Year of Change, Uncertainty & Travel

“Life is what happens when we’re busy making other plans.” -John Lennon

This couldn’t be more true for me, in particular with this last year. I had to make some difficult decisions that in effect caused a 180 degree turn in my life. It was laden with uncertainty and the weight of apprehension about the future felt like it could crush me. Having been in a similar situation before, I knew to follow Dory’s lead and “keep swimming,” no matter what.

The decision to be and remain open to the universe is not always easy, especially when we’re “in it.” What I did was to keep reminding myself — in meditation, in prayer and in speaking affirmations to myself — that there must be a bigger plan in the works, that I was not brought this far to simply be dropped. Embracing curiosity and internalizing gratitude for my life helped defang the feeling that I am a failure and helped to keep the flame of hope alive. My life was going in a direction that couldn’t have been further away from the course I *thought* I would or should be going.

We teach people how to treat us,” and I believe this includes the universe. When we take action and demonstrate our readiness to the universe, doors have a tendency to open that we previously did not even recognize were there.

For me, this year of uncertainty and transition came with lots of travel. Over 50,000 miles flying to Hawaii, Costa Rica, Panama, Chicago and multiple trips back and forth between Boston and Los Angeles. And a 4,033 mile cross-country adventure in a Jeep, in 12 days covering 18 states.

Some of my favorite experiences of this past year include:

  • Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Hoover Dam, Zion and Bryce National Parks
Horseshoe Bend, Arizona
  • Snorkeling in Panama
  • Waterfall hiking in the rainforest & horseback riding on the beach in Costa Rica
  • Night snowmobiling in Vermont
  • The Skydeck on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower in Chicago
Skydeck, Willis Tower, Chicago
  • Countless museums, galleries, train stations and bookstores

Perhaps the greatest assets resulting from this year of travel are the new friendships forged, my relationship strengthened and having a deeper sense of who I am and what actually matters most to me. Wild to think that just a few years ago I was deep on the path of conventional success metrics — multiple homes and cars, heaps and heaps of stuff and a marriage that looked good from the outside. I now realize I can live happily with less and far prefer the freedom to travel, explore and flow with serendipity. Not being handcuffed to the overhead of a life of “stuff” is liberating.

There is very little in this world we can control, but our attitude, who we choose to surround ourselves with and how we choose to spend our time are up to us. And the best part is, we can make changes to any of these. It might not be easy or feel good in the short term, but it’s easier to fly when we’re not bogged down.

Prior to this post, I have shared very little about much of this travel and these underlying experiences for reasons that can be chalked up to “head junk.” So today I thought I’d let this fly. Sure, I’d love to answer questions or share more about the places I’ve been but ultimately this was written for the person struggling in this moment with big decisions, battling uncertainty and who is trying to find and hold onto that flicker of hope deep within.