Home, Home on the Road

Last year on September 2nd, we flew from Phoenix to Buenos Aires. We were newly nomads.

This September 2nd, we fly from New York to Bangkok. We’re a little more seasoned and a lot more sun-tanned this time around.

All year long, people have told us we’re brave. I don’t feel particularly brave.

I don’t feel brave because I don’t actually fear travel.

I don’t feel brave because I’ve never feared the unknown.

I don’t feel brave because I don’t fear living with less.

Or maybe people say we’re brave because pursuing your dreams is brave since we seem to have this dread that our dreams will/can/might/definitely fail.

And then we’ll be really fucked up and unable to ever handle reality again.

Don’t worry so much. That’s not how it works.

You only fail if you don’t risk.

As soon as you step out in full faith of your truth, you realize- it is way easier to go with the flow of your soul than all that effort you were exerting to resist it.

It became a much, much, MUCH scarier thing to not pursue my heart’s calling than to drop everything else I was doing and go for it.

Actually, doing what you love is the easiest thing.

It might take effort, and have scary moments, but they are moments you choose for you. So it feels better. At least you’re on track with you.

We’ve lived more richly, resolutely and even, responsibly, in our year as nomads than I can expound upon.

It’s the age old paradox that we all know intuitively, but cannot grasp in the heart until we experience it.

The truth that: We don’t need things to be happy. We don’t need to fit into a defined system to survive. We don’t need to stay on track (i.e college, marriage, mortgage, babies, 401K, promotions, etc) to find order and attain a smooth, happy life.

Or, to be safe, so to say. Those things are fine, but they do not protect you from chaos or disorder or tragedy. We like to think they might.

I like to think that God provides abundantly. All the time. If we show up and live in trusting abandon and believe in the goodness of our hopes. The universe cannot provide for you if your hands are not open to receive.

The more we cling to our things (our fears!), the less room we have in our palms (our heart!) to receive the abundance that is available.

I may wear the same couple of outfits until they’re thin and ragged, but I feel like a Queen.

And not because we’ve dined like royalty, or lived like kings. We’ve eaten cockroaches by accident, had them crawl up our legs, slept with bedbugs, gotten food poisoning from chorizo, kinked our necks on weird beds, had healthy food to eat and only preservative packed options, been lost, wet, homeless and uncertain…

But we’ve also had our breath taken away by blaze orange sunsets in the desert, the wings of flamingoes flapping over salt flats, colorful labyrinths of cities, tremendous street art, walking barefoot through fairy tale forests and sleeping in medieval-like refugios under glaciers, dancing to chilean music, plucking Malbec grapes in Mendoza, lazing in hammocks, and so many other deeply satisfying experiences that let us attune to nature and to a rhythm of life we value.

All at a slow pace. All in between lots of days of working, laundrying, cooking, grocery shopping, and all the normal things we all have to do no matter where we are.

But they are all joyous to us because we are together and we are on the road.

Like Paul the Apostle said, “I’ve learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

In that regard, you cannot buy the contenment we have. You would not trade it for the world.

We are rich in love and adventure. Life is robust and full and glorious. And we stopped cluttering our minds and spaces, so we could not only see that more clearly, but feel it more fully.

We are. We are. We are…completely at home in this life we have created for ourselves. A life that works for us. When it doesn’t work anymore, we’ll change it.

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” Rumi

Do everything from your soul. Joy is not something you seek and hope to one day find. It is something that lives within you all the time.

We suppress the joy that lives naturally in us with our worries, fears, and need to “get our ducks in a row.”

Let that shit go.

Did you know you can let it go and still get laundry done? It’s true.

Just: Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.

So here we go again! Halfway around the world on a one-way ticket, but everything is a one-way ticket for us now.

There is no return or returning. There is only onward.

There is no coming back to an old life or other way. We aren’t just on a jaunt around the world to get something out of our system or to cure our wanderlust or to feel like we’ve really lived.

No. We’re nurturing our souls. We’re giving our joy free-range!

We’re living out here people! We’re just living. Traveling just happens to be synonymous with living for me now.

