Blog Series: Returning Home and Marriage

Hi! Here's a link to the previous posts in this series:

Returning Home and Family and Returning Home and My Peeps.

Next up...

Reconnecting with My Husband Keith

I saved the most intricate for last. What happens in a marriage when you go from traveling on motorcycles to living in one house and working? It’s a bit like riding on a pot-hole infested road, trying mightily to avoid hitting one!

A few months in, we exploded and faced what had been happening to us. You know the story of the frog in the boiling pot? That’s how it felt. Slowly, probably since our last month in South America, we had been sliding back into our old pre-travel habit of living parallel lives.

Internally, we were coping with our separate experiences of homecoming and there was a gigantic difference at the core. Keith longed to continue traveling while I was elated to be home. We had been inextricably tied to each other while we traveled. We had to agree on darn near everything we did — where we slept, where we ate, where we traveled. Once we hit US soil, that ever-present knot that connected us began to loosen. On one hand, it was awesome to have my freedom again! On the other hand, our relationship started eroding and we didn’t pay attention to it, until frustrations with coming home, and with each other, overtook us.  We both exploded.

Let’s fast-forward past the explosion, to what we learned as a result of it. From my perspective, we realized that we weren’t having those deep, interesting conversations anymore. Almost all we talked about were the items on the eternal list of to do’s. We didn’t share our fears of restarting our income flow, figuring out where we were going to live, feeling like we didn’t belong anywhere, and not in any way, shape, or form wanting to be mooches as we stayed with friends and family for (what ended up being) four months.

We separately did our best to cope with it all. I relied on girlfriends, wine, yoga, walking. He relied on going for motorcycle rides and getting out among people. I started my new business. He went back to work, in a different job, for the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. I wanted our home to be beautiful and clean. He wanted his garage in order.

Here’s where we came together. We agreed that we wanted to do better. We wanted to reconnect with each other more in the way we did on the road. We had had a taste of it. We knew what it felt like to have a truly intimate connection. We’re starting with making time for real conversations, opening ourselves to new ideas of what we enjoy doing together, with touching each other more, with real kisses. It's the beginning of accepting more change in our lives.

Before we returned home, we knew our travels had changed us. What we didn't know is that we couldn't possibly understand how travel had changed us until we started living at home rather than on the road. It stands to reason that since we changed individually, our marriage would change. We're learning, we're committed, and after eight months back in the U.S., we're still exploring ourselves with love.


Conclusion for All My Relationship Reconnecting Posts

Inner Change = Outer Change

When we change, all of our relationships change. It’s inevitable if we’re being true to ourselves. Coming back from an epic adventure makes the changes more apparent than in a normal time of life.

I wonder, what would it look like to once in a while press pause and look through a different lens at the important relationships in our lives? We could ask ourselves, how have our relationships changed over time in the “frog in a boiling pot” kind of way? How are we showing up as our true selves in our relationships?

In the spirit of learning,

Jalene

P.S. If you're making some changes in your life, consider hiring me as your coach to support you! Plus, if you're curious, learn about our motorcycle adventure at SouthonaBike.com.

Blog Series: Returning Home and My Peeps

Reconnecting with My Peeps...My Girlfriends!

Hi! Here's a link to the first post in this series: Returning Home and Family in which I talked about being with family for the first time in nearly 2 years after our epic adventure on motorcycles to the southern tip of South America. More on the trip here.

In this post, I want to give you a sense of what it was like getting together with my girlfriends for the first time in nearly 2 years.

Mary Kay in front, Katy downhill, on a hike near Newport.

Mary Kay in front, Katy downhill, on a hike near Newport.

Keith, me, Cindy, and her husband Kevin at their home in Tucson. 

Reconnecting with My Peeps...My Girlfriends!

Getting together with friends was different than family. Our families are conveniently gathered in one place, mine in Boise, and Keith’s in Tacoma. Our friends are spread all over so we saw them one or two at a time. I discovered, to my dismay, that it took a lot of energy to have intense reconnection-style conversations. That meant I couldn’t cram them together in my schedule as quickly as my heart wished for. However, slowly but surely, I got to have real, in-person conversations with the friends I love.

