dominical

when the festival ended, callie and i weren't exactly sure where to go next. we had vague plans to stay at a farm in the mountains, but changed our minds and wound up on the side of the road with our packs and a world of possibilities all around us.

we ended up hitching a ride to the small beach town of dominical, just north of where the festival was held. 

as soon as we got into town, i recognized a sign for a local restaurant which was a vendor at the festival. we went to La Casita hoping one of the guys who worked envision would remember me from the night i checked their group in at the box office. 

to our surprise, he did remember me. he immediately sat us down and gave us free food. by the end of our meal and after hearing our story, andre also offered us a free place to stay and free surf lessons! callie and i said YES, and felt so blissfully grateful that everything turned out better than we could have imagined. 

we stayed in dominical for a few nights, alternating between staying with andre and the La Casita boys, and camping in our tent on the beautiful costa rican beach! 

and because dominical was the closest town to the festival, we ran into a ton of our new friends :) it was the perfect environment for winding down in between places. we got to spend time with some beautiful souls, learn to surf (i stood up on my FIRST wave!!!), wake up in our tent right on the beach, eat the freshest jungle fruit, and cheers the clear horizon at sunset. if that's not the epitome of a costa rican experience, i'm not sure what is.

ahhhhh, PURA VIDA!

life lately // 5 countries and 9 thousand miles and falling in love

We need the tonic of wilderness - to wade sometimes in the marshes where the bittern and the meadow hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wild and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground.

At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us, because they are unfathomable. 

 - Thoreau

this entire year has found me in a constant series of accidental explorations. since the last time i really updated, i have been through costa rica, ohio, florida, the virgin islands, las vegas, big sur, san francisco, yosemite, denver, france, belgium, mexico, and the entire length of the united states (from north carolina to california) in a big hippie van filled with six creative beauties...

since the last time i wrote, i have hiked mountains and pyramids and city buildings and islands. i have slept in tents and cars and airports and bookstores and on strangers' floors all across america. I have flown on about 40 flights in 5 countries, and have driven/ridden upwards of 9,000 miles. i have cried over broken relationships, bonded with beautiful friends, and have fallen blissfully in love with the man of my dreams, in the most unlikely of places. i have been content and excited and filled with regret. i've been drunk and strong and helpless and incandescently happy and i don't even know where to begin. 

friends have been asking me lately where in the world i am, and, "why haven't you been posting?" and, "when will you start writing again?"

well friends, i love you, and i am so thrilled that you want to hear my stories. but i have been mostly homeless and nomadic for about 5 months now...

after 3 months of living out of the van during our big road trip, my love and i escaped to vegas to decompress with family and retrieve my car. we then started our own road trip from vegas, up the pacific coast highway, to volunteer with a small off-the-grid community in southern oregon. we recently left the farm to attend His aunt's wedding in wine country, and now we are pet-sitting and playing house in san jose while the lovely newly-wed aunt is off on her honeymoon.

it's the strangest thing... to have lived out of a van all summer with 6 people, in a situation where we had very little money, and then none at all---where we had to play music on the streets for gas money, and sometimes dumpster dive for food, and always rely on the love of friends and strangers to put us up.

then to a secluded cabin in the mountains, where we walked through quiet woods, worked with our hands in the sun, swam naked in a freezing creek, and ate food straight from the garden.

and now to be drinking a local pinot noir in a well-lit living room in silicone valley. my love is sitting near, writing a song on the guitar. the pets are lounging, happy in the sun. and we are reveling in the calm before the inevitable unrest of next week's homelessness.

where will this wild ride take us next?

at the end of this week, we will start making our way north again, through san francisco and portland, to finally settle in seattle. 

because, to be totally honest, i am fucking exhausted. ever since this year began, i have been looking to stay put for a while and start building foundations in a new place. but costa rica was already planned. and creative work took me to the caribbean again. and serendipitous opportunities took me to california multiple times. and when a friend invites you to stay at their studio in montmarte or visit their mansion in ghent, how can you say no, right? and what if a friend insists you join in on the beatnik-style hippie-van-road-trip-across-america you've always been dreaming of? you sure as hell say YES. 

so i said yes. and i fell in love. i learned to whistle and play the ukulele. i saw this country in a whole new light. and i wouldn't trade it for all the sleep in the world.

but now i'm ready. and he's ready. and we're headed to a home we've both been dreaming of since before we knew each other, even though it's not quite there yet. 

because really, we have nothing... nothin' but the same clothes we've been living in all along, a few plants, a couple bags of food, a heap of books, and our instruments. we have one small car, and soon, it seems we'll be getting the van back. 

