Sometimes, change in life is hard. Sometimes it happens unexpectedly and we’re not ready for it.
Other times, it is very exciting. Those times it may seem like change cannot come soon enough.
Most of the time for me, change has felt as if I am riding a wave that is being pushed along by a force greater than me--and it’s taking me to amazing places whether I’m “ready” or not.
The trick is just to surrender to the process, listen close to what Intuition and the Universe are telling me to do, and let it all work itself out effortlessly.
This is how it felt when I left my job with no plan and started a business from scratch with absolutely no capital to invest.
It’s how it felt when I dove in headfirst to getting through cancer without falling prey to the oh-so-tempting path of being afraid of the cancer itself.
And it’s how it felt when I abandoned ship from practicing PT to going full time into coaching, not knowing how it would go.
But there has been one other, less obvious time that “riding the wave of change” has played a big role in my life.
In fact, it's currently playing out as you read this.
And what’s so interesting is when I jumped on the proverbial surfboard to ride this wave and set an intention to trust the process and allow it to manifest however the Universe intended, it was many many moons ago.
In early 2017, my husband and I began chatting about making a big change in our lives.
We spent 3.5 weeks touring New Zealand via a van camper and fell in love with the nomadic lifestyle. We also saw just how little “stuff” we really needed to feel happy and complete. We also saw just how much of the world we were missing by simply doing the “normal” grind of a daily home-work-home schedule with the occasional big vacation.
By giving up so much, we tasted a level of living a life of freedom we had never really known before.
And we wanted more freedom. We just didn’t quite know what or how we would get it.
While dining al fresco on a cliff at the Queenstown RV park and overlooking the beautiful Remarkables and gorgeous Lake Wakatipu on a crisp Valentine’s night, we set a deadline of 2 years to make a decision on what this big change would be.
Since then, we have been through thousands of permutations of what that big change toward freedom could entail--a move to a different state, renting out our home, selling our home, staying put and living an essentialist lifestyle, traveling way more, or some combination of all of those things.
Sometimes we were both in the same place on what we wanted to do.
Other times, one of us was at the polar opposite place as the other.
Sometimes we got the ball rolling in directions we thought were going to work out for our next big step, only to find out eventually it was not what the Universe intended for us.
Within that timeframe, I transitioned my business from working as PT seeing live, in-person clients in Atlanta to a coach working exclusively virtually with clients all over the globe. My husband also got promoted to a regional level job within his company.
Freedom started to enter our life even more.
We bought a large van and had it professionally outfitted to be “livable” to allow for Daniel to travel for his bike and work trips and not have to worry about paying for a place to stay, and us to overland a bit together and adventure.
Also within that timeframe, we adopted furbaby Raven, lost furbaby Raven, then adopted furbaby Aspen.
When we first adopted Raven as a 7 week old puppy, we felt a pull to stay put. Puppies need consistency for training and housebreaking, and as first time puppy parents, we didn’t really want to be changing up her environment too much. In fact, we soon saw that she got totally thrown off when even one of us was traveling.
When we unexpectedly lost Raven 4 months ago today, we felt a strong pull to leave. It felt like ripping off a newly formed scab every time we were home in “her” space.
So in early July, we packed up or van and headed west to Colorado.
Daniel stayed for a week, and I stayed for 4.
Very quickly, upon driving across the country and boondocking, we were back in the lifestyle and mindset we had grown to love when we were in New Zealand.
Not to mention we fell in love with seeing tiny, off-the-beaten-path parts of the US we never would have seen--the beautiful Ozarks, the wheat and corn fields (that went on and on and on and on…) of Kansas, the miles and miles of windmills in east Colorado, and of course, the beauty of hidden wildflower fields in Crested Butte.
And in that time, we had both become 100% aligned -- without hesitation and reservation -- on exactly what our “big change” was going to be.
We had chatted and researched about this big change for nearly a year.
And literally as soon as I returned from Colorado in early August, we both knew it was unequivocally time to turn our vision into reality.
It was time to spread our wings and soar.
We put our house on the market within 2 weeks of my return home. Mind you, we also rescued 7 week old puppy Aspen in this time.
As first time home sellers, we quickly understood exactly what people mean when they say that selling a home is not fun.
It’s even more not fun when your potty training puppy inevitably pees on the floor 20 minutes before a home showing <Face palm>.
It was also quite “fun” to constantly vacate our house with a vulnerable little furball who was extra sensitive to the Georgia heat in a summer that seemed to last 6 months.
But we stayed laser focused with our eyes on the prize and pressed forward without [much] complaint.
By October, we had an offer on our house and it got real.
