Month: May 2015

Staying Healthy on the Road

One of my biggest concerns is how to stay healthy on the road.  I am not starting off as the healthiest person around, so I need to take some precautions.

  • Essential Oils:  I am an Independent Distributor for Young Living Essential Oils, and as a result of learning everything I can over the last two years about the benefits of using Young Living Essential Oils, I have seen my overall health improve greatly.   My devotion to learning about safe and proper use of essential oils has only enhanced my primary objective of maintaining a simple health regimen using oils to help promote a more balanced lifestyle.   The many lifestyle changes I am making have helped me to decrease dependency on other health control methods which I had been utilizing prior to delving into the exciting world of essential oils.   I will be taking my entire arsenal of oils along on this trip to keep me healthy.  Oils which may help to protect me from the rigors of long distance travel.   These oils should enable me to manage many travel related health issues I may encounter such as stomach discomfort, ease restlessness, will help me remain calm in tense driving situations, maintain lower stress levels, and help me take care of many other wellness issues that may crop up.  I love my Essential Oils and I know that using them along with a more well balanced diet that I have a much better chance at having some wonderful experiences and ultimately a more successful trip.
  • Water:  I plan to always have water available in the car with me.  Another component of my increased health is I have traded sodas for water.  I never would have thought that would have happened in my life time, but it was one of the best decisions I ever made.  Staying hydrated is extremely important for organ function, mental clarity and detoxing.
  • Sleep:  Sleep is going to be a very important part of this trip.  I will try to plan the same get up and sleep times during the day.  I have never slept in my car for such long periods of time.  I need to assume that there will be some adjustments necessary.  I will be doing a few “dry runs” which to me are mini trips in order to help me sort of get used to the idea.  This is going to be very interesting.
  • Exercise:  With so many hours of sitting and driving, I am going to need to stop and move around a few times during the day.  I plan on practicing Tai Chi in the mornings and taking a walk at night.  But there needs to be more during the day.  I Hope to find interesting things to stop and see on my sojourn so that I may break occasionally and just stop for a while and move around to stretch and keep my joints and muscles limber.
  • Eating Properly:  My original plan was to eat MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) for lunch and spend $5 or less a day on dinner.  I really do not want to spend a lot of money on food.  I have started having some issues related to gluten and if that continues that will change my meal planning completely.  I have some more research to do concerning this and will post an update when I know more.
  • Personal Hygiene:  This will be a little tricky the nights I stay in my car.  I am only planning on staying in a motel one night a week.  I have to shower more than that, so I need to come up with an alternative.  I can wash my hair and brush my teeth with bottled water, so that does not concern me as much.  Obviously this needs more work also, but at least I am thinking about it.
  • Sanity:  I am going to try to be as low tech as possible on this trip, but I hope I can Skype several times a week back to home base where my support team can relay items onto this blog.   I am going to miss him very much since we have been married almost 25 years, so being away from him will be difficult, but I do think if we can see each other for a few minutes a day, it will be very helpful.  Part of this trip is to teach me to downsize in preparation to try and live in a Tiny Home someday soon, but I will still be taking a thing or two which hold significant meaning to me.  A couple small comforts from home should go a long way in keeping me sane.

It looks like I have some work to do yet, but having a general outline is essential to making this trip a success.  The last thing I want to do is not feel good many miles from home and all alone.  I need to make this a priority.  Luckily, I have lots of people praying for my safety and that gives me great comfort!!

Thank you for your time!!

Geneva On The Lake, Ohio

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A few weekends ago, Mike and I visited Geneva On The Lake in Northeast Ohio.  It was one of the first really beautiful days after a long and extremely cold winter, warm and breezy it was.  The lake was calm and absolutely beautiful. Although I live fairly close to Lake Erie, I do not take the time to visit it too often.  That day I was so impressed with the Great Lake.  Mike and I sat on a bench by the lake listening to the birds singing their songs as the cool lake breezes blew.  We sat speechless for some time and I felt the peaceful effect this was having on me.  I daydreamed of my upcoming time near the Pacific Ocean.

I believe the Pacific Ocean is going to heal and center me.  I have seen the ocean many, many years ago when my Mom, Sister and I drove to the West Coast to deliver my Sister to a new Air Force base she was stationed at.  I feel in love with the Pacific Ocean immediately.  It was truly love at first sight.  I have longed over the years to see her again.  She is a major part of my wellness (physical and spiritual) plan.

