And then I was in my mid-30s and suddenly wanted a child. And I was scared that my life would be over then. My life as I liked it: Entrepreneur, traveling, being spontaneous, flexible schedule. And so much more.
It has been 16 years since my mom passed away from cancer and I can still feel her absence so acutely in various moments of each day that it is as though time has not moved at all. As I navigate this journey without her I have clung to the threads of her memories real and imagined which I allow myself to sparingly indulge in.
I got more and more lightheaded with each second the tram inched its way up the 2625ft mountain.Was I really doing this? I really couldn’t back down now?? I had just been told that the 7 zip-lines were how we got down the mountain.
On Changing Career: I travelled the world for work as a professional polo player in my 20’s and it sparked a love for different cultures and travel. I saw first hand how polo was played in different areas of the world and how a shared experience could unite across language barriers.
I looked down and didn’t recognize the number, so I ignored it. A few minutes later my phone was vibrating again, once again I ignored it. The third time the number popped on my phone, I excused myself from the meeting and swiped to answer the call. My life would never be the same.
What might be learned is limitless when we value others, are mindful, present, and when we listen. This experience left me wanting to try harder, to be a better person on a daily basis, and to be a much better traveler.
When I arrived in the Dolomite Mountains 20+ years ago, I immediately knew I had found my new home. You could say that the Dolomites “transformed” me, but really they helped me realize a dream that had always run like a current through my veins. I wanted to travel and see the world.
As a 25 year old I had the good fortune of a 16 month walk about. In hindsight, that event shaped the next four decades of my life more than any other. It made me a citizen of the world and to value experiences more than any other form of currency.
I had left for Paris heartbroken and a little lost, so I spent much of the train ride looking out the window at the world passing me by. As I watched the landscape change from countryside to cityscape. I contemplated who I wanted to be and tried to reconcile it with the woman who had escaped here to write and hide.
I’m leading a group of eight women running along a narrow dirt trail in Spain that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. The sun warms this early spring day, making it idea for running. The humid air fills my nostrils and I revel in the smell of the salty sea. Then a surge of pain steals my attention.
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect is the widely varying emotional experience. My first visit brought connection, serenity, and euphoria. The second brought fear and panic before eclipsing into near mystical meditation – ineffable, noetic, transient, and passive. Most recently, I felt calm and grounded.
I feel grateful for the career that connected me with the whole world, it has given me a push to cross the bridge to learn... and adapt with flexibilities, languages, eating habits. This diversity changed me too for the best and has added a lot to my life and in many ways has been my driving force…
While I knew I wanted to test myself and experience something different, I didn’t know that this trip would affirm my desire to join the Peace Corps and set me up on a path to work in this field for the rest of my life.
There is only chance in this world, chance and physics. Travelers have a choice to walk the paths of logic or be inspired to follow their heart. Inevitably, the traveler who listens to the still, small voice inside has a greater chance of completing a heroic journey, than one checking of the lists in the travel guide.
Because of our shared sleep deprivation, only about half of our group elected to go in search of the elephants on this morning. We quietly paddled into the inlet just behind a row of our floating cabins. As on all of our other mornings, we sat there enraptured, anticipation running high.
Travel is messy. It messes with your emotions. It messes with your opinions and preconceived ideas. Hell it even messes with your body clock. But as undeniably messy as it is, it is also the greatest teacher. It teaches life lessons you could never learn in a classroom, online or even in a self-help book.