The way we live and work is dramatically changing in our society. The world is moving towards efficiency and utilitarianism and self-sufficiency. We are waking up to our impact and realizing that we can continue to explore and persevere and grow and succeed, as humans are so wired to do, without negligently ignoring the impact of our actions.
There is a massive movement of people that are committing themselves to mindfulness and consciousness and yoga and meditation and health and nutrition and spirituality and nature and small living and art and lifestyle design. Connection. Sharing. Doing what is right. Reflecting. Self discovery. Creative expression. Physical movement. Practice. Digital nomads. A home on wheels. The Power of Now.
Sometimes I want to gag over it because I can’t stand the thought of being so cliche, so trendy, so unoriginal. But objectively, without my ego around, I know in my heart that trends can sometimes be based in truth, and are not just the product of a marketer’s vision. How about a leader’s vision.
Someone that sees something they believe in, and then tries it for him or herself. Tastes it. Lets it roll around the tongue a bit. Gives it a little teeth to see what it’s made of. Understands it. Dissects it and peels its layers to get to the core. The only way is through experience.
This is the life I want.
And if I want that life, I have to live that life. The way I live it is a choice. It’s a mother-effing choice. For all of us.
And it’s not about what we’ve been dealt. Who has to overcome what, and how this situation is different than that one. The bottom line is we are given what we are given, and it’s not a competition. We draw our own lines and set our own goals. We work with what we have been presented, and then we go see about all the possible routes. We explore our situation to discover how to move.
Because that’s the goal. Just keep moving.
It’s not a reference to physical place, though some of us may apply the expression here. Rather, it alludes to a frame of mind. An understanding that everything changes, and that change is the driving force of nature. Of existence. Nothing stays the same.
Movement. Change. We are on and at a point in our journey at any given moment. And ANYthing could happen. Something will happen. How will we maneuver it? It might feel good, it might feel bad. But either way we must navigate it.
Traveling is such a perfect analogy for the concept of life. The journey. Journeys require very present awareness of basic needs for survival, and it brings life closer. Life becomes more clear and pure. Bold colors, vibrant flavor.
At my home, I have set up my cocoon of comfort. I know, without doing anything except dropping my rent check off at my landlord’s house down the street, that I have a place to sleep and poop and cook and eat and work.
I have a shelter. I have accessible food and water. I have a place to get clean and dry.
Shelter, food/water, hygiene. Needs for survival.
But survival isn’t even an afterthought in this life here in this home on this quaint street on this low-lying coastal land surrounding Puget Sound.
This comfort is nice but I yearn for those journeys. Those adventures. When I don’t know where I am sleeping or what I will eat or who I will meet. During long travels, we are softened until our perspective has the consistency of smooth, firm, fudge-like clay. We move based on what we encounter because we must. We become supple and flexible, yet still maintain substance and form. We change because we have to. We become completely open to whatever comes our way, rain or shine.
This is why travel is so important. It is a practice for living the best life.
I like to take things further. I’ve been told often, especially in the past, that I don’t know when to stop. Rough-housing, partying, arguing, talking. But I have worked to learn how to manage this tendency to push buttons, boundaries, limits. I now evaluate the possible outcomes and am mindful of when to stop.
But this, this I want to take further. This practice of travel for the art of life. It’s a spectrum. On one end is not traveling in any way, and on the other end is perpetual travel. There are so many shades of each point on the spectrum, and I suppose where we are varies at different periods in our lives.
I’ll always be found closer to one end of this spectrum and sliding between a range is what seems natural to me. Exploring the various points in order to know which I want. And again I realize I continue to want them all, just at different seasons of life.
So I move back and forth.
Three years ago this very month, I was buying my dolphin. I was sleeping on my sister’s couch. All of my things I wanted to keep from my apartment in Ballard had been recently put into a small storage near my mom and dad’s house. My mail was sent to a PO box. I had no dog. I also had no idea what I was doing, but I did know that I wanted more adventure and more unknown.
And then, just one year later, there I was feeling the opposite. I wanted a home-base. I found this old bungalow with a front and back yard. I’ve been here two years. It’s the longest I have ever continuously lived in one place since I left my parents’ for college at 18.
This house takes the cake in the long line of old homes where I have lived throughout the last 14 years. But still I don’t fully settle. I don’t fully unpack. I don’t get the furniture I really want or decorate how I would if I owned this house. If it was long-term. I’ve always known I would leave again. I’ve never lived somewhere where I plan to really stick around.
I first lived alone at 23. Since 25, I have not rented with anyone else. I’ve lived alone in an apartment, a studio, a beach cottage, a bungalow and a motorhome. I’ve made my own home again and again. And then again. It has been a wonderful experience of self-discovery and independence. I just don’t want to really make a home by myself anymore. I am ready for the next phase of life.
I want to make a home with Kevan and Sage. And I want to get back on the road.
I knew this urge to get up and go full time would come again, just as I know one day it’ll subside. If there is anything I learned most during that first attempt at life on the road three years ago, it is this: I wax and I wane.
I have been waiting over a year to intuitively know what move to make. Decisions have always come easily for me, and I trust my intuition. For the past year, the move to make was ironically to wait. To wait things out until they are clear.
Well, the fog is lifting as we move into the heart of fall. Love is all around. Big changes are coming.