Updated: Nov 1, 2020
the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, economic level, etc., that together constitute the mode of living of an individual or group.
the act of traveling; journeying, especially to distant places:to travel to other planets. travels,
journeys; wanderings:to set out on one's travels.
journeys as the subject of a written account or literary work:a book of travels.
such an account or work.
A Traveling Lifestyle - it's not going on holiday once a year, or saving up for that big trip; it is a lifestyle, meaning that your life decisions and your life goals are rooted in consistently traveling.
In order to manifest and create a life that aligns with your dreams, you have to be committed to making it a reality for yourself.
For me, that translates into a traveling lifestyle. Not just traveling here and there or once in my life, but for my lifestyle to be rooted in the freedom and flexibility that traveling entails. I need traveling to be an integral part of what makes up my life, and in order for that to happen, taking time to prioritise it is essential.
It also has to be a priority within my relationship, and thankfully, I've found someone who shares the same passion & commitment to exploring and adventuring that I do.
We were talking about it in the car yesterday, this notion of alignment within a relationship and how for both of us it's probably the first time in our lives that we feel like a priority within a relationship. In the past things have always been the result of compromise - oh, i'll do this for you but only if you do this for me. I don't want to do that, I want to do this.
Hmm, how do we compromise? How do we make this relationship work?
You should never have to make a relationship work.. it should just work. Of course there are always ways in which you work together and grow together, but by the large, it should just flow naturally. And I can tell you now that it's so nice not having to fucking compromise!!!
Knowing that the way I want to live my life isn't called into question. It's not something I have to argue the toss of because actually the things I want to do, my boyfriend wants to do too. It's really beautiful to be in a partnership that when one of us suggests a way we could spend time together, we both love it. There's no convincing, or asking for it, there's no feeling of having to give up what you would actually want to be doing... it all just aligns perfectly because it's what we would both choose to do, regardless of being with each other.
There's something very liberating about wanting the same things as your partner. When this isn't the case, it makes things really difficult and you begin to learn the hard way that actually compatibility is not just a real-thing, but a defining feature of any relationship.
If at the weekend Sam wanted to go out partying every night and spend a load of money on drinks in dingy bars, but I wanted to escape the city and spend time outdoors, camping and traveling, our relationship just wouldn't work as well because our priorities wouldn't match up. Even if we loved each other as much as we do, an important part of a relationship is having shared goals and dreams. If he didn't want to go camping and adventuring with me, and it was a big argument or stress every time I suggested it, I would feel neglected, I would feel misunderstood, I would feel like a nag constantly begging him to come away with me.
I was in a relationship like that for over three years so I know what it's like to feel like nothing is aligned; that nothing makes sense, and that is absolutely not the life I want for myself forever.
So every moment of this life I treasure because I know how rare it is to align with someone in almost every way.
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Sam messaged me last week saying he had Saturday night off work and should we go away.
He already knew before sending that message what my response would be.
So Friday evening after I finished work I drove home and started getting ready. We don't like to waste the time we have together, so we decided to drive over the hill Friday night when Sam finished, rather than having to spend 2-hours on the road on Saturday morning and lose the beauty of waking up somewhere magical.
I turned the car into our bed for the night, packed it up with all our clothes, gear and food. I spent some time tidying and cleaning the house so when we arrived home Sunday night we'd be able to relax without worrying. I laid my clothes out for work Monday morning in case we got home late to avoid added stress, and I spent time with Nachy-wacho ahead of us leaving him to his own devices.
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I think it's really important at the moment to talk about choices. I've felt super down and struggled a lot the last few weeks feeling like I don't have the power to make choices for my life, I guess largely because of the restrictions covid-19 has created - like overseas travel etc. and as a result, I've just felt myself sinking and becoming more disheartened and unhappy.
This weekend was exactly what I needed because unlike other times we've taken advantage of getting away, this time we had two nights - not just one. And that in itself is a huge blessing for us, and knowing that we make the choice to choose each other and to choose a travel lifestyle means everything to me. With an unheard-of night off work, Sam could have wanted to spend it with friends or going out, but he didn't. I'm a priority to him and that's such a wonderful feeling knowing that the person you choose, also chooses you.
Because that's what it is, at the end of the day. It's all just a choice of how we want to spend the time we have and who with. Traveling is a priority to both of us, as is our relationship, and as a result we're able to make easy decisions that will bring us the most peace and greater levels of happiness and contentment.
