*photo taken from Mt. Monadnock trail to summit
Hey, you! Have you been reading my posts and thinking wistfully to yourself, “Gee, I wish I could travel like that. I want to live in a tiny house or RV and have a job that lets me go wherever I want.” Good news. You can. Ironically, I am anchored in Olean for a short while to sell our home here, but have no fear. Michael and I have plans for the future. I may be stuck in Olean for another month or so, and over the weekend I was thinking about how very much I wanted to be in New Hampshire with Michael. As I have said in other posts, I absolutely fell in love with New Hampshire while we lived there a year ago. We lived in a small city called Keene, and its claim to fame is its proximity to Mount Monadnock, often mentioned as the second-most climbed mountain in the world after Mt. Fuji (though that might be debatable, as such claims can be sketchy). The geographic region around Keene is my kind of beautiful, with rolling hills, boulder-filled streams, deciduous forests, lots of green, and plenty of lakes and ponds. Such a place is my ideal for where I want to live, so I am very excited about going back soon. But I digress. You probably want to hear about how to make your travel dreams come true.
I have shared stories about how Michael and I got ourselves into traveling, but only in tidbits here and there. Our story will not be your story, because you have your own skills, interests, and dreams about what you envision to be the perfect lifestyle. Instead, I want to share with you the thought process which goes into achieving a life of freedom to travel, and actions you can take to start making this kind of life a reality. Lately I have become aware of a massive community of people who have written books, given talks, and even coached people on how to change their thinking. They use a lot of woo-woo stuff that seems a lot more like voodoo than anything else, but when you apply a little science to the mix it becomes a little less fiction and a little more reality. Sometimes I teach workshops on how to change your thinking, and I use freewriting to help people shift their awareness away from self-defeating attitudes and more toward belief in their own ability to help themselves. Since I am living proof that one can create the life you want, I like sharing this knowledge to help people do the same.
First, take a look around you. Where are you now? Are you in a place you like? Is it dismal and deadening? How do you feel sitting there? What is your general mood today, or any day? What thoughts go through your head about the place you live? Do you think good thoughts or are you hammering away at everything you see as you walk around, thinking about how much you detest being trapped in that godforsaken place? Basically, are you happy where you live, or do you wish you could be a gypsy? If you feel dismal and consistently think negative thoughts, you will walk around feeling dismal all the time. This isn’t voodoo, it’s your reticular activating system (a tiny little bit of your brain near the brain stem) doing its best to provide support for your inherent belief system. So if you believe life sucks, you’re trapped, you’ll never escape that town in which you live…well, you’re right. You won’t. The RAS will continue to confirm your current beliefs because that’s what it does. The good news is that you can change that.
I am going to ask you to try a little test for me. Get out a sheet of paper and a writing tool. Sit down somewhere quiet, comfortable, and that makes you happy. If you have to get out in the woods or at a park or a coffee shop, do what you must. Take that writing tool in your hand and write: Where I Want to Be Right Now. Now use your phone or watch or a nearby clock to time yourself. I want you to write about this topic for at least five minutes (but ten would be even better, or just write until you feel done). Keep your pen moving no matter what crazy things you write, no editing, no crossing anything out or worrying about grammar or scribbling. Be messy. Be random. Be honest. If you start writing about the cat’s fleas, just gently nudge yourself back to the original topic to get back on track—be nice to yourself. Our ids are easily swayed to flit from thing to thing. When you finish writing, take a look at what you revealed to yourself. If you really do keep the pen moving the whole time and you allow yourself to be really honest and write whatever comes into your head, you will tap into those subconscious thoughts which are driving your reality bus. Pay attention to it. What messages are you telling yourself about where you live? Honestly, this works for anything (such as income, people with whom you spend your time, careers, whatever), but for the moment let’s stick to where you live.
If your answers to yourself are all about wishing for beaches with sugary sand or climbing mountains in the Himalayas or walking the streets of Prague and that isn’t what you’re doing…time to align your thoughts with actions and intentions. Michael and I started making plans to travel while he was still in nursing school. He had to get at least a year of experience under his belt before he could apply to an agency that would hire him as a traveler, so we had a long wait before we could make travel life a reality. My kids were also still too young for us to uproot ourselves and take off, but eventually we got ourselves on the road. Did we have every iota of our lifestyle perfectly planned? Nope. We jumped into the life as a test first so we could decide if we liked it enough to keep doing it. Of course, we did like it. Right away. That spurred us to purchase the Aluminum Falcon, our beloved Airstream, in which we lived for a year in Nevada. If you’ve read my other posts about that experience, you know we didn’t have that all perfectly planned, either. We started living in it the day we purchased it, sight unseen, and had to learn the ropes of RV life on the fly. Again, we didn’t have everything aligned when we leaped into the life we wanted, and you don’t have to align the stars, either. Have a general plan and start going for it.
