Recommended Travel Writer; Storyteller

Interlude: Travel Transitioning; Growing Pains

I’ll be reuniting with a handful of my RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteers) family as I again, make my way out of the country of my birth. These select few, genuine humans I recall fondly having been my support through the darkest of days after returning to my service after the untimely death of my mother. I’m grateful for the opportunity to bestow and appropriate barrels of bear hugs as I zigzag through the United States before globetrotting to Oceania. Oceania has always enchanted my adventurous senses and my cup runneth over with the opportunity to see it with my own two chocolate brown eyes.

Gratitude has been the attitude thrust to the forefront of my ¬†“down time” and daily activity these past two months. I returned to my hometown for the second time this year after healthy chunks of time globetrotting across five continents. I had two months in sunny San Diego to reset my body clock and nurture my mind. As apprehensive as I’d been to come home, I must admit that the stillness was more of a necessity than I’d realized.

#whereintheworld

Strategizing and goal setting reinvigorate my senses and calm my once unstable emotions. Busying myself honing my craft, drafting sponsorship letters, taking online workshops, applying for residency opportunities, researching international writing opportunities and networking. Countless hours building my own dream is far more fulfilling than countless hours pretending to care/build someone else’s.

After a quick visit with family and dear friends in Texas, I’m back on an airplane heading to the Centennial state of Colorado. Boulder breezes and Rocky Mountain foothills, Idaho Springs snow, poetry slams and the Wild Wild West. Colorado single-handedly igniting a desire to refresh my own knowledge of my country’s history. The landscape here reminding me of Macedonia with hills and untouched, open land where nature still reigns supreme. Gut-busting laughs, plenty of “firsts” and an impressive amount of Macedonian language, a good time was indeed had by all.

Good Texas morning to you!
The Meadows Center Glass-Bottom Boat Tours; Austin, Texas
Boulder, Colorado foothills
Idaho Springs, Colorado

The bear hugs did not disappoint, but the constraints of man-made time make the need for “goodbyes” inevitable. Though the reality and frequency of this inevitability increase with my choice of lifestyle, I’ll remain steadfast. Naturally, the inquiries, concerns, side-digs, and often reactions of pure shock from loved ones continue, as do my travels. All aforementioned reactions to mine launching BLMSD (Bag Lady Meredith San Diego) prove only how profoundly I am loved and that truly fills me with gratitude, spoonfuls of inspiration and a large teacup size of determination. Her faith in me and the voice in my heart call me to live up to this potential; to rise up, undeterred and unafraid.

Bag Lady (besides being the title of a great song by one of my favorite female artists) has always been a term of endearment for my style of travel-always carrying too much. Over packing synonymous with my first name. One friend would joke, "if I could hear you coming down the hallway, bag lady!" Another replies with disbelief and hysterical laughter when I proudly proclaim that I successfully packed one 'carry on' sized bag for a two week adventure. Obviously organized, structured and planner are frequent adjectives to describe me. And I genuinely agree unapologetically that these three elements help keep me balanced in life. That is until well...life, or the opposite actually. Consider what it might be like to have the earth shatter from under your feet like a dropped egg plummeting to the ground helpless to its demise, bringing you to an abrupt halt and leaving you in a million pieces from the fall. Yea... that's what it felt like when my Mother, life coach, and best friend in life and all things international travel, took suddenly ill and passed away while I was serving my country overseas in the U.S. Peace Corps. Both my Grandmother and my Mother, the two rocks in my unruly stream of life, taught me that positivity and laughter go a long way. The harsh reality that nothing really goes "according to plan", however, left me ambivalent about what I'm called to be and who I was shaped to be and ultimately pitted my mind against my heart. After I lost her none of the "plans" we'd made were to come to fruition. In the months after her passing I would ask myself some tough questions-as I do- and encounter a profound silence in response. Over time one solitary word would come to me from the saddest place in my heart, GO! So I will.. Now I travel to feel her. To find her in the smiling face of humanity. To keep moving forward with my journey of being a positive change in peoples lives through cross cultural experiences and adventure in places I never thought I'd be inclined to go! Meeting my own travel goals while meeting the truth that time and letting go of all the bags I carry will heal my shattered heart while helping me plant my two feet back on solid ground.

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