Talking in person is so different than online whether it’s via video, audio, or written. In person, there’s energy surging back and forth between two beings. There's more emotion, curiosity, meandering from topic to topic, and tangible heart connection.

I remember seeing my friend Katy for the first time. Before we left, Katy and I, along with close friends Mary Kay and Cindy, had hiked an 8-mile loop around Newport nearly every Sunday for a few years. We talked the entire time we hiked. We knew each other. After our travels, Katy and I met in a coffee shop in Hillsboro for a quick catch-up. I was stunned when I first saw her and felt her in-person energy. I sensed we had so much we had to say to each other. We talked non-stop for about an hour, sharing deeply as if we had just seen each other last week. That’s what I missed during our travels -- sharing deeply with a person whose stories I know and who knows mine. Our whole selves connected as our stories poured out of us.

With my buddy Cyn on "my" Beverly Beach near our home.

A similar reconnection scene played out with all the friends I've been with so far. I am grateful beyond words to be with my friends again. When I was without them for nearly two years, there was a part of me that felt like a plant withering from lack of water. Being able to give them hugs in real life and have rambling real conversations feels like water for my soul.

I would have never guessed that missing my peeps was the most challenging aspect of the entire 23 months away from home!

There's no doubt in my mind. Genuine relationships with friends is extremely valuable to me. I need them. I need our meaningful, vulnerable, happy conversations. So often it takes having something removed from our lives before we appreciate how much it means to us.

I'm curious, "What do your friends bring into your lives?"

 In the spirit of learning,

Jalene

P.S. Friends and a professional coach are awesome to have supporting you! If you're curious about what coaching can do for you, learn more here.

Blog Series: Returning Home and Family

“How does it feel to return home?” After traveling in Latin America on our motorcycles for nearly two years, my husband and I hear some version of that question often. Appreciating that we’re still in the homecoming process, I’m going to take a crack at describing what it looks like and how it feels in this blog series exploring my relationships, house, and work.

This is the first post in a blog series about returning home and relationships.

The Case Family

Missing my family and friends was the #1 challenge during the trip. I was anxious to reconnect with everyone as quickly as possible! I yearned for those genuine conversations with another human being who knew me, rather than the strangers we met along the way (even though they were amazing people!). Knowing a bit of a person’s history, brings a sense of connection that’s missing from the passing curiosity of meeting a new person. When we know each other, we can appreciate the meaning behind the stories we share, like reading an ongoing book rather than starting over at chapter one. I liked meeting new people, don’t get me wrong but I was out of whack. My life was 100% meeting new people and 0% being with people I know, like, or love. I felt a sense of frantic, desperateness for real connection with my peeps.

The trickiest factor in coordinating get-togethers was that we didn’t have a home base or a set schedule. After arriving in LA with our motorcycles on February 23rd, we bounced around until moving into a home of our own just before the 4th of July. (I’ll talk more about that in the “house” part of this series.)

Reconnecting with Family

Visiting both our families was awesome and strange. We kind of didn’t know what to do with each other. My mom and I saw each other for the first time when she picked me up at the Boise airport. Our eyes met, I noticed an odd look in her eye. There was a bit of an awkward pause then she said something like, “It’s so strange to see you in person!” We went through some version of that experience in nearly every reconnection scenario.

We gathered for family dinners and did out best to catch-up on the seemingly little things that went unsaid in the months of online conversations. It felt like our epic adventure was an elephant in the room. Keith and I didn’t know how to talk about our trip, hadn’t condensed the photos enough to share. Our families didn’t know where to begin with questions. They had mostly seen our Facebook posts and read our blogs so they didn’t know what they didn’t know. That’s not the scenario I expected.