After three months visiting family and friends in the U.S, we found ourselves whispering with a smile, “I can’t wait to go home!”

But, many would say we were home this entire time. And, well…we were. If home is every where we are, we were at home.

We were at home in the States, but not simply because it was the U.S and we’re Americans and we came back. Does that make sense? We were home because that’s where we were.

We are old.

We are young.

We are we
where we are
when we own that our home
is a heart
not a lawn.
a.r. 2015

We truly feel like jetting off again, on our own, is home. It is the coziest and most personal thing to us. It is where we feel most natural, comfortable, content and happy.

We are going home. We’ve been visiting for awhile under other peoples’ roofs and enjoying their kind hospitality.

Now, we’re getting back to that open road…

Hogar dulce hogar. Home sweet home.

Next year, I’ll be able to say that in Thai too.

 

 

 

Because, Mum: How Nomads Do Mother’s Day Cards

I said:

I think I’ll try field hockey/piano/gymnastics/viola/dance/volleyball/basketball/madrigal choir/jazz band/youth orchestra/art/rock climbing/voice lessons/theater/insertgazillionmorethings.

You said:

You know best. I’ll help you.

I said:

I think I’ll drop out of school.

You said:

You know best. I’ll help you.

I said:

I think I’ll live in India and help orphans and not go to college.

You said:

You know best. I’ll help you.

I said:

I think I’ll get married young and move to a new state and become a nanny/diamond sales associate/barista/chocolate seller.

You said:

You know best. I’ll help you.

I said:

I think I’ll study Midwifery and try my hand at being a doula. No wait, now I’ll go to college for Human Development and Family Studies, now Classical Studies, now English, now back to Human Development.

You said:

You know best. I’ll help you.

I said:

I’m hosting a boy from the Ukraine, and maybe we’ll adopt him, but probably not, but maybe we will change each other’s lives all the same.

You said:

You know best. I’ll help you.

I said:

I’m getting divorced; I’m leaving my career in social work; I need to move in with you.

You said:

You know best. I’ll help you.

I said:

I’m going halfway around the world to walk to the end of the earth and find my heart.

You said:

You know best. I’ll help you.

I said:

I’m back and I don’t know what I want, but I’m going to teach gymnastics and walk a lot and learn to play the accordion. And, can I live with you?

You said:

You know best. I’ll help you.

I said:

Now, I’m selling everything and going out into the world to seek my fortune on the open road with this gypsy man I love.

You said:

You know best. I’ll help you.

This openness I learned as an adult to embrace others as agents of their own destiny, and to honor their choices, ideas, and decisions isn’t something that stems from any special wisdom in me.

This value system I carry that believes others know themselves best, and no matter the bumps in the road, all will work out for them if they follow the compass of their heart was not something I discovered on my own.

The basic human dignity and respect I give to others, and a desire never to give advice because I know little about what is best for their lives; this trust I give people knowing they will figure it out and choose what is best for them in any given moment was being nurtured in me long before I was aware of it.

It came from years of being consistently supported no matter what, no matter when, no matter how and never, once judged as being fickle, inconstant, naïve or wrong. I was just human. Just an explorer, wonder-er, and dreamer who was and is ever unfolding and evolving as a woman.

You always just said: Okay. Yes! I see you. Sure. Why not? Give it a go. Sounds good. You know best. Yeah! Get it, girl.”

Damn, Mum! Your faith in me wasn’t small like a mustard seed. You faith in me was dis-proportionally ginormous compared to the knowledge and awareness I actually had at any of those given moments, but I needed to walk through life and experience everything if I was ever to come out as my best and truest self. And, you knew that.

You knew I was stubborn, and that I knew myself best even if I didn’t know myself fully.

So you sent me on my way with love notes and cards hidden into pouches, purses and inner suitcase pockets to remind me along every step of my unknown journeying that all was well. I was loved. Telling me I was awesome, brave, brilliant and how proud you were of me.

Whatever I was, it was because you were first.

You sacrificed a lot, so I would always have an open door to follow my dreams.

Bumps and obstacles might present themselves along the road, but walking through that doorway of opportunity  was never part of the difficulty.

