When I was a little girl, my parents took us on the road—full-time. It was the greatest gift imaginable.
After attempting to adhere to a conventional life off the road, I'm tickled to be roaming free once again. This time, I’m tracking down plant-based and gluten-free fuel as I witness how mindfulness changes oneself + helps others along the way.
I founded OMventure, a travel journal, to share meaningful travel stories, mindful moments, and kind support. I’m so grateful you're here. XO
In the '70s
Family and friends insisted it was a crazy idea for my parents to take us on the road full-time. They were certain we would be deprived of an education, friends, and television.
Thankfully, my parents figured out how to exchange what they had for what they wanted. They saved money, had a small sabbatical stipend, and they planned to work odd jobs on the road.
Our possessions were stored in the basement of our home, behind a locked door. The rest of the house was rented out.
A 16-foot travel trailer was hooked up to the big blue station wagon. Gas prices were high, near 50 cents a gallon.
It was the best classroom ever. We saw every historical site possible.
We made diverse friendships that could not exist in our hometown. As a child, I wasn’t even aware of this reality.
And we learned that the giant box in the living room need not be so giant.
Taking us on the road was the wisest decision my parents ever made. I remain forever grateful to have been exposed, at such a young age, to the world out there.
I wanted much more of it. And for human growth, I can see why one needs much more of it.
Over the years, my parents also tossed us into the wilderness for weeks at a time, and eventually overseas to be with family. Our little eyeballs met wildlife and even older ways.
It was a bit humorous, though, that later (as an adult), my travel gear and plans often felt chaotic. After extensive planning and packing, I'd arrive at a destination and continue to spend endless time sorting through my things, only to feel lost and unprepared for what was ahead.
Thank Goodness for Immigrant Grandparents
Thank goodness I had witnessed my immigrant grandparents' basic possessions and self-sufficient ways. It gave me the desire to live simply, too. I wanted to be free of so much.
So I kept downsizing (simplifying) my life over the years, eventually whittling my possessions to three bags. This helped me learn to carefully seek travel gear and resources that fit my needs. This is when I began to feel truly free and ready for just about anything.
Cautious childhood habits (working, budgeting, saving) taught me that those with a small income could ultimately do anything. And that later, when one has a larger income, it's actually meaningful to choose to live beneath one's means.
Acquiring lots of things just never brought me lasting fulfillment. But focusing on loving growth, daily adventures, and helping others—in even the tiniest of ways—brings so much meaning to life.
I spent my youth caretaking children and the elderly, volunteering as a summer camp counselor and working in boutique retail. These experiences taught the importance of a smile and responding professionally.
My young adulthood was spent working 24/7, producing and traveling to national events in the tech world. These experiences taught the value of maintaining endless flexibility and ensuring prompt solutions.
I later volunteered in public television, radio, and in community journalism.
I witnessed emotional and physical struggles in my work environments, just as clearly as what we witness in our personal environments. But, as one might imagine, nobody discussed them, and people visibly suffered.
This, along with my own experiences, motivated me to train as a Certified Trauma Specialist, Certified Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Advocacy-Based Crisis Counselor, Certified Peer Counselor, Mind-Body Medicine Professional, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction/MBSR Teacher, Personal Wellness Facilitator and Health Coach, and earn a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition.
This training made it possible for me to volunteer with mental health practitioners and assist clients experiencing crisis, as well as volunteer with medical doctors and assist patients in need of making critical dietary and lifestyle changes.
These experiences remind me how rare it is to find someone who isn't in need of such support at some point in their lives. For everyone has their story, everyone has their trauma, and nothing is perfect...no matter where we're located.
I'm still in awe that when I take mindful action in a challenging moment, the calm it brings allows me to handle the next moment with more ease. And when I forget to do this? It's my reminder to practice. (I'm reminded to practice a lot.) XO