A Craving for A Simple Life

I am writing this as I sit on the cold, gray floor of my Seattle apartment. Above me is the overhang of the kitchen counter, across from me, my closet. Cubbies stuffed with socks, panties, workout gear, tank tops, shoes and books. Shirts and jackets hang next to scarves and dresses. My backpack and halfway-unpacked carry-on lie on the floor. My pink socks match the backpack’s pipe detail.

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To my left sit a brand-new pair of pale pink Converse; I bought them today for a multitude of reasons, one of which being that I really did need a pair of good tennis for the summer tour season. Next to them, my trusty violet yoga mat that has become a favorite possession. To my right, the living room with the comfiest couch I’ve ever slept on covered in decorative throw pillows.

I love it here, but I feel empty.

See, I have everything that I need and really want. I have a closet filled with too many cute clothes, a bathroom drawer stocked with expensive makeup and hair products, a warm shower with a heavenly lavender sugar scrub and a kitchen full of nutritional food and wine.

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I am writing on a decent laptop with an extremely high-quality wifi connection inside a safe apartment in a creative neighborhood of Seattle. I can walk to the yoga studio, Starbucks, grocery store and the lake. I have a car if I need to go further.

Yet, it all seems like too much.

My life is a whirlwind of adventure, of packed and unpacked bags and hellos and goodbyes. I love it. But what if I could make things just a little more… simple?

I’ve told a few of my close friends they are simple and that I love it. They live simply, love passionately and seem to find joy in the everyday. When asked what I was looking for in a life partner, I replied, “I want someone who I actually want to go through the hard times of life with. Someone with whom I can find the passion, joy and excitement in the everyday mundane.” I know that marriage isn’t easy; that more times than not it may be difficult, trying, frustrating and angry. But I suppose I have always had a feeling that if I did decide to get married, I wanted someone who I could embrace those tough times with.

In other words, someone who even if life was simple, it was still great.

I’ve had my share of relationships and I got really close to finding that life partner. We had a house and a cabin, we loved coming home to each other and making dinner together. Life was fairly simple. But I wasn’t ready for that simplicity quite yet. I still had to “find myself” as millennial judgers would say – I needed to travel to Europe, live on my own, go off and do whatever the hell I felt like. And while I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m done, I know that all the cute clothes, exciting new places, and chance encounters are not enough.

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What if it really is true that all of us want to find love? I feel like love is quite opposite of SIMPLE, but maybe my lack of “ignorance is bliss” has caused me to be so jaded by the idea of marriage and long-term commitment. But maybe part of me craves that lake house that I’ve always wanted with my coffee being made in the same place every morning instead of in a hotel room. Maybe I miss real silverware, dinner plates, a kitchen table and someone to make dinner for every night.

I miss not caring about someone coming along who is smarter, prettier, younger and more talented than I am. I miss not caring about whether my outfit is cute, my hair is long enough or the right color or if I am skinny enough to still be seen on stage.  In my industry it is almost a constant competition with other performers who are looking to get work just like you. As women, our battles are doubled when you take in the superficial and aesthetics of it all. Side note: Women – stop fighting against each other and instead, support each other. ❤

I used to think that living a simple life was boring. But there’s joy and excitement in the everyday if you look for it. I guess the simplicity I seek is maybe still a little muddy. In my travels, I have seen many people live much simpler lives and they are incredibly happy.

So, if anything, I leave you with this. Chase after a GREAT PERHAPS but try and find your center. Make life simple: Love fiercely and be kind. Enjoy the simple pleasures such as a good morning text, a hug from your best friend, a Starbucks coffee, blue skies against a still lake, a kid’s laughter and warm cookies. So many of us who travel don’t get to experience these simple things and we miss it.

So, if anyone ever calls you simple, just smile. We all want to be you anyway.

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When Being a Solo Traveler SUCKS

Traveling solo is an amazing experience. I am privileged enough to meet new people every day as well as practice what I absolutely love to do while getting paid for it and seeing the world. I am incredibly lucky.

But there is something that us solo travelers choose to leave out of our quirky stories, late night party sessions and adventurous tales… 15181670_10155255893161729_658871414907035622_n

We have to say goodbye. A lot.

It’s common that while on the road we don’t run into people just like us. More often than not, we meet vacationers, retirees, and gap-year students. All of these people have a home to return to – a routine, family, loved ones, an address, bed, dog, car, job, etc. They are looking for an escape from it all, a temporary getaway that will reset their minds, clear their heads or possibly teach them something new. But then they return while we stay out on the road chasing our insatiable wanderlust.

I can’t begin to count how many times people have said, “Oh, I wish I could do what you’re doing,” or “Good for you, doing all of this while you’re young.” Well, thanks, yes, I am glad that I pursued my dreams and have figured out a way to make a living by traveling the world. Yay! But what many of these people don’t know is that while I absolutely adore the life that I am currently living, I can’t help but feel a physical pain in my stomach when they say, “I’m excited to go back home… get back into a routine.”

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What once sounded like death to me now has instead stirred a slight sense of longing for the stability. See, I literally am a nomad. I rent a room here and there, usually not extending my stay for longer than a month. I make my living by working as a performer around the country and Canada and I make an effort to travel to new places in between gigs in order to avoid looking for an apartment or place to call home. I have done this for 18 months and only now am I starting to wonder… What the hell am I doing?

I have to say goodbye to people ALL THE TIME. I make these amazing connections, fall in and out of love, call strangers family and bond immediately with fellow participants on a zip line tour. These people leave a small imprint as I hopefully do for them as well. I am passionate about making genuine human connections and leaving people with a different perspective, be it looking at the world a little differently or trying something new. But my love for people has been both a blessing and a curse. See, as I often try and make a genuine connection, I can sometimes turn into an escape or even a dream.

I am a passerby, a traveler out in a really big world. Highly insignificant in the scheme of things, I have a hard time placing high value on family, stability, security, routine, and more simply because everything I do is incredibly temporary.

But what if I want to remove some of the temporary from my life? How do I introduce some stability yet still live this nomadic adventure? Someone recently said to me, “I wish my life was as simple as yours.” The solo travelers of the world are continually questioned on our longevity as well as challenged as to find what we really want. At almost 28 years old, I am beginning to grow concerned. Will I ever find that person who is adventurous like me? Who loves passionately, jumps off waterfalls, goes on midnight adventures and who wants to find true meaning and happiness in this world? They say we can’t have our cake and eat it too – maybe the truth is that I am asking for too much. But as one of my favorite songs states: “I don’t care what they all say/I don’t care if my heart breaks/All I want is love/I don’t care what they all say/Let me find my own way home.”

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I want to find my own way home one day. I want to find love that is big, supportive, passionate, and adventurous. But until that day comes, I suppose I’ll blame my gypsy soul and continue with the fact that I was made for leaving.

Here’s to all those solo travelers out there searching for love within ourselves, within others and within the world. Be fierce and fearless in your paths and always have courage and be kind.