So here I am, returned home after journeying full circle around the planet. I’m happy to report that the three objectives in the mission statement of Project Retreat Forward have been well and truly met:
- To circumnavigate this beautiful and amazing planet.
Check! I went all the way around. And just as I suspected, the planet is indeed beautiful and amazing. I hope you’ll agree from my collection of photo galleries now posted on this site!
- To gain knowledge and practical experience through living and working with intentional communities/ retreat centers and other nature-focused destinations.
Check! I learned so much along the way, especially from the two communities where I spent two weeks each. I learned how to cook a vegetarian meal for 30 people with no plan and no recipe. I learned how to take care of chickens. I learned how to be heard. I learned how lots of different properties are run, what works, and a few things that might provide inspiration for me later…
- To grow and enrich my life experience with new people and cultures, places, climates, flora, fauna, artwork, education, and adventures unknown!
Check! Totally nailed it. Have you seen my photo galleries..?
The name Retreat Forward describes my vision of personal growth through new experiences and pushing boundaries, while enjoying comfort and relaxation. I crave exploration of the unknown and I have the courage to take bold actions... but at the end of a long day of adventuring, I really want a comfy bed in peaceful and beautiful surroundings. My philosophy is to go forward into the world to experience all that I can, then retreat to relax and rejuvenate for tomorrow's adventures. Repeat indefinitely!
In many destinations, the accomodations I've chosen are just as important as the sites I'm there to experience. I'll be staying in three intentional communities - groups of people who choose to live and work together, sharing resources and ideals like eco-sustainability. Another passion of mine is "glamping", which is the buzzword for comfort camping. I'll be staying in tree houses, cabins, furnished tents, and a cave - all with comfy beds, bathrooms, and other amenities. The third focus of my destinations is sacred sites - places of spiritual and historical signifigance to indigenous cultures.
I see life as both a classroom and a playground, and I enjoy taking full advantage of both. I was empowered with independence by my family from a young age, and their support has helped me pursue my more unconventional dreams - including traveling solo around the world!
But of course my life includes much more than just fun and adventure. I went back to university at age 30 to complete my bachelors degree in health psychology, then went on to drop out of two different grad school programs. I bought a condo just before the housing market crashed, and my mortgage still hasn't recovered. My job in the corporate world generates enough stress to cause me lasting physical harm.
In April of 2013, I took a little trip to get away from that stress. I went to Sedona, Arizona to take in the vortex energy and all of the natural beauty. While I was in the neighborhood (same state, at least), I took a day trip to experience the Grand Canyon. While walking along the rim of the canyon, I gazed out at the sheer immensity of it all. The intricacy of the sediment layers in the canyon walls was pure art. The line where the red rocks met the blue sky was so distinct. When I worked up the courage to peer over the edge of the canyon rim, the unimaginable height was dizzying. I was inspired. This planet has so many sites of such amazing beauty, and I want to experience more of them - more of everything! It was in that moment that I decided to travel all the way around the world.