Bucket List

I’m sitting in the dining room of the house I grew up in. My parents and sister are asleep, and I’m bundled in a fuzzy bathrobe, listening to my dog snoring, drinking Trader Joe’s peppermint tea, and rewriting my bucket list.

I’ve been staying up late recently, partly because of the jetlag but mostly because I’m seeking alone time. As it gets later and later, I feel more and more creative. My eyes start to droop, but my fingers move faster and faster across the keyboard. As my body and mind slowly go to sleep, my soul comes to life.

After 28 months of travel, it’s a huge relief to finally be home again. I’ve been dreaming about seeing these people – friends, family, and even the homeless people on State Street. Now that they are here next to me, its a relief – but it’s also not what I expected.

I feel pulled in many directions by many different people. My sister is only in town for 10 days so she is a priority, but there are also lots of friends to see and parties to attend. And when is the quiet time for myself? I have been doing yoga and making a green smoothie every morning, which is grounding, but it is not enough.

Now, in the dark hours of the night, when I am on the brink of sleep, I can tap into a part of my unconscious that is reserved for dreams and soul travel. It is the upper chakras, it is the throat, the third eye, and the crown. Something is speaking and it is not my mind.

Meanwhile, my bucket list is rational and linear. I have a plan, and I’m not afraid to achieve it. At the same time, I know that if I don’t accomplish every single item on the list, I will not be angry or sad. I will accept what is, no matter what. However, I know I have the power to do it.  And I will.

I’m healing myself. By organizing my dreams, I am manifesting my future.

So take a look at my new bucket list, and let me know what you think.

WWOOF and HelpX: Seeing the World One Farm at a Time

The light filters through the branches of the plum tree, each leaf outlined in a brilliant yellow from the just risen sun. We are reaching up, stretching to pluck the abundant purple plums above us.

In about an hour, we’ll all join together for our first meal of the day; muesli, homemade yogurt, and fresh fruit salad, made with fruit we picked earlier in the week.

I’m on an organic stone fruit orchard in Australia, volunteering with five other travelers from around the world. After breakfast, we gather in a shed for our next job. We laugh and tell stories around a table as we carefully slice fruit for the solar drier. Once our four hours of volunteering are over, we convene with the farmers and share a big communal lunch.

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The rest of the day we have free to explore – we can borrow bikes, go for a walk around the neighboring orchards, relax and read books, or talk and play games with our new friends. At dinnertime we reconvene for a group meal, which we take turns each night cooking. Tonight, the Japanese travelers are trying their hand at a quiche, and I overhear them asking the older couple from Switzerland for advice about how to make the perfect crust.

Every day, I am learning new, practical skills for free. More importantly, though, I’m meeting like-minded travelers intent on learning from each other and giving back to the world. We are WWOOFers – Willing Workers on Organic Farms.

To read the full article, check out http://wondergressive.com/2013/09/23/wwoofing-seeing-world-one-farm-time/

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Volunteering Abroad

Hi readers,

I recently wrote a story about volunteering abroad, and it’s now the featured story on StartBackpacking.com! To read it click the link below:

http://www.startbackpacking.com/travel/travel-organic-farm-work-wwoof/

Also, I updated my “volunteering” page with lots of photos. You can click here to find it, or find it under the ‘advice’ column up top.

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Bonus photo: some happy farm animals near Riverton, New Zealand.