Reflecting Back on the Last Three Years of Travel
It’s hard to believe we began our trip on July 1st, 2009. But we did and today, it’s 3 years into our voyage. We’ve had some incredible adventures so far, but the most meaningful moments have been the moments together. Both Miro and I have grown as people, and our lives have been enriched through the experiences we’ve had together. We’ve grown in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined, and the world has become many things to us, our playground, our classroom and our home.
Miro and I both are honored to share with you some of our reflections on the last three years, of course, listed as ‘Top 3” lists:
The top three lessons learned in the last 3 years:
1. To be, not to do. I learned not to identify anymore with what I did. I no longer needed to be the ‘doer’ and within the first year, became perfectly fine with just being still, in the moment and perfectly fine with that. Other people had a hard time with that, but that no longer was my problem. For me, that was huge.
2. Stuff. I don’t need a lot of stuff to be happy. I dont’ need a lot of money to be happy. I am just happy and my relationship to stuff has definitely changed.
3. The moment is all there is. There is nothing more precious than the moment. To think, I almost missed the ones that included my son’s tween years. I missed a lot of the younger years because I was working.Working. A. Lot. I’ll never compromise these important things ever again.
1. Learning to go with the flow. It makes things easier considering you don’t have to make all the choices.
2. Avoid sick people like the plague. Traveling with a cold is a pain in the arse.
3. Always talk to strangers. They’re not all psycho-paths with a tendency to kill, They are all people who contribute a valid conversation, psycho-path or not.
My top three adventures over the last 3 years are:
1. Hiking the Los Nevados. Oh yeah, high altitude and the hot springs. One of our most amazing adventures.
2. Swimming with the Sharks. It was frightening. Not because of my fear, but watching my son jump in the shark infested water.
3. Spending a Week in the Jungle. Miro and I just returned from a week in the Peru’s Amazon jungle. The nature, animals, birds, and hiking ranks high as one of my top adventures of all times. (We’ll be sharing those adventures in an upcoming series soon, so stay tuned.)
Spending a week with my Mom(s) exploring the Cusco & the Sacred Valley including Machu Picchu. I am still preparing the posts about those adventures, but they are so special to me. Stay tuned for that.
1. Caving in Belize. The ancient remains are amazing. The adrenaline is even better.
2. Sushi. Actually eating Sushi all over Latin America. Like a boss.
3. Hurricane Agatha. Being stuck in a van for over 30 hours when it was only supposed to take two hours. Not so much my best
experience, just more memorable.
The three experiences I am most grateful for over the last 3 years are:
1. Discovering that I can live without choosing fear. Fear is crippling. And from the countless emails I’ve received , it seems the number one thing between you and your dreams of traveling is FEAR. I choose to live my life without fear. I write about it in detail here.
2. Awakening to humanity and falling in love- I fell in love in an instant and lived a lifetime with another soul in the matter of moments. I had such a beautiful experience with this old man as he grabbed my hand and I awoke to humanity all over again.
3. Learning from the world, with my son. Once I discovered that learning never stopped and that the world could be an efficient classroom, our world opened up with possibilities. I started learning again, and learning with my son. Learning about unschooling and trusting the process has been a huge gift for both of us.
1. Dad. My dad coming to visit in Guatemala. It had been a few years since I’d seen him.
2. Sushi. Any time we go for sushi. I fudging love sushi.
3. RaisingMiro.com. Possibly when we started the blog. Had we not done that, we wouldn’t be able support our travels. But it’s work, for sure.
The three most memorable people I’ve met over the last 3 years are:
So, so so many wonderful and incredibly inspiring people have touched our lives, it’s truly difficult to call out just a few, but here it goes:
1. Roxanne. We were so blessed to meet human rights worker Roxanne as she was on the last leg of her two year journey designing programs for women living in conflict zones across the globe. She stayed with us for 2 months and what an honor it was to meet this shining spirit, so filled with hope and inspiration. We interviewed Roxanne for our first ever podcast here.
2. Brien Foerester. I was inspired beyond words with Brien Foerester’s life work and research. I had read one of his books, and seen his appearence on Ancient Aliens. I was so excited when we met him in person at the Paracas History Museum. I was doubly honored when he agreed to an interview for one of our podcasts, found here: Living Ancient Cultures NOW with Brien Foerester.