The Matteson Family

In my coming home fantasy, I dreamed of juicy, long conversations snuggled in a warm, comfortable, living room with the familiar smells of my families’ homes. We’d have a cup of morning coffee or a glass of evening red wine and seriously catch up on everything that we didn’t feel compelled to say online. The reality was that most of them didn’t have time for this kind of connection. They had lives to live, jobs to do, routines to tend to, kids to run around. Our love for each other is absolutely not in question. Scheduling was the tricky part.

The other expectation I brought to these family gatherings was my new belief in Latin American style family values. I’ll give you of sense of what I mean. We stayed in an Airbnb in Quito, Ecuador with Felipe & Mila for a month. At first, we were complete strangers, but they quickly introduced us to their friends at a local restaurant, and invited us up for meals. We soon met both of their parents over dinner and drinks. One Saturday we were welcomed into the larger family. They invited us to go along to a family gathering at property owned Mila’s family, out in the country. I learned that they do this regularly, at least once a month. Plus, Felipe has lunch with his parents a couple times a week, and they live next door to Mila’s parents. I was surprised to hear they spent so much time with family. I admired them. They had real relationships with their families. I could feel their comfort with each other. They didn’t wait for holidays to get together, being with family was an everyday part of their lives.

I dreamed of having that kind of relationship with our families when we returned home. I count Keith and I fortunate to have such kind, loving, supportive families and, I want more of them. Yes, I appreciate that they didn’t have my Latin American family values transformation but I still want more of them!

In the spirit of learning,

Jalene

P.S. I'm happy to share that the coaching aspect of my business is growing. If you, or someone you know, would like support in crossing the gap from where you are now in life to where you want to be, I'd love to help. Let's schedule a complimentary session and talk about it.

Traveler to Solopreneur

Hey there!

My husband and I are back from our nearly 2-year motorcycle adventure through South America! We're appreciating and adjusting to the comforts of home in Newport, on the stunning Central Oregon Coast. I’m writing to tell you about my next adventure from traveler to solopreneur.

While traveling, I pondered how I wanted to make a living when we returned home. I analyzed (in a myriad of forms!) how to infuse my business experience and education, with the topic that lights me up, that lives on my book shelves.

I'm a geek when it comes to learning about how we develop as human beings! How do we create lives we love? Why do we settle for a mediocre life rather than taking the risk to live our individual versions of an extraordinary life? Why don’t we do what we really, really want to do?! I love learning, teaching, and having juicy conversations about personal development.

Voila! I had my answer to, "What do you do?"

I help people in a state of flux, who yearn to figure out what’s next and are struggling to decide what they want to do and how to do it.

How, you may ask, am I going to do that? I’ll teach workshops, facilitate and speak to groups, and work with people one-on-one.

Presentation at the Tour Tech Motorcycle Rally in Plains, WA.

So far I’ve taught a workshop called Reshape Your Life in Boise, am scheduled to teach Conversing with Your Creative Self at the Sitka Center (class full), given an hour-long presentation called How Riding Teaches Us About Truly Living (great for non-motorcycle riders, too!), and coached lots of people (take a look at the kind words some have shared).

Now that we’re home, it’s time rev up the momentum! I'm talking with places about offering workshops and starting the second phase of a a rigorous coach certification program. As part of my professional development, I'll be working with practice clients. Perhaps you or someone you know would like to work with me.

Here's the big picture of what you can expect from working together one-on-one:

  • Fulfill your goals
  • Develop new skills and perspectives 
  • Change your self-defeating habits
  • Overcome your obstacles
Contact me to receive one complimentary session.

Here's a link to the video.

Traveling on my motorcycle for nearly 2-years taught me so many lessons. Above all, the experience taught me to be fully me, to appreciate and be kind to myself, and to do what brings me tingles of excitement. Perhaps I'll give myself the title of CTO, Chief Tingles Officer!

To see more of what I’m up to, head to jalenecase.com + subscribe to my blog Knowing Ourselves to hear about future workshops, groups, presentations, and whatever else I dream up to offer on this exciting new adventure.