it's going to be one of the most intense challenges so far, but i've got a handsome best friend and we are determined. in the end, it'll all have been worth it.

because, "life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all."

airport musings // on ripped suitcases and belongings and overpacked minds

Written in my journal on 4/10/2014:

i’m sitting on the floor of the charlotte douglas international airport all by myself at 1am. there is sand in my dready hair and bruises on my traveled limbs and a growing hole at the bottom of the old duffel bag i’ve been living out of for the past two months.

the bag is literally bursting at the seams from the marry-poppins amount of content i’ve been keeping in it. a hammock, a tent, a yoga mat, two towels, three pairs of shoes and a truly modest amount of clothing are all in fantastic danger of being strewn across america tomorrow morning, when i fly back to the heathen lands of las vegas.

i’d mourn the hammock and the tent for their growing usefulness in my life, but not the clothes so much. they smell of caribbean sand and florida sweat and ohio snow and that cold costa rican river water i last washed them in. 

i’ve worn each article of clothing so many times on my travels over the past couple years that they just don’t mean anything to me anymore. kind of like when you say a word over and over and over, until it doesn’t make any sense and sounds like gibberish. it doesn't make the word any less of a real word, but you question, "wait, what does this mean again?"

these clothes, though useful and once beautiful to me, have become redundant. these things i once spent money on because i thought they'd make me momentarily happy, or would somehow define ME and my style, have been stripped of that imaginary value and reduced to their practicality. will this be comfortable on an airplane? can i hike a mountain in these? would this be weird to hitchhike in? could i dance until sunrise and then fall asleep in these? 

you're bound to reevaluate the value of your possessions when you have to carry them on your back everywhere you go. and material things simply aren't worth so much when you're getting richer-than-a-king off of invaluable, mind-blowing experiences. 

so after carrying the weight of these things for so long, you get to a point where you're like, "yeah, whatever. i can let that awesome shirt go. i've had my way with it."

like this long, flowy tribal skirt i was given at a bar the other night in the virgin islands...

i complimented a passing girl on the skirt she was wearing, had a quick conversation with her about traveling, and five minutes later, she appeared next to me again wearing shorts, with the pretty skirt in her outstretched hand.

a random, selfless gesture, which i am wearing as i type because it's my new favorite thing/story/present-ever-received-from-a-stranger-in-a-bar. ;)

it's not everyday you compliment somebody on their clothes and then they almost immediately strip them off just to give to you... that sort of radical detachment from ego is the sort of thing i want to stand up and applaud. 

but this girl was a traveler too. and we nomads have come to know the real worth of these material possessions---skirts and shirts and boots and things---the things you don't even remember you own until you go home and find them hiding in the corner of your closet. they are only worth what you do in them. and what i really mean is, they’re meant to be worn in fantastical places on a weekly basis for months or years on end, until your perception of their worth transcends their monetary value.

because then, their value exists in the photographs of you twirling on that faraway beach with your best friends. their value exists in the memories of the things you conquered while in them. the way they made you FEEL in them, in those moments that changed the way you look at the world forever. 

once you appreciate your experiences in those physical things more than the things themselves, it’s easy to let them go. to recycle them. to give them away. to pass them on to the next wide-eyed, adoring girl, who will wear that skirt like it's brand new and give it a whole new life of badass experiences.

so for the sake of posterity, once i’ve had my fun with this skirt---once it's exhausted its worth with me---i’ll pass it on to the next appreciative girl along my journey.

just like i did with the sunglasses i found on the beach in st thomas, and then accidentally (drunkenly) lost on the beach in barcelona (and secretly hope somebody finds, cherishes, and then drunkenly loses on another beach in another awesome part of the world!).

because that’s the best thing you can do with something really useful---SHARE IT. ...discover it, try it on for size, learn from it, grow in it, and then pass it on! 

you see, it’s been two entire months on the road(/mountain/island/sea), and my brain feels just about as jam-packed as my luggage. as much as i CAN'T WAIT to unpack my dirty travel gear, wash it and put it in its place or give it away, i also CANNOT WAIIITTTT to empty the contents of my very full and scattered brain. to unpack all these lessons and revelations and manifestations. to line them up, clean them off and maybe even polish them. so that i can share. so that they can have a whole new life with someone who's never worn them before. 

as i sit here in the loud silence of this massive airport, the core of my very being feels like it could spontaneously combust from all of the loving and learning and hilarity that I've reveled in lately. i want to hug every human i know and collapse into a coma at the same time. 

