This Year/Next Year: Journeys

This post is part of Reverb 10, a project that provides daily prompts in the month of December to help you reflect on the past year and set your intentions for the year ahead. 

Suitcase art

Prompt (from 12/22 – I’m catching up!):
How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year? (from Tara Hunt)

My year of travel got off to an inauspicious start.

In February, I flew to the wrong San Jose for a yoga retreat. Yep, you read that right. I accidentally booked a flight to San Jose, California instead of San Jose, Costa Rica, where the retreat was actually taking place, and then proceeded to board said flight, not realizing my mistake until we were taxiing in the golden state. Not my finest moment. For a play by play of the whole wretched experience, click here.

Once I got to the retreat, one of my teachers, David Nichtern, observed that how we arrive is part of the journey. In other words, the retreat wasn’t just comprised of my time at the Omega center in Costa Rica — it started when I decided to book the trip, or at least when I set out for the airport on that fateful February day… and it ended as I returned home afterward, taking what I’d learned into my daily life.

Having that framework in mind helped me make a second yoga journey this year a far more enriching experience – my trip to Kripalu in November, where I trained to become a restorative yoga teacher. I’ve written about the healing effects of that trip – a night-and-day difference compared to Costa Rica. Taking the time to prepare myself beforehand, and expecting the process of re-integration afterward, really made a difference.

I took metaphorical journeys this year, too — professionally, as I struggled to find work and gradually realized it was time to make a change; personally, as I adjusted to life in the Big Apple, and found that as much as I love certain areas of Manhattan, I prefer Brooklyn as a home base.

And there were other, literal trips — to Woodstock, for my birthday, where Jordan, Cosmo and I stayed in this zen cabin in the woods; and to Belfast, Maine, a town with which I instantly fell in love.

In the new year, travel will take center stage right out the gate, with a trip to L.A. in January to visit our friends Alex and Tanya, followed by five days in Mexico for Greg and Christina’s wedding, where Jordan is singing and I’m officiating (!). Then in March, we’re headed to SXSW, in Austin, Texas, where we’ll be leading a workshop, Improv for Everyone. I’m thinking of making it a road trip, and spending some time in Asheville, North Carolina en route. Any tips on this front? A route to take, places to stay? I’d love to hear your suggestions.

If we can work it out with our landlord, we’d love to do a house swap over the summer, trading our Brooklyn apartment for something in cooler climes, and/or by the water. New York in the summer is not my cup of tea! Either way, in August, we’ll be returning to Belfast for two weeks with my parents – I truly can’t wait. I love it there.

Finally, Jordan and I would love to take a trip somewhere new – a real romantic adventure, just the two of us (sorry, Cosmo!), like we used to do, before mortgages and moving to New York soaked up all our travel funds. I’ve got my eye on Formentera, Spain. He’s jonesing for London. And then, there’s always Japan…

We shall see. 🙂

Two final thoughts:

  • As I wrote about all the travel we have planned, I thought, “Whoa, that’s a lot, it’s going to look like you’re showing off.” I guess I get embarassed by how much we’re able to do on this front. But we chose our lives as freelancers, and this is one of the benefits. I should just be excited, not embarassed.
  • The notion of a journey being comprised by the arriving, the experience itself, and then the departing… I feel like Reverb 10 is helping me take precisely that kind of journey as I transition from 2010 into 2011… and I like it.

What was the best journey you took in 2010 – literal or figurative? What journey would you like to take in 2011?

Photo above by Flickr user Jonnie Anderson

2 thoughts on “This Year/Next Year: Journeys

  1. I wrote my travel post, but I think I will write a quick update about JOURNEY.I think my greatest journeys this year involved visiting the homes of several authors who were also transcendentalists. Louisa May Alcott, Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller.I felt more at home in their homes than I do in my own.(I especially loved when the delightful tourguide at the Alcott home was noting how immersed I was in the tour and she started giving me side facts, figures and stories. I was gasping for air, I was so enthralled. Tears in my eyes, several times.)My daughter wondered what stopped me from just pitching a tent in Concord and refusing to return to Bakersfield, California. Now that I write this, I wonder, too.

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  2. Julie, that's such a cool experience, of feeling instantly at home at a place you visit for the first time. When I was in Costa Rica I met a hiking guide from California who had come to visit 10 years prior, and just loved it so much he never left. I love stories like those…

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