In the spirit of learning,

Jalene

Not Quite in this World

This month, two years ago, Keith and I were in the final countdown to our epic adventure. We were close to leaving our jobs, prepping our house to rent, and making little checks next to items on pages of lists spread all over the kitchen counter. 

Fast forward from 2015 to 2017. Traveling changed us. We're not the same inside even if we look the same on the outside. We're committed to consciously reshaping our lives in a way that allows us to have more adventures. We're exploring this new world, doing our darnedest to align our work and home with our future vision. 

Reshaping our lives can feel like blasting off to another world. 

Sometimes I feel like a kick-as pioneer, boldly going where I've never been before and other times, I'm lost in a black hole of doubt.

Here's a video update...

If you're in Boise, and ready to change the shape of your own life, I'm offering a workshop on Reshaping Your Life

In the spirit of learning!

 
 

What's Next

We’ve been asked versions of “What’s next? and “What’s it like coming home after being on the road for so long?” from lots of people. I’m ready to take a crack at sharing some answers!

Here’s the current status: After traveling for 562 days on our motorcycles, we returned to the U.S. on February 23rd. We’re still traveling as we visit family and friends, and doing our best at taking our time to consciously re-shape our lives.

What’s it like coming home after being on the road for so long?

My moto, waiting to be put back together again in the U.S. Customs warehouse in LA.

My moto, waiting to be put back together again in the U.S. Customs warehouse in LA.

We’re having strange experience after strange experience. The first one happened when we boarded the shuttle bus to take us from the LA airport to our hotel nearby. It was early evening and dark, the shuttle bus was full and loud, it seemed like every person on the bus was talking — and here’s the weird part — we understood them! We realized that for 19 months, the conversations surrounding us were simply white noise. We got used to ignoring everyone. We only paid close attention to what someone was saying in Spanish if we really needed to understand it. Later, when we arrived in the privacy of our hotel room, we talked about what an ass the guy behind us was being to the woman with him (presumably his wife), and that we wanted to turn off the volume on everyone.

Here's one of the next things I noticed. I felt like buying new stuff, and yet when I was shopping, I was repelled by the whole experience. Everything in the store seemed to be shouting, "Buy more, more, more!" I didn’t want to replace my holey underwear (4 pairs were such tough troopers the whole trip) or my hot pink lightweight, long-sleeved Icebreaker shirt (you know the one, you’ve seen it in many of my photos), or my secure, can’t-be-cut-with-knife, purse with the broken zipper (quite worthless when one’s purse gapes open all the time).

I’m slowly muddling through this process, surrendering to the need to replace unfixable stuff. However, I still needed that slightly broken stuff because we continued traveling for about a month in the U.S. We visited friends and family in the southwest as we gradually adjusted to our new “home” culture.

I arrived near our hometown on March 27th. Here’s my journal entry:  “Holy shit, we’re home. No, we’re not home as in living in our home but we’re home as in being in the area we called home. It feels like a loop has been closed. I’m ready to trade my moto riding clothes for my fun, “old” clothes.”

And speaking of clothes…I thought I would hyperventilate when I started going through my clothes in storage! Since we’re still not living in one place, I had to select some (not all of them!) to take with me. My heart raced in anticipation. I climbed on and leaned over into all the boxes marked “Jalene’s Clothes.” I made piles of possibilities, oooo’d and ahhhhh’d when I found something I loved and had forgotten all about. I took them all to our friend’s house in which we were staying, tried them all on, laid out good combos, washed the mothball smell out of the chosen bunch, and returned the unlucky ones back to storage. I love having more clothing choices. Superficial? I think not. My moto rider, Tomboy look is fun and so is my creative, professional, spunky look. What I wear on the outside influences how I feel on the inside and how I’m showing up in the world. Does that make sense?

We continue to have strange and “first time since we’ve been back” experiences. It’s an adventure for sure.

Here we are now, celebrating Easter with Keith's family in Tacoma, WA.

What’s next?

