.  I left 8 years ago, and have been travelinBoston-winter1g since.  Yet, Boston is my home despite the lack of a physical home here.  I have returned throughout the years, yet this time it felt right to stay for longer than typical.  So, for a few months I have been here, – revisiting, exploring the changes, connecting with my good friends and family.  It has been amazing and grounding.  After much movement this past year, it was necessary and welcomed.

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Next week I move on and joy has been bubbling within.  I am ever so grateful for my time here, yet, I am ready and excited to be traveling again.  There is something about the act of travel, of movement, that is rejuvenating for me.  So, spring is on its way here in Boston, yet it feels as though I am already in spring as I have an extra bounce in my step and joy in my heart.

I am purging again….which always lightens my load and my heart.  I am letting go of what I’ll no longer need – those cold weather clothes, things that I realized that I have not used in months, ac486c94953382091f25d44f149525c11nd items that need to be put to rest.  I still struggle with not wanting to give up some things due to the expense, yet, if I am truly walking my talk, then I’ll trust that when I need them again the money will be provided.

I believe that whatever I need will come to me, with ease.  I am not always there in my mind and actions.  It is a process for me to get to that point  – where I can easily release all that I don’t need in the moment and in the upcoming future.  A process…one that I seem to take at each transition, but I have improved…the process is not as tedious or as long, and, I am more willing.

I have come a long way with attachment and detachment to material things.  A home full of items, including those with memories, no longer exists.  I only have some photos  and important papers being stored at a relative’s house.  Basically, I travel with all that I have.  It can be cumbersome, so purging is required.  After traveling with a heavy load, iTL_vDt becomes more easy to purge.  When I have a larger bag, I feel heavy…as if I still have that material-filled home. What works best for me is having less…

A carry-on and small backpack….

But, my goal is to eventually have even less than that…someday…

But for today, the goal is to purge so that my things easily fit into my carry-on and small backpack.  I want to feel the lightness on all levels.  I hope you’re traveling today…traveling lightly, physically and in your heart.

Camino Portugues – My Second Pilgrimage

A few years ago, I did the Camino de Santiago, the French route.  It was 36 days of continuous walking, with a magical rhythm to OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmy days – walk, eat, sleep, and take care of the basics of life – getting food, water and any other necessities for walking.  It was a time of focus, on the moment, the day.  Walking was a meditation, (and still is).  And, no matter what I did or what the weather, I did not consider not walking each day.  The desire to keep walking took over me completely.  After my camino ended, I was not ready to stop walking.  It took me 2 months to let go of that need to walk miles each day.

Cathedral in Santiago, Camino Frances

I didn’t think that I would ever do another camino, but 3 years later it called to me again.  I didn’t want to do the same route.  I had wanted to do my first camino solo, buIMG_3012t a friend wanted to join me, and I acquiesced.  Although the experience was what it was, with it’s positives and negatives, I had regretted not doing it alone.  So, this time, it was to be a solo journey.
I chose the Portugal route, mostly because it had terrain that I could manage since I had not trained for a multi-day hike, and I didn’t have time to do so as I wanted to go immediately.  And, the route went along the coast at certain points.  The ocean always calls me.

There are two starting options, one in Lisbon and one in Porto.  I chose Lisbon  because I wanted the longer walk.  Yet, the infrastructure from Lisbon to Porto is quite weak, which I had not realized.  The guide book that I had bought went right into my backpack until I got to Lisbon where I then discovered the challenge that I had to face. I should have done more research.

The lack of infrastructure meant that I was required to walk many more miles than I had planned and I was not physically prepared for it.  As well,  I had to spend more money on accommodations because hostels weren’t always available along the route.  There were parts of the route that were quite dangerous in regards to traffic, not having adequate walking paths.  Since this part of the route is not popular, I was often walking alone (although this is what I wanted, I didn’t quite mean this alone).

This was so different from my first camino where there were hundreds of others walking daily – and that brought about an ease to keep on walking energetically, even when you were walking alone on the trail, there were always many pilgrims to meet at the day’s end.  The French route was not any of this initial experience, from Lisbon to Porto….My first week was spent in comparison. I was more emotionally challenged than physically at this point – it was a struggle to get going each day.  But, as soon as I let go of comparing I began to enjoy this camino, and the desire to walk kicked in, and the struggle disappeared.

