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May 16, 2019

Digital Nomad Bucket List, Complete!

Digital Nomad Bucket List, Complete!

Digital Nomad Bucket List, Complete!

Friends and fam, chicas y chicos, this past weekend I did something that has been a long time coming.

Bucket list, complete!!!

With the climbing of Volcan Acatenango, possibly the most physically challenging thing I’ve ever done, I checked the very last thing off of the 15 item bucket list I compiled when arriving in Guatemala almost a year and a half ago.

Other bucket list items included work and design goals of course, travel to places in Guatemala and the surrounding countries, hikes and volcanoes, specific cultural immersions, therapy of many kinds, learning more about coffee and plants, becoming conversational with my Spanish, and more. I used this time to really dig into who I am as a designer and what it means to use your design powers for good. I also gave myself space to breathe and refresh.

And so, it is with an overwhelming mixture of great accomplishment and deep sadness that I am also ready to announce that I will be returning to the states in less than a month.

My heart is both breaking and mending. How is that even possible? Many things, I am leaving behind. Many things, I look forward to.

Before moving to Guatemala, I heard this phrase from many a digital nomad or world traveler–all too true– that you will never be quite whole again because you will leave a chunk of your heart in each place you go. If you live deeply, I believe this to be especially true.

Minnesota will always be there and hold a piece of my soul. Now, Guatemala feels the same. I can do it! Now, I wanna see EVERYTHING. This world is my home.

Metaphors always have a way of surfacing when we're approaching a large life transitions it seems. Maybe it’s because we're more open and vulnerable to them. Does anyone else feel me on that? The climbing of Acatenango was a lot like my life in Guatemala has been. Part of the time I experienced great frustration and resorted to talking a lot of crap to myself. “Why can’t you do more?” “Why are you so affected?” “Keep moving!” “There’s so much to accomplish!” Another part of the time I told myself I was the biggest badass in the world and that nothing or no one could touch me or stop me from achieving my goals. Most times were somewhere in between. When hardly anything is just one way or the other way, it's hard to get our bearings as fragile creatures on this earth.

But, there is a constant.

The constant is left, right….left, right, left…right, left…right, left. Poco a poco. Little by little. Day by day. Step by step. Those small steps turn into one big leap, one big project tackled, one big life experience had.

All it takes is one foot in front of the other.

Life this past year and a half has been like climbing Acatenango. What a freaking exhausting and life-changing journey it has been to the top to behold the most overwhelming and humbling view I have EVER seen before.

What nature. What power. What energy.

I was the slowest person in the group of six who climbed Acatenango. There was a time during the six-hour climb where I had to stop (okay, fine, like five times, okay?!) so that I wouldn’t pass out. I knew that if I did, I would never make it to the top. I had to accept help from the “strangers” and guides around me.

Once I reached the top…oh my God, Yahweh, Buddha, Allah, Isis, Pele, Maria… WHAT A SITE TO BEHOLD. So much larger than myself, it is.

When I think about the potential of humans, I am entirely overwhelmed. I think about the things I’ve accomplished here: planning and hosting many teams of many people of many kinds,
constant communication, relationship building, understanding new cultural norms, learning a different language, exploring many other places and countries, one hand clinging to old
relationships one grasping to new relationships, one foot in America and one in Guatemala in attempt to bridge the gap, being a minority and hate/loving it…

The decision to leave Guatemala, for now, has been one of the hardest I’ve ever made. Ironically, it was a lot like the decision to move to Guatemala. How do I know if it’s the right time?

My loves, you NEVER will. That’s the answer. You’ll literally never know. Unless you've mastered the act of always following your instinct.

You can sit and wait and count your sheep and look to the stars, and while those are wonderful and lovely things to pass the time, they will never provide you the definitive answer you are so longingly searching for.

You just have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down. Or, make the climb and build your journey on the way up.

Now, my living in Panajachel has almost come to an end. My connection and groundedness to the women I couldn’t have survived without never will. My care for my Project Salud y Paz work-family isn’t going anywhere. I have complete gratitude for this time of my life, the worst and the best.

Beautiful humans, my time in Guatemala will soon come to an end, but that does not mean the journey ends. There is much more Elemental Perspective out there for me to explore and share with you. Please continue to follow along! I’m excited and anxious to see where the adventure will take us…

I think we’re really going places.

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