Arrows of Intuition! Follow them!!

#5 (576)#5 (864)

“Trust your hunches. They’re usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.” – Dr. Joyce Brothers.

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, so I thought while I’m not working, this would be a good time to clear the cobwebs accumulating over in the “creative side” of my brain! While I may not have tons of travel news and photos to convey, I am posting from my new “home” in Florida! Leaving Tennessee was a difficult move, but one I feel is truly best for me.

In the past few weeks, a number of people have commented to me about how “brave” I am to  pick up and move with no job lined up and no big savings in my pocket. When I was travelling alone through Southeast Asia, I heard the same thing about how brave I was to travel alone. Of course, when I returned to the United States, I continued to receive wonderful praise about being brave. Funny thing though, I rarely heard that on the Camino de Santiago!

The Bing Dictionary definition of brave is the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action. With that definition in mind, I think of all the people I met along the Camino. We all walked with determination to stay the course, to have no fear, to not be deflected from our journey. At the time, it was not bravery at all – it was simply the desire to walk with grace. It was a walk of faith, a walk of kindness, a walk of solitude, a walk of peace, a walk of forgiveness. It was whatever each of us needed it to be. I don’t think anyone walks it to be “brave”.

On the Camino de Santiago, I woke up every day in a room full of strangers in a foreign country. I ate meals with people who didn’t speak my language and yet, we communicated! On the path, I was greeted with the familiar words of “Buen Camino” and passed those words on to other travelers. And how did I know where to go? Simply follow the yellow arrows that were painted on barns, etched into trees, formed with rocks. It was as simple as that….just follow the arrows and trust they will always be there for you. Think about that: a single woman in a foreign country with only a backpack following arrows across the landscape! And yet, they lead unfailingly! They were always there!

Now as I continue on with my life, I realize how important it was for me to take that walk. I appreciate so much that people see me as brave! While some may think that to move to another state with no job and no money is foolish, I see it differently – I am brave! I’m taking once again a walk with grace. I’m following the arrows and choosing to believe that they will lead me unfailingly. This time though, the arrows aren’t painted on the fence posts along the Spanish countryside. They are in me…it is my intuition that is leading me! I’m following my little arrows – my hunches!

So, here I am in Florida, with no job and no big savings and feeling brave. I will find a job, I will get settled, I will survive! I of course, am thankful that I have help (love you Aunt Sandie and Uncle Terry!!!) and I’m looking forward to this new journey! You too, should follow your arrows! Buen Camino!

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Crossing over from tourist to traveller!

New friends...2:00am leaving Thai karoke!

At some point during this journey, I knew I would cross over from being a tourist to being a traveller. It’s happened! How do I know this? Let me explain:

1.) Seeing a temple isn’t nearly as exciting as spending time with some new friends! Yes, all of the sights in SE Asia are fantastic and you could spend days and days doing nothing but visiting temples, trekking,, going on day trips of every sort imaginable, but at some point, you recognize that those are the things tourists do. While they are entertaining, they are not really what travel is about. Travel is about seeing how the rest of the world lives and functions. Last night is a perfect example. When I arrived here at my hostel (which by the way we’ll discuss later), I met a sweet girl from Canada who asked me to join her and some friends at a little bar and then for dinner. Drinks and dinner then lead to karoke! We ended up getting a group together, hiring a taxi, and asking the driver to take us to a karoke place. The taxi driver quickly got on the phone to his friends and next thing you know, we are at a Thai karoke place. Now, let’s be clear on this. This is not a Western karoke place with Thai people dropping by – this is a Thai karoke place with us as visitors!! So, naturally, most of the music was Thai music being sung by Thai people. Needless to say, it was an adventure. We of course, could not really sing along because the words were all in Thai!! What a hoot!! But see, this was way more fun than visiting another Buddha!

Go ahead....feel free to sing along...if you can read the words!

2.) I found myself making a shopping list this morning! No, not things like souvenirs! This was stuff like a new hairbrush since I left my comb somewhere, laundry soap, snacks for in the hostel, conditioner for my hair, etc. You know you’re not a tourist anymore when getting laundry soap is more important than shopping for a new sarong! 🙂

3.) You research the weather forecast in your area of travel. Tourists don’t care what the weather is – they only have so much time in any given area and so what the weather is, well, it just is!  For me as a traveller, I can choose to sit right here in a hostel near the beach because the temps are a little cooler than Bangkok and Chiang Mai and there’s a beach about two minutes away! When I get to Bangkok, I get there! By the way, that’s exactly what I decided to do! Since the weather, scenery, and hostel here are nice, I have no desire to rush up north to the city!

4.) Speaking of hostels, I’m in one now that is absolutely wonderful. It’s a little pricier than some of the others I’ve stayed in, but comparable to what a decent hostel in Bangkok will be. Very modern and yet still has a real nice “Thailand/island” kind of feel to it. I’ll take pics later today and send them out on Facebook. That’s something that as a traveller, is more important than seeing great stuff. It’s my home away from home so it’s important that I like my “home”! When I find a good one, why rush away only to find the next place isn’t quite so nice!

5.) AND….THE NUMBER ONE WAY I’VE IDENTIFIED MYSELF AS A TRAVELLER……DOING MY LAUNDRY AND HAVING CLEAN CLOTHES BEATS THE HELL OUT OF ANY TEMPLE I COULD POSSIBLY SEE!!!! For those of you who know me, you recognize how huge that statement is!!! I hate laundry or anything remotely appearing to resemble housework!! Trust me folks, having clean laundry is the absolute best thing ever when travelling! Tourists don’t worry about clean clothes – they take enough to last their couple of weeks and head home. But on the road, space is limited in the backpack! You just can’t under estimate the joy when the laundry is done and you get to put on clean clothes!!

“The traveller was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes sightseeing.”  Daniel J. Boorstin

Happy travels friends! 🙂

This guy from Thailand must of sang about 50 songs...he was really getting into it!!