Everywhere I go, I am constantly amazed by what other people are doing with their lives, especially those who have made similar choices to mine. One volunteer at the yoga farm moved back in with her mother for a year in order to save money to travel the world. The volunteer coordinator at the farm in Costa Rica spends six months of every year working in the United States and six months volunteering. I haven’t met someone who funds their travels through writing yet, but you can bet that when I do I’ll be picking their brain for advice and contacts! I really enjoy finding out how others keep themselves grounded while travelling. With all your routines out the window, it’s easy to lose track of days, forget about life goals, and fall out of touch with yourself when you’re on the road. Having a project helps. One girl in Costa Rica was compiling people’s stories about being female travellers. A couple on the farm had given themselves the task of learning something new every day, and recording what it was. They also had a rule that they had to play at least one chess game per day. For my own project, I try to write every day. I want to get into the habit of observing what’s going on around me and recording it to share with others. I don’t want the act of writing it down to interfere with the experience of travel, so I try to remember and leave the writing until later. I often go around with a running commentary of what I’m doing buzzing through my head, until I have a chance to jot it down in my notebook. The ideas in my notebook are fleshed out into proper articles or blog entries. I don’t post everything I write to my blog, but I do post enough that people at home know where I am and what I’m working on.

image

Need to work on perspective, but not a bad sketch

image

I’m also keeping a sketchbook of my travels. This I work on much less than my writing, but enough that you can get a feel for the places I’ve been based on the drawings. I have a few paintings of greenery and mountains from the farm in Costa Rica, sketches of palm trees, boats, and water from Panama, and sketches and paintings of buildings from Cartagena. Today I painted a mural of lotus flowers on the wall of the yoga farm – six months ago I wouldn’t have felt confident painting a mural, and on this trip I’ve done two, as well as some furniture.

image

Yoga farm mural

image

One of the benches I built and painted in Costa Rica

My projects give me something to work on during the quiet moments of my trip. When the weather is hot and I’m tempted to take a nap, I can write or sketch instead and still feel rested. Both pursuits fill the need to record my wonder at what I see, and allow me to share those feelings with people at home. I’m envious of other people’s projects, and wish I could have the time to do everything I’m doing and that, too, but I’m happy with what I’m achieving while I’m away. I feel comfortable writing, sketching, and painting, and my confidence in those grows every day. I try new things, like yoga and capoeira, and speak better Spanish every week. I may be wandering the world, but I don’t feel aimless.

Advertisements