Happy 5th Re-Birthday to Me!
Gee willikers! Has it been five years already? As Gretchen Rubin said, "The days are long, but the years are short."
Five years ago today, I quit my job. I walked away from a life of comfort and stability and walked into a life of unstructured time and endless possibility. These privileges were earned, and continue to be enjoyed, via a great deal of diligence and focus. Though not for everyone, I dig my peripatetic life. My new life 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've learned a lot about myself this year -- about the importance of creating boundaries, adjusting my sails, safeguarding my solitude, and bathing in the forest. These learnings have enabled me to fine-tune my life, and in doing so, to enable myself to delight in more tendays.My fifth re-birthday finds me reflecting on my experiences of the past year:
- I enjoyed a solo trip to Spain -- spending two weeks in Barcelona and one week biking through Catalonia on my Brompton. I appreciated being able to experience the region during its fight for independence.
- I backpacked in the Beartooth Mountains on the Montana/Wyoming border and was blown away by the beauty of the mountains, lakes, and wildflowers. I had no idea this place even existed.
- I had fun doing a photo and video shoot for REI to help promote their new line of Co-Op bicycles.
- I cycled an amazingly beautiful route along the Great Parks North and Great Divide in Canada, two routes I had been wanting to ride for years.
- I spent nine days on a stunning sailing trip to the unusually lush Catalina Island (thank you, Jake!).
- I was interviewed by Eyes on the Goal about my lifestyle. It's an honor to be an inspiration to others.
- I biked part of the Baja Divide in Mexico and learned lots about myself.
- I spent nearly two months housesitting and bathing in the forest on Salt Spring Island, in southern British Columbia. It was great to spend so much time in my favorite environment -- where the mountains and the forests meet the water.
- I was featured in an article in the Tobacco Valley News about the freedoms and confidence that cycling bestows.
- I cycled a loop in southwest Vancouver Island, which whetted my appetite for more exploration of the island on two wheels.
- I spent two months housesitting in Bellingham for five wonderful kitties -- that's twenty paws and a healthy dose of purrs!
- I wrote an article about my Brompton, which was published in the July issue of Adventure Cyclist.
- I staffed three Adventure Cycling trips -- Cycle Montana, Cycle Divide: Montana, and Oregon Coast Loop -- and made many new cycling friends!
- I enjoyed a family reunion at Glacier National Park and then cycled Coeur D'Alene with my mom.
- I fell in love with yoga, appreciating its physical, mental, spiritual, and meditative benefits.
It's been another damn good year. I look forward to my sixth year as I continue to honor my compass and live my life by design.