Happy 4th Re-Birthday to Me!
Four years ago today, I quit my job and was thereby born again into a new life. Since my re-birth, I have luxuriated in the freedoms afforded by unstructured time and financial independence. Wow, what a joy ride it has been!
My fourth re-birthday finds me reflecting on my experiences of the past year:
- I smiled big as I watched The Long Awaited Video.
- I spent a weekend in New York City helping to Share Adventure Cycling Love.
- I flew To The End of the World and spent three wonderful months biking through Patagonia.
- I spent one month living in the alluring city of Valparaíso, where El Mecánico and I were bombarded with creative inspiration.
- I housesat for some of my favorite furry friends: Ricky, Mia, Min, and Midnight.
- I enjoyed my Mom's visit to Seattle and then set her free to explore the city on her own.
- I adored traveling more than 800 Miles this summer with Bromleigh (my new Brompton).
- I had a blast staffing two events for Adventure Cycling -- the Columbia River Gorge and the Black Hills.
- I enjoyed a personal bike trip around the Tetons-Yellowstone, and then I lead two back-to-back week-long van trips along the same route.
- I landed an awesome long-term housesit in which I'll take care of the same five kitties for three months in the spring and fall.
- I had a fantastic overnight bike trip with friends along The Rectangle Ride.
- I survived alligators, dead frogs, and cockroaches during my three-week housesit in Florida.
- I also survived the six-week-long van-supported trip I led down the Pacific Coast, from the Canadian border to the Mexican border.
- I landed my first paid writing assignment.
This year was big for me to try new things -- extended bicycle traveling outside the country, volunteering large chunks of my time, traveling with a folding bike, and leading epic (i.e. long-term) cycling trips, to name a few. Some of these new experiences were more enjoyable than I ever imagined; others weren't so fulfilling. Some of these things I'll do more of; others I won't. Regardless, I'm grateful to have addressed my curiosities, and I'm grateful to have learned more about myself and how I enjoy spending my time.
As I embark on the next year of my semi-retired lifestyle, I'm really excited to do more of the things I love -- traveling, biking, relishing the out-of-doors, writing, and exploring my curiosities.
My lifestyle over the last four years 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.
I look forward to many more re-birthdays, honoring my compass and living my life by design.