IMG_2469Much of the route from Lisbon to Porto was inland, beautiful, but inland.  When the coastal route arrived I was ecstatic!  Yet, when it veered inland a day later, I was depressed.  I decided to leave the traditional route and stayed along the coast.  Unbeknownst to me, this was an alternative path, often marked with green arrows to follow versus the traditional yellow arrows of the camino. Yet, with this decision, I missed the portion of the route that is most popular, from Porto to Santiago…which may have given me a more familiar experience.  But, the coast pulled me….and I’m glad it did.

As I moved up the coast of Portugal, then crossed into Spain by ferry,  I met five other women who also resonated with the coast…and we formed a deeply bonded group.  We stayed along this path until we could no longer do so, and headed inland towards SantIMG_3205.JPGiago.

Santiago for me was not my destination, as it doesn’t hold much meaning for me. The town of Finisterre (Fisterra) is, for me,  a more spiritual place and that was my destination, my stopping point.  This is a small coastal town that welcomes the pilgrims after their long journeys, until they return home.

There is a 00 kilometer marker that marks the end of the journey…or the beginning of it.  After a weeks time, I pulled myself away from this coastal town that has great energy – the town where we all experience and celebrate our common desire to walk a pilgrimage, and our accomplishment.  I said good-bye to my friends…and yet, I know we are forever connected.

The blessings of this walk:  I was able to walk alone. Eventually, I met up with other pilgrims, and made connections.  These wonderful people joined me, yet let me walk alone when needed.  And, the coastline was absolutely magnificent, magical, and breathtaking.  In the end, I came to honor and be grateful for both my camino experiences.  I was glad that I had the Camino Frances experience first though.

I departed this camino thinking that I would probably not do another camino again, yet, even after a few short months the Northern Camino route is calling.  This time I’d have to train…Bom Caminho…Buen Camino.

Refocusing to focus on the next part of my journey…..

I have been away from all that I started back in 2012. I started 2 blogs, a Nomadic traveling lightly Facebook page, a Zazzle and Cafepress store which sell products with my Traveling Lightly logos.

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In addition, I focused on my writing – my story on how I came to become a nomad and a spiritual based book for travelers, along with these blogs. For awhile this was exciting and only increased my passion for travel when I was not able to travel. With these projects, I remained connected to the idea of travel and to other travelers on Facebook. It was good, fun, for a while. And then, the energy dissipated – not for the act of traveling itself, but for all these online projects…maybe it was because they did not seemingly bring me anywhere, especially financially. I left it all to the wayside.

Years later, I am back, revisiting. I want to see if after all of these years something has changed and is it different; to see if they can manifest into something absolutely wonderful….something that will feed my joy and wanderlust and my financial needs.

What have I’ve done for these past 4 years….I traveled via pet and house sits. IMG_0044I stayed with friends and found employment. At one point, I settled down a bit to earn money to travel. I worked as a bodywork practitioner/massage therapist/Reiki practitioner, along with my pet/house sitting business. I saved money. I traveled. I have managed to complete some dream trips which I’ll save for future blog posts.

The cycle has been – work, save money, travel and back to work. Not a unique cycle for those who love to travel.  The challenging part for me, due to being a nomad, is finding that next stop, next place where I can house/pet sit for long-term so that I can find employment. This was a dream.  Being able to take care of other people’s pets brought me joy.  This joy has not diminished. Pet and house-sitting has allowed me a means to travel. It has allowed me to find a place to live without paying rent, and at times to earn a stipend/salary for my services.

This means to travel is no longer my dream. I still want to travel, albeit differently. I still want to work with animals…but in a different capacity – maybe as a volunteer/intern in a specialized sanctuary. I want to increase my photography skills, and all the digital/computer skills necessary to produce an income with my photos.

I want to hike…long hikes are meditation for me, the way I connect spiritually.  IMG_2469I want to travel frequently, with an ease that I don’t have at this time. I want the financial freedom to live vibrantly,  to expand myself spiritually, emotionally, physically, and intellectually.

Despite my love of travel, and love of being a nomad, I now have a desire to have a home base. Or, I’d like the ability to afford a place that I can rent and be on my own when I need some time and space to get grounded after traveling.  Basically, the underlying desire is financial freedom – true, for most of us. I know this is not unique.

I am in the in-between time. The dream has changed.  I have known this for some time, and a struggle to let go and be open to the new existed.  The new dream exists, albeit not always as clear as I’d like, but, it requires an openness; an ability to take a risk despite the muddy waters.

