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It is time to change my plans.

It was a stormy day and a stormy night. Taking a motel for the night was the right decision. After all, my safety doesn't have a price tag.


The rain stopped, but not the wind. I decided to continue my travels south and board the ferry to Cedar Island.


I leave with a heavy heart; I fell in love with this deserted island. I have a good feeling I will be back!


The beautiful blue skies and the smiling sun are deceiving with the bitter cold outside. Standing on the dock is out of the question. I go inside to the front of the ferry to enjoy the blue horizon I will never get closer to.

 

A flock of ducks is everywhere, taking part of my view, except for one lonely duck flying just above the water. I get the same feeling of connection I got from the lonely wild horse I saw last April on a hike on the PCT. In my mind, they are not lonely at all. They are like me on a journey of conquest and self-belonging! 


The click-click sound of my wheels leaving the ferry means I am back inland. Fifteen minutes into my drive, I see a state trooper's car on the side of the road. Just as I pass it, he or she is on my tail.


I always make sure to follow the speed limit; my cruise control is on to ensure I don't accidentally drive faster than allowed. I know the trooper is on my tail because I have a NY plate number. I am an observed citizen who respects the law (well... maybe not when I try to be a bit bold :)).


For thirty minutes, my stomach has a knot. I am aware the knot is my fear of not having a sense of safety. Ironically, the image of police usually does give me that feeling, but right now my gut feeling signals me I have lost control of protecting myself. Thirty minutes on my tail is a bit of unnecessary abuse.


My destination is Southport. Again, Facebook gifted me a new friendship. Robin kindly offered me a parking spot in her driveway. Not having to figure out where to park for the night saves me time and gives me peace of mind. Thank you, Robin! 


For years, I avoided Facebook. I am not sure why. I was never a big fan. Of course today, I am grateful for all the beautiful friendships that flourished through Facebook. That is where I am heading today to continue nurturing my friendship with Lee Ann.


Lee Ann has been following my journey from the beginning. Her comments always capture my attention. She always encouraged me to keep writing. Sharing my world with the world is emotionally challenging for me. Today, I can see the contribution I am slowly making, and I am honored and humbled by it.


Honestly, I would not be here today keeping my journal open to you all without your hugs and support. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your partnership in my journey. 


As I entered South Carolina, I stopped at the first visitor center. I want to break my long drive and get a suggestion for a historical stop on my way to Beaufort.


My phone rings with a call from Lee Ann, and just like that, our plans need to be changed. Lee Ann has a family emergency, and she needs to get on a flight first thing tomorrow morning. This is another reminder that life can be unexpectedly full of changes. Enjoying the present moments is a gift in itself.


I get to Beaufort in the late afternoon. Even with the bit of time we have, Lee Ann guided me around the historically beautiful Beaufort.


The antebellum mansions are grand and, for sure, beautiful. It's hard for me not to think with deep sorrow about the times of slavery and the suffering that so many innocent people had to endure.


Mark, Lee Ann's husband, suggested I join him in dropping Lee Ann off at Charleston airport. He offers to show me around. I always appreciate a private tour, especially when my tour guide is a history geek. 


Mark is a volunteer at the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park in Beaufort. His knowledge of history is a source of enjoyment for me. Mark shared with me the brave story of Robert Smalls and his many contributions to the American people. I enjoy walking around the historic neighborhood of Charleston. Almost every corner has a charming church with a flair of history and beauty.


Even though my visit to Beaufort was shorter than I planned, it was meaningful and full of love. Thank you, Lee Ann and Mark!


Very quickly, I could recognize my overwhelming feelings from trying to do it all. I don't know what I was thinking. I know myself well enough to know I can't split my heart in two and still give the quality I want to produce in anything I do. So, it is time to change my plans.


I can't travel, blog, and work on my book simultaneously. (I still can't believe I will publish a book -  it feels surreal).


Last night, I arrived in Florida after a long day of driving, but not before stopping in Savannah, Georgia, for a trolley tour to get a taste of the story of Savannah and to be impressed by the Georgia state tree, the southern live oak, and the unique look that the Spanish moss draped over it adds to its prettiness.


I am not putting a deadline on myself, but I am aching to get back on the road. The short twelve days on the open road confirm where I belong.


My dear friends Eva Marie and Norman, again provide me with a roof over my head. I am semi-camping since their house is still in mid-renovations, but all I need is wifi, a mattress, a hot shower and a quiet corner to sit and write.


As always, Eva Marie and Norman like to spoil me, as I am only a five-minute walk from a beautiful beach where I plan to take morning and evening walks to stretch my body and mind.


And with that, I wish you all Happy Holidays and a Healthy New Year.

May we all be blessed with love and peace in our precious world.



Until next time...

Love, Gila




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