Saturday, November 30, 2013

Day Five - Mount Kilimanjaro Here I Come!

The 5th day of the blog challenge has caused me to almost quit. I'm not sure why I wanted to stop...I guess it's because it's asking for me to challenge my belief system and imagination. In the past, I've traveled and worked remotely and experienced the joy and freedom of this lifestyle.I was able to do this for a little over a year until financial resources ran dry. At the end, I was unable to sustain my dream of working remotely from anywhere in the world and found myself in severe financial hardship.

Sometimes I think it's natural or should I say easier to accept the status quo and live a marginal existence. Maybe not...all I know is that the road to living my dream has not been easy and each day I have to pray, meditate and challenge the my doubts, fears and negative self-talk.

Engulfed in my sleeping bag like a butterfly in its cocoon, I awake to the of aroma of coffee. I take a few minutes to pray and thank God. I've finally made it to my dream trip...Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. As I look around at my surroundings, I've overcome with joy and gratitude because my children Imani, Kiyah, Julien and Emmanuelle are with me on this trip.

We exit our tent and head to the galley to eat breakfast and prepare for our initial climb on the 10-day trek up on the western part of the mountain. This route is called Lemosho which is more difficult than the Rongai or Marangu, but offers awesome scenery and the potential to see wild animals along the route.

The porters from the Chagga Tribe break down the tent and pack our backpacks. We eat breakfast and observe the efficiency of the porters who are indigenous to the slopes of Kilimanjaro and are an integral part of the climb. We discuss the upcoming journey and listen to the insight into the culture and society provided by the porters.

The climb begins on the edge of a rain forest and the trek will take seven hours to reach the Machame Camp which is 10,000' above sea level. My day of adventure will not be for the faint of heart but for those with a desire to live life to its fullest. We make it to the first base camp with stories and memories to share.

The smart work has paid off and the months of creating systems and processes to work remotely has manifested into a dream of a lifetime. I utilized today's outsourcing and crowdsourcing technology to leverage my graphic and web design business. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Day Four - Independence

I had the fortune of getting my feet wet the last few years by running my graphic design business while traveling in Europe. Having the ability to run my business anywhere in the world is what location independence means to me. During my travels, I've found that as long as I had access to Wi-Fi, I had the ability to communicate with my clients via email or Google voice. 

Location independence allowed me to to work in Ireland, England Spain, Italy and Portugal. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Day Three - Freedom

An awesome breakfast from the Adare Manor
As I traveled from Dublin to the Rings of Kerry in Ireland, I felt the gratitude and freedom of running my graphic design business remotely. I traveled lightly, a suitcase and black backpack that housed my 13-inch MacBook, blue-tooth mouse and charger. All that was needed to communicate with my clients back in the U.S. was a cafe or hotel with Wi-Fi. My favorite cafe was a quaint coffee shop in the city center of Limerick called Arabica. The staff was very friendly and the hot chocolate was to die for. I nestled myself in the corner facing the street to make sure I wouldn't miss anyone passing by and then I would work on current projects and call clients if needed using Google voice. I definitely felt the business freedom that my skills and technology afforded me. During the trip to Ireland, I made up my mind to make a go at life on these terms.
Business came second only to adventure during my travel across the pond. I've been a die-hard fisherman since a little boy and enjoy ed the opportunity of fishing for mackerel in the Atlantic Ocean from high atop the cliffs in the town of Doolin. Although Ireland is known for constant rain or mist, on this day there were no clouds in sight and the sun shined bright. 
Castles everywhere, what a grand sight, very different than the silos and barns I see in southern rural Virginia.  Another adventure that resonates with me was the time I spent the night in Adare Manor.  Adare Manor is a 19th-century castle located on the banks of the River Maigue in the village Adare County, and now a 5-star luxury resort hotel. The manicured grounds and enormous stone facade was very impressive. After checking in, I was escorted to my room which was magnificent and romantic. For me, sleeping in a castle was never on my 'to do list' however, I'm thankful that I don't limit my adventures to a prescribed list.The freedom of adventure never stops amazing me, I've found all that is needed is a desire to let go of my expectations and perspective and allow the light within me to express itself.
My adventures did not stop there, Spain and Italy was next.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Day Two - Anguilla

I awake up aboard my 34-foot Hunter sailboat that is anchored at the small port city of Marigot on the French side of St. Martin island in the Caribbean.  I would take in a deep breath of the Caribbean sea breeze. As I watch the sun rise on the horizon, I'd eat breakfast consisting of eggs over easy with cheese, turkey bacon, pancakes and a tall glass of orange juice. 
After breakfast, I start my day by visiting the port city of Marigot before embarking on an adventurous tour of both the French and Dutch side of the island. After, touring the island, I'd spend time snorkeling, fishing and talking to ex-pats and locals before responding quickly to business emails and checking my web-based business.
As dusk begins, I aboard my sailboat and head to Anguilla for dinner and to map out the next island destination as I live my dream of sailing the Caribbean and working remotely.

Day One - Freedom

I started a blog for a couple of reasons. The main reason is to challenge my fear of failure and mediocrity. I have a great desire to express my thoughts and feelings, however, the fear of being judged and the lack of self-acceptance has kept me from venturing forth until now. I doubted my ability because in high school I had a hard time learning grammar and writing. 

Second, in spite of my fear, I have a burning desire to tell my story using today's blogging format. I have many stories to share and to relive. At the moment, I don't care if one person reads my blog or millions.I am looking to find my voice.

Since I've overcome my fear of failure and took action to push my limits, I've decided to take up the 30-day blog challenge.In the past,  I've procrastinated with writing about my ancestry, therefore, I've decided to blog about my life and family history which is riddled with intrigue and to leave a breadcrumb for my children and family to read.

At the end of the 30-day blog challenge, I'd like to have challenge my fears, express my thoughts and feelings, improve my writing skills, honor my integrity and written a short autobiography.