I am open, now. I am ready to take the risk. And, I believe, no, I know, that when you focus on what you want, not just intellectually, but emotionally, spiritually, physically, and energetically, manifestation happens. So, here I am. I am back – to refocus on my projects of 4 years ago.  It is a time of exploration to see if they truly are what I need to focus on now, and, will they lead me to my new dream’s manifestation.

 

Links:

http://www.zazzle.com/travelinglightlyshop

http://www.cafepress.com/AKsTravelingLightlyShop

https://www.facebook.com/Nomadic-living-and-travels-234680416547508/

Being Stuck…

It has been some time since I have written.  Life has gotten in the way, distracting me from my joys in life.  I have forgotten how challenging it can be to be in the traditional paradigm, with so many expectations and commitments – some that really take up way too much time and energy.  I am exhausted being back here, doing something that I don’t love to do for the sake of money.

Money.  I do believe that we are suppose to be doing what we love and the money will come.  Follow our bliss.  Yet, I am stuck in the not being able to do this. I am so close to not having money while trying to get things going with the things that I love – I felt that I needed another source of steady income. And, due to the unexpected outgoing of a large chunk of my money – my reserves, I am left feeling quite wobbly on the money issue.

So, I got a…dare I say it…job.  I so did not want a job again, (not to say that I haven’t worked, but not in a regular job with regular hours, etc.)  I am now responsible to others, yet bringing in only a limited amount of money due to circumstances.  It should improve, if I could hang on, I would actually make some decent money.  But, the reality of it is, I can’t.  I feel my spirit being crushed daily.  I don’t love it, and I barely even like it at this point.  And, all that I love doing, and want to learn how to do and to invest my time and energy in, I have not been able to do, even when I have had the time.  Exhaustion as a result of not living one’s bliss and making too many compromises.

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Pahsimoroi Valley in May, Idaho

And, I am not just stuck in a ‘job’, but in a place that was meant to be temporary.  A short stop on my nomadic travels.  About 1 1/2 years ago, I arrived here, in Idaho (US), to do a winter house-sit after traveling in hot and humid weather for 2 years.  It was a new experience to be living in the mountains, with a different climate, in a remote area, and taking care of seven cats, whom I have come to love dearly. I appreciated the new experience.

After those 4 months, the homeowners asked me to consider becoming their house/pet sitter on call, living in their other home in Boise, ID, while they weren’t traveling or in need of my services.  In theory, this could have been a great situation, if I could find a way to supplement my income while I wasn’t needed by them.  I accepted the offer and I did find some ways, via pet sitting, and having a private massage practice, etc.  Yet, because of the switching back and forth there were so many conflicts that it wasn’t financially profitable, and my savings were being slowly drained.

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Mountains and river along my travels to and from each house in Idaho.

If I was in a place that I absolutely loved, a place I resonated with, then this arrangement would have been more than acceptable to me. I could have managed the money part.  But, it isn’t a place where I feel connected.  It is a beautiful place but it doesn’t mesh with me on many levels.  This is not to say that I haven’t had joy here, or that I don’t appreciate the good things or the beauty of the mountains and rivers…it has been positive on many levels, especially the friendships that I have developed, and the generosity of the homeowners.

But, it has been time to leave for some time now.  My wanderlust kicked in a few months after I accepted the arrangement of switching houses, even though I was enjoying the switching houses, the pets, and the traveling back and forth. It felt like movement even though I was remaining in one location…sort of met my wanderlust needs.  All was good until I really overstayed.

So, why did I stay?  I have to admit it…it was fear.  I didn’t feel as though I had enough money to take the plunge, even though I had wanted to take it.  Staying felt like a good option.  But in the staying, I got stuck and things didn’t open up for me.  Some money has come in, mostly by doing things that I don’t love and I wouldn’t choose to do if I didn’t feel it necessary.  And, in fact, after all of this time, I am in worse financial situation than before.  When things don’t flow, when everything feels so difficult, I start to reassess my choices.

Most of us are told that life is hard and that we have to work hard for our money.  I no longer believe that.  Yes, we will have difficult times, but life is not suppose to be this hard.  I envision life to be full of joy, light and with work that soothes the soul, rejuvenate it, not drain it.  My belief is that when I decided to stay even though my heart was telling me to go, I created those blocks and things didn’t flow.  I wasn’t meant to be here, and all signs were pointing to it.  I had given it more than enough time if things were going to open up with something that I loved to do.

