Happy 3rd Re-Birthday to Me!
It's cupcake time, my friends! It's time to celebrate!
It has been three years since I quit the rat race. It has been three years of semi-retirement bliss. It has been three years of waking up on Monday mornings, endlessly grateful that I don't have to drag my butt into the office after a nice weekend. Nope, siree -- my life now consists of perpetual weekends!
My third re-birthday finds me reflecting on the wonderful experiences that the freedom of time has afforded me in the last year:
- I wrapped up my trip in Turkey by spending time in Istanbul.
- I expanded my housesitting beyond Seattle, spending three weeks in San Francisco and four weeks on Bainbridge Island.
- I took better advantage of my "downtime" -- for example, spending a weekend bike touring in February and a week backpacking in Hell's Canyon in April.
- I did an interview with The Voluntary Life podcast about my lifestyle.
- I took a road trip through California and Oregon, spending time with friends.
- I got the much desired gig guiding trips with Bicycle Adventures (though I later learned that the company wasn't a good fit for me).
- I learned to build a bicycle wheel.
- I had a blast staffing two events for Adventure Cycling -- the Columbia River Gorge and the Sierra Sampler.
- I learned the value of identifying the ingredients for my tendays.
- I had my first foray into off-road touring (and loved it).
This year, I crossed a couple of items off my bucket list:
- I got a tattoo.
- I took a sailing class.
- I did my first solo backpacking trip (and a second one, too).
And I crossed a couple off items of my bicycling route bucket list, too:
As I reflect on the year, I realize that the more true I am to following my compass, the more serendipity provides me with the people and experiences that serve as catalysts to propel me even further towards the life I want to live. Over the last year, serendipity has enabled me to build a stronger bond between bicycling and traveling, and I'm friggin' excited about that.
My new lifestyle has given me a level of perpetual contentment that I never could have imagined. Simplicity has brought with it a richness that money cannot afford.