We’re still in the process of deciding where we want to live. Most likely it will be in Oregon, within a day’s ride of our family located in Boise and Tacoma. It depends on where Keith’s work takes us. My work is no longer dependent on our location.

While we were traveling, I tapped into my mind and heart to decide what I wanted to do next. I knew that I wanted to combine my 35 years of work experience with my master’s degree in education and a lifetime of fascination with personal development. My choice to be a solopreneur, aka business of one, is feeling more than anything, like me. The best way I can think of describing it to you, is to share what I wrote on my website:

I help women who want to get their spine-tingling ideas done and are struggling with doing what it takes to make them happen. What does that look like?

It looks like kick-ass women who want to make a difference, want to grow personally and professionally, and dare to be all in.

It looks like us working together to develop your leadership styleenergize you with self-care rituals, and accomplish your ideas that excite (and scare!) the hell out of you.

We start where you are now and work together to fulfill your desires in the areas that are most important to you. Is this you?

This backyard image reminds me of the dynamic new growth of spring, and our inner wisdom, always nearby, patiently waiting for us.

I'll be teaching, facilitating, and coaching with individuals and groups. Plus, I'm embarking on my certification as a professional coach and am in need of practice clients for the next six months. So far I have witnessed and led coaching sessions in which people make choices for actions that are life-changing. Seriously. I am in awe of coaching.

I would greatly appreciate you thinking about those friends and family members you believe could benefit from my services. My practice clients will be given a significantly reduced rate during my training and the first session is complimentary. Please send me their contact information or, give them mine: 541-272-2337, jalenecase@gmail.com.

So now, (in true solopreneur spirit!) I have a question for you. What’s next for you and how can I help you get there?

In the spirit of learning,

Jalene

 

www.jalenecase.com | 541-272-2337 | jalenecase@gmail.com

Swinging Forward

Our process for returning home has begun. Yes, we’re still in South America but truth be told, we’re not entirely here anymore. We’re traveling less now, and the exhilarating and terrifying idea of going home is more than merely creeping into our minds; we’re making arrangements, lists, and decisions to re-enter the US. It feels like swinging. Remember the last time you sat your grown-up butt in a good solid swing and let yourself feel the child-like sensations of swinging? I did it recently at our hostel in the tiny town of Malargüe, Argentina.

The swing-set is just to the right of our countryside Eco Hostel.

I settled into the swing, stuck my legs out straight forward, leaned my body back, and fell into that familiar pumping motion that would take me as high as I dared. I stayed there for a good while, sensing the butterflies in my tummy as I experienced a fraction of a second of weightlessness at the apex, feeling simple joy. I took in the tranquil countryside in front of me, felt the wind against my body, my hair blowing in the breeze, smiled. Ahhh…I hope I remember to give myself these simply pleasures in life more often when we return home. Eventually, I was ready to move on. I stopped pumping my legs, sat fairly still in the swing, let the momentum gradually slow, gaged when I felt comfortable to let go, and let the slower momentum of the swing propel me forward to stand on my feet. If I let go too early, there was a high probability of falling and hurting my happy 53-year old body. If I held on too long, until I stopped entirely, it would have been boring, no fun at all to step away from my delightful adventure. That’s exactly how this transition feels to me.  

Like any time of big change in my life, I recognize the familiar feelings of exhilaration and terror. I’m excited to reshape my life and, at the same time, I’m mostly afraid of the money aspect. I know from past experience that staying in touch with my feelings and gathering information will energize (rather than paralyze!) my forward momentum. Keith and I have been sharing our hopes, fears, and feelings, and to learn more about the process, we watched an online program called RELAUNCH! by Cate Brubaker. (Thanks to my friend Christine Martell for this hot, timely tip.) The fifteen presentations and interviews led us to discussions from perspectives we would have never come to on our own. My favorite parts were hearing other people’s stories about their challenges, fears, excitement, etc., working through some exercises to get a grasp on our own feelings, and the ideas for actions to make re-entry smoother.

