I have voluntarily given up a cozy home for awhile in exchange for some sort of freedom and spontaneity that I desperately needed to taste while still alive on this earth. A nomadic life of adventure has been courting me for years. ”Voluntarily” is the key word here. I can only imagine that the lack of a permanent home is tragic and devastating to some when the choice is not intentional. I’m not here to focus on that right now though. This is a blog of manifesting dreams!
How We Became a Nomadic Family
I’m in a blessed situation, and there’s not a single day that passes where I do not express a little gratitude. I love the current experience of being nomadic–and with kids on top of that! It’s one story to do it solo. It’s another to experience this grand adventure with your family. I find that challenge even more exhilarating! Some people love what we’re doing. Some folks think we’re crazy. Others probably find us irresponsible. How do we do it? We do it because we wanted this dearly for quite some time, and built the foundation bit by bit to create this reality. We also were able to accomplish this because we have a fantastic network of support from friends and family. I write these words today because our family and friends rock, we worked hard, got out of debt, earned some money (not as much as one might think), and thought about it long and hard.
So what’s up with the “long and hard”?
When you hold the same dream in your mind and heart for a very long time it gives you the chance to get a little feedback from the universe. If your dream is not a good fit for your life, it either fizzles out or develops into some gut feelings that urge you to go in another direction. If your dream is in alignment with your life’s journey then naturally it will feed itself, grow, and always feel warm and fuzzy when you imagine it. If that dream is truly meant for you then it is imperative that you act with fortitude and decide which steps are needed to make it happen. Every day you must take even the smallest step in the direction of the vision you hold for yourself.
A Manifesting Process from an Unlikely Suspect
My dear friend Stephanie Elizondo Griest (who is a rockstar author) taught me a simple and powerful process many years ago. She is a person who will proclaim what she wants to achieve, and lo and behold, sometime in the future, I always see her get it. Time and time again I’ve witnessed her amazing manifesting abilities. (Being an intellectual, she doesn’t call it by such names, but we all know what it is:)) Her approach is not so woo-woo like mine. Stephanie is simply a focused, dedicated activist that is passionate about her work. I admire her innate gumption.
At a time when I was in a very stuck p0sition in life, I turned to Stephanie and she revealed this deceptively simple formula to me: (1) Write down what you want. (2) Under that, list every tiny, little step necessary to get to your goal. (3) Look at your list and ask yourself what you can do now. (4) Begin today by taking some action that is on your list. Sound obvious? The problem is, some of the actions are so mundane and so far down the list that many people can get discouraged. Do you want to be a counselor, for instance, so you can write a book in that field and have credibility? What needs to happen first? You need to go to grad school. Crap. You need to take your G.R.E. So today, buy a G.R.E. study guide. Find out the dates of the upcoming tests. Get information from some schools you’d like to attend. Today. So, to be that successful author you dream of in the future requires you buying a G.R.E. book today. No fun? Perhaps. The things you do today may seem so far from the goal, but still they are part of the path. There is little room for discouragement in the manifesting of dreams. The key is to chip away at the little steps.
The Reality of Manifesting the Life of My Dreams
For example, I wanted to (a) travel with my family full time and (b) make a living in a way that is location independent. My husband and I owned a shop and a restaurant in Texas that was certainly awesome, but definitely holding us back from a life of full-time travel. In addition, we had some debt and no savings whatsoever. I knew that selling the businesses (or just quitting them) would be the ticket to my desired freedom. However, selling the business would bring in the money necessary to get out of debt and jumpstart my goal. Obviously, the sale would take care of two important agendas: freedom and money. I’m no dummy. I knew this route had to be the focus of my energy. At the time I knew this plan would require loads of legwork. And, yes, I felt discouraged. In my case, desire overcame discouragement. This is my life, and I was determined to live it on my own terms.
For 3 or 4 years I marinated on the vision of my dreams and took baby steps toward this goal. I knew that selling our businesses would be the pivotal event that would really get things rolling. I had to make that my focus, rather than the nomadic dream (which definitely wasn’t as much fun). But selling a business requires a million steps. It requires the organization of years of sales reports, taxes, inventory, policies, and procedures. To reach my goal, it was essential that my daily reality had to morph into one of getting my butt in gear. I spent countless hours chomping away at a mountain of figures and paperwork and organizing years of hoarding stuff for the business. It also required getting the word out there that the business is for sale. We listed our business with brokers and told everyone we knew. In the end, this Travel Creatives project and blog was the billboard that attracted the right buyers. My point is that the foundation of our current life as nomadic travelers was built brick by brick over a long period of time. Realizing your dreams doesn’t have to take as long as it did for us. Perhaps it could take even longer, though. Regardless, if you want it bad enough, persistence and action are definitely the magic keys.
When Family and Friends Become Your Rock Stars
Another situation specific to us is that we are blessed to have supportive families and friends. Now, between travels, we are so grateful to be hosted by our loved ones. I’ve actually found so many gifts in asking family and friends to host us. (And I’m one that cringes at imposing!) Spending more intimate time with those we love has certainly strengthened many bonds.
In December and January we hopped from Alexandria to Annapolis to Ohio and then Texas visiting all of our families. While in Texas with my folks, our 2 week stay (while we waited to fly to Hawaii) turned into a month and half stay (and no Hawaii) due to John’s new job opportunity to work for the Ren Faire musical act, Tartanic. This 6 week stay with my parents has been such a huge gift for me. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to spend such quality time with my mom and dad without having any day job to attend to. I wake up every day with this delicious slowness and make breakfast with them, sip coffee, and talk. They have had the opportunity to spend ample time with their grandchildren, both at such pivotal times of their lives. Rain is becoming a young woman at almost 12 years old and Jaya’s saying new words every day as her sweet and quirky personality is developing right before our eyes.
I realize not everyone has the luxury of coming home home. I mean the home where mom and dad live, the home where you grew up in, the home with all the comforts and the memories. I have that, and I am eternally grateful. So far, our nomadic life is in its infancy. We lived in Ecuador for a few months and then we house-hopped in the States for a few, too. Now we are off to live a crazy, unexpected festival-filled gypsy life that somehow makes perfect sense. In retrospect, I can see how all the events of my life have led to this lifestyle and new opportunity.
And this, my friends, is definitely the way a dream should feel once realized!
The beautiful thing is that the journey is far from over. I still have not manifested a sustainable income through this lifestyle. No discouragement here, though. Time to get out my journal ala Stephanie, write out my goals and necessary actions, and put one foot in front of the other. I am filled with joy from being home home. My cup (or should I say goblet?) is full. I leave in a few days. The Ren Faires are luring me into a new, fascinating life that is certain to offer some unconventional wisdom along with an uncertain, but hopefully, notable destiny.
Here’s An Excerpt of my old 2007 journal toward manifesting dreams:
- Dream: Adventurous, sustainable nomad with the family
- Today’s Action (circa 2007): Consolidate Excel spreadsheets of itemized sales 1998-2000
Good thing I did it! What’s your dream? What’s your action of the day? Is it as lame as mine was? Are you gonna do it anyway?? Do you wanna rock your own world?