What is very often the most difficult part of any journey, change of heart or growth, you made the easiest to say “Yes” to.

Just begin.

Thanks for always walking alongside me and believing in my ever changing plans and notions. I’ve always been a ridiculously happy person, and you are a huge part of that joy. I hope you know how irreplaceable you are to me.

I love you.

This is no handmade Mother’s Day card, but I think you’ll understand why this year.

 

The One Hundred Lives of One Daring Nomad

Once Upon A Time…

there were three orphaned elves who lived in the misty, cool mountains. They were brave and daring as they crossed ravenous rivers, journeyed through enchanted forests, and befriended the strange beasts that inhabited their world. And why? Because they were on a quest. A quest to find the witch who killed their parents. Their names? Bon Bon, Dum Dum and Cream Puff. Their names may sound silly, but all elves take sugary names, didn’t you know? For what better legacy is there to leave, than one that is both sweet and delightful?

No, this is not a short fiction story I am writing, though perhaps I will.

The truth of the matter is, I was Bon Bon.

My baby brother, Cream Puff. My little sister, Dum Dum.

I secretly snickered at her name.

She didn’t really want it, but I convinced her it was fun and awesome and not-at-all-demeaning-of-her-wits. Right. Poor tormented younger siblings.

Either way, the above is the very-real-true-life-adventure of three siblings with crazy imaginations.

We hid beneath our trampoline (i.e. cave of salvation) in threadbare play clothes and barefoot when it was barely above freezing temperatures and raining.

My six year old brother cried, “But Whiiitney..I mean Bon Bon……I’m cooooold!” (In another life, I went by Whitney. You can read that HERE.)

“Good! We’re orphaned elves! We should be cold!”

I was so obsessed with experiencing the extremes.

To know what it felt like to survive. To be cold and hungry and overcome.

I may have pushed them too far.

They were quite accommodating of my shenanigans up to a point. Then, it really was best to just head indoors for some tomato soup and grilled cheese.

“Wait, you guuuys! Come back! We could put on jackets I guess. Just a little longer! We can pretend to discover some berries to eat!”

That usually worked.

When I reflect on the way I played “extreme dress up” as a child, it makes sense that I chose a nomadic lifestyle as an adult.

I wanted to know what other people knew. I wanted to feel what other people felt.

I created so many made up scenarios so I could pretend to be in their shoes, and conjure up all the emotions I might possibly have to wrestle with if it was my life.

Now that I consider it, this is probably where my high EQ comes in and why I sought non-profit jobs and other helping positions.

Now, I am focusing on writing. Now, I am learning to create, relate and transmute those things I know or feel about the human heart into the characters I write into being.

But not only that, now I really am living in extremes. I am not just playing dress up anymore.

OK, OK. I really am still playing dress up and that makes me incredibly glad!

Because the truth of slow travel is that I get to try on as many hats as I want to.

In Argentina, I learned to care for horses and to sheer sheep and ride a tractor.

La Nazarena Horse Barn

I played dress up as a farm girl, a country road bring me home girl, and a drinker of starshine, moonbeams and lighting bug light.

In the mountains of El Bolson, I romped barefoot through the wilderness, up glaciers, swam in the crystalline blue river and drank home brewed mountain beers.

Lost in the cloudsThis was as close to Bon Bon as I have ever been. Well, she didn’t drink beer at the time.

I traipsed through prickly bushes and rocky paths on the side of a mountain overlooking a snaking river, and watched the jagged peaks disappear in the clouds.

The forest has a hundred facesThere were mossy woods with grinning faces, and dark, dead forests with bewitching light and eerie moans.

There was a lagoon of a pistachio cream color so magical that I felt for sure I was in the dream land my child brain concocted so many years ago.

The Lagoon at Hielo Azul

I played dress up as if I was one part hobbit, one part gypsy, one part native american.

I felt wild and old souled. I felt ancient and wise as well as playful and impish.

On my 600 mile walk to Finisterre, at the end of the world in Spain, I was a medieval pilgrim.

I felt in my bones the weight of my pack. I felt in my joints the weariness of walking miles, and miles, and miles before I slept.

