Friday, August 30, 2013


the main thing on my mind right now is home. carving out a little place for myself in a new environment. of course, the first thing that comes up, is stuff. what we fill our spaces with to individualize them and create comfort.

after the exhilaration of seeing all my furniture walking out of the house, even getting rid of many sentimental items, what is left?

i have to admit. i am having a stuff-related panic. which i wasn't expecting.

currently i am sitting in a pile of the remaining privileged items, obsessively reading all the blogs i can get my hands on. expats, travellers, what they thought was absolutely essential to bring to south america.
in reality, we need very little. it's amazing how we adapt, and 'things' in general are an illusory comfort. travelling is about losing the stuff and gaining memories and experiences. but tell that to my 'ohmygoshi'mmovingtosouthamericaforthefirsttime' addled brain. and to be fair, there are a few things it's handy to have with you before leaving.

apparently electronics is a big one (far too expensive over there), and good footwear.

therefore i have spent more time than is healthy combing over online department stores. some things i do not regret, ordering a nice lightweight pair of rainboots for trekking on dirt roads, and a set of compact but great-sounding
computer speakers. hopefully the next purchase won't disappoint, a small e-reader to replace the large suitcase that would consist only of books.

also on the list, a few essential oils (also compact and multi-purpose, mostly in keeping me sane, thank you lavender), and a big bottle of grapefruit seed extract, which apparently can last for years and is good for anything from fighting infections to cleaning your vegetables. so with that, a few favorite photo's and letters, my laptop and camera (obviously), a couple sets of sheets and towels, my clothes and guitar, i should be ok. (at this point it may still sound like i'm packing light, but you should feel the weight of that suitcase.... haven't even started on the other one!)

while i was travelling around, meeting many people who packed up their lives and moved to ecuador, i found it interesting to observe what each person did to make it home. one couple bought a super fancy washing machine and imported the contents of their kitchen. another couple kept it really simple, but took time to cook and enjoy some pretty posh-looking meals. a couple who had lived there 20 years built a massive western-style log house on a hill, and one girl i met was living in a one-room apartment tucked into the back of a building, cooked on a tiny burner, and was happy as a clam with her music collection (girl after my own heart!). my favorite was the couple who seemed to choose their apartments based on great views, so even if it was basic, it felt luxurious.

 i've been thinking a lot about what i want my home to look and feel like, where i will put down my bags at the end of the day and breathe a sigh of relief. will see what the final shape is. but after settling down and recuperating from moving stress, i'm looking forward to doing what i love again and home being more about people and purpose. 'stuff' will naturally settle back in its not so important place.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

well-being for nomads

I have been doing a lot of writing in the past couple months, but mostly of the theraputic journalling variety, which i will not be sharing with the unsuspecting public. however. now i have some time, am tucked into the sofa with a handful of delicious strawberries, and enjoying some classy tunes (see above, it's a treat!) i'll write the blog-friendly version.

it's been 2 months living in the temp apartment, getting a head-start with the spanish community here, and enjoying the much quieter environment off the island of montreal.
being in between is a vulnerable place. ironically the biggest obstacles i have been facing regarding this move to ecuador is not the nay-saying of others (barely heard a peep!), but rather my own fears, doubts, low energy levels, etc.
having the time and space to take care of myself and being forced to re-examine things on a deeper level has been the best gift. seriously. when these opportunities come up in life, don't run away, squeeze all the wisdom you can out of them!

used to being able to summon the willpower and energy to attack my favorite projects with gusto, i was somewhat startled when this time my body said 'no'. loud and clear. then the cowardly part of my brain jumped in and paraded out a long list of reasons why i should stop being a nomad, stop trying to learn all these new things, and just settle down already. thankfully with some coaxing i stopped listening.
and simply learned to pace myself.
it may be much slower than anticipated, but if the goal is worthy, and attainable with a few adjustments of expectation, why give up?

i've been learning again how to spoil myself a bit. spending hours in the sun like a cat, having delicious healthy food on hand at all times, reprioritizing goals with a spiritual perspective, taking long walks in the huge park behind my house, workout video's on youtube, doing my nails, learning a few new techniques on guitar, lots of reading....
basically giving my body and mind the rest and positive energy it needs. so when the big move goes down... i won't be trying to crawl out of the planes's emergency exit. and will be starting a new life with some basics already in place.
for those of us who love to travel and experience new things, it is very theraputic in itself. but to be able to keep going for longer periods of time, and to have something left to offer, we need to continuously expand the repertoire of healthy ways of being. and stick to it. every day is it's own entity. forget the outcome, focus on the effort you can reasonably sustain. enjoy whatever progress you do make in projects, life.
i've been slowly learning to let go of unnecessary self-imposed or perceived pressures. just do what i can. and believe me, it's a much more satisfying place to be.

thinking about making a big move or travelling solo... all the fears that go along with it. a good part of addressing that fear is knowing that you already have the habit to take good care of yourself, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. you have more freedom to go out and enjoy life, and much more to offer to the people you inevitably meet on your journeys. it all filters down.

so, 2 months left. it's now becoming a real event. with a deadline.
and i can say absolutely honestly now, i can't wait to live it.
signing off....