We were leaving our house. The first home we ever purchased.
But it was bigger than just leaving behind a physical home.
This was the home that served as our refuge and shelter.
It was an incubator for a new business and a 2nd business.
It was the birthplace of inordinate amount of personal and spiritual growth for each of us and both of us together.
It was the safe haven and playground for two beautiful fur puppy babies.
It was the place where so many patients and clients achieved goals and got out of pain.
And it was the healing temple that supported me as I achieved freedom from the grips of cancer.
Anyone who has left their first (or second, or twelfth) home knows the feeling of closing a chapter.
We have closed a chapter alright. Several chapters.
Actually, it’s more like an entire book.
It's more like a book because we aren’t moving to another home.
We aren’t moving in state or out of state.
We are moving nowhere and everywhere.
I write that and think of a poignant quote by renowned and beloved poet Maya Angelou from in an interview to Bill Moyers in 1973:
“You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.”
I remember reading that quote in author and speaker Brene Brown’s book, Braving the Wilderness, nearly 2 years ago, roughly when Daniel and I started having this conversation.
And it wasn’t until a year ago that I suggested the change that took us both by surprise given that I tend to be quite the homebody--and it’s the change we have now put into action.
It’s one that now has us literally braving the wilderness.
As of yesterday, we said goodbye to our adorable little bungalow on the westside of Atlanta and set out on the open road.
Where to? What are we doing, you wonder?
Aspen, Daniel and I are now living in our gorgeous and perfect 2015 Airstream Eddie Bauer edition trailer, towed by the very van that drove us to and from Colorado where we made the final decision to turn this lifestyle into reality.
There were many practical reasons for this decision -- ridiculously lowered monthly expenses, an enormous purge of literal and figurative unnecessary “stuff” weighing us down, the ability for Aspen and I to travel with Daniel as he needs to be on the road for work quite frequently, being able to pay off student loans, and much more.
But more than anything, we both have a mutual mission for our family which is "We Adventure Together."
And we are both freedom seekers to the nth degree.
It was one thing to start my own business, and another to change to virtual, work-from-anywhere client work. But I still wanted more freedom.
So here we are, starting out on our full time travel life.
And I know you have questions. So I'll answer a few for you.
No, we don’t really have a lot of plans yet.
No, we don’t know how long this travel life will last (or if it will ever end)!
No, we didn’t hang on to all of our stuff.
Yes, we sold or donated 95% of it.
No, we’re not sad at all to get rid of it. (SO FREEING in fact!)
Yes, we are storing priceless keepsakes.
No, we’re not worried about having a large dog in a tiny space.
Yes, we’re pumped to give Aspen an amazing life of adventure (hence her Instagram handle, @aspenadventurepup).
Yes, there is an adjustment period for a dog living in a camper. Yes, she is doing fine. Jussssssst fine in fact :)
And yes, we would love to come visit you.
So here we are, currently just outside of Atlanta, enjoying a beautiful view of a lake and forest with our adorable pup, setting out on our greatest adventure yet.
We are grateful for the courage to take this big step, and are breathing a sigh of relief that (most) of the process of getting to this place is finally done!
I write this letting you know that courage and freedom are possible for ANYTHING you can imagine. And sometimes, it just takes time to grow your vision into reality.
At one time, I never believed I could or would do something like this. Daniel always wanted to pack up and leave, but I wanted to stay put. I was afraid on many many levels.
But over many years I slowly let go of fear--that is, fear of most things in my life. And lo and behold--fear is just fear. When you let go of some and commit to letting go of it all--much of it will just slough off without you batting an eyelash.
And more importantly--this change has been slow growing. It has taken on many many different faces. There has been a lot of trial and error. Countless lessons have been learned. Several snafus have occurred and continue to occur. We've changed course or accepted each snafu as they've arisen.
And most importantly-we have trusted the process.
At times the voices have crept in and said "You're not there yet. It's a failure. Give up."
Or "Are you sure you want to give everything up?"
But we have both chosen not to listen to those voices. Because we haven't given everything up.
It was just time to let go and move on. And most importantly, to trust the process.
We haven't given everything up, because we literally have everything we need in one van and one camper.
And paradoxically, now that the entire planet is our backyard, we have so little stuff, yet feel showered in abundance.
We’re pumped for this big step, and also knew it was right because on our first night as full timers, we all (dog included) slept in until 8 AM. Maybe that’s because we were so tired from hustling to move and sell everything--
But I think it was because we were finally aligned with where we were truly meant to be...
No place. Every place.
The price to get here was high. But the reward is great.
Sending you all so much love!
In love and health,