To the end of the worldI knew the pure peace of solitude and the joy of company and friends during an arduous journey.

I stood at the End of The World….like Reepicheep, like Bilbo, like…me….a true blooded adventurer slash explorer.

Yes, I said slash and if you ever watched The Little Mermaid 2 you are already humming the tune.

In Paris, I was the inspiration, the woman, the muse behind the Mona Lisa, the Victory at Samothrace and Psyche. I was manifest beauty, light, life and wisdom.

Victory at Samothrace

On the beaches of Costa Rica, I was Karana from “Island of the Blue Dolphins.” I imagined I was stranded on those wild, virgin beaches and learned the secrets of the sea, the mystery of the waves under the moon.

Mama Banyan I climbed into the heart of a banyan tree and listened to her stories.

In all of these adventures, I connect and become more in tune with my own Essence.

And in my one, small life, I get to experience a hundred lives.

Tell me if that is not a priceless gift.

Perhaps we had it right as children.

Perhaps the only way to live is with our imaginations at full throttle and our curiosity blasting at the highest possible decibel.

I guess what I’m realizing is this:

I have not stopped playing dress up and creating adventures for myself.

Just because I am taller doesn’t mean the clothes don’t fit.

Because here’s the other awesome truth I have only begun to learn:

If I imagine it….

it becomes.

If I dream it…

it unfolds.

If I love it, hold it, cherish it, want it…

it arrives.

Sometimes it arrives 20 years later when you’re scrambling over rocks, in and out of caves in the wilderness of Patagonia with your lover, only to realize that the river, the rocks, the waterfall, the forest….is a replica of that dream you used to dream of your own special “paradise.”

The one you used to imagine for yourself as you drifted off to sleep.

The one with the beautiful wood where you would run barefoot and free, unafraid of wildebeests or witches .

One day you’d find it. One day perhaps…long after the final sleep found you and a savior returned.

But I’m telling you, I woke up.

The Savior arrived in the form of my own heart rising.

And now the dreams I dreamed, the literal dreams…I am talking, the total-wonderful-wanderings of my child’s mind, are very real and alive and with me now.

So this is why I travel.

I can’t help it anymore. I want to feel everything.

I was a weird kid who played out in the rain, eyes turned toward the storm clouds daring them to come at me.

I wasn’t budging.

It took me awhile to fight with that kind of tenacity as an adult.

To face my true heart’s desire and go for it. To realize I created my reality.

To stand bravely against the chaos of the world and say “Bring it on! Is that all you got?!”

And now?

Chaos has become my friend, my partner, my peace.

The unknown is a fascinating and beautiful place to be.

Because from here…

anything is possible.

Love,

Bon Bon

Any Reason to Celebrate Love and I’m In: Why the child in me still loves Valentine’s Day

Does the world really have such a tumultuous relationship with Valentine’s Day?

Consumer Driven Day

I have never fully understood the disdain or discomfort this day has for people.

And it has nothing to do with having a significant other in my life or not or being a feminist or not.

It has everything to do with my family.

All growing up, Valentine’s Day was one of our favorite holidays. I have two sisters and a brother.

I am not sure it was Andy’s favorite holiday, but for three girls with a love of arts and crafts, it was heaven.

With mounds of doilies ribbons, stickers and stamps, we were one legit Valentine Day card making operation.

We made beautiful, old-fashioned style cards, and thought up clever poems to write on the backs. We made them for each other, our friends and our relatives and even for our dolls.

Not to mention, we lived next door to Loveland, Colorado, which meant we could take our envelopes to get a special stamp from the Sweetheart City before being postmarked.

Valentine Mail

My older sister planned a Valentine’s Day tea for our American Girl dolls with tiny treats, which we partook of sitting scrunched close together in her closet.

Valentine’s Day makes me long for my mom and my sisters. It makes me want to sit around the counter baking different chocolate and strawberry treats, cakes and tarts.

And you should have seen our dining room. Decked out in reds, pinks and whites…it was like a carnival of love in that room, and the table held the morning presents!

(Basically, every holiday was just a reason to reenact Christmas but in different colors!)

