Best. Decision. Ever.

✶ Transformational Travel ✶ Yoga ✶ Art ✶ Wise Counsel
I can’t believe my life.
I can’t believe that I am writing this post from Sweden, almost 7 months into this journey across the world.
I can’t believe I just spent 5 months in Vietnam!
And right now I am wishing technology had a way for me to transmit all that has happened. And yet, part of the sometimes aching beauty is that our experiences can only be our own.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
What I’m most excited to share is that I’ve been experiencing an enormous amount of joy. Sometimes even the smallest things make me jump with excitement while traveling. I love the thrilling feeling of being in the unknown when landing in a new city. I love when my senses are assaulted when walking out into a new environment. I love the unsettling feeling I get when I don’t quite know what is going on around me. I also love when it all seems so familiar, but so different at the same time.
Traveling makes me feel so incredibly alive.
Bangkok, Thailand
I love seeing how other people live…how they raise their children, what they choose to believe, what they focus their attention on, and how they treat other people. I love savoring the different types of food, and searching for unique handmade items that can only be found in a particular place. I love every bit of it like a beloved science experiment that never really has a finished outcome. It’s fascinating to me. It always has been.

Sapa, Vietnam
I love that the most difficult part of this journey, the first few months living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, happened in the beginning. It was as if I was being tested as to whether or not I truly wanted this kind of life. It shattered my expectations and forced me to let go of my previous “plans”. How freeing to continue the lessons of letting go! I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Every piece was such an important lesson. It also gave me some difficult challenges that allowed me to have even more gratitude for everything that came after.

Stockholm, Sweden

I’ve spent far too much of my life questioning my desires. When I’ve felt the pull to travel, I’ve often heard a voice wondering if I’ll just be dissatisfied somewhere else. I’ve experienced this same doubt and uncertainty when I’ve felt the pull to move or change my direction in life. I’ve felt so proud of myself when I haven’t listened to those voices. And I’ve never regretted taking those risks. I’ve come to realize that I’m no longer interested in questioning what feels right for me, or analyzing what I might need to overcome, or whatever other excuse there may be for me to stop listening to my deepest desire. Why do I need a reason to do what makes me feel alive? Why do so many people feel they must work so hard to overcome their suffering when sometimes the simple answer is to make a different choice?

Bali, Indonesia

All I know is that this is the first year in a while that I haven’t entered the winter with an existential crisis of some sort, spending countless hours wondering if this is all there is, if I’m truly making the most of my life, or why I’m feeling so heavy and uncertain. I have faced challenges traveling, yes, such as dealing with chaotic environments, lack of sleep, food poisoning, etc. This just comes with the territory. But that horrible, lonely, exhausting, empty feeling? Nope. Not anymore.
I realise that a lot of people only want to share what is great about themselves on social media, but I haven’t been one of those people. I’ll share my struggles here, too. But I’m happy to say, that I feel incredible. I feel freer than I’ve ever felt. I spend more time being present with my surroundings. I feel like I’m truly living a full life. I’ve learned that I am a person who thrives on change, lights up with new experiences, and is crazy passionate about experiencing as much of this world as possible before I die. I’m finally living in the future, and I love my whirlwind life.

Stockholm, Sweden

The Gifts of Disillusionment

✶ Transformational Travel ✶ Yoga ✶ Art ✶ Wise Counsel ✶
Is there anything more heartbreaking than disillusionment?

 

When everything you’ve wanted or worked so hard for turns out to be something you didn’t want? Or possibly much worse than you imagined?

 

My life has been, unfortunately, plagued by disillusionment.

 

I’ve met career goals only to find they were nowhere near as fulfilling or exotic as I’d imagined. I’ve started countless hobbies only to find I had no desire to master them. I’ve gained credentials I’ve never used. I’ve put my relationships on pedestals only to find I’m not always so fond of the the real person underneath them. I’ve studied with yogis, meditators, and spiritual leaders only to find they have the same issues. I’ve felt I’ve finally belonged in communities only to watch them fall apart. I’ve traveled to exotic places only to find myself bored, aggravated, or unimpressed.

