Just over a week ago I was hiking in El Yunque National Forest, a rainforest filled with lush green mountains and endless rivers. Rich, abundant trees hovering over me, a warm light rain embracing my skin, waterfalls rushing as I take deep breaths of cleansing air. Water is everywhere! I feel strong, hydrated, nourished, alive. However, today, I find myself in the opposite environment: brown, cracking land underneath my sandy hiking boots, a layer of dry dust on every inch of my body, throat aching from the lack of moisture in the air. Today I am in the desert, Death Valley to be exact, standing in the lowest point of the Western Hemisphere.
This great contrast in living situations came from a decision my partner, Eric and I made just over a week ago. We had been living + working in Puerto Rico on a cozy Coconut Farm right beside a gorgeous, blue beach. We were fortunate to find an incredible host through workaway.com to work in exchange for food and living arrangements while pursuing our part time remote work passions. We lived at Finca Corsica, a farm full of vibrant starfruit tress, coconut palms, foods I can't pronounce the name of but enjoyed each time I had the privilege of tasting, and so..many...animals. The farm was full of life. So why did we decide to leave all of that and venture into the depths of the desert and let's face it.. the depths of a bit of debt?
There are many reasons Eric and I decided to leave PR and head back to the mainland. I won't speak for him in this post though many of our perspectives aligned. One thing I will say is it felt incredibly spirit led. One day we were planning for PR to become more of our permanent home and the next moment circumstances complete shifted, and Spirit has me blurting out " What if we lived in a van and just traveled around now?" Eric looked at me, eyes wide in possible shock, or excitement? Then did what he does best: started researching ALL of it. We had been dreaming of "van life" since we met a few years ago but I had never truly allowed myself to let it become a reality. We didn't end up buying a van but decided on a little travel trailer and a Jeep to pull us into our next chapter of life.
In addition to the decision feeling spirit led, there were logistical reasons we decided to do this too. We loved being in community with our Puerto Rican friends but we missed being with our family and friends back home. With Corona Virus, it isn't safe to just hop on a flight to Cali or Portland and see our friends for major life events, birthdays, weddings etc. so the trailer felt like a much safer option to be back in community with our friends + fam. We also want to start putting money into investments and our financial dreams so the trailer felt much more aligned than pouring money into a landlord's pocket and walking away with nothing when we decide to move again.
As you may know if you're connected to my other work, I'm a spiritual mentor + healer so my work is intimate and takes a lot of grounding on my end. I was feeling like I didn't have a place of my own in PR and craved that so much. Yet I didn't want something keeping me super tied down to one place like a house or apartment at this time. Our tiny home trailer felt like a happy medium. I feel grounded and liberated, all at once.
So enough of the reasons why we moved into this 21ft home--I'm sure other reasons will begin to reveal themselves. Now, how has it been + what am I learning?
First of all, this lifestyle is helping me become more of a minimalist. Yep.. I got rid of a lot of junk I didn't need. To be fair, I had already done a round of this when I moved to PR with one suitcase and a backpack but when I got back to the states, I needed to do even more of that. I'm realizing I can still express and feel comfortable myself while only having 5 or 6 outfits to wear. I don't need all those shiny hair products or skin moisturizers(well maybe in the desert but that's another story). Not having so much "stuff" is encouraging me to create more space in my life for experiences, not things. Instead of wrestling with what to wear, I use that time to meditate. Instead of cleaning an entire apartment of my random things laying around, I use that time to write. Did I mention beautiful places in nature are literally right outside my door now? So that's a thing I'm exploring too. Yoga in the desert seems fun once it warms up a bit-stay tuned on how that goes;)
Second, I am learning it's ok to leave a place you love, even if nothing is "wrong" with that situation. For example, I loved Puerto Rico. I LOVED walking out my door to the ocean daily. I loved being surrounded by vibrant people and the tight knit community. It felt so right being there for months, then one day it felt less right, even though I was still in love with it. I felt called back to the mainland. And that's ok. You don't always have to have a tangible earth shattering reason to leave something, someone, somewhere. If your intuition is guiding you somewhere, that's enough. I'm learning to not try to over explain these decisions too. You don't owe explanations to anyone. If you choose to explain, let it be from your heart, not your head.
Third, being in the desert after soaking up the rainforest's abundance teaches me that it's ok to be thirsty and to look at death. What I mean by this is, there will be times in our life that we are so abundant, our thirst is quenched, we are full of life. Then there will be times where we are thirsty, feeling dried up, cracking in places that are uncomfortable which is what the desert is reflecting to me. But both are valid parts of our journey and necessary parts! Being in Death Valley has made me look at the parts where I am cracking open and need nourishment. Where am I thirsty and how will I quench my thirst? What parts of me are feeling less alive and how can I water them? What parts of me are actively trying to die and how am I honoring those deaths within? Life in this desert shows me death, yet when I look closer, I see I'm given the opportunity to welcome more life into my being.
So life on the road, current life in the desert is teaching me more than I expected. I intend to continue to reflect on the "Why" of this great transition for my partner + I while honoring the lessons around me on the road. This sweet little trailer is a guide for me, driving me into lessons across this beautiful, resilient nation we are in. And while I miss the abundant waters of Puerto Rico, I honor the crumbling Earth of California that Spirit has led me to. While I was in the desert I was given this message from Grandfather sun: "There is only one way and it is this way." May we honor this way. We are exactly where we are meant to be even if that environment drastically changes, one week to the next.
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With love + abundance,