My Mother personalized these big, beautiful hat boxes in extravagant wrapping papers, laces, beads and gems for each of us. She then filled them to overflowing with Valentine’s Day goodies.

We received sparkly notebooks and pencils, stickers, rulers, socks, lip gloss, coin purses, books, and of course, chocolates and other treats like our favorite beef jerky and local dried fruit noodle things.

(And holler! This was all before the days of Pinterest! Way to go Mom!)

Pure and simple, we just made holidays fun. That’s the point still for me – to have fun in everything I do.

And, why not?

Sure, I guess we bought into the consumerism aspect of Valentine’s Day, but what about all the stuff about Love Languages? It feels good to give and receive gifts.

We can show love through service, words, quality time, physical touch and gifts.

When I got older, and heard the way women bashed this holiday, I was so confused.

Granted, I do understand it even if I have never experienced the frustration and isolation that can occur during this season.

I know Valentine’s Day is perpetuated commercially to primarily be about the celebration of erotic love.

Truthfully though, this holiday has always been like a bonus day to praise and adore all the really awesome women in my life.

Plus, we all really, really, really….I mean really, like to give each other cards.

Waffley Much

So, despite the fact that I am in fucking Chile with the god-damn-kindest-sexiest-most-brilliant-man-on-the-planet (I just like him), I still feel a little lonely like plenty of American women on Valentine’s day…but for a different reason.

 

I miss my family, who I love very much.

Love the ones your with, Lovey.

Sometimes they’ll be there, sometimes they won’t.

Sometimes it will be the love of your life, the love of a best friend, your pup, a stranger, or your sister.

Pugging Love

It all counts. It’s all good.

Love is the best and it’s way too grand and magical for us to think it can be contained in just one human body who somehow loves and completes us.

I complete me

It’s all around, all the time, and mostly in direct proportion to how much we love ourselves.

Your Task

I recommend getting drunk on some Rumi poetry this Valentine’s Day and going crazy with doilies and glitter.

Pass out flowers to strangers. Shout I Love You’s to people across the street.

Go mad with love for this world.

Life is too short to be anything but madly in love with it.

And Valentine’s Day is just the perfect opportunity, to be extra punny about it.

I like puns.

Skip a Beet

A Viking to You

Suit me to a Tea

 

An Unexpected Encounter with Death

I saw a cat die today.

Not peacefully.

Terribly.

I was sitting at the kitchen table finishing an email to my sister. Dave had just proposed we head to the feria to eat a lamb sandwich – Sandwich Cordero de Patagonia Completa.

We’d been looking forward to it for days.

But then, I see a blaze of orange run through the front door and hide under a tall end table.

I cannot say it was meowing, and I cannot say it was screeching.

It was making a choking, freakish, scared and deathly noise.

“Oh god! What is that?” I ask, pointing in horror.

“Oh my….is that its tongue? What…”

Hanging from the writhing kitty’s mouth was something long and swollen, pinky-red and fatty looking. It swats at it and makes its death screech again.

I stand up, a hand covering my mouth, my eyes wide. Horrified.

“What do we dowhatdowedo?”

The tabby takes off for the bathroom and we hear it knocking around in there on the tiles under the sink.

“Who do we call? Is there a vet? What do we do, Dave?”

We are in a rented home in El Bolson. There are stray cats and dogs everywhere. One more hurt or dying cat is not of much interests, but just a fact of life.

I want to run to the cat and hold it, see what is happening in its mouth, but he is flopping and shrieking.

We peer into the bathroom. He runs behind the toilet and is flopping; his body in spasms.

“This cat is dying,” says Dave.

“It is??!”

I am aghast, shocked. I think, “It can’t die! I just saw it earlier this morning…happy, healthy!”

And, I had. He had come meowing at the door, but despite my purrs and soft tongue clicking it did not want to come in or come close.

He ran off quickly after giving me one more wide-mouthed “Meeooow!”

What can you do in this moment? An animal is dying. For real dying.

It is in terrible pain and there is nothing to do but let it be.

It all happened so fast and ended as quickly.

We were thankful for that, for the creatures sake and probably our own.

