“Is this decision made out of love or out of fear?” This is a question I ask myself constantly, and let it guide me through the decisions I make on a small scale and large. I’ve never been one to play exactly by the rules. Who made the rules anyway, and whose best interest were they rooted in? I’ll be the judge of that. I prefer to let my own moral compass guide me throughout life.
There is a lot of judgment in this world. And a lot of people, I’m sure, have a lot of things to say about my lifestyle decisions. Their opinions are mostly protection mechanisms, which I appreciate entirely, but alas, I am a trailblazer. I cannot be held back when my heart tells me to keep going.
The decision to begin traveling solo 4 years ago was made from my intuition. I was afraid AF, but I didn’t let it stop me. If I had listened to those who had told me that traveling alone as a female in my early twenties was dangerous, and that X Y and (insert traumatic event here) would probably happen, I’d still be sitting on my couch in Boston with a box of cheeze-its and a side of anti-depressants.
I am proud to report 4 years later, nothing irreversibly bad has happened to me. I haven’t gotten robbed, kidnaped, bedridden for weeks, scammed, or any combination of the above. In fact, the most dangerous travel experience that happened to me ended up making me a resilient ass warrior woman.
Resilience Is Built From Hardship
When I was stuck in Bali for two weeks amidst the volcano eruption, I had to rely on some serious craft to get out of Asia and home to Boston. The airport was closed. When it did reopen, flights were upward of $3,000. Buying a flight was near impossible. Getting reliable information was actually impossible. I just had to trust that the universe would get me home, and surrender.
After a 20 hour journey to the next island of Surabaya, three bus adventures, a ferry ride, and 3 flights later, I ended up safely in Boston. It took a week to get home. Four nights in a strange hotel in Surabaya with not a lick of English spoken except for two Canadian strangers that quickly became my friends. That was the end of my first solo trip.
My point here is, I’m pretty confident I can overcome any obstacle. And I have a high level of trust, both in myself and in how supported I am by the universe. It’s never let me down and I feel grateful every day for the mindset I’ve cultivated.
The Universe Has Our Backs
Whether you’re a spiritual person or not, I think we can all agree in the existence of a higher guidance system. Whatever you may want to call that is up to you. We have to trust that the universe has our back. It makes life a lot easier.
Last night someone was describing that when the pandemic started, his home country of Peru closed and he was stuck here in Mexico. Initially, he was panicking and catastrophizing the situation, as his family and life was rooted back home. A year later, he’s still in Tulum saying it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to him.
If the border had opened, he wouldn’t have been available to receive all of the opportunities that flowed to him here. Business, friendship, and beyond. It was a blessing in disguise. Rejection is simply redirection, he stated.
That’s a bit how I feel about my redirection to live in Mexico. My initial “plan” for 2020 was to move to Montreal in the Spring and begin working a position in Marketing, and eventually apply for PR in Canada. I was excited to spend another summer in one of my favorite cities.
But 2020 Had Other Plans For Me…
Alas, the universe had other ideas. I was incapacitated with my father, in my childhood home for 5 months. Talk about trigger city. You don’t know how far you’ve come on your spiritual evolution until you’re put in very close corners with your guardians.
My father and I are very different people. Like, polar opposite types of humans with a shared love of folk music and vintage clothing (he still doesn’t know he’s a hipster…) He’s a practical Virgo, and thinks I’m basically an alien witch that might as well be speaking Njerep (a rare language in Nigeria).
After living at home for this timeframe, I was forced to accept, reframe, and love the challenges that were placed in front of me. And try to settle our differences over meals I prepared with love. It was literally the only option.
I healed a lot of childhood wounds that kept playing out in different ways throughout my life. This might not have happened if it weren’t for la pandemica. Acceptance was the greatest gift.
Following Pings To Different Places
On a whim, I decided to move to Newport, RI, a town 40 minutes away that I had always felt drawn to. It was an intuitive ping, rather a curiosity that I honored.
I negotiated an awesome price on a quaint Airbnb on the water and quarantined there for the spring and beginning of summer.
I fell in love with Living Big In A Tiny House on Youtube and Ben & Jerry’s The Tonight Dough. I discovered the power of Kundalini yoga and became devoted to my daily rituals. I started running on the water and became familiar with mansions.
The woman quarantining upstairs, a cancer survivor and widow in her late 60’s, ended up becoming a dear friend.
And so did the next-door neighbor in his 40’s, a restauranteur and fellow world traveler from NYC. I became close with these two people because we were starved for connection and in very close corners. We cheersed one another with a glass of wine at a distance from our porches across the street. Would this have happened otherwise? Definitely not.
How Mexico Became Home
After a few months in Newport and some beautiful downtime, I realized I could be waiting forever on Montreal to open its borders. So when a friend suggested I stay with her in Tulum, I booked a flight a week later. I didn’t necessarily want to be in Mexico in July, but it felt right so I went with it.
As you can guess, the rest is history. 7 months later, I’m still here. Living a really enjoyable life. There’s some guilt I feel when I type this, as I realize so many people are struggling and in lockdown right now. My heart goes out to all of you who are in challenging circumstances. It really, really, does, in a big way.
As for me, I realize when I fill my own cup and tend to my own needs, I can be of service to other people. I can be present, and have the capacity to create and grow, which ultimately helps serve humanity. When all of us individually operate at our highest potential, it in turn serves the collective. We can’t really help others unless we help ourselves first.
My Daily Lifestyle In Tulum
My day to day life in Tulum is fairly humble. And I’m so happy to be able to slow down and tune inward. I spend a lot of time in my hammock, on my balcony, writing, working, creating, sharing, and oh yeah, toucan watching. There’s a damn toucan in the tree in front of me. Sometimes I cry at its majesty.
My day to day life in Tulum basically exists in a 2 mile radius. I eat well, I sleep well, I exercise during the week, I swim. I connect with dear friends. I journal a lot and listen to music on my JBL flip 5… my loft has great acoustics 😉
I also plan how to grow my business and how to combine my talents in a way that feels fulfilling. I want to help all of you create more sunday’s in your everyday. Meaning, live the lifestyle that brings you the most joy and aligns with your highest values. That’s what I wish for every single one of you.
I understand the world is facing hardship. I understand I’m living in an alternate reality. There’s a fine line between ignorance and deliberate focus. Because we all know, what you focus on expands.
I’m happy. I’m grateful. Every single day I count my blessings. I appreciate my locally sourced world-class coffee beans from Chiapas that I then make face masks out of. I have a reverence for totopos unlike ever before (tortilla chips, man). And I take life one day at a time.
Because that’s really the only thing we can do.
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Christine is a twenty-something coffee-obsessed traveler from a small town in the US. She sold everything 3 years ago to follow her curiosity around the world.
As a passionate freelance graphic designer, digital nomad, and photographer, she has explored it all! Her mission is to help others live their dream lifestyles around what lights them up.