While you dream about your perfect life, are you then also killing that dream? That may be why you’re stuck, if that’s how you feel. Instead, have your dreams and then instead of saying to yourself, “Wouldn’t that be nice? But it won’t ever happen to me…” you need to tell yourself, “I really would rather be living on a beach in the Caribbean, so how can I make that happen?” Start looking for jobs in the location in which you would like to live, or start researching ways to work online doing what you’re good at doing, or maybe look into creative ways to make money on the side so you can start saving. I don’t know what your reality looks like, but if it’s holding you back, then you can shift your thinking and align your actions to change it. Really, it’s that simple. The reason why more people don’t do this is only because they may not realize how powerful this actually is. So many people in the world already know that if you align your thoughts with actions toward what you actually want, your dream life can be your real life as soon as you want. Michael and I took a couple of years to manifest our dream of traveling, but that doesn’t need to be your experience. Maybe you have the freedom to drop everything and buy a plane ticket to Africa, where you know you can start working as a teacher and start traveling the continent by the end of the week. Do it! What are you waiting for, Santa Claus? Seriously, you only get one life. Will you waste it dreaming, or do you want to get off your rear end and live? Time is ticking, my dears.
You might also be saying to yourself that I don’t seem to be living my dream right this minute, since I’m stuck in Olean, NY and not with my wonderful husband in one of my favorite places ever. Well, you might be right, except that I am fixing up the house to sell it so we can have money for land and to help fund the expenditures of remodeling the Falcon. I am also taking advantage of being in our old hometown to hook up with folks who can help me with things like getting my website adjusted to allow me to start using an email service for my subscribers, and also to rid myself of excess material possessions I no longer need. I see this time as a cleansing experience, and also as an opportunity to make money and to connect with the friends I have missed over the last year and a half. Though I would absolutely rather be in New Hampshire, I will make lemonade. We have to roll with what life hands us on a platter, and make conscious decisions to mold our experiences into what we want to achieve in our lives. Do you believe you can travel, or do you just dream about it and never do anything to make it happen while always complaining about how you never have money to go anywhere? I wrote a post a while back about ways you can inject a little travel into your week, month, or year. Pack a picnic and hop in the car with the kids, and see where the road takes you. Go somewhere you’ve never been before and keep your eyes wide open.
The bottom line here is to ask yourself what you really want, and be honest. No one needs to read what you write. Ask yourself the important questions about how you live now, and discover the uncharted territory of your imagination. If you can imagine it, you can do it. Even crazy things. I just watched a Ted Talk by David Eagleman called “Can We Create New Senses for Humans?” and it blew my mind. In this talk, Eagleman shares all kinds of insanely inventive gadgets which allow blind and deaf people to experience sight and hearing in other senses, like touch, and how that information is gathered and translated by the brain. Totally science fiction, but it’s real. If this guy can create a vest that translates all the emotions on Twitter into vibrations which your brain interprets…I think you can go nuts and plan that cool trip to see the Great Wall of China. Seriously, others have done that. You can, too. It’s just a trip. Meanwhile, scientists are creating instruments that allow us to see galaxies so far away, you’d never get there in hundreds of lifetimes, or that study the nature of “dark matter” in the universe. If they can do that, you can take a trip to see some beautiful things. All you need is a will and then you can find the way. Do it right now. Plan your trip. Cut out pictures of places you want to see and paste them on a poster board you hang in a place you will see every day. Imagine yourself there, enjoying the sights, the smells, the tastes of the food. Believe you can, and you will. Keep yourself open to avenues of getting there, and I promise you will start to see them right in front of you. That’s how your RAS works. What you believe, it will seek and reveal. Your intentions drive the reality bus, so grab the wheel and start driving, kids.
Here I will leave you with the usual request to be thoughtful if you comment, and to encourage anyone who wishes to comment to please share your own experiences about creating your reality (as opposed to being enslaved by it). Soon I should be installing a “Resources” page with courses I plan to offer along the lines of what I explained briefly here, as well as a few other fun ideas. They will be available for a variety of prices, including free courses for those in a financial pickle, or for the people who want to test the waters before buying anything. When I get that running, I will send out a blog post. In the meantime, please try a writing session or meditate on your circumstances and see where it takes you. If you’re so awesome at it that you end up in space, I want to hear from you. Please send an email with a description of your trip, because that would be the best success story ever. Get out there, friends. Grab that life and wrestle it into existence if you must. Find a pair of powerful tin snips and cut the chain of what anchors you to unhappiness. Your ticket awaits, and the bus has arrived. Get on board.