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On the road again!

Good morning, windy morning! The wind this morning has an attractive angle as it blows the soft white sand barely above the ground. If I let my imagination go wild, it feels like I am standing in the middle of a snowstorm just underneath my feet.

I welcome the wind as it brings fresh air into my lungs. To my surprise, the sea is not as rough as expected with such high winds. My beautiful pelicans fly above me, surfing the wind and making me envy the freedom of movement they enjoy.

Now that my book is on its own wind journey, it is time to concentrate on my travel path for this year. I am only researching and planning my travel through Canada. The rest is an open road.

My highlight for this year is Newfoundland, Canada. I plan to embark on the seven-hour ferry in June. Until then, I am bound by the weather. 

To my surprise, my excitement is mixed with fear. I am unsure why I am surprised. No matter how much confidence I gained from last year's travels, I still face uncertainty at every corner. 

I am frightened of traveling with no structure. Having a route on a map with so much unknown makes me feel lost. I am worried and concerned about traveling in the cold winter. Yes, I will be traveling through the south of our beautiful country, but it is still wintertime. This year, I want to embrace living in my van in any weather condition and not depend on any other accommodation unless necessary.

Except for my June deadline, I do not have a timeline that binds me to a destination. I do want to greet my freedom of time with love and care. I genuinely want to experience traveling with spontaneity, but honestly, it feels like swimming against the current. Last year's planning was exhausting. At least I had a structured plan that made me feel more in my comfort zone.

At the end of the day, all the beautiful metaphors I type on my keyboard, expressing my exciting dance with uncertainty, are not registering right now in my brain. My heart is pounding, my hand is sweaty, and anxiety is on the rise. However, this time around, I let fear be my friend. I learned not to fight it anymore.

Fear will forever be part of all our lives. It's one of the strongest emotions we are experiencing. How we handle this emotion affects how we choose to live. My dance with fear will always be a rumbling dance. Most of the time, it exhausts me and sends me crashing to my knees, but I will always reach my hand out to ask it to dance with me.

I open my Libby app and listen again to Pema Chödrön's book 'When Things Fall Apart.' I find that no matter how many times I listen to this book, there is always something that helps me to stay focused on the moment and reminds me of the complexity of life. Pema Chödrön’s wisdom gives me the understanding of how to continue my growth as a spiritual soul.

I remind myself that whenever I am willing to jump over that edge of fear, I find my wings. And the only way to find my wings is to be fully willing to jump over the edge.

So, where am I traveling this year?

I am leaving the comfort of my friend's home on Anna Maria Island, Florida and heading north to the Panhandle. Then, I will be traveling west through Alabama to New Orleans, Louisiana. I am not a city girl at all. In all honesty, I feel off balance in the city, however, I know New Orleans is a must!

Last year, I spent an entire month traveling through Texas. This time it will be more like a bridge to the next state. I still want to explore as I travel through the Hill Country of Texas. I intentionally make sure I am returning to visit the McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis. Last time, I wasn't aware I needed to make a reservation to see the 'Star Party.' This time, I will!

Last year, I skipped visiting White Sands National Park even though it was on my wish list. Now, my visit to New Mexico is about visiting this park. I want to explore New Mexico in the future, but winter is not the right season.

Arizona is another state that I will be happy to return to. The highlight will be (if I am lucky enough) hiking the 'Wave.' Yes, my chances are low, but I am willing to try. Plenty of other stunning hikes are around, so it isn't like I will be waiting while doing nothing.

No one will argue with me about the unique beauty of Utah. I am looking forward to roaming her land. I want to return to Canyonland National Park to the Needle District. You will feel my unpleasant and terrified hike there if you read my book. No, I am not a sadist, I promise you. When I return and redo things that shake me, there is a spiritual journey of growth for me. I also didn't have time to be present in this amazing landscape. Now I want to go with no time restriction.

Boulder, Colorado, is all about visiting Ron, and hopefully, Adi will join as well. There's nothing like hugging my boys and spending time with them! 

I am still determining my plans for Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan. I still need to research and get a better understanding of those states.

After that, it is Canada time! I will visit Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City as I head to Newfoundland. I plan to take my time and explore the Island as I travel clockwise around its rugged shores.

On my way back to my home state of New York, I will explore Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia before returning to the US. Traveling back along the New England states has always been a peaceful pleasure. I made several solo trips in the past and always loved it!   

So now you have a sketch of my route. I plan to keep a wide lens and a wild heart so I can change as I go.

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