FIRST TRAVELS AND EARLY LESSONS OF 2019

FIRST TRAVELS AND EARLY LESSONS OF 2019

Have you ever noticed how much life just loves to throw a good curveball?

Sometimes they’re completely unavoidable, a boulder that comes rolling at you Indiana Jones-style in the equivalent of universe saying WAKE UP AND PAY ATTENTION. Sometimes they’re smaller rocks that take a little longer to give you that headache as they repeatedly fly at your head, one after another. And sometimes they’re the smallest pebbles that gradually accumulate in the jar of the soul until a shift becomes inevitable and necessary.

I don’t know about you, but my life has certainly been a collection of all these sorts. And my personal life pitcher seems gleefully and maniacally intent on keeping those curve balls coming…some days I can’t help but wonder if he’s a wee bit drunk.

2019 is shaping up to be a year for moving & shaking, with plenty of changes in the first few months and the glimmers of many more on the horizon. I’ve already become an aunt for the first time, my sister having given birth to her first child not a month ago. I’m adjusting to navigating the convoluted (sometimes comically so) world of entertainment travel. And I’m facing the single longest time of separation from my touring husband this upcoming summer since we’ve been together.

Yet by far the most intriguing change for me, the one that is most keenly affecting me at the moment, is that I seem to have been bitten yet again by that fickle old friend…the travel bug.

(A quick recap…I used to travel the world, and The Rogue Road was originally a travel blog, but some uncomfortable working conditions perfectly aligned with burnout and meeting my mate, resulting in me making some tough decisions regarding my focus and ultimately calling it quits on my relationship with the road life.)

Serendipitously, my husband had a work commitment in Florida at the end of this February. So I, ever being the opportunist and feeling that old itch to travel again, jumped on board. Besides, who wouldn’t take a chance to escape the cold and snow to somewhere with a bounty of sunshine?

But like all vacations, even easy-breezy Florida comes with its share of curve balls, and we hit some pretty bothersome ones on our adventures. A “vintage” hotel situation, Spring Break downtown douchebag central, walls of fog, walls of traffic…turns out 2019 is already making itself memorable by starting me off with some important lessons.

Get Grounded

This might’ve been my biggest surprise. Even as a believer in some of the more woo-woo sides of health, wellness, and energy, I have never given nearly enough attention to how important the concept of grounding is. I first really learned about the concept early last year when I was watching a David Wolfe video for my old job (there’s plenty of videos on YouTube if you search “David Wolfe grounding”) and, while I found it interesting and valid from a scientific perspective (helllooo former physics major), I didn’t really give it a lot of further thought.

…toes in the water, ass in the sand…

Zac Brown, you said it best.

I am truly astonished at what a difference this makes. When you live in northeastern Wisconsin, unless you’re part of the Polar Bear Club your feet probably aren’t going to be touching the earth in any real way from October through at least April. Just the way you want to avoid a buildup in any electronics, it turns out us humans need to avoid a similarly nasty buildup too. Adding insult to injury is that we are so damn connected to our actual electronics these days that we’ve got extra EMF energy to dissipate on top of what we produce naturally.

Unplugging from daily life and getting plugged into the earth instead…my god, I simply cannot put into words what a balm this was on the little agitated being I’d become. It had quite literally been like my mind and soul were going a little bit haywire the last couple months, but even after having my bare feet on the ground and my body in the water for a few solid hours, I felt like a different person. Definitely a calmer one, who could finally see so many things more clearly.

Thank you Florida for making a barefoot life in February possible.

Let It Go

One of my absolute favorite aspects of traveling is the need for adaptability.

The hubby and I hit New York City in December for a long weekend and, though I had been there before, I had never ventured into the subway system. The unknown, right? But this time, by the time we were heading home, I had that baby down to a science (as much of a science as you can create in one weekend anyway). That, mixed with some other “push the limits” experiences, and I left that city feeling like a million bucks.

It didn’t take much reflection to track down the “why” of that feeling…that adaptation. Which has always been one of my greatest joys in travel, I’d simply forgotten it.

As cozy as it can be, sitting endlessly in our comfort zone doesn’t do anyone any favors. Sure, we all need time to recharge our batteries, sometimes a lot of time. But life without growth just becomes stagnation, and the less flexible we become the more pain we experience in the slightest stretch. Sometimes it’s vital to just let it all go.

There’s nothing quite like getting out and about to shake things up. Different schedules, different foods, different cultures, different scenery…it all contributes and pushes us to expand and adapt. Even something as simple as showing up at a hotel that’s not what you expected (ahem, St. Pete’s beach thanks for that one) and discovering you can vacation comfortably in what I may or may not have snootily dubbed a “20-something hotel,” it all becomes another notch in your belt of the things you learn you CAN do (this would be where the “can-do attitude” itself is born).

Let Life Flow

I’ve talked before about finding the flow in life; more specifically, for myself, it’s more like an ebb and flow, a pendulum. Even amidst ongoing personal growth, I swing to periods of quiet and peace where everything is relatively still, the changes in my world more like small tweaks. Then inevitably, down the road I swing back to the other side of upheaval and change, the times when my world goes into flux.

Back to being haywire gal…somedays I can’t even follow my own advice (or I forget it entirely). Those times when you feel like you’re fighting against the current constantly…well, you probably are. Why are you doing that?

Life has its way of sending us clues and hints along the way to help us find our way, and when we start ignoring or disregarding those clues is when we get into trouble and start to feel the struggle. My sister has called me lucky, and I’ve told her it’s not luck, it recognizing how to find that flow and go with the current instead of against it.

Is it funny that recently I’ve been wondering where my luck went? I think not. Because I’ve been fighting the flow.

Now it’s time to jump back into that flow with two feet. Thanks to some grounding, some shakeup to the daily routine, some time outside of my comfort zone, and a general reboot, I’ve got a much better sense of some of the paths that lie ahead of me. There’s still plenty up in the air of course (more of those chances to adapt and grow!), but the daily struggle has resolved into ideas and energy for moving forward.

Once again, new lessons are being learned and it’s time to start putting in some real work…yet another rebrand is coming (learning not to pigeon hole myself), the travel is ramping back up again (learning to never say never), and there’ll be plenty of opportunities to chase in 2019 (learning that I can do whatever I put my mind to).

Who else is already getting their 2019 shakin’?

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