I'm currently living on the road, witnessing how mindfulness can ease challenges, and having fun tracking down plant-based and gluten-free food.
Everything I own is in my luggage (I no longer have a home, auto, or storage units), so I pack for all four seasons and have a tiny travel kitchen.
Traveling with a certain someone, I'm sharing on this site to support others in venturing as mindfully, comfortably, and simply as they desire, too.
But Once Upon a Time...
More than forty years ago, my parents had the courage to toss us onto the North American road for a year. Frugally.
Everyone thought it was crazy. Family and friends were certain we'd be deprived of life's necessities. Yet, this was one of the wisest decisions my parents have ever made.
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 endless history, stunning wildlife, and vital diversity. And then, there was more.
It was a bit humorous, though, that 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.
Along the way, thank goodness, my immigrant grandparents also inspired me to live as simply as possible.
So I kept downsizing my home life over the years, eventually whittling it to 3 bags. This is how I learned to carefully seek travel gear and resources that truly fit my needs. This is when I began to finally feel free and ready for just about anything.
There's one more thing:
Cautious childhood habits (budgeting, saving, living simply) taught me that those with a small income could ultimately do anything. And that later, when one has a larger income, it's meaningful to choose to live beneath one's means. Because acquiring lots of things just never brought lasting fulfillment. Whereas focusing on internal growth, and connective support, have bought so much meaning to my life.
I spent my early years caretaking children and the elderly, volunteering as a camp counselor, working in retail, traveling in the corporate world, then later volunteering in television, film, radio, and working as a community journalist. I witnessed emotional and physical struggles in those environments, just as clearly as what we witness in our personal environments. But, as one might imagine, nobody discussed them. And people continued to suffer.
This, along with my own life experiences, inspired me to train as a Certified Trauma Specialist, Certified Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Advocacy-Based Crisis Counselor, Mind-Body Medicine Professional, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction/MBSR Teacher, Certified Peer Counselor, Personal Health Coach, and earn a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition.
This training, which incorporated evidence-based and trauma-informed mindfulness techniques, 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. Because we all face challenges, 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. XO