Beach Bubble

Laying on the beach, reading Hemingway and trying to escape my daily anxiety, I hear a giggle.

I feel a light splatter on my back. I think “Seagull poop! Those damn kids feeding the seagulls!” But when I turn my head, I am beneath a cloud of bubbles! A young boy continues to laugh and blow bubbles as his mother chases him with sunscreen spray. The afternoon is still a little breezey and cool for my liking, but the sun is strong. I have been desperate for its warmth, for its bittersweet promise of another summer, for quite some time. If I didn’t know there was a summer last year, I might be convinced that I have been living in darkness forever.

I had been staring at the sea from the front window of the restaurant for a month, but the closest I had gotten was sweeping the sand from beneath people chairs.

Lots of things cross my mind now. mostly people. I wonder if people from my past think of me how I think of them, I still love deeply for the people who I have connected with across my journey, no matter how brief or how short. I wonder if they feel the same. A toddler interrupts me as she stumbles past my towel. Hm. Which of these adults does she belong to? No one but herself apparently- she sprints across the sand. She looks as if she has just learned to walk, barely a hair on her head. I can’t imagine I was anything like that. It has taken much practice and courage to step out away from family and home. I have learned (am learning?) how to manage my fear. The world is full of humans. It is full of children blowing bubbles in the wind and the sun. I trust myself and I trust the Earth.

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Thoughts on Decluttering

Over the last few years, “things” have really stressed me out. Even on the PCT, I felt like I had too many “things” in my backpack– everything I was living with could fit in my backpack and it still felt like too much? ha! It was the same struggle when I took a road trip across the US in 2013. It STILL felt like I had too much stuff in my car, but I just couldn’t get rid of it. The only time I remember feeling like I had an appropriate amount of luggage was when I took a few weeks to cycle Germany in 2015. I had only a daypack with a pair of jeans, a cotton dress, and a few other things. My spandex often doubled between bike shorts and underwear.

I had a roommate once who could fit everything from his bedroom into a plastic luggage trunk.

I travel a lot. And I have lived in multiple apartments. And I am SO SICK of moving stuff around! As I prepare to haul all my crap back to Delaware after living in Savannah for only a few months, I am ready to make an active effort to live minimally.

I can’t help but think I have always felt this way, but I didn’t understand that you could live with less. I grew up as the youngest and the only girl in a well off family. We weren’t drowning in money (and my parents certainly didn’t like to show off their wealth) but the kitchen was ALWAYS full of snacks and cheese and lunch meat and little debbie cakes and our rooms were always full of toys and books and puzzles. I remember always being a little stressed out about all my toys. How do I organize them? How can I make them all fit perfectly and neatly in my closet? but there was too much. They usually just ended up in a pile under my bed.

Even when I went off to college, I packed as much as I could fit in the car. Then I bought more stuff to fill my dorm room, then my apartment room, then a whole apartment. The story goes on across multiple moves, multiple states.

Today, I sit back in Georgia. I am getting ready to move to Laos, hoping to leave with one large suitcase and a day pack. Of course I will leave some things at home, but I want to be fully confident in my choices of what I choose to take with me, as well as what I leave to greet me when I return home in a few years. Some of the minimalist bloggers say you just have to binge, clean it out all at once and don’t look back. Some tell you to run a trial by pulling out only what you think you’ll need for 30 days. Some say to just get rid of one thing every day. I am choosing a series of mini binges. On my days off I go through and pull a few things I feel I don’t need. Its tough. I love that dress, and those earrings–but I can’t remember the last time I wore them. Incense burner, old water bottles, books I can never seem to finish no matter how many times I start them…

Having a move to the other side of the world planned is definitely helpful. I ask “Will I travel with this? Will this not be available when I arrive in Laos?” If the answer is no, I ask “Is it worth keeping at home? Will this really be relevant when I return?? Is it something I can’t replace?” So far, the hardest things to throw in the donation pile are gifts I have received from other people. Art supplies are difficult as well.

One thing at a time. One day at a time. I am really looking forward to seeing what this all develops into. And I am thrilled to have this blog to document my progress!

 

Morning Regrets

IMG_2554.jpg-Now I know what it feels like to give up on a dream. I won’t let that happen again.-

Today is one of those days in which I roll out of bed missing the PCT, feeling defeated from a “great success”, yet my biggest failure. Leah says that “just getting to campo with the desire to make it to Canada is the bravest part of the PCT… anyone who stood at that southern monument should be fucking proud.” I agree. Of course it was certainly not the hardest part. Even though I see the wear in my face in photos, even though I swore I would never step foot on the PCT again, I cannot help but feel like it is unfinished business. I am torn with regret as I don’t know if my upcoming job oppurtunity would have presented itself if I had, in fact, finished or taken any other path… but not finishing the PCT is the ONLY REGRET I have to this day. I should be proud, right? to only have one regret at age 27? 

Here is what I have learned. I know Asia will be filled with Sonora Passes, windstorms, and uphills in the sand. There will be desert, hunger, and dehydration. But there will also be Twin Lakes, Yosemite waterfalls, and giant cheeseburgers.

Now I know what it feels like to give up on a dream. I won’t let that happen again.

The First Post

The first post. Blogging has always been an interest of mine, but I seem to thrive on paper versus the screen. Physical interaction with a surface has always inspired me more than the flat illumination of computers and television. But as I reach for my dreams I realize the benefits and flexibility of working digital. So, as I prepare to move to the other side of the world, I am using this format to inspire myself and experiment with my processes. Here we go!