I would have crumbled hearing a cat die slowly, moaning, writhing in my bathroom.

Then, it is all silence. Dave walks in and sees it quietly twitch a couple times before the breathing stops completely, forever.

Just an orange tabby in a pool of blood, coughed from its mouth.

Just an orange tabby on a cold, tile floor between a toilet and a shelf.

Just an orange tabby.

Just. But not just.

Poison? Probably.

The owner of our rental says that happens a lot here. She isn’t sure what to do with the cat.

We put it in a garbage bag and hide it under a bucket so no animals can get to it.

Later, the owner, will come and take it away.

It’s sobering. Death. No matter when it comes or in what form.

Fast, slow, from a loved one or from an unknown. Death has a felt presence.

I saw a living thing become a non-living thing. I heard the final mews, the final breaths.

I shed tears for an animal who was not loved by me or known by me.

But I know the preciousness of life, and I am sad that life ended so brutally for an innocent animal.

I am shaken. Not to the core and not for long. I can compartmentalize this experience more easily than that of a human being or even one of my own pets.

Still.

Death has a presence as strong as life. Or, maybe it is just the emptiness of it that feels so oppressively strong.

We think we’ll hold off on that Sandwich Cordero for awhile.

Dave sits on the porch and smokes a cigarette. I hold a roll of paper towels in my hand.

We look at the bloody lump in the plastic grocery bag lying by the fence.

The clerks at the mini mercado thought I wanted aluminum foil.

If you need paper towels to clean up blood in South America, ask for “Rollos de Cocina.”

The woman kept trying to correct me and say, “Raton? Si? No gato. Raton.” Emphasis on the “ton.”

“No no, unGato!”

My hands gesture to show I am speaking of a large animal and not a small mouse.

She and her husband shrug, un-phased.

Like I said, a dead cat is just a fact of life.

I breathe out. I breathe in.

The sun is hot today.

Later, we will go grocery shopping and drop our clothes off at the lavadero to be washed. We will go to the fair and we will watch a movie.

But for now, we just sit and breathe.

“That was so sad.”

“That was so weird.”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah…”

Dancing with Thin Air: Considering the energy behind our thoughts

Today, I pushed things.

I pushed a wall. I pushed the ground. I pushed a sneaker.

I pushed Dave.

I was pushed and I was pulled and I was dead weight pushing into the ground.

Contact Movement is a kind of improvisational dance that I do not understand all the ins and outs of, but which has intrigued me none the less.

We laid on the bare, wood floors and let go.

We let go of our weight and in doing so, we were heavy, pushing into the floor, but without holding on to anything.

Not holding my strength in, not holding my tongue up, not holding yet still giving.

Somehow, still pushing.

I cannot tell you how profound lying like a dead person on the floor was for me.

It wasn’t just the lying down though. It was in the give and take with my partner.

Of leaning in and giving all, then taking weight, receiving and listening with my body not my head.

I think everyone should dance with their lover. In any way or form.

It’s hard. It’s vulnerable. You realize you don’t listen as well as you like.

You realize you have an agenda. You realize you have your way, your own thoughts, your own goals.

It shows you instantly how those mindsets don’t work in a relationship unless you share and communicate and define together.

You can both have the same goal, but the journey there has to be more organic and fluid.

Getting there is not even really the point, it is in how you get there.

With contact movement, you don’t break the contact. You don’t take big jumps or leaps or change something suddenly.

You always tap and tune in, listen and feel your way.

It’s really beautiful! I learn more from movement art – dancing, tumbling, yoga, aerial silks, than I think I could from sitting in a chair in a therapy session.

I am not discounting that.

I am just saying that moving through space physically helps me move through space emotionally, but with more grace, direction and success.

At the end of the class, we danced with invisible partners.

It was pretty cool to try to express everything we learned about movement, but with no one actually there.

How I could take all my strength to push against someone, or to feel all the burden of weight to support someone, yet only have empty space as my partner.

I felt it because I knew what muscles would or should tense in my body.

I knew how slow and sticky my steps would be.

I knew how heavy I would feel.

So, I recreated those responses in my body despite the empty space around me.