it's the same way i felt when i returned from europe last summer. because traveling, and really living deliberately, doesn't afford much time to step back and look at everything i'm experiencing from an outside perspective. to put the chaos of my thoughts into an orderly peace. and to share with people who could relate to/laugh at/learn from them.

this is all to say, i am so excited to go home (or to the semblance of it anyway), and to just BE there. to once again rest my tired mind in a real bed (hallelujah!) near a real fridge (not a tent or a backpack or a friend's fridge!) where i can keep real veggies to heal my tired cells. to do yoga and meditate on a regular basis. to read and learn and digest, until i feel revived enough to share. 

ohhhh, i believe in the good things comin', comin', comin', comin'!

and, as always, i love YOU for being present in this journey, and your own! light it up!

a mountain on my mind

hello beautiful friends! i'm back home in las vegas, after two months of non-stop travels through costa rica, ohio, florida, and the virgin islands!

i've committed this past week here to healing my exhausted physical being with as much yoga and veggies and tea as it can handle. i've also made a few haphazard attempts at kickstarting my creativity, since there's a lot of pent up ideas floating around that i haven't had time/energy to organize yet! but it seems my brain needs some nurturing too. so i've been feeding it jack kerouac and meditation and news and pinterest and cute movies and all the things i miss out on when i'm on the road and out of the loop!

until i find the drive to dig through hundreds of pictures and scribblings from life lately, here are some shots from a road trip my pops and i took to mt charleston right before i left for central america!

first breath after costa

i'm really bad at writing while i'm exploring.

i always tell myself i'll write... the voice that governs that part of my brain is very ambitious and a little strict, but she never really wins. because, as much as i want to record all the happenings right as they happen so that my memory gets the most of it, it's just unnatural for me to reflect when i'm IN IT, yanno? i'll jot down little notes here and there on sensory details, but nothing really

because i'm often exhausted or elated or anxious, or some other such overwhelming emotion that prevents one from thinking creatively. i've finally accepted that i just won't write on the road. instead, i'll wait to write in a quiet house right on the beach, when the weather is too bad to be outside... and that's where i'm at now, so here we go :)

after leaving costa rica, i spent a week in ohio and a week in daytona beach and i'm about to depart for another week in west palm beach and then the week after that in the virgin islands. so i'm a little behind, but i'm deep in the midst of compiling all my stories from my 3 glorious weeks in costa :)

they're such beautiful memories already. some of the best i've ever had. i can't wait to share them with you, along with the many colorful pictures from every little paradise i visited. 

so, soon to come will be tales of camping on the beach, cuddling with a pile of complete strangers, volunteering for envision festival, napping on waterfalls, hand-standing with famous yoga instructors, dancing until sunrise, stumbling upon free surf lessons, bathing in a river in the rain forest, and real life avatar land (complete with blue people and all!). ahhh, such fun :)

and to whoever you are reading this now... whether i love you or know you or not, thank you for taking part in this long, wild journey of mine :) please don't hesitate to let me know if there's anything i can do to help you on yours! 

love.

PURA VIDA

my goodness, Costa Rica, where do i even begin?

i've dreamt of traveling to these jungle lands since i was a young, naive, restless girl. i didn't know much about the world then, but i heard a whisper about the natural beauty and pure way of life in Costa Rica once, and i've been yearning for it ever since.

fiiiiinally this eager fantasy of mine has come true!!

and guys, it is surpassing my every expectation.

last summer, when i was hitchhiking across europe, my friend noelle told me about her experience in Costa Rica last year. she volunteered for a transformational festival called Envision. i didn't know what a transformational festival was, but after watching a couple of these bloom series videos explaining the nature of their purpose, i made it my top goal to experience Envision this year. everything i planned after europe revolved around THIS trip to Costa.

and it JUST HAPPENED... months and months of preparation and anticipation finally culminated into one of the purest, most beautiful experiences of my life.

side by side with some of the greatest, most open-hearted people i've ever met, i traveled to a ranch on the pacific coast of Costa Rica for a week of PURE BLISS in the jungle, on the beach. there was music and dancing and camping and yoga and reiki and community and sharing and SO MUCH LOVE. 

after 5 days at Envision, i have left feeling so inspired to carry all these loving, positive vibes out into the world for everyone to share and experience and multiply, until the whole world is touched by this pure love. 

because, dear readers, it is the best feeling i've ever known.

FRIEND SHIP VIDEO

ahhhh, this is long overdue seeing how this boat trip through the british virgin islands happened the first two weeks of january and we are now almost in march in costa rica! but! it's finally done! and these are such glorious memories! i just love sailing and blue water and green islands and beautiful friends so very much. something about seeing them in motion makes me grin from ear to ear. thanks Friend Ship 2014!