Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Planting my Feet Firmly on the Beach

                                          
I have walked all over the place this year. My feet have walked through unpaved, dusty streets in Costa Rica where every night, I walked to the ocean to clean them off before dinner and watch the sunset. The sand was coarse and warm in Costa Rica. During the day, I ran across the dry sand because it was too hot to walk on. 

The Grand Canyon pushed me to see how far I could push myself physically. Trekking up and down the canyon was both difficult and memorable. Switchbacks and carrying a pack did not stop me and I have a new found appreciation for nature and my body. I think it was the first time I offered gratitude for my feet and legs.

In Sicily, I walked through the streets of Catania dodging trash and finding my way to gelaterias. In the countryside, at the foot of Mt. Etna, I walked along a path in the early morning before work to get some fresh air and spend some time in nature. 

Las Ramblas and the entire city of Barcelona was probably my favorite walk this year. I loved getting lost in the city and finding my way to Barcelonita and tapas bars tucked in alleys in the Gothic quarter. The steep hill climb required to get to Park Guell was difficult, especially on a warm day. However, walking in Park Guell was meditative and relaxing and made the uphill climb worth the work.

In San Sebastián, I found myself on part of the Camino de Santiago and walked up a windy road just to see the view that pilgrims of the Camino see. At night, I walked up and down the streets of Old Town San Sebastián reveling in the Pinxos and Txakoli. 

Bali was done almost completely on foot and I faced my fears stepping over dead rats and dealing with incessant rain. But the meditative walks in the rice fields were my favorite part of Bali. There is nothing as peaceful as the bright green terraced fields, especially at sunset. 

I've had sandals break, soles worn down and callouses formed with all the walking I've done. I have decided to ground my feet at home. This is very exciting to me. I have spent many years traveling around and exploring. My address has changed 5 times in 5 years!  I want to establish roots and bloom where I am planted for once. This is a new adventure for me, especially my gypsy soul. But, nothing seems more right and it brings me so much peace. The decision was hard for me and I wrestled with it for quite a while, but when a decision brings such calm its the right one. I found a place that feels like home to me and its a place I can't wait to return to when I am away. And the saying is true...Home is where the heart is...my heart found it's home.

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