Singlehood of The Traveling (Hiking) Pants
Singlehood of The Traveling (Hiking) Pants
It’s September and I love this month for so many reasons but especially because it is a month of transition. I am still transitioning even though it’s been a year since the “Un-divorce” became final — final. To celebrate the next chapter of my independent life, I gifted myself a two week SOLO adventure to Peru– my first time in South America! I have to admit that I am quite proud of myself for possessing the courage to get away without a traveling companion. As a result, I feel stronger both mentally and physically.
Now why Peru of all places? I have been fortunate to visit places like The Great Wall of China, The Pyramids in Egypt and Angor Wat in Cambodia so I was anxious to explore the ancient Incan ruins of Machu Picchu. More importantly, I was ready to explore myself — take a deep turn inward by creating the space necessary to get in touch with my Soul and clear out the clutter! Plus there is something delicious about being “anonymous” in a foreign country that deepens my sense of adventure. Plus — plus, Latin men are “muy caliente”! (“Meow,” said the cougar!)
The trip was full of excitingly rich and spiritual experiences as well as many snort and laugh moments such as when my gorgeous tour guide Roger inquired, “What’s wrong with you? You have no husband, no boyfriend and no friends? Why do you travel alone?” My response, “Dearest hot, handsome, young Roger (he is a mere 35 years of age), it is by choice I’m alone and if you keep smiling that way, you are going to get lucky with this Gringa!” OK, I didn’t say ALL of that BUT I thought it quite longingly! Turns out Roger needed no encouragement to pursue said Gringa but that’s another story altogether (wink, wink)!!
Do I always seem to find the party or does the party always find me??? Two memorable evenings included dancing and music. A family invited a few of us into their home for Chicha (Yuck!) and even though they only spoke Quechua, we danced and laughed regardless of the communication barrier. “I don’t need no stink’in language to have a good time!” In another village I joined the festivities by dancing and drinking (bottled beer this time) with beautifully dressed ladies celebrating their patron saint Rosa de Lima. Get drunk and dance, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so hasty to give up Catholicism?
Did you know that the definition of “wealthy” in these villages is simply that there is ample food for the family? In fact many of the indigenous principles still practiced are simple yet extremely powerful. In an article by Dutch journalist Peter Liefhebber he describes, “The Incas had three major commandments, three principles, as the basis of their approach to life: search for the truth, work hard, and respect every form of life.” Simple = good. I’ll dance and drink to that! Amen.
I learned that while I enjoy hiking, hiking at high altitude is NO JOKE. Nothing like hacking up a lung while you take in beautiful scenery! I was the slowest of the group — that meant more rest time for the others so they were cool with it and for once I felt like I was the popular girl. I was “gifted” with a clean digestive track courtesy of an intense 24-hour intestinal problem which happened to hit when the lodge had no internet or phone service. What good is travel insurance if they can’t find you with the rescue helicopter!!! It was necessary to practice positive thinking and trust that I was going to survive. Survived I did and five pounds lighter to boot. My hiking pants appeared much more flattering when I could button them up without pinching my waist. That is as flattering as hiking pants will ever be…. Word.
A spiritual highlight of the trip was my afternoon with a Q’ero Shaman named Augustine and his son Santos, who kindly translated. We met for a Despacho ceremony and energy cleansing. A Despacho is a carefully constructed bundle of objects and intentions offered to Pachamama (mother earth), the Apus (mountain spirits) and our spiritual guides. Not only is August a sacred month as people prepare to plant the fields, we were together on the first day of a full moon — a super moon, at the Temple of the Moon ruins in Cusco. The stars were aligned in my favor for an audience with the Divine! Lovely how this photo captured the light as we was working! Augustine really touched me when he offered to teach me the ways of the Shaman. Truth be told I am going to have to pass on his offer. As much as I value the opportunity, I cannot see myself living in the clouds at 14,500 feet sans modern conveniences. I’m such a delicate flower, huh? I will suggest he come to my house instead.
Then there is what I define as “my pivotal WTF mystical moment” at Machu Picchu. (Let’s call it MPWTFM for short) Now you know I am good at hearing the voices in my head thus the birth of this blog. Well while exploring the remote mountaintop ruins, I was suddenly overcome with emotion and began to cry. (NO. I was not hormonal or hungry this time thank you very much!) So I just stopped moving and got very, very quiet. In all seriousness now, I sat on the steps of the original Inca trail leading to the entrance gate and let the tears flow. This is when I heard a soft male voice utter these words,
“Leave everything that has ever hurt you here.
It does not have to be named or relived.
Paint the walls with your tears.
Let it go.
Be filled with peace.”
Truth be told, I have “issues” listening to what any man tells me to do but this male voice was more than comforting. He targeted the softest part of my heart – where the healing needs to take place; where I need the light to shine brightest.
Happily compliant, I let it all go, left it all behind, forgave and now move forward …… I have never felt such a great sense of expansiveness while at the same time feeling so full of gratitude. Contented. Joyful.
So enough about me……..let me tell you how my trip impacted My Girlfriend Voice and ultimately YOU. One of my “issues” has been the ability to accept credit and own the fact that I have a gift for helping people. I am a good story teller. It may make you laugh or feel less alone. It may be that I share an idea that helps you deal with the stress in your daily routine. It may be that we cry together….. I am ready to own my gift as a writer and honor my calling. I am dedicating more time to my research, writing and the development of My Girlfriend Voice. The fearful inner critics that have held me back previously can just “F” off!
Through this blog, I will build a community of “heart-full” positive individuals.
By sharing my stories and other resources I find along the way, I will help people develop their supportive Girlfriend Voices.
I will stretch myself to grow, sharing the bumps and bling with you along the way.
This quest will be focused on quality and authenticity for REAL people. Are you ready to join me for a unique soul enriching journey? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
From the heart,