3. Christopher Howe. Would you walk across 12 countries based on a vision? Have you ever felt inspiration so strong you would actually dedicate 3 years of your life to do so? (Wow, I noticed the similarities after I typed that.) Chris is a friend we’ve been blessed to meet on our travels who had the courage to follow his inspiration. And we interviewed him for a wonderful podcast called: Podcast Episode #25 – A Walk of Inspiration Across 11 Countries- A Pilgrim’s Walk from LA to Brazil
1. My mom. Definitely THE most crazy person I have ever met. Ever. (But in a good way.) Also, memorable.
2. Creepy Old guy from Malta. Creepy as all hell and very memorable. We’ve got stories. Trust me.
3. Roxanne, a greek woman who stayed with us in Antigua. She spoke a handful of languages, and was VERY worldly. You don’t have to put on the red light. (See my Mom’s #1 above)
My three favorite destinations I’ve visited over the past 3 years are:
1. San Cipriano, Colombia. The Colombian jungle was such an incredible experience for us!
2. Machu Pichu & the Sacred Valley. I love archeology. I loved this this trip most of all. We visited 12 ruins within a 1 week period and I was in heaven. (Stay tuned, will write about those adventures soon, but in the meantime, you can read all of the other archeology adventures here. )
3. Antigua Guatemala. This is the place I found myself. I discovered who I was as a traveler and finally shed my old habit of identifying with what I did, rather than who I am. It didn’t hurt that the beauty of this Colonial city inspired me daily.
1. Antigua Guatemala. Awesomely colonial.
2. Panama City. It has bagels. BAGELS. ’nuff said.
3. Lima. I’m a fan of big cities, what can I say?
Three things I discovered about myself that I did not know before I left on this journey:
1. I am an archeology nut. I discovered my passion for ancient cultures, ancient archeology, and ancient traditions. It’s about people, humanity and the social connections we make. I discover that in every ruins or museum we visit. (And there’s been over a hundred in the last 3 years, literally.)
2. I am resourceful. We had only planned on traveling for 1 year, and today is our 3rd anniversary. Not only and I resourceful, but I’m flexible. I always had that suspicion of myself, but I got to see those qualities in action. Want to know what led up to our ‘Radical Lifestyle‘? <- It’s all in there.
3. I have the ability to be present. Before we left on our trip, I was well read in many of the spiritual philosophies, understood the principals of being in the moment, understood the ‘Power of Now’. Now, my daily practice is to enjoy each and every moment, and be ok with whatever that moment has to offer. My knowledge transformed into practice. I had no idea I could live like this. I had no idea
1. Shyness. I’m much shyer than I thought I was. Traveling brings it out I guess.
2. Spanish. I’ve learned that I have an aptitude for languages. At least I think so.. Yo creo que sí …
3. Manga. I’ve discovered that I love manga. In fact, I think I’m addicted to it.
My three favorite blog posts, so far:
1.Cha cha cha changes…Considering change, from the inside – out. I ask: What does changing the world mean? How does one go about doing so? How does one quantify, qualify change? Is it even measurable? While many of us intuitively understand the power of internal change, we are often pre-occupied by examining external changes, ones that can be neatly measured, categorized and owned.
2. Reflections from an Unschooling Parent – My Role I’ve been an unshooling parent now for almost three years. Recently I have found myself reflecting on the role I play in contributing to my son’s education. I do recognize that ’participating’ means being hands off in terms of teaching, but it’s really ‘all hands on deck’ in terms of showing up. I have discovered that as an unschooling parent, I am accountable for being who I am and contributing a ‘whole self’ to the learning experience.
3. Love on the Road – What’s the point? -Falling in love on the road. (Be careful for what you ask for.) Love. I wrote a post expressing my desire to fall in love. I questioned the longevity of relationships and challenged if love was valid if it was temporary. Relationships ARE temporary for the most part, even the long-term ones eventually come to an end.
1. Living without the norm. It’s one of my favorites because I talk about our lifestyle, and the fail that is capitalism.
2. Did Garfield Call? Its awesome because I was able to share my recipe.
3. 3 figures from folklore I hope we never run into. This one is definitely my favorite post. It has five sequels because its that epic.
Three things I want to do or see in the coming 3 years are:
1. Inspire other Unschooling Teens. Share Cusco & the Sacred Valley with other unschoolers. (more about this later)
2. India. Visit India and experience some of the amazing learning communities in person.
3. Watch my son grow up. Remain wide-eyed and present and not miss a precious moment.
1. Probably Head to Japan. I love the Culture, The food, the manga, pretty much everything.
2. I would also like to see Greece. The mythology amazes me.
3. Possibly write a book. I’m already working on one, but I would like to finish it.
We’re excited to have received your questions! Please stay tuned for the next post, where we’ll be answering them. Have any last moment questions you’d like for us to include? Sent them here today!