Following the Sun: 6 States in 6 Months
The Audacity to Backpack the U.S.
I packed up my apartment, ended the lease, returned my leased Lexus, and took the leap.
In October 2020, I had the radical idea to go to a spring/summer writing or arts residency for three months. In December I applied for a promotion at my job to work in Human Resources, in January I got the role and as a result, the residency idea began to feel distant and unlikely.
Because my role is remote (and it would remian so post the pandemic), I could create my own art & wrting experiences by traveling through the U.S. and begin in June 2021 — but every month until June, I changed my mind or had a new idea that wasn’t as audacious. I couldn’t tell if I was scared, overwhelmed, or whether the imposter syndrome was taking over me the way it did when I backpacked Europe for three months in 2016. Maybe all of those were true. I called my coach, “What if this is intuition telling me no, what if this is a healthy fear sharing not now, what if I’m not supposed to go?” She responded, “Well, go see. Healthy fear would take you to the airport while unhealthy fear will have you stifled and in your head debating what if.”
I purchased a refundable ticket to Puerto Rico in March. Then I told my closest friends & family my goal, while I wanted them to be happy for me, subconsciously, I wanted someone to confirm my trepidation. Some did — “You’ve invested so much money in your apartment in the last year.” “Why you doing that, why not just go visit those places, your place is so beautiful — and your bomb ass amenities!” “Girl, you didn’t even give Atlanta a real chance, I don’t think you’re really going to go.”
Their voices were my inner voice outside my body… yet none of the reasons were compelling enough to stay.
So I leapt.
I mapped the places I wanted to visit most, there were 13 — some of which included — creating art on Virginia Beach, letting the Hawaiian sun cradle me, lying in a hammock on Myrtle Beach, blazing the trails in Maine, gazing at the mounuments and mountains in New Mexico, being smitten by the Grand Canyons, writing at the retreat centers in Colorado, connecting with the vibrant folks in Houston, enmeshing in the rich culture of New Orleans, the creating in the ever expanding Seattle, and so many others.
I couldn’t imagine giving up the potential of those experiences for my beautiful apartment, luxury car, and imposter syndrome.
So I left.
Two days shy of my 33rd birthday, I boarded my first ever first class flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 14, 2021 and stayed at the at the Condado Ocean Club hotel as it was reminiscent of the luxury of what I’d released. With a backpack and a rolling suitcase, I rode to the third floor of the hotel, unlocked the door, lied on the king sized bed covered in white linen and thought, “this is my taste of freedom. THIS IS AUDACITY.”
We are capable of living a life that is deeply fulfilling and juicy and creative and any time we aren’t living that, it’s possible to choose it.
What life are you willing to choose? What is your deepest life yearning? What’s in the way of you living it? Sign up for my newsletter at www.miadunlap.com, next month,I’m releasing audacity workshops that support you in curating the life you want!