For good or for ill, we create dance partners, so to speak, as we dance through life. And we believe that these invisible partners expect things of us.

But really, the expectations are our own. We have conditioned our bodies, minds, and hearts to respond to a reality that does not exist.

Maybe it existed once. One time, with one person. That does not mean it must exist always or again.

The weight is imagined, but we feel it because we believe it into existence.

We believe we are being judged, or forced to carry someone else’s burden.

We believe we are less or more, accepted or rejected.

Our body responds in kind.

If you cannot accept yourself, it does not matter if others accept you. If you can accept yourself, it does not matter if others reject you.

So you see, it’s the same.

Only that which you imagine about yourself is true.

Or, how often can we get through a difficult situation because we dance with hope?

We don’t know who really supports us, but we choose to believe that we can lean in and go for it. We trust an invisible kindness, presence.

Hope gives us strength, yet that strength was always in our bones.

And this is what it comes down to:

Be aware of yourself. Thoughts take form, real form.

They are an energy you unleash on yourself and others.

Make sure you are dancing the dance you want to and not the one you think you must.

My Roots Grow Around the World: Find the Mountains, Find my People

What is it about mountain folk?

What is it about high peaks, alpine lakes, and clear rivers that make for artisan fairs and craft beers?

Why can I find my Colorado people in the southern hemisphere of Argentina once I go up a couple thousand feet in elevation?

I love that nature and places hold energy, and that different energies create a certain kind of people.

El Bolson has its own breed of hippie artisan, Spanish farmer, grocer, musician and backpacker, but they are not so different from the valleys of the Rocky Mountains.

The mountains. They do this thing.

People from the city must feel similarly. But, in a city folk energetic kinda way.

Mickey is 80 years old, a New Yorker living in Buenos Aires for the past nine years.

He gushed about city life while we sipped champagne on his rooftop while watching the New Year’s Eve fireworks.

He talked about how he has to be in a city; he loves the energy, the people, the culture. But he was done with New York.

Buenos Aires he said, “Is so mellow. You see people reading…reading! On the subway! Can you believe that? I love it.”

I am a jumble of short circuited energy in the city.

I feel like it steals my breath, my rhythm. I just can’t blend.

I enjoyed my short time in Buenos Aires because I knew it was just that, a short time. I didn’t have to try to live there or root down.

If the outdoors intoxicate me, cities suffocate me.

All the same, I know I will be in and around other big cities for much of my traveling and I welcome it and know I can still be surprised. But, ah!

There is nothing in Buenos Aires that compares  with the view of the Rio Azul here in El Bolson.

My whole sense of self expands when I come home to the mountains.

I need bright blue skies and 360 degree views.

I need towering snow capped peaks in summer, and chilly, sparkling rivers to swim in.

I want cold beer and bare feet.

I want to walk out my back door and up into the hills. I need to hike.

I want the energy that the mountains give.

And it must give in a similar way around the world ,or at least it creates and draws a certain type of folk.

It is so comfortable here, so recognizable. So much like home but with a Spanish flair.

Perhaps, a little more earthy. In Colorado, the millionaires and billionaires of Aspen and Vail can take up residence in the quieter, less popular towns and change the feel.

Here, everyone is like, “Who needs that?”

There are no big mansions here. Who wants a huge home? The point is to be out doors. To live simply!

I love it.

I can have dirty feet and messy, curly hair here because it blends.

In a city, it looks out of place, homeless and unkempt. Here, it is just plain natural.

Everything is a little wild here, but full of magnificent beauty.

I am a mountain girl, but you know what? I was born on the west coast, raised briefly on the east coast, so I have some water in me too.

I am looking forward to beach life in Asia. Coastal living, fresh fish, kayaks, beaches, swimming. It is something entirely new.

I won’t quite fit in there, but I can blend for awhile. I can let them shake their sun kissed knowledge on me.

I can learn to lounge and hammock, build sand castles and dream about waves.

I am glad I don’t have to claim one spot as my place, my land, my home.

I go where I want, when I want. This is freedom.

The more I travel, the more I am aware of the ludicrousness of borders.

We are all travelers. We are all neighbors. We are all human here.