Monday, December 22, 2014

Three Things I've Learned This Year

This has been an incredible year of discoveries. Here are our top three:

Making myself at home on a house-sit in Port Townsend.

What's not to like about a free place to stay? This year we joined two housesitting websites: Trusted Housesitters and Housesitters America, and we house sat in Port Townsend, Santa Cruz and West Hollywood.

When you join a housesitting website, you create a profile that includes a description, photos and references. There's a fee for sitters; for homeowners it's free. Most homeowners want you to take care of an animal--or ten. We don't want to care for someone's cattle herd, but we gladly have taken care of dogs, cats, rabbits, and fowl. Because we travel so much and can't have a dog of our own, it was fun to hang with two golden retriever brothers (in Washington) and a pug named Duke (in WeHo).
Each place we've stayed has had Wifi, comfortable beds, and nice settings with great places to explore. A nomad's dream.

We've spent the year in (in this order):

Tahoe, Maui, Newbury Park, Ontario CA, Big Bear, Marina del Rey, Palm Springs, Sedona, Zion, Cedar City UT, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Ely NV, Shasta Lake, San Jose CA, Santa Cruz, Oregon (Ashland and Portland), Port Townsend WA, Cannon Beach, Humboldt, West L.A., Newbury Park, West Hollywood, Solana Beach, Mexico City, Tepoztlán, and Baja Mexico.

Sounds exhausting! But it hasn't been, for the most part.

Living on the road, we've learned we are more flexible and adaptable than we ever imagined.

Dave and Duke

We know to allow for a little adjustment time when we first land. Sometimes I feel anxious when we step into a new place. It's like I'm trying to fit the unknown in a box marked "known."

It may take a day or two to get in the groove. If we're moody or tired, no big deal. Once we've found a place for our suitcases and toothbrushes, have done a session of yoga or taken a nap, and have filled the fridge with food, we're golden. That doesn't mean suddenly everything's perfect. It means we plunge into the newness and enjoy the ride.

As Joseph Goldstein says, "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf."

When we decided almost two years ago to leave jobs and home to live on the road, I called it "plunging into the fertile void."

Voids are scary.

But opening up to them is how we make space for new things.

And new things always come.

That's not just a theory for me anymore. I know, for instance, when we stepped out onto the edge of change, we made space for this casita in Mexico to appear in our lives. Not to mention all the new people we've met, experiences we've had--and the book I've written that I hope comes out next year.

I don't want fears to run my life. I want my guides to be openness, joy, and a willingness to take risks.

What's happening next year? A few months in Mexico and then, who knows? Something will appear. I know it.


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