It's not just that we like to go on holiday or to go camping, so much of our life is built and rooted around a lifestyle of freedom and movement and adventure. We both reap so many benefits from it, from deepening our awareness of the world and the meaning of life, to connecting with the earth and to each other in so many wonderful ways that being stuck in the city just don't allow for.
Our life blossoms even further with each trip that we take, and traveling underpins so much of the successes we enjoy together. Being able to find stillness and step away from the busy-ness of this bullshit city life is essential to maintaining our wellbeing and also to nurturing our love.
This weekend was the perfect taste of travel that I needed, and it fulfilled me. It revived my soul in so many ways, especially after I've been suffering with this re-surging bout of depression.
Spending time at the edge of the world, getting dirty and connecting my bare skin to the earth, enjoying a constant open fire and slowing the whole pace of our weekend down to one that made sense and answered the cravings of my soul. The experience allowed my heart to create the space it needed for healing and for connection to return.
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Saturday morning was slow. We woke up in the back of the car and spent some time being present. I fell in love with the shadows of the trees overhead, such a Kiwi staple and yet they never fail to hold my attention.
Sam got the fire going while I set up a little camp around him - chairs and our box of cooking tools, the box of food and my yoga mat, too.
We enjoyed our morning coffee together - somewhat of a daily ritual we treasure now whether at home or away. And I savour those moments. Stillness surrounds us, and a deep sense of home overcomes me. I'm reminded that I am exactly where I need to be, and that I've found the love that was always meant for me.
It allows any doubts or fears or irrational insecurities I may have given energy to beforehand to simply fall away. No energy or force required, just the presence of my truth rising to the surface once again, and that in itself is enough to push away those destructive habits I am always striving to overcome, even if for just a few hours.
My mind has been a battlefield recently. Waves of painful memories and trauma desperate to claw their way to a point of influence that will negate all the work I've done on myself. I won't allow it. I've come too far to give in and break down again. This is my time to leverage my growth. These little getaways really do hold the power for me to reset when I lose myself in the madness. And that's why I think it's important that we frame our experiences and our lives in a way that gives due respect and power to the act of conscious choice.
My life wouldn't look like this if it wasn't a priority to both Sam & I. If we weren't fully committed to living a traveling lifestyle we wouldn't do the trips and nights away that we do.
People often remark on how wonderful our life is and ask us how we manage to do it. And it baffles me every time when all it boils down to is choice.
We CHOOSE to live this life. We choose to spend the time we have together not sat at home on the sofa, or drinking ourselves away in a crowded, boring bar..
Being outdoors, spending quality time together that allows us to go deeper within our relationship and to live in a state of consciousness and love is what is important to us.
No we don't have more money than most, no we don't get more time together than most. If anything, it's quite the opposite. We've chosen over the last month to begin saving the majority of our money for a house deposit. We're living off one person's wage because we're committed to that end goal, the big picture life we want for ourselves.
We choose not to waste our money, and the little we do have left over after savings, rent, bills etc. we spend on fuel to get us somewhere to camp. We spend on good, healthy, yummy food to eat (and wine.. always wine ;P). If we swapped that decision out for just one fancy dinner or a night in a bar with friends, we'd have no money left to do the things we know will bring us greater joy and happiness.
It's all just a choice.
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Saturday afternoon we drove out to Tora and Te Awaiti, planning to stay our second night over the other side of the coast, but when we got there we realised it had nothing on Ocean Beach and actually what we really wanted was to spend another night there.
So we turned around and came back.
We set up the tent, got the fire going again, we kicked back with a cold drink and enjoyed the sound of the birds and the waves 100 meters away. We sat and we talked, I cried and released everything I had been holding in. We spoke about managing depression, and what I need to do. We talked about the impact being with someone who suffers in this way has on a partner, and how he was doing with all of that too. We broke down any barriers of disconnect, and found ourselves as one.
We went on to set up our fire with planks of wood to place our grill on. Cooking mushrooms and halloumi on an open fire, a night-sky spilling over with inspirational pieces of light, and my heart felt whole.
This was exactly what I needed to remind myself that it's not all so bad, none of it's bad at all and I just need to keep coming back to these moments when I feel the weight of working in an office come down on me; when my frustration at not being able to travel overseas or organise my days as I'd choose feels a bit much.