My tried and true way of understanding my thoughts and feelings is journaling. Recently, I noticed two familiar patterns related to change showing up. I tend to get uber-focused and let all the fun slide right out of my life. Focus is a good thing, in moderation. Right? The other thing I noticed is that I tend to rush toward the next shiny thing/experience/plan and forget to be where I am now. My response to seeing these patterns is to book a wine tour and take a motorcycle ride out into the countryside of Mendoza -- ASAP!

So now, less than a month away from our departure date, we’re traveling less, giving ourselves time in Mendoza, Argentina and Santiago, Chile to prepare for our step out of travel, and into home and working. Exact answers to the question of, “What’s next?” are still evolving. So far, we have a pretty good idea that we’ll live in the Northwest and some ideas for what we’ll do to make a living. We’ll share that adventure as it unfolds. For now, we know that we’re flying ourselves and our bikes to Los Angeles on February 23, 2017. From there, it’s one baby step at a time, the same way we made it 38,000 miles away from our home in Newport, Oregon.

In the spirit of learning,

Jalene

P.S. Here's a snippet of our ride to Mendoza.

(To enlarge the image, click on it then hover over the bottom of the photo to see the complete description.)

Reaching Our Goal

After 508 days and 35,595 miles of riding our motorcycles...we reached our goal! We arrived in Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world, the afternoon of New Year's Eve 2016. Holy moly...we made it!

I wanted to share  what I noticed with you using a stunning Patagonia backdrop, but there were two problems with that idea. First, there's a lot of wind down here, which is not good for recording a video. Second, it took me some time to wrap my head around it all. A week has passed and I'm ready to give it a whirl.


Here are a couple photos from the entry to Ushuaia.

We just arrived on 12/31/16 with our traveling buddy Florian (from Germany) and Stephan (from Italy) who we met that morning.

We were really happy to be there!

Here are a few photos from the very end of the road.

Beyond here, there are only tiny islands before Antarctica. 

The GPS says that we're at the "end of the road." Wow.

Our friend Florian posing -- he's so cute -- plus, you can read the whole sign.

In the spirit of celebration!

Jalene

P.S. My friend Sandra wisely shared that what I'm noticing about this trip will be unfolding for quite a while to come. I'm sure she's right. Accomplishing big goals in our lives have a ripple effect.

Curiosity & Desire Retreat

Hola!

As of today, we've been traveling for 481 days. It's hard for me to get my head around! I've had a job since I was 14 years old and we left on this trip when I was 52. I know how to do work. Traveling, on the other hand, has been a challenge in many unexpected ways. I have a doosey to share this time.

But first...the backstory...

We started our trip with a Horizons Unlimited Traveler's Meeting in Nakusp, BC in August 2015. Our plan was to attend another one in Argentina in December 2016. It was the perfect bookend to our trip and located on the way to our end goal of Ushuaia. When the time came, we found ourselves 750 miles away from the event. To make matters worse, the event was no longer "on the way" so it would need to be a round trip. That's 1500 miles out of our way for a 2-day campout with about 20-30 fellow travelers. I seriously hated to miss it but I didn't have it in me to do an extra 1500 miles.

New plan. Keith, and two men we met during our travels, rode together to the event while I stayed at "home" in Puerto Varas, Chile. After some pondering about what to do with 10 days dropped in my lap, I decided to design what I call my Curiosity & Desire Retreat, a combination of being an artist-in-residence and a woman on retreat.

Some of you will think this is cr-azy

and some of you will think it's co-ol!

Here's the thing...we're in the last phase of our trip and seriously talking about what going home will look like on multiple levels. There are big frickin' changes coming! This total break from traveling is a deep, expansive, juicy time for me to wonder and be curious about who I am now, and what I want next. Maybe you've had this feeling. We want to know what's next but can't quite put our finger it or, more likely, we know what it is but it scares the hell out of us, and we wish we wanted the safe, easy thing. That's where I am.