So with this knowing, and despite the present financial status, I am leaving.  I am making the leap, with trust that I will have what I need when I need it.  In September, I am off to do something that I have been wanting to do for many years now which is to walk the El Camino de Santiago – a walk across Spain, which is a pilgrimage that I am hoping will bring me healing on many levels, and a reconnection with my nomadic life and wanderlust.  It is the perfect way for me to take that leap of faith – that I can follow my bliss and the money will come.

Camino Frances, in Spain.

The Camino Frances route.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since my decision, these past few months have been about training for the walk and purging all that I will not need when I have moved on.  It is a rejuvenating process.

Please feel free to share your ‘Being stuck’ stories…I know we all have them.

With gratitude…I am moving on…as always, with mixed feelings about leaving the friends and pets that I have come to know and love and who I will miss.

Life Choices….not always easy….

I started this nomadic lifestyle in 2005.  It comes with life choices and not always with understanding from those who couldn’t conceive of living outside of the box.  Recently, someone on Facebook quoted from Deepak Chopra which fits here:  “Instead of thinking outside the box, get rid of the box”.  Love that.  My family is definitely inside the box with regards to what I should be doing and how I should be contributing as a family member.  So, my first year of travel was met with some mixed feelings, but I think they were thinking that when I got passed this ‘crisis’ then I would return to the same role they were accustom to.

Lighthouse, New London, CT (US)

Well, after a year of travel, and the money coming to an end, I had to return to my profession as a teacher of the Deaf, unfortunately.  I think my family was relieved.  I found a teaching job near the coast, at a different school, with a different experience so it was do-able for me, and actually enjoyable.  During those next two years, I did manage to travel but it didn’t meet my passion for travel on an ongoing basis.  During those years I lived frugally so that I could travel again.

As the school year closed, and I discovered that I was actually laid off, (a blessing), I planned a trip to Costa Rica, to study at a language school in Samara.  It was on the beach and in a country where I have never been.  I planned only those 6 weeks so that I was free to be spontaneous, which was my dream of how I wanted to travel – let the wind take me where I wanted to go and follow the road that opens up for me.  I was so excited to be on way again, exploring the world.

Samara Language School, Samara, Costa Rica

Then, my mother had a stroke about 4 weeks before I was to leave.  Although minor, she did need some extra care.  My mother has always had health issues so this stroke was basically par for the course, even though that doesn’t sound very good.  How does one explain that after years of health issues, it felt like another situation where she was to be focused on, and my siblings and I were not able to live our lives.  I gave up enabling years before and knew that my decision to go on my with my travels, i.e., living my life in a different fashion than my family, would not be met with support and understanding.  And, it wasn’t.

I did leave, only after receiving angry reactions and misunderstandings, since basically, through the years we seemed to have lost the ability to communicate directly with each other, and learned to use my mother’s technique of discussing it with others to get the message across to someone.  So, I was dealing with finding opportunities to clarify my life choices, and explain that I did deserve to live the life that resonated with my soul.  I was and still am an enigma to them, or so it seems.

Wild horses on Samara Beach, CR

The issue hasn’t been resolved still…after all these years, since I am still traveling and living in different areas, outside of where they all live in the Northeast (US).  Their expectations, although not verbally stated, are clear that I am not living up to expectations.  But, my wish to explore the world and live outside the box…or to get rid of the box, is so strong that if I don’t do it, it impacts me, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Volcano Arenal, CR

I explored Costa Rica for 3 months and it included time in Alejuela, Samara, Volcano Arenal, and Puerto Viejo.  I moved on to Panama after Costa Rica.  I was living my dream – traveling lightly as a free spirit, no matter the cost.  Is is worth it?  Yes.  I do love my family but my life and happiness is a priority to me and they live very busy lives, so much so that even when I did live close by I was minimally a part of  it.  So, yes, I do struggle with guilt sometimes and I miss family events…but this exploration is not really a choice – it is a necessity for me.  Is it for you?

Puerto Viejo, CR with a Caribbean feel.

Puerto Viejo, CR


 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Related post:

“The Road Not Taken” « Arianna Monserrat

amonserrat.wordpress.com4/1/12

I hope that those choices will be life changing and bring you joy. I hope that when you see those two road, those two choices, those two opportunities, you travel the ‘road not taken’ because it will make all the difference.