Perspective and choice. That's all you need to live a fulfilled life, and it's only when we lose sight of those things and stop practicing them everyday that we begin to feel down.
Traveling and getting out of your daily routine is essential to maintaining your mental health, especially when you go through phases in your life that may not be exactly what you want for yourself.
I don't want to be working a 9-5 in an office. But I do want to save for a mortgage.
I don't want to see Sam as infrequently as I do. But I do want him to work a job he loves, and for us to always prioritise our own needs and desires for our own lives.
I don't want to wait another 6 months before we can apply for our residency visa. But, I have to accept that that's just one of those things that's beyond my control.
I don't want to feel down as much as I do right now. But I know that I need to honour my emotions, and also spend more time connecting with practices that boost my perspective and empower my choices.
It's just the way of the world. But regardless of whether some elements of your life feel a bit trapped or like you can't change them, the priority then needs t shift to think of all the ways in which you can make powerful decisions that will boost your mood, the way you feel about yourself and your life and fulfill you as much as possible. Because even if you have to stay in a job you hate, your free time is yours to design. Even if you can't leave your country to travel, you can focus on where you can go within reach. There is always something tot take away and something to be found, IF you're committed to wanting that for yourself.
Don't let the negatives overwhelm you. Focus on your choices - because no matter who you are, you have them.
I'm grateful that a lifestyle of traveling is our choice because it revives me. Seriously, it breathes life back into my soul and inspiration into my blood. This life with Sam is a dream. And our weekend away was perfect.
The two mornings we woke up, we had our coffee together, and then I flowed. It's the first time I've been able to seriously flow and get lost in that experience in a really long time, and it was the most liberating, beautiful and wholesome experience for me. Even on a weekend away together, we make time for ourselves. Whilst our partnership involves caring and loving each other, we both understand and invest in showing ourselves that same commitment, and that's another essential piece of the puzzle.
We camped, we skinny dipped, we made love on the earth beside the fire. Within each moment we fell further in love.
When we take back our power in the name of fulfillment, we open up a range of feelings, experiences and growth because we that realise that how we spend our time - every single moment of it - is a choice.
I complain almost everyday about my job because a 9-5 isn't me. But in order to buy the house I want to buy with Sam and save for a deposit, this is a necessary stage. So how can I complain about something that i'm using to facilitate my goals? No, it isn't how I would necessarily choose how to spend my time and my life, but as much as I complain, I am still choosing it. I choose to wake up and go to work. I choose not to hand my resignation in. And that's because I choose my future with Sam; I choose the life we're creating for ourselves. That goal is worth more to me than a year sacrificing being able to plan every moment of my days and sometimes we forgot to take accountability for the choices we make. If you hate your job but you're not quitting - think about why. You will discover there is a choice. If you're choosing to stay with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself, think about why. A truth and a choice will be uncovered (& hopefully give you the strength to leave). Life is far to short for us to not take accountability where it's due.
So make the most of the time you do have. Even if you're working a job you don't really love, think about all the time that's left. Even if your life doesn't totally match the picture in your mind, think about what you're doing to reach that design.
Where you choose to spend your money, how you spend your free time, what you invest your energy into, who you hang out with, where you live, who you talk to everyday.. these are all choices. Don't forget about that. And keep bringing yourself back to it when you feel powerless. Because you're not. You are a creator and you're doing amazing things. Whatever you desire is yours to work towards - and no, life doesn't just work out. You have to make it work out for you and the only things that influence that are your hard work, your resilience, your perseverance and your CHOICES.
There's this illusion that once you get in a relationship and you settle down, you do just that - you settle down. You settle for a boring life and all your adventures are behind you. But with the right person, quite the opposite is true. I know that Sam and I will wander around this earth together until the days we die. We have plans in place to facilitate that. We have big big plans for ourselves, and we're both so excited to bring them to fruition.
With the right person your life doesn't stop, it actually begins.. and you find greater realms of adventure and excitement that you ever did single. And there's something incredibly magical to live in a love that allows those feelings to define your life. To know that you will never feel like you're settling or that life just happened to you. Intentional and conscious partnerships and choices exist, and they literally work to paint the life of your dreams.
I can't wait for a lifetime of exploring with you, my love. You are the greatest adventure of them all and my heart will choose you every single moment for the rest of my life.