Personal, Travel
comments 19

Before We Are All Dust

Shadow Pattern

“You’re off to your island today,” my mom says to me in the taxi on the way to the airport. I’m bound for Lanzarote and they are heading home to Detroit after two weeks in Spain with me. “Yes,” I reply hearing the sadness in her tone. “Just think, though. You will only have to do what you’ve done two more times as my trip is a third of the way over already.” She holds my hand and replies in a small voice, “But it’s a lot longer to me.” I feel a little twinge in my heart. I know how she feels. The person who waits and is at home feels the absence more than the one traveling everyday and experiencing new things constantly.

ParkSelf_0116webI have been traveling four months now and while it still feels new, soon it will be over in a blink. Just like life. That certainty is the reason I am on this journey. That feeling I’ve had, maybe more so than others, that soon it will all be over and will the ride have been worth it? I’ve always had a fear of dying ever since I was a young child. In my teens I would work myself into panic attacks at night thinking of death, the unknown. Will I live on in some other form or just cease to exist?  As I grew older, I started hearing myself say a list of somedays, “Someday I’ll learn to play the guitar, or someday I’ll learn to paint. Someday I’ll travel the world.” I started listening to that voice more and more over the years. I bought that guitar, I painted that painting and now miraculously I’m traveling around the world. It’s amazing what happens when you start saying yes and believing yourself. Once you make the leap, you feel the world of possibility open up to you. I remember after hiking the Inca Trail in Peru, I felt like I could do anything. Now that I’m traveling the world alone, I feel even more opportunities await me. For the longest time I wouldn’t call myself a photographer. Now I do. There is no other job holding me back. All I have is my passion driving me now. I live more in the moment these days and it’s a great thing. Yesterday I went through my folders of photos and looked back on my experiences so far. What can fit in a blink? Spain, Scotland, Italy, England, Germany, Croatia, Bosnia, and Montenegro have graced my camera so far. I thought I would post more on my blog, but time slips away when you have a new world outside of your window. It calls to me and says your photos and words can wait. Live now!

Traveling full time is harder than I thought it would be and also easier too. I’m constantly riding the wave of life. Ups and downs fill my world. I’ve made some quality friends, but also felt the sting of loneliness often. I’ve learned to be kind and love myself more than ever. After all, I’m the one treating myself to a trip around the world. That’s a pretty amazing gift to give!

Lanzarote

Thank you to all those who have supported me so far. Every comment on the blog, like on Facebook and Instagram, email, phone call or kind word has pushed me ahead when I started to fumble. Just when I think that no one is listening, a new person will find my website and share something about themselves and give words of encouragement. I’m really grateful to every one of you.

So before our blinks get too long and we are all dust, I am off on the road for 8 more months. I’m entering unplanned territory with ideas of southeast Asia, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, New Zealand, and some of the western United States on my wish list. I hope to finish my trip with a long train trip back home across my own vast country. I can’t wait to see what my path has in store for me and I hope you enjoy the ride.

 

19 Comments

    • I miss you too! I’ve been thinking of you a lot in this house I am at. It really reminds me of you.

  1. Holger says

    Brilliant. My favorite read thus far my friend. Keep up the GREAT work.

  2. Hester says

    Wow, this post hit me in the face and touched my heart! The anxiety of not knowing what will be after this life is something that have kept me up some nights not so long ago also. Now I’m focusing on this moment through so called mindfullness. It has given me back the joy that life can bring you, in so many ways! So I bought that camera, planned some new travels and try to get something good or positive out of each day! Loved your photography from the start so I can only say: go for that career change! Enjoy your coming 8 months of travel to the fullest! Ciaoo! Xx Hester

    • I’m so glad this resonates with you as well. Mindfulness is so important. I’m glad you are living life more fully now. I’ve noticed it through your photos. Thank you so much!!

  3. Sandy Courval says

    Your travels are making you stronger and you are becoming less apprehensive regarding the unknown. I encourage you to travel on. Love You. Aunt Sandy

  4. Nicholas says

    Best post to date. I can relate to everything, except for maybe the fear of death. It is so wonderful to see your journey as it unfolds and to read your words, Sheri! Congrats!

  5. Sue wood says

    Hi Sheri,
    I agree with another friend of yours that this is my favorite writing of yours so far. I like how this is a small world and I know Hester. I like how we still have a connection after meeting in Tuscany. I like staying in touch with you as I admire you very much and love your photography and your thoughtful look at life. Go Girl, you are so talented and have so much to give…and do! Enjoy!

    • It’s funny you say that as this is the writing I was the most afraid to post. Thank you for the very kind words. I like how we three all are connected too. Our love of life and travel brought us together and we still connect through it. I love seeing the adventures you and George take. I was just thinking of you the other day remembering the photo you took of my parents and I at the villa. What a special place. Then again when we were in Ronda I imagined you wandering the same streets loving all the little roads to get lost on. Thank you again Sue!

      • Sue wood says

        I was so thinking of you in Ronda and imagining you loving being there. It made me love it all over again. I can’t remember if you mentioned visiting South America but if you do I recommend seeing the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia (salt flats).

        • Sue wood says

          I was so thinking of you in Ronda and imagining you loving being there. It made me love it all over again. I can’t remember if you mentioned visiting South America but if you do I recommend seeing the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia (salt flats).

  6. Leo Kennedy says

    Inspirational! You are doing the real metaphysical work and transforming it. I love your photos in this post, they merge with the thoughts of your beautiful mind!
    Catholics say ‘ashes to ashes, dust to dust; from dust you came and to dust you will return’. Gulp! I think its untrue because none of us came from dust; we come from a code of divine forms written in a hugh genetic text that is pervaded by the intelligence, genius and the spirit of its author; viz-a-viz by comparison your blog as a text pervaded by your unique spirit…..the question of the metaphysical possibility of eternal consciousness emerges spontaneously in our given minds. The physics and metaphysics of eternal consciousness, that is a question. Is travelling a kind of quest and adventure too?
    Thank you from Leo

    • Thank you Leo! I’m glad you like the photos. I wanted them to be less about travel, and have more spirit. I think traveling is both, as you say, a quest and adventure. I think we as humans are always searching, wanting to know and experience more. The quest brings on the adventure naturally. Thanks for writing!

  7. JUNE HUCHINGSON says

    Your words were so sensitive and beautiful it made me cry. I couldn’t even write to you until today. Sandhya urged me to let you know how much you have touched my heart.

    My husband and I traveled around the world, going on pilgrimages to Sacred Sites. We were reminded that the word to travel comes from a French word “travail” (spelling?) which I think means “pain or tears.” (You have the APP so look it up)

    I am so happy we did our traveling when we did because Rob died at a very young age and I am now having health issues which make it improbable I will take long trips in the future.

    So, yes, travel now while you can see this beautiful world and all the amazing people.

    I’m praying you will meet your soul-mate and travel the world together.

    When I think back, I think India was my favorite place for smells of spices, foods, architecture, art, music, dance, saris, religions, temples, and animals wandering in the streets.
    It was so “other.” (like another planet) I hope you think again about going.

    Love to you,
    June Huchingson

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