“traveling is transcendental and its repercussions are boundless…”
photo credit: self timer extraordinaire, yuki
mission beach changed the family. we gained more amazing humans, more numbers, more opinions, more love, more decisions, more directions, just…so much more. with time ticking too fast for me, i became anxious. adding numbers was adding complications to our already impossible lifestyle of herding these beautiful cats. it wasn’t that i didn’t adore the new members…they were incredible people who i instantly fell in love with and grew to cherish…how could i not? these were my people…my fellow hopeless dreamers, the mighty chosen ones who didn’t just hear the calling, but rose to action to travel in a way that i have learned, not everyone can. we were moving parts that created a whole. but adding numbers meant adding different timelines and that was the one thing i didn’t have…time. my patience prevailed…barely…and i was able to embrace the change, appreciate the growth and move forward to northern queensland adventures. taking in the moments became my survival…the support of the beautiful soul i had beside me was my rock…the smiles i saw every morning when i awoke to a new day were what i began holding onto to get me past the sands in the hour glass slipping too quickly and for a few days, time stopped…at least for brief moments.
i would find myself feeling stressed out…then realize the error of my ways when i looked around me and saw the happy faces playing, living and loving together, when i felt the immense amount of child like joy that consumed the air while we tossed a frisbee around day or night, pranced along a beach, played with instinctively aggressive crabs while we interrupted their night life to entertain our own…explored the rainforest, welcoming the chance to see the wild creatures that called it home, cleansed our adventurous souls in waterfalls, swimming holes and lakes…i couldn’t help but just FEEL in these moments. take them all in and let them fill up my cup. i knew my time was limited…i knew this wasn’t going to be mine everyday for much longer. although that thought broke my heart, it also opened it. here i was, in australia…a place i had dreamed of living in since i was 10 years old, sitting in a stuffy year 4 classroom in a cold and uncomfortable desk learning about the great barrier reef, crocodiles and kangaroos, aboriginals and all the natural beauty that this island, continent, country held in its grasp…and i was here. i had been here…for almost a year. this made me feel like a bad ass to be honest. the realization that i lived a dream that i had held onto for so long…gone out of my american comfort zone to launch myself into the unknown…it was everything i had hoped it would be…and a gazillion particles more. this family i was a part of, these people i held onto every day and made memories with…it was better and more meaningful than anything i ever could have imagined. more numbers aside, we were an us…we had created our own version of world peace…a united front from 5 different countries across the globe, filled with open minds, open hearts that burst with love…that were present…every. single. day. i had to pinch myself at times to remind myself this was my real life. grateful can’t even begin to explain how i felt.
i have never been good at goodbyes. part of wearing your heart on your sleeve is embracing the vulnerable position you put yourself in. it’s worth it…no doubt…every single time. but it doesn’t change the fact that saying goodbye is hard. my lovely and cuddly frenchie, pilou, reminded me that it’s not goodbye, it’s just a see you soon. i think that my family members could feel me being sad…could feel me getting anxious and stressed out…could feel my time running out. i won’t ever be able to put into words how much i appreciate every single soul that has entered my last chapter in my first go of aussie life. they became the force i held onto to stay strong…because i had to be strong for them…that’s what families do. i had to keep a smile on my face because they said it made them happy to see me smile…i had to make my abs sore laughing because we are a f*cking funny group and we loved to make each other and hear each other laugh…i had to keep playing because as a group, we created the most amazing trail in which to blaze, the most incredible pathway to leave footprints on and i just couldn’t NOT play…despite my sadness, i am proud to report that most minutes of each of my final days were spent loving life and pressing pause on the sad fact that i was leaving…too soon.
photo credit: self timed by yuki
i don’t know a lot of things, but i know some. travel has changed me immensely and pushed me into myself an exponential amount. i have learned so many lessons in this past year away from the life i’ve always known. i learned that being open hearted and open minded, despite goodbyes and see you laters when you move on, is the ONLY way to travel successfully. i learned that feeling the weight of your only possessions in your backpack supported on your constantly growing stronger back is a pride like i’ve never known before. i learned that the sound of your (one of three pairs) of shoes hitting the pavement, the sand, the rooted trailhead becomes a music your ears have always yearned for. i learned that people and places can change you into the best version of yourself. i learned that money doesn’t buy happiness, but it can buy a ticket to a new experience that will bring you to it. i learned that sand gets in all sorts of places you don’t want it to go, but you love being covered in it anyway. i learned that living within your means and off of nothing is the absolute only way to know the currency of truly living to the fullest. i learned that being independent is a positive, until you don’t allow yourself to rely on others who want to help you and be there for you in the ways you’re there for them. i learned the art of letting go. i learned that salt water is a cure for most things. i learned that life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans and that plans are ridiculously overrated and made to be thrown out the window. i learned that car trouble is something to giggle at instead of cry over. i learned that one pair of underwear functions as two when you’re desperate for it to. i learned that the creatures of the world are far more incredible and mysterious than we may think. i learned that i can endure physical, mental and emotional pain across continents, kilometers, miles and oceans and still have a reason to smile, everyday. i learned that i deserve the absolute best life and love have to offer. i learned that barefeet are way more awesome than socks and shoes. i learned that my heart is strong enough to break open when all it wants to do is break closed. i learned that love truly is the best gift you can give and the best gift you can receive. and i learned that peace is a way of life…a journey…with an old friend, with a new mate, with a person who makes you laugh, with a beautiful soul who cries with you and for you, with a sunset that makes the goon taste better as it goes down, with a tide that reminds you that things may leave, but they always come back when they’re meant to, with a full moon that changes time, with a sunrise that ignites a lifelong friendship, with a beach that lights more than just a campfire, peace is eternal. and my around the world family is the beat of my heart and the peace in my gypsy soul…and i’ll be seeing you all soon then. xx.