Thursday, March 4, 2010

Take a journey.

Life is a journey.
and much more interesting when we find ourselves in new places and new situations. I am now living in Colorado - a place I had only visited before now. I have been here 2 months so I now know where the stores are, I have the new library card and the new driver's license, and I can find my way around the mountains to some good walking trails. It is so wonderful to set up a whole new set of rituals and routines, to meet new, but like-minded people, to find groups and communities that welcome me. I, of course, miss some loved ones dearly, but I also thrive in setting up a whole new life. We have done this a few times before, and although hard, it is always good -- all your priorities get re-set and it is a fresh new start.
and in the midst of all this, I am reading lots of travel books! My latest is a remarkable story called "Four Corners, One Woman's Solo Journey Into the Heart of Papua New Guinea," by Kira Salak.
Kira as a 24 year old, tired of routine and regularity, quit grad school, saved enough money for a plane ticket (and a bit more) and just went. No plans, no contacts, no tour groups or reservations.
and what she finds, of course, is herself.
and some remarkable adventure.
It is a very dramatic story, and I doubt I would ever have that much courage, but the idea of this sort of travel is wonderful. She talks about why Americans don't travel. So many people seem to think travel is spending heaps of money on a cruise (many Americans' only experience of another country is a twenty minute shore stop from the decks of a floating apartment building.) Americans seem to think travel is exorbitantly expensive. Americans just seem afraid of the world.

I have found any time I wander in another place, good things happen. Careful pre-planning in traveling destroys the serendipity of what you happen upon, what lucky situation you find yourself in that makes a trip a miracle.
People are wonderful around the world, and ready to help if you need help. This allows such wonderful connection, and we can know we are all in the same family.
Living in a new place can do that too - you don't know what you will find, and it might feel like you are jumping off a cliff, but landing in the water from 50 feet up sure is exhilarating, and it makes life all the more interesting.
I found a family in Aix-en-Provence willing to host my daughter and I for free for five days in June (couchsurfing is so awesome) so I am planning on visiting that town where I studied art 25 years ago, and helping my daughter work on her French with the two teenage girls we will live with.
and my brother is living in the Lake District in Northern UK, so we are planning on seeing them and hiking along Hadrians' Wall.
So I have some very exciting travel to look forward to, and will come back with lots of journaling material to keep the journal happy.
and in the meantime, I am enjoying discovering a new state, wandering in the foothills of the Rockies, and settling into some new routines here, that keep it all fresh.
So go have an adventure.
There is no reason not to learn and grow and experience the wonder of the Earth, see something apart from your little corner.

". . . poetry wells up of itself, and one only has to drift into dreaming . . . " --Paul Gauguin, writing in 1901 when he left Tahiti for the wild and remote Marquesas Islands.

["Poesi brønde op af sig selv, og man behøver blot at glide ind i drømme."]


  1. Dearest Em,

    I don't even know where to start because I've been so unavailable for so long.
    I thought it would be appropriate to post a comment here, the one about moving and traveling and finding one's self.

    I thought I was ready for this transition but it completely undid me physically and emotionally. I didn't even see your Dec email until January sometime! (It went to my old email address.) But even if I had seen it I know I still would have apologized and then pulled the covers back over my head.
    After a long first 6 months I'm now on a good pace. I'm taking care of my health in a way I haven't done for too long. I have a studio that nourishes my soul. We live in an old Victorian I used to ogle when we lived here before, always wanting to see the inside of this wacky place! Funny how things work out.
    But a drive cross country with two anxious pets, arriving with no job for either of us, having to move again after the first 2 months here~it all made me spiral downward.

    Today I see the doctor to hopefully see progress by the changes I've made in lifestyle.
    I'm embracing life again because this is who I truly am.
    I'm doing the work and reaping the rewards, although incrementally. I know I'll still get to where I need to be.

    I'm thrilled for you and your new surroundings. My sister loves living in Colorado and I'm glad I've been there twice. It helps me picture you there ;)

    I hope your own health is up to par these days. You always have a positive view which is half the battle.

    I'll be a regular visitor again now that I'm getting some momentum back. I was sure wallowing on the bottom for a short time here. That's so unlike me. But we all have our breaking points I suppose. And I forgive myself :)

    Your upcoming trip sounds wonderful! I'm one of those non-travelers I'm afraid, but I've never really had time to 'nest' before and that's where I'm at right now.

    Be well, my friend. I'll see you soon.

    Laurel ♥

  2. Laurel - so sorry to hear of your struggles, I truly hope you have transformed all this stress into wisdom and that you feel able to get back on your amazing talented stunningly strong feet!
    If you feel up to sharing a collaborative journal with me again, I would be way up for that! We both have had huge transitions this year, maybe that could be our theme.
    all the best, Em