Tag Archives: The Deliberate Life

Discovering Your True Self

Photo by unknown

We never really know who we are until we strip away everything we thought defined us.  All that comprises our daily life; our home, the food we eat, the people we greet, the clothes we wear, the trivial material objects of our unearned affection.  When you leave all this behind in pursuit of a foreign land, in quest of that noble unattainable quality that makes one ‘worldly’ – the word we’re taught from childhood to revere as a synonym for ‘wise’ – life dumps you on your ass to start from scratch.  It’s as if the teacher of life wiped clear the blackboard and handed you a fresh piece of chalk, challenging all you have ever learned.  You begin again, you are free to be yourself with no strings attached, your spirit renewed.  When you travel, it’s as if the world is letting you be as you are, accepting your quirks and graces with open arms, saying “I embrace you, because I understand that you are you, and the accumulation of that is what makes me such an awesomely profound place.”

And only in the absence of our possessions and familiar beings do we begin to unravel the hidden jewel of our soul that has been buried in the pages of a self-written play, the predictable plot we have contrived for ourselves, acting the role of a character we thought to be the perfect part.  I wonder how many people I pass on the street are where they want to be in life…. I wonder if they are living the life they always wanted; if they find happiness in the roles they have assumed in this world.  Isn’t the thrilling rush of travel the notion that tomorrow could bring anything? – that the shackles of routine are tossed aside for a brief window of time where the world is your oyster and fate your only comrade.  Where skipping down the street between your two long lost friends – ‘spontaneity’ and ‘youthfulness’ – is your staple joy to pass the time, all that you need aside from your daily meals to find fulfillment.  It is the freedom of daily choice, of open possibilities, of approaching the unexpected bumps in the road just to see where it may lead, that fuels my incessant hunger for travel.

Some people travel for the allure of escape, of ‘leaving all their baggage behind’.  The reality is that this is rarely achieved; those who are running away seek sanctuary from themselves, and they will never find it traveling – for this is the medium that best unveils the fading fresco of the true self.  Traveling is a self portrait.  It is a voyage of self discovery. The experiences you have along the way are individual brushstrokes that depict a portion of your being.  If you are fraudulent with your interactions, your painting reflects that – your brushstrokes will quiver, distorting into a crooked wretched portrayal of something you thought you wanted people to see.  A person must approach life with an authenticity, explore the world with no parameters of who they think they should or should not be, engage in community unaffected by what people do or do not say about them.  They must act as they were naturally born to act; and that is how the masterpiece will be achieved.  I hope someday in my ripe old age, if someone were to see my portrait, the fresco of my life, they could say – “that person looks like they have seen a lot of action.”  I hope that it would look like someone who could be large by acting small, who could say a lot with few words; who knew the forest and children’s laughter, who showed kindness to others with subtle quiet gestures… like someone who believed in treading lightly upon this earth to fully hear its heartbeat, rather than the stomping of one’s own feet.

Have you found your true self?  How would your fresco look?

Photo by unknown


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Filed under Culture, People, Self discovery, Society, The Deliberate Life, Travel

Engineers Without Brains? So begins my Walkabout…

In a few short days, I moved my queen bed, hand painted table set, and dilapidated college futon back into my parents’ place (thank you mom and dad).  I grabbed my backpack, and said goodbye – to friends … family… my loving boyfriend … to my home … to that chapter of my life.  Maybe I was crazy?  Brainless? Maybe I was going through ‘a phase‘?  Or maybe I was impulsively acting on a surge of inner momentum, drawn out by the primal call that had been festering inside me all these years.  Whichever the case, it felt like I was closing more than just a door behind me.

So I raised my head with vigor towards a bright new sunlight and passed through a window that was once out of reach.

My dedicated involvement with the Engineers Without Borders volunteer group seemed like the perfect launch pad.  Our Portland travel team was heading back to Ecuador to construct the composting toilet we had been designing since our site observation trip in march.  It would be a good take off point to begin my walkabout in addition to providing closure for the on-going project I had helped nurture over the past year.  My initial objective was to see Project Bua through its final phases over the first 2 weeks in Ecuador and then head south to roam Peru.  I had always been captivated by the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu; but travel plans aside from that were minimal at best.

I knew only one thing for certain: the captivity of my routine had been revoked and it was time to run free.

I was to live the way I had always imagined: free of all commitments, with no phone to answer, with only my own company to enjoy.  Free to experience, reflect, and consider all life had to offer with no strings attached. To spend my time as I pleased, to interact with whomever I chose, with no obligations, no social considerations or inhibitions.   I was a drifter of foreign lands, a seeker of wisdom, a judge of truth, a worshiper of beauty in all forms; a nomadic spirit.

The destinations and landmarks were merely a side note.  It was the ever changing state of being; of getting lost every day in the world at hand; of rediscovering the core of my being; that formed the roots of my walkabout.

The trip itself evolved as I traveled, and so did I.

Leaving Portland

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Filed under Family, Society, The Deliberate Life, Uncategorized


Welcome to A Traveler’s Path – the pursuit of beauty and truth through deliberate living.  I invite you to join me as I explore fascinating cultures, wander exotic landscapes, and appreciate the splendor of the natural world.   My hope is that this site will inspire others to reflect on meaning in their individual lives and provoke deliberate living.  I welcome challenging perspectives and stimulating conversations.  I encourage your wildest dreams to transpire.  Please, join me – fellow travelers, pioneers, renegades, and drifters – share your insights and aspirations, and as always, enjoy the ride…

Namaste (def): a greeting or salutation that represents the belief that there is a divine spark within each of us; an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another.  Origin: India.

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Filed under Culture, Humanity Defined, Nature, The Deliberate Life, Travel