But until I get there in a few months, I do have the lovely Lake Erie close to home.  I may drive up there again before I leave just feel the wonder and beauty.   Thank you Lord for the majesty of nature, and I pray that as I take this trip that I take the time to see Your work wherever I go.

Under the Weather

Sorry, I have not posted anything in a couple of days.  I have been under the weather.  I am struggling with a “substantial” case of anemia.  I am a little worried because the trip is going to be grueling for a healthy person and I, on a good day, am not that healthy.  That is one of the reasons for this trip, to get healthy again.  I am using essential oils and supplements to get better.  As soon as some of my energy is back, I am going to start walking and doing Tai Chi.  There is not much time, but God willing I will give it a try.  I hope to lose about 15 pounds also.

Thank you for your patience!!

Why on Earth am I doing this? A Vacation, No Not Really…

When I first starting thinking about this trip many, many years ago, I basically just wanted to run away from home.  I just really wanted a change of scenery.  For most of my life, I have dealt with depression, OCD and unrealistic fear.  I have experienced times where I was okay, but it was always followed by the same old negative feelings.  Poor health and stress compounded my feelings and I got to the point where I just wanted to leave, but I never did.  The realization came to me that all I would be doing is having the same old feelings but in a new place.  It was not the place that needed fixed, it was me.

The next few years I still struggled but I decided that if I was going to do this journey it would have to have some meaning.  It had to be more than just an escape from my problems.  I wanted to do something that would change me.  Life was still going to happen whether I was here or in Bali, I was the component that needed changing.  So I started praying about the quest and I started reading about downsizing and different ways to make oneself better.  I then made a list of things I wanted to accomplish and here is what I came up with:

  • Reconnect with God.  I have always held tight to my religion but I have fallen away and even doubted the existence of God.  I need to find my Spiritual Center.
  • Regain my health.  My good days can be counted using my fingers on one hand, for now the bad days reign.  I am constantly exhausted and with that comes indifference due to the sheer fact that I do not have the energy to care sometimes.  I have let myself get overweight and I lack stamina of any kind.  It is true without health, not much else matters.
  • Downsize, pure and simple.  Somewhere along the line, the things in my life began to own me.  I constantly worked to pay for them (I have made many bad financial decisions).  Once I started getting rid of things, I felt lighter but I still have too many things and I feel as if I am drowning at times.  I want this trip to show me what exactly I need to live and what I can life without. I hope to be able to carry all the things that matter in one box.
  • I want to write. I have always wanted to write but I felt that I never had a voice, that I never did anything noteworthy.  I need to experience some things in order to find my voice.  I know it is inside me, I just cannot find a way to let it out.  I want time to learn the craft and I want this adventure to spur that writer to mature.
  • I want to help others.  I used to volunteer but I have not done so for some time.  Helping others always ultimately helped me more.  Getting outside my head helped me be a better person.  I want to connect with people who are doing amazing things and help them help others.  There will be more about this later…Mike and I have found some really amazing people.
  • Change.  I need an honest to goodness change in my life.  I honestly do not know all the changes that are going to happen during this trip.  I cannot imagine coming away from it unchanged.  Those chapters are going to have to be written as I go along.  I just know that it is something I need.
  • Meet new people.  If I had my way, I would live in a tiny house and never leave it.  I would be a hermit and never venture out.  That is the perfect life in my eyes, but it is not really any kind of life.  It is the people we meet along the road of life that change us and make us better human beings.  I need to get out of my protective (and quite comfortable shell) and meet people.  I need their lives to impact me and to teach me new things.  I can no longer be this shy person who sits in the corner, I need to get out there.
  • Face my fears.  I have always been afraid.  As long as I can remember, I was afraid.  Afraid of what?  Afraid of everything.  As a small girl, I was afraid of snakes in my bed, witches at the top of the stairs, dying, having someone close to me die, being alone, bear attacks, thunderstorms, you name it, I was afraid of it.  As I got older, the fears became more and more a part of my every day life.  There were points when I could barely leave the house due to my obsessions and fears.  Those were really dark times.
  • Stress.  Some people seem to deal with stress, some even thrive on it.  I tend to get overwhelmed and I shut down.  I am easily stressed so my feelings of being constantly overwhelmed are ever present.  I need to step away from the stress and rethink how I deal with it, rethink how I am going to let it impact me and learn to walk away from it.

