The Importance of Traveling, Solitude, and Authenticity

I miss this. I have allowed times to get busy in the past several months.
The kind of hustle and bustle that has taken me away from the space I need most.

Solitude.

Amidst the wild is where I feel most at home. I am my purest self in this state.

Washington Ferns | Travel Photography Prints
Washington | Travel Photography Prints
Frankin Falls, Washington | Travel Photography Prints
 
Traveling is as much an internal process as it is an external one.
— Ruth Krug

I have spent most of my life struggling with identity, allowing myself to be the person I thought everyone wanted me to be rather than searching for what I was uniquely created to be. I locked my soul away in the darkest of dungeons because I feared rejection.

In the fall of 2014, light began peeking out from places that I did not know existed inside of me all because someone willingly held space for me. I saw parts of myself reflected in his eyes, and I felt safe with him, free to be free. Walls were crashing, and for the first time, I allowed someone to see pieces of my authentic self. He provided a sacred space for me to explore those parts that I kept stored away so secretly without judgment, control, or limits. I continue to grow today from that foundation.

As fate would have it, our relationship went in a different direction than anticipated. In fact, from the beginning, everything about our connection was far from expectations. Through the adventures, I discovered the power I felt stirring within myself was intensified in nature. Through the laughter and embraces, I sensed the importance of living in the present moment. Through the long-distance, after he moved back home to New York, I acquired patience having to wait months between wrapping my arms around him again and again. Through the pain of physical separation, I planted firmer roots in my own self growing stronger each day. Through the times of being alone, I found things that I loved rather than pretending to like something so another person would like me. Through the dissolution, I learned how to gracefully let go when the time comes.

I grew tremendously from the experience - emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually - soaring even higher after the connection dissipated. The final life lesson took some time to understand and was a hard truth to swallow. We never fought over the course of a year nor did we even break up in the end. Rather we gently faded away, but something about that made it oddly beautiful. Honoring both of ourselves when I knew his purpose in my life had been served was a major step in my soul’s healing. I began living without expectations and starting accepting fluidity in life. I will forever be grateful for the catapult towards finding my darkness and the courage to bring it into the light.

Although it sounds like I give him all the credit, I know it was really about my willingness to connect to my authentic self and letting it boldly shine. He was merely the person aligned when I was ready to learn what our connection had to teach. Nothing more, nothing less. Within his own soul, he mirrored the parts I needed to evolve further along my life path.

Afterward, I began traveling alone and following my own truth starting with my 25-day road trip across the country in 2016. I set out on a spiritual quest to discover even more depths of my being. I answered the calling that urged from within and knew that trip was something I had to do for my own selfish reasons. Turns out that trip was life-changing, and that is putting it lightly. I have not stopped seeking adventures since. Traveling has proven itself capable of unfolding layers of the inner self. Each new journey reveals a greater awareness of myself and all that surrounds - a beautiful blossoming of my soul.

I think for the most part, if you’re really honest with yourself about what you want out of life, life gives it to you.
— Ted Mosby, HIMYM

I have had face-to-face interactions with folks that have further fueled me, then I have stumbled across a few that do not even know I exist and their soul connections are just as critical to my growth. When I travel, I open my mind to endless possibilities and opportunities. The direction is always intuitively directed, and every time I find myself either in the perfect place to get deeply lost in my own introspective thoughts or in a serendipitous conversation with a stranger that ends up strengthening my knowledge or planting another seed within to flourish into something new.

I believe every person meant for someone will find their way somehow. This goes for any human connection whether it be a romantic relationship, friendship, business partner, or simply a person in passing. I have to continue choosing authenticity and stay in a state of self-awareness so I can remain open to what comes my way and recognize the value of the divine timing. I have to remain free of expectations and conditions. I have to be in fearless pursuit of my desires but respect outcomes for what they are rather than trying to force something that is not. As scary as it can be at times, I must always embrace vulnerability because it is fundamental for liberation.

Full circle…

Solitude.

My most profound self-discoveries and shadow work have been revealed during moments of solitude. Traveling provides this in abundance and honestly is why I crave adventure as much as I do. Since I have begun allowing people to come into my genuine headspace, especially those I meet on the road, I have developed more confidence with each interaction that takes place. Although I am honest with every person I talk to, no one has yet to witness all the prismatic pieces of me. But solitude has.