I'm currently traveling nomadically, witnessing how mindfulness can change us along the way, while tracking down plant-based and gluten-free (celiac) food.
I love settling down for 1-3 months in a location, lodging in Airbnbs, house sitting, or staying on a certain someone's boat (a navigator, outdoor adventurer, and ski instructor, he likes to join in on these travels).
Please know I'm not perfect at any of this, but just learning, growing, and sharing here in case it helps others in venturing as mindfully and simply as they desire, too.
I've added more background info below, in case it's helpful to know. XO
More Than 40 Years Ago
In the 70s, when I was still little, my parents had the courage to toss us on the road, to travel, for a year. Frugally.
It was the best classroom ever. It was the wisest decision my parents ever made.
Yet everyone truly thought it was crazy. They couldn't comprehend why anyone would do this. They were certain we'd be deprived of life's necessities (school, friends, television).
However, we saw every historical site possible. We learned alternative ways to attend school. We made diverse friendships that could not exist in our hometown. And we learned that the giant box in the living room need not be so giant.
I remain forever grateful to have been briefly educated about the world out there...firsthand. I needed much, 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 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, along the way, my immigrant grandparents inspired me to live as simply as possible. Witnessing their basic necessities and their self-sufficient ways made me want to choose similarly, too. This helped me feel free.
So I kept downsizing my home life over the years, eventually whittling my life 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 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 meaningful to choose to live beneath one's means.
Acquiring lots of things just never brought lasting fulfillment. Whereas focusing on loving growth and daily adventures—in even the littlest of things—have brought so much meaning to my life.
I spent my youth caretaking children and the elderly, volunteering as a camp counselor, and working in boutique retail. I spent my young adulthood producing national events in the tech world.
I later volunteered in television, film, radio, and 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 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, plus 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 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. (I'm reminded to practice a lot.) XO