I could go on about the things I want to learn from this trip, but I think you get the picture.  I need to fix myself.  I need some time to get right with me and with God.  This is not a trip of leisure, it is more of a boot camp for an older, overweight, lost person.  The things I am going to do are not going to be easy for me, especially since I really do not like being uncomfortable.  But I am going to exchange my comfort levels for something deeply meaningful.  I long to emerge from these events as a much stronger and better person.  It may seem lofty, but if I can gain half of what I expect I will be happy.

As you read and if you have questions, let me know.  I want this process to be completely transparent.  I am an open book.  I have made horrible mistakes in the past (and still will).  I have done some good, just not enough.  But mostly I have been mediocre and that is worse than almost anything.  I don’t expect to be amazing, but better would be better.

Thank you for listening.  I hope there will be glimmers of hope and inspiration during the upcoming days and weeks.  I am here for anyone who feels the same.  We can experience this together.  Thank you again for following.  Much more to come!

Daily update on trip planning, THANK you for the emotional support!

My Blog is now up and running. There is not much there yet, but I will be adding more to it everyday as I get ready for the trip. Once I am on the road, I will post every night where I have been, what I saw, who I met and any other fun details of the day. Any suggestions on what you want to see or know about will absolutely be appreciated!!

I really need to say thank you again to all my friends for all the support I have received, this is a big challenge for me and i need to get my courage up and keep it going strong!!   thank you-thank you-thank you!

Dry Run – Donna’s Diner in Sharon, PA

In preparation for my upcoming trip Mike and I drove to Sharon, PA last weekend.  I’m not much of a shopper so there was not much for me but we found the best little gem of a diner, called  Donna’s Diner.  This diner looked like the hands of the clock had stopped somewhere in 1950.  The stainless steel outside, neon lighting, and Christmas bulbs make this diner extra inviting.  The inside is adorned with red vinyl booths, black and white tile floor and the most adorable decorations.

After looking at the extensive menu, my mouth started watering at the very sight of the hamburger (my absolute favorite meal) options.  Hamburgers, French fries and milkshakes are the standard and best fare.  I was not disappointed with my Donna Burger.  The service was great.  Our waitress, Kierstin, was funny and inviting.  She even sat down in our booth to chat.

I hope to find many more fun places with great food and great people.  My suggestion for the next time you are in Sharon, stop by and see everyone at Donna’s and enjoy and iced cold pop and a delicious burger!

An Epic Journey into Awareness

Hello and welcome to my new and improved blog.  I have struggled for some time with what I want this blog to be like.  I have tried several things but nothing seemed organic.  My life, like this blog, became very strained and unauthentic. I know I needed a change.

I do not mean that in a new age kind of way.  This blog is not intended to be a place to whine and complain, for I have been very blessed.  But a person can be blessed and still not feel as if the life being lived is authentic.

The person I see reflected in the bathroom mirror is a stranger to me.  I barely know her.  I feel a strong need to reconnect with her and find a center that has been missing for quite some time. I have tried ways to do that that were less radical but nothing has seemed to work.  One day the idea of an extended solitary road trip popped into my head and I thought it might be the answer.  A sojourn of sorts to find balance.

I thought about and planned the trip in the privacy of my head for fear of being ridiculed for such an odd idea.  I realize that vacations are good things, much needed respites from the daily grinds, but this journey is more than a vacation.  This is not about going to a resort or on a cruise for a week and then back to grind.  This is about paring down all the things I think I need to live and keeping only the essentials.  It is about living for an extended amount of time in my vehicle and experiencing the outside world stripped of my normal safety nets.

Having lived most of this life in fear, I plan to put myself “out there” and talk with people, experience things I normally would not experience and use the time to search the authentic me for the right path to be on. I have no trust funds, 401(k) plans to borrow from or any unlimited well of money. This trip is going to be about using the resources I have, finding affordable alternatives and being open to all the possibilities.

I have never really been open to life, I have preferred to stay in the shadows watching life unfold from afar. I realize now that was a choice I made. For many years, I thought it was something thrust upon me for which I had no choice. I was wrong. I am now leaving the shadows, which is very scary, to feel the light and breeze on my face alone for six weeks. During which time I hope to figure out some things, come terms with issues and generally change my life (details to come).

This will be a travel blog of sorts. I will be documenting my experiences, my ability to be frugal and detail the places I have seen and shout out to the people I meet. But I hope it is more than that, my next post will detail what I hope to get from this experience. I know a few people who feel trapped in a rut and have no idea how to get out. Much of my life has felt like I was stuck in a well and could not find a way to remove myself. Winning the Lotto seemed like the only way to make a change, and that is very, very unlikely to ever happen. I am not even sure this plan will work, but it feels right and I have to try it.