Ponderings: Sand, Safari, and Scotland

Wow! What a busy week this is working out to be! Not only do I have public meetings for the most difficult clients ever, but I also have a birthday to plan for and I have to pack for this trip. Oh my…

Luckily this past weekend was relaxing. My BFF came over from California for the long weekend and we were able to spend some quality time together. We text pretty much all day every day, but it’s just not the same as being together in person. The only sad part of the weekend was saying good-bye again (sad face).

I was recently looking for a quote from Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and ended up re-reading the entire book (isn’t that just how it goes sometimes?). It’s an inspiring story in many ways (as evidenced by its success) and sometimes I wonder what I would do if given the same opportunity. So today I thought it would be fun to dream a little bit about where I would go/what I would do if the world were at my disposal.

I think my story name would be something more along the lines of Sun, Safari, and Scotland (good alliteration right? I totally just made that up!).

Sun, solar, clipart

The first stop in my journey would be Southeast Asia to install solar panels in rural communities. There are a few programs that work to bring this renewable energy source to homes and businesses that would otherwise have little or no access to electricity. These solar panels give these people a chance to move forward without running transmission lines throughout the country-side, and I just think that is so awesome. I also happen to love pretty much everything about Southeast Asia, at least the more rural areas. The food is good, the scenery is breathtaking, and the people are so genuine!

I think it would be a rewarding activity and helpful in finding some inner peace. I mean as selfless as this may sound, it definitely wouldn’t be a totally unselfish trip – I find that it’s much easier to meditate and find my center in communities that practice those techniques. Where better to learn than the originating cultures, right? I’ve never felt quite so “centered” in the world as I have when in Southeast Asia. And let’s face it, centered seems like a good place to start. I know the first stop is supposed to be about indulgence, but a) I’d drive myself mad and b) this is my story (smile)!

My next stop would be Africa. I have always wanted to travel the African continent and I think the adventure would satisfy some deep inner curiosity. As I’ve mentioned before, I could see the sights and also spend time helping animals. There are some really great volunteer programs that allow volunteers to assist for prolonged periods of time with the animals at various reserves. I like humans fine (most days), but I love animals (all the time). I feel like animals deserve so much attention because they have no say in what’s happening in their world. It’s so unfortunate that more people don’t understand the full impact of their decisions. Knowing I would be helping animals, meeting like-minded people, and exploring the continent of my dreams all in the same go would definitely make this a worthwhile stop on my journey to self-enlightenment!

As I’m sure you know if you’ve read many any of my posts, I am slightly obsessed with this country. I’m sorry I’m not really sorry about how much I bring that up here – it’s my space after all (smile). That said, I think the references may calm down a bit once this upcoming trip is over. We shall see.

At any rate, Scotland is where I would land, and likely where I would stay. My dream is to move to this country one day, but I feel like having those other experiences that have been jumping up and down in the back of my brain would afford me the sanity and peace to finally settle down. I would have seen and done enough in the world by this point that maybe my restlessness would finally be content with normal vacations. Ideally, I would be able to work in the environmental sector in Scotland, perhaps somewhere up on the North Sea. I am fascinated with wind turbines and harnessing wave/tidal energy. I could make it work. I’d also like to get one of those little cottages in the middle of nowhere with a huge dog and a fluffy cat. If there’s a more traditional family scenario in there (like with the original story line) – great! If not, I’d still be okay (smile).

Elizabeth Bishop

I realize that my story is more about helping others rather than helping myself, but I don’t know why you can’t do both simultaneously! My biggest hang up with Eat, Pray, Love was the idea of just how selfish the trip (as described) actually was. Sure, she did help a few people along the way, but that was also sort of something that just happened along the way. It’s not that I don’t think that we as humans shouldn’t be selfish at times – sometimes it’s necessary to find the inner strength to help others. I just find it hard to apply a full on world tour only for myself when there are so many ways to purposefully and with intent help other people/animals/the world. Doing that, in a meaningful way, really makes me happy.

Now, the big question: are there aspects of this dream journey that I can implement in my reality? I think so. I also think that trying to integrate a more volunteer attitude would help make the day-to-day more bearable. Not all dreams come true exactly as you plan in your head (and I’m too much of a realist to say otherwise), but that shouldn’t mean they can’t happen in some variation. One of my goals is to find an organization that I feel comfortable with and volunteer myself and my time to help out. I’ve got a few ideas, but we’ll get into that later. For now, back to reality (aka public meetings)…

What would your Eat, Pray, Love story be called??

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