Notes on Trading Security for Freedom

Being in the right place at the right time has nothing to do with luck.

I believe it’s all about the choices you made getting there which allowed you to be in that moment, to experience that miracle.

Getting together with another traveler is one decision I made that I don’t regret. But staying married at the cost of a literal lifetime journey, and raising a child through multiple countries and contrasting cultures in every continent has its challenges.

Last year, I left a well-paid job in the city to come out here to Lake Como and live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. I miss my nanny, my friends back home, my chicken adobo, soya sauce and rice. I miss my regular paychecks and that feeling of security.

But in place of that, I get to sit on this amazing lake and paint, and teach my son the importance of a global perspective, openness and acceptance of other people, nurturing relationships and embracing new experiences.

At two years old, he learns to not be tied down to any one set of regulations, or become stuck in a rut. We are constantly packing our bags for the next destination, letting go of things and physical attachments, saying our goodbyes, and—always—following the wind.

When this season is over, we will journey again…it’s not quite clear yet where that might be, and sometimes I get a bit anxious thinking about the future.

And then, I choose to just live in the happiness of today.

Because that’s what makes travel so magical: you don’t know what’s round the next corner, the next bend, or at the end of the tunnel. You’re not following a pre-programmed GPS device.

Choose your reality by taking risks, even if it means sometimes changing course. And when you let life surprise you, it usually does.

On Wandering in the New Year

Along the Elbe, December 2011

“The important thing in life is being open to the mystery.”—Paulo Coelho

Again, a familiar place: journeying out into the unknown. As 2012 rolls in, I am completely unsure, completely not seeing clearly where I will be this year. Still making decisions.

Physically, I have left my job and apartment in my former home town. I have left friends, colleagues, my comfort zone that was built up over two years. I have left my son’s nanny and have taken on the fulltime job of mom, 24-7. Since I have no one at home to leave him with, I take him with me wherever I go, even to my dentist trip last week.

Emotionally, I have left the security of knowing. I have left the state of mind that tells me, I am in control. I have left the familiar feelings, the warmth of stability.

Why am I doing all this? I ask myself. Because I need to start all over again. Fear comes in little phases, yes…but it thrusts me forward. Fear of the unknown and all that is out there scares me. But I have learned that scary is good sometimes. Sometimes, I need to not know, not be so sure of myself, be thrown out of that comfortable spot, my little world, and go travel.  Go journey, or just wander. Get a new perspective. Without even solving the mystery.

So I did that last month just before Christmas, not knowing if I would ever come home. But our home has always been where we made it work. We’ve been at home in Germany, in pristine Lake Garda Italy, in smoggy, yet vibrant Manila.

We’ve been wandering a bit, nomads all our lives. And we will continue to walk forward this year, wherever the wind blows, wherever our hearts find a place to take root, until it’s time to uproot again, to create anew, or to start over.