One year ago, I pulled into Phoenix after being on the road for 202 days, where I had drove through all 4 corners of the US hitting 38 states, and I ran in 10 half marathons.
I left scared, confused, and extremely stressed out by life when I left Phoenix. Over the course of 8 months, I met so many amazing souls, faced my fears, and let go of what I felt everyone expected of me. I started to do things that made me happy. I cried a lot coming to terms with the life and choices I made until that point.
I miss this sign.
You see, we often blame everyone else for where we are in life. I know I did. Well, that changed somewhere along the road. Camping 100 days in nature will change your perspective. Battling the elements at times just to survive makes you look sideways at people who say they need this or that. Perspective changes. Understanding needs vs. wants is clear. Life is just… different.
I am now a very different soul than that girl who took off that morning. My journey has brought me to Alaska and I am still traveling every chance I get. Yes, I have rented a room, but my spirit is still set to Wanderlust.
One powerful quote that I thought about daily on the road was – People’s actions are their karma. Your reactions are yours. How I reacted to a situation said more about me than it did about them.
People have been mean to me, hurt me, discarded my friendship, or taken advantage of me. But I can’t stand here and say I haven’t done those same things somewhere in my life. One difference though, is now I can recognize that bad behavior and stop it if I don’t want to be known for that.
And I don’t. I want to have empathy that can be felt when you walk in a room. I want to help others let go of their hurt and become the people they are supposed to be. And I still want to see all the wondrous landscapes that this world has to offer. I want to experience the kindness from strangers that traveling has taught me.
Yes, kindness. I’ve been told over and over again that people are inherently evil – I mean just look at how horrible we are to each other! But you know what, I don’t want to believe in that world. I want to live and be a part of a world where people are inherently good. We help each other, we hold each other, we believe in one another.
I’ve now been traveling for 20 months. That’s 20 months without a permanent residence. That’s 20 months of not sleeping in my own bed, cooking in my own kitchen, or having the security of feeling safe. Could you do it? It has almost broken me at times. It has strengthened me in many ways and has allowed me to let go in others.
I’m now facing my first major Holiday without any family. As of right now, not sure if I will make it home for Christmas, but I am working on it. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday ever. I love to cook. Martha Stewart has nothing on me on this Holiday! I still don’t know if I will cook or if I will take the day off to go sit and reflect in nature.
What I do know is I am thankful for this moment in time to have that decision. These 20 months has taught me the art of being thankful. Here are some examples:
- I tore my Achilles Tendon and was told I would never walk or run again. My cousin and running coach brought me back with hours and hours and even more hours of therapy. I’m so very grateful that I can walk again.
- My car was broken into not once, but twice. Thousands of dollars were stolen in gear including my cold-weather gear, my laptop, cameras, pretty much every piece of tech I had. I also lost my manuscript that was only saved on that laptop. I had friends and family who rallied and bought me gear to continue on. People came out of the woodworks with emotional and financial support. I was truly humbled.
- My heart has been broken, which most of us have dealt with. Sometimes when I feel brave and share that I receive more support and kindness than I ever thought possible.
- Professionally, I have met so many other bloggers that instead of holding back info that would make me successful, they share it. Collaboration over competition. I’m a firm believer too.
- Also, I have been truly blessed to work some really amazing companies that have offered hotel stays, excursions, and so many experiences that I never would have been able to have otherwise.
So I might not have the love of my life, a bank account with a lot of money in it, or a house to call my own anymore. But I have family, friends, and an adventurous brave spirit that money cannot buy.
Leaving my world behind for #GirlOnTheRun was the craziest thing I have over done. I’m so glad that I threw caution to the wind and lived my life for me. What would you do right now if you could?