Wanderlusting: How to Move on a Whim in 5 Easy Steps

wanderlusting

This past month–no, these past six months have been a whirlwind. A good one.

Costa Rica, Chicago, Colorado.

Love, adventure, travel, yoga, love again.

My head has been hazy with transitions and airports, sea and sun, city then mountains. It seems I have packed up my life a dozen times, shoving things into a backpack or so many boxes. Vagrant, wandering, and hungry for experiences and connection. Finally, I fluttered down, and landed in Colorado.

pricklypear
Desert plants!

At the end of June, I fell in love with the mountains when I visited Boulder. Their ancient presence calms me, grounds me. It’s quieter here, a little easier to tune in and be close with the Earth. Faceplant-into-the-dirt close.

So I moved. A little impulsive, sure, but that’s the space I’ve been in lately.

I’ve been officially moved-in for 2 weeks, and I’m still gently nudging things into place: finding a balance between yoga, writing, meditating, working and adventuring that works for me. Things are settling down slowly, but there’s a peace rising within me that I haven’t felt in a while. It’s nice to find a place to finally settle into.

So how did a Chicago native uproot and high tail it to las montanas? Easy:

1. Pick a Spot

Any spot, really. It could be down the the block or on the other side of the world. It inspires you, it ignites you, it reminds you why you’re doing what you’re doing and lights a fire under your ass to do more. That’s your Dharma Place, that’s where you need to be.

2. Get Rid of Your Crap

The fewer things that weigh you down–not only physically, but mentally, too–the better. Having tons of stuff that doesn’t serve you and just takes up space is a pain in the ass to move, and it’s expensive.

Use this move as an impetus to shed what you no longer need, what’s no longer helpful. That means ditching the piles of stretched canvas that have been sitting around for years, cleaning out your closet, emptying your cupboard. If it hasn’t seen the light of day in a year, get rid of it. Be merciless. And if you can’t, enlist one of your take-no-shit friends to do it with you. You know the one I’m talking about.

This also means freeing yourself from mental burdens, bad habits and stale relationships. Do you want to quit smoking? Is there a friend who seems to sap your energy instead of lift you up? Do an inventory of what you want to leave behind, and make an intention to release it into the Universe.

This step was easy-ish for me. Now, I don’t have lots of stuff to begin with. I have books and clothes. And living out of a backpack for 3 months reeeeally puts in perspective what you need to get by. When I returned to Chicago, one of the first things I did was purge my closet–a glorious, freeing act. I sold a bunch of my clothes, then donated the rest.

My books are precious to me. It’s always been important for me to have a wide, well-curated collection, and I’ve always admired others who have interesting tomes in piles and overflowing shelves. Again, Costa Rica to the rescue: I had access to the coolest herbal/feminism/spirituality library, and knowing that I only had a limited amount of time to enjoy it had me devouring those things at record pace. And I loved the idea that those books hold the energetic imprint of someone who’s just as curious about healing and plants as I am.

So the books stayed behind. I do miss my yoga and meditation books, but they’ll always be there, and I can always visit them at Boulder’s awesome library.

First order of business.
First order of business.

3. Pack it. Move it.

Now that you’ve whittled down your stuff, find a few boxes. Take one aside, put stuff in it. Seal. Repeat.

Here’s a secret: Amtrak will move your stuff for you on the cheap. I shipped a bike and  200 pounds worth of stuff for under $200. Again, I didn’t have a whole lot to bring with me: this was mostly clothes and bedding (Those Ziplock Space Saver bags are godsends). My zafu took up a lot of space and weight, but it was worth it. It got to Denver in 2 days! I was terrified this process would be stressful and long and difficult, but getting my stuff there

Southwest allows you to take on two pieces of checked luggage (50 pounds each) and a carryon. And that personal item. That took care of the rest of my belongings, and off I went!

4. Take your time

Getting adjusted takes a while. Even if you’re completely ready, excited and raring to go, you’re still being uprooted. Be patient with yourself as you settle into a new routine, finding what works for you in this brand new place. You may eat weirdly, forgo physical activity, be sleepy or generally anxious or irritated. It’s all a part of the process.

For me, spending time by myself has been incredibly therapeutic. Going for long walks, practicing at different yoga studios, going to the library and getting lost in the stacks, has all helped to keep me grounded and at peace.

5. Trust

I don’t know why I’m here. But it feels right. The yoga is awesome, the scenery is devastatingly beautiful, and the beer flows like ambrosial nectar. I’ve already had a

surrender

Sometimes it’s wisest to give into that impulse that comes from deep within you, calling to you to adopt an innocent curiosity and explore. Even if it’s hard. Even if not everyone supports you.

You know what’s best, and all you have to do is trust.

Surrender to your wisest self. She is always guiding you.

What leaps of faith have you taken lately?

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