Well I realized somewhere around when I last made a blog entry during my epic road trip that I'd rather be experiencing the adventure than writing about it. Really there's too much to share without writing for hours and boring you to tears.
In summary, the basic trajectory starting from my last entry was to fly over to Kauai for 11 days (love love love), then a red-eye back to Seattle on Halloween where I picked up my friend Jenny. (She makes amazing woodcut prints, you should check them out.) We started with a ferry to Whidbey Island (my other favorite island), then headed on back basically along the I-90 corridor with a stop in Yellowstone and the Badlands, and some friends and family along the way. By the time we got to Chicago, I was feeling ready to be home, which is a good feeling for this restless girl. Of course, now I want to do it all again, but not necessarily immediately because sitting in a car for 8,919 miles makes me want to run for miles just to leave the feeling of the car seat far behind me.
And now the Christmas season is in full swing. However, instead of feeling all burnt out and tired as I often am by this part of the season, I say BRING IT ON. I have some events coming up, which I won't list here but you can read about them on my website calendar. More about that later. And, ahem, I'm ready to ship out any card or calendar orders immediately, should you feel the need for anything from my website.
I've been letting the trip settle in, and here are a few key observations and travel tips for you, gentle reader.
1) My stars, I am RICH in friends and family. The hospitality and kindness shown by my lovely network of people who were willing to take me in and feed me and show me around their worlds was really awesome. I am blessed and grateful to have such good people.
2) I think I definitely got a better feeling for what it means to "live in the moment." People say that all the time, but I didn't get it until about a week into this trip when I realized all I was thinking about was what I was doing that day, instead of planning out every moment of the next week and keeping so many things in the air at once like I usually do. Of course, it's easy to "live in the moment" when that particular moment has you sitting in a tree on the beach in Kapa'a with a cup of good decaf looking at waves. But I'm trying to keep that ability and flexibility going as I'm back home, to focus on what needs to get done today and let tomorrow happen tomorrow...and to enjoy whatever is happening at any given time.
3) If you are in close proximity with someone for a long time, in a situation where it's important to get along and have a good time (i.e. 12 days in a car), the question to ask is: "what do you need?" Then say what YOU need, and then make sure all those needs are met.
4) Practically speaking, food co-ops are the way to go for road food. Liz and I figured this out on the drive out...find the co-op in the town, get some good deli food and maybe some kombucha, and you're set for lunch and snacks without having to be at the mercy of fast food and other desperate junk.
5) Feel at home in yourself and you'll feel at home wherever you are.
6) Carry tea. Carry a travel mug that you really like. Bring a fork. Throw a towel and pillow in the car. Keep things organized enough that you can then FIND that towel.
I'll put a few more photos up here in the next day or so, but for now I must get back to work and live in this moment of my Wednesday morning...