 

Travel is no different than life. There can be moments of enormous gratitude, heavy disillusionment, and everything in-between. So far, this journey across the world has been incredible, and I plan to share more about that soon. However, parts of this journey have been wrought with heavy disillusionment. There has been one word that has summed up much of my experience living in Vietnam: relentless. I’ll save the details for another post, but needless to say, the struggle certainly wasn’t what I expected.

 

Which is exactly the lesson I needed.

 

I can either continue to create expectations in my life, and continue to suffer, or I can finally surrender to what is.

 

Because I really am what my teachers have been telling me – I am literally, just this moment. So I’ve chosen to surrender.

 

When I surrender, I no longer have expectations. I am free. I can allow myself to live in the unknown. I am not limited by my past. I am not even obligated to be the same person I was 5 minutes ago. I can choose to breathe. I can choose to sit with the chaos. I can choose to allow whatever is here in this moment to be just what it is. I can let go of attempting to control what happens next. I can let go of thinking anything is supposed to be any other way than what it actually is.

 

Believe me, there is nothing like travel to shatter your expectations and force you to go with the flow.

 

Does this mean I won’t continue to struggle? Oh, hell no. But the beauty of presence is that it is always available. And there is a deep sense of contentment that comes with truly being present with what is, even when it means being with struggle. Because really, it isn’t the situation that causes us to suffer. It’s the expectations, the resistance, and the endless attempts to get away from this moment.

 

Thank you, disillusionment. Thank you, Vietnam. You didn’t give me what I expected, but you gave me exactly what I needed.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

 

“Our intent is not to feel better, but to get better at feeling.” -Michael Brown, The Presence Process

The Beginning

✶ Transformational Travel ✶ Yoga ✶ Art ✶ Wise Counsel ✶
I don’t know who may be looking at this website, but it is about to change. I considered getting a new website, but this website uses my name, and I must reclaim my name again. I must also have the courage to allow change to happen, as many times as it needs to, in order to move closer to myself. This website allowed me to help others get closer to themselves, and now, it’s my turn.

 

A few months ago I did what I have helped many of my clients do. I asked the big question, If money were not an obstacle, what would you do? This isn’t the first time I’ve asked this question. I would travel the world. A moment later I heard the same familiar answer, but money IS an obstacle, Keri. I proceeded to move through the old pattern of feeling my chest begin to cave from the mixture of sadness and great longing, followed by the turning away. Luckily this time, I catch myself. I recognize my fear of looking at this deep desire. Fortunately, I’ve learned that when I consciously notice a fear, I must lean toward it. So I lean. I lean in awe and great curiosity at the story of limitation I’ve created and my years of turning away. Is money really the obstacle here? Or is it my fear? What if it’s true, as I read on that travel blog, that travel is simply a choice? If it’s my fear, what am I afraid of? Images of everything I’ve built fly through my mind and I feel terrified. Terrified to start over. Terrified to lose what I’ve worked so hard for. Terrified to be seen as someone who doesn’t stay with something. Terrified of what I know I must do.

 

I realize that the ultimate dream for me would be to see as much of the world as I can before I die. I realize that I have limited time on this planet and so I better get on with it. I feel grateful that I’ve been lucky enough to have seen some of the world so far, and yet, every time I go on one of those two week trips I wonder, why can’t I just keep going? Why does it have to end here? And though there can be the comforts that come along with the returning, why does it feel so painful to return? And why has continuing felt so out of reach, like something only other people do? I realize I’ve been setting up my career for so long to reach the magical place of independence that will allow me to travel. I see the illusion in this and realize I’ve got it all wrong. I can’t keep waiting for the one day when everything is perfectly aligned so my travels can begin. I can’t keep waiting to plan those same short trips where I return rather than continue. If I am going to live the life I’ve truly dreamed of, then I must spend time on this beautiful planet doing what truly makes me feel alive. I must have the courage to sacrifice the person I have been for the person I will become. I must make travel my life.

 

“I must have the courage to sacrifice the person I have been

for the person I will become.”

 

 I am writing this post from a bungalow in North Bali, my sweetheart on the floor next to me, two weeks and three countries into our journey across the world. I am so thankful to love a man with the same dream. We’ve sold almost everything we own and continue to marvel at the simplicity of our backpacks and the beauty of what we’ve done. Yes. We did it.

 

We have no idea where this will take us. We have so much joy in our hearts.
Pura Lempuyang, Bali, Indonesia
image by Greg Pitters