Looking Back

Monthly Update: November 2017

November one year ago looked much different than this year’s November.

The details of my trip to New Zealand still needed sorting. I was still deciding what to pack for the trip and had begun to box things up to be put in storage. It was bittersweet, exciting and frightening at the same time. I felt frazzled and unsure of the decisions I’d made that led me to where I was.

This year is so different. I feel secure and confident even though I’m unsure of what lies ahead. And although I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing in a month from now, I feel excitement instead of trepidation.

Those are just some thoughts… Here’s what I got up to in November.

Highlights

Exploring Cape Cod in the offseason. I’m getting to know the Upper Cape (Falmouth, Sandwich, Bourne, and Mashpee) now that I live here. I spent an afternoon in Woods Hole, a small village tucked away in the bottom corner of Falmouth. I visited the aquarium and enjoyed a hot cup of tea at Pie in the Sky with MacKenzie and her mother. Also, I caught a beautiful sunset from The Knob then warmed up with a hot chocolate from Coffee Obsession in downtown Falmouth. MacKenzie and I also found a new playground in Sandwich on the other side of the bridge! It’s always fun to cross the bridge on adventures around Cape Cod.

Reaching blogging goals. Now that winter is on its way and I have more time to focus on Transformed Thru Travel, I finally reached my goal of publishing one post a week. In November I published a monthly update, another guest post (see below), and two new pieces. One is my first gift guide, but I created it as a personal wish list – slash – shopping list if you will. The other is a review of a book that I’ve mentioned in previous updates and one that is helping me through my location independence journey. Read the review here.

Published a second guest post and lined up two more. It’s a great story, written by Rhiannon from Australia, about how her dream to travel to New York City motivated her to overcome an eating disorder. It’s inspiring and you should read it! Two more guest posts are lined up for the coming months, so stay tuned for those! If you are interested in sharing your own story or have some tips for travelers with mental health issues, take a look at my guest post guidelines and get in touch with me!

Challenges & Self-Care

I’ve been thinking a lot about what self-care actually looks like for me. Is it the same for others as it is for me? Probably definitely not. Overall, when I think of self-care I think of ensuring I feel comfortable, healthy, and in control (in a sense), but that still doesn’t encompass all that I think it is. I want to write more about self-care, but I’m having difficulty finding a starting point beyond the little I share in the section about things I do that make me happy. Do you have any suggestions?

With that said, here are a couple things I’ve done this past month that make me happy. =)

First, I made some plans for future travel. I’m not going to spill the beans until later, so you’ll just have to wait to hear about where I’m going. Let me tell you, though, having destinations on the calendar and reservation confirmations in my email inbox puts a big smile on my face! It also reconfirms that I made the right choice when I quit my job with AmeriCorps and began to intentionally build a more flexible and enjoyable life. It’s what I’ve always envisioned for myself.

Second, I booked a pet care gig through Rover.com (<- that’s my profile), which enables me to make money by hanging out with adorable puppies! For four weeks I get to do puppy care visits for a 3-month old Pomeranian cutie. She’s curious and feisty, and so much fun to spend a little time with each day. Around this time last year, I had another gig walking Jake the Yellow Lab five days a week for a month before I left for New Zealand. It’s a great opportunity for those with depression and/or anxiety to 1) have a responsibility and routine to uphold, 2) have something fun to look forward to, and 3) spend time with an animal. Animals have a special ability to reduce stress and tension and encourage physical activity.

Thanksgiving was low key this year. The day was spent alone, but not lonely, trust me! I baked some delicious cinnamon rolls and no-knead dutch oven bread. I made some mashed potatoes with gravy and watched a few episodes of The Goldbergs. Cooking, baking, and indulging in sitcoms in solitude made for a perfect “holiday.” It really was just another day for me. I see no need to limit acknowledgment of my gratitude to a single day of the year. A day off from work (or just doing less work than normal) is nice, though.

What I’m Reading

I’m STILL reading The Handmaid’s Tale. I know, I know. It’s something I need to improve on.

What I’m Loving

Chris Burkard. He’s a phenomenal photographer and if you aren’t one of the 2.8 MILLION already double tapping his photos, start today! What really got me in the feels is the caption he shared with the photo below. I share the very same sentiment, ever since I was a little kid, that even the most mundane pile of rocks is worth saving.

 

A post shared by ChrisBurkard (@chrisburkard) on

 

If you have driven through the Southwest you’ve probably passed by dozens of features that looked just like this. From the ground…nothing much to see or a least nothing that probably catches your eye. From the air it’s a delicate & intricate look at the earth’s geology in what can only be described as Art. A part of my life’s mission has been to bring these places to life, sharing a vision of earth we don’t normally get to experience in hopes that when it comes time to make a decision.. we can preserve even the most mundane pile of rocks.

Going Zero Waste. I recently discovered the blog Going Zero Waste, and I am completely inspired to dig deeper into my own journey to live a healthy, low-impact, purposeful life. To me, zero waste is an extension of minimalism and further lowers the impact I have on the environment. As I strive to reduce the number of material items in my life, I also strive to reduce the amount of disposable or one-time-use items in particular.

One-time-use items are convenient, without a doubt, but do not serve a meaningful purpose. Rather than dump a stack of paper plates in the trash can, I will happily wash a load of dishes. Time spent washing dirty dishes is time spent deep in thought. Formulating new ideas or listening to my favorite songs or podcast. It’s not time wasted, it’s moments of solitude and rejuvenation, and that adds value to my life.

Places Visited

Falmouth, Hyannis, Pocasset, Sandwich, Woods Hole

More Next Month

In December, I will be preparing for an upcoming road trip, destinations TBA. Stay tuned.

Read Other Monthly Updates


 

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