There are way too many details to share everything with you but I want to share the essence of it. I'm six days into it with another four to go. Its been strange not having Keith around all the time, humbling to flail between what I think I "should" do and what I "want" to do, frustrating not to see a clear path to my next phase, and freeing to play, learn, and wander down any rabbit hole I wish.

My goal is to answer the question of whether I want to pursue finding a job I love, or starting a business I love, when we return from our trip. The bonus question is, if I want to start a business, what would the focus be? To approach these questions from different perspectives, I built a structure to inspire wonder, thought, and creativity. 

The basics of my Curiosity & Desire Retreat:

  1. I set aside precious time and space for me.
  2. I set up a written foundation for my time with what I want to do daily, how much time I will spend doing it, and a place for me to check off that I have done it, so I can celebrate with funky, happy-dance moves. 
  3. I gathered inspirational material such as poems and quotes.
  4. I set the intention of listening to my body’s needs, my heart’s desires, and my mind’s knowledge + eating healthy, exercising, and resting + being willing to be surprised through showing up, wondering, being curious, and doing the work.
  5. During my Curiosity Retreat time, I'm working with a whopping 34 questions by hand-writing my answers in multi-colored markers, and taping them on the walls so I can see the themes and patterns emerging. I research topics of interest to learn more.
  6. During my Desire Retreat time, I do whatever I feel a desire to do. The photos at the bottom are some of my creative work. It's my first attempt at a mandala! Ha!

I made a one-minute video to show you my crazy, cozy, creative space.

If you feel like you're in transition and would like to talk with someone, I'd love to hear your story. Email me. I appreciate the work it takes to make our big choices in life, and know it can be a tough, lonely time. I don't have the answers however, I love meaningful conversations about struggles and possibilities, gremlins and muses, realities and dreams. 

In the spirit of learning,

Jalene

I realized that you might like to read the poem so here's the full size image :)

The Dips

During a particularly deep "dip in our trip," I made this 2-minute video to share about it. (Pardon the occasional wind noise.) Little did I know, it was going to get a little deeper before I made my way out of it.

Here are the links to the books I mentioned in the video: 

The Dip: A Little Book that Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin

Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future by Peter M. Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, Betty Sue Flowers

The vast simplicity of the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is one of my favorite spots.

Back to that dip I was talking about. It continued until we took a longer break in Santiago, and I dug deeper into my basic needs to understand why I was so off-kilter. 

Like cream rising to the surface of fresh milk, letting go of everything I know to take this trip has allowed my needs to rise above my wants. By letting go of my house, job, friends, family, exercise routine, relaxation rituals, stores I like to shop in, restaurants I like to eat in, closet full of clothes and shoes, jewelry...you get the idea...I've had a chance to distinguish between my needs and wants in a new way.

Here's where I am now. I've let everything go. We're still traveling so I can't put my whole life back together again but, I can make choices about my basic needs. That's where I'm focused. I'm identifying my "minimum requirements for self care" (a term used by Jennifer Louden) so I feel like myself, comfortable in my own skin. Louden's writing prompts have helped me to get at the topic from some new angles.

For example, some of what I've learned is that time alone on the bike isn't enough for me. It was easy to get time to myself at home but on the road, I have to let Keith know that I need a few hours to myself with no interruptions. This is hugely important for my sanity and I wasn't giving it to myself! Another example is what I've started calling stretch projects, in which I challenge my mind or body or heart. The time I spent creating my ebook, Journaling Whys & Hows, fed my need to share about a topic that's super-important to me and to be visually creative. As a "thank you" for reading my blog, I'm giving it to you for free! Use the promo code thankyou.

I'm pretty sure I've made it through the dip in our trip. I've learned more about my basic needs, am in the midst of a 2-week (or more!) break in Santiago, Chile at an awesome hostel with other motorcycle riders, and Keith and I are laying out the next to last leg of our trip, which will take us to our goal of Ushuaia, Argentina. We haven't quite figured out the last leg involving how or when we go home, yet.

Whew. Who knew there would be so much to learn when we left our house 443 days ago!

In the spirit of learning,

Jalene