After reading thousands of travel blogs and posts; I have come to realize that many travel bloggers write with a specific focus. I really don’t feel like I have a focus. I’m just writing to write. It’s always been therapeutic for me to put my thoughts to paper. Whether it was a fight with a good friend in grade school or my first kiss in middle school to the struggles and joys of being a nurse; I have always understood myself better after having written.
When I discovered travel nursing; I felt as though I had discovered a part of myself that had been hidden. I became curious. Curious to understand the different micro-cultures throughout the US. Curious to see the wonders that abounded just down the road. It was exciting and scary at the same time. It forced me to move out of my little box.
In the four years of travel nursing that preceded my first leap into international travels, I learned a lot about myself. I was able to engage myself with others, to eat dinner alone, to explore a new city with the eyes of a child. I fell in love with the unknown. And all the while….I longed for more.
Most of my family didn’t understand me. Why couldn’t I just get a ‘real job’ and come home? I started writing a blog long before I ever started traveling; for me. When I left for Vietnam, I wanted to share my writing with my family to hopefully allow them an opportunity to understand me just a little bit better. So I wrote. I wrote about the struggles, the home-sickness, the joys and the sights. I hoped that my blog would give them a little piece of what it meant to me to put myself out there to explore. It was, a part of me that I wanted to share. A part that I longed for my family to understand.
I also wanted to give back just a little to the blogging community. I had traveled along with so many others (via their blogs), to exotic cities, beautiful beaches, and endless expanses of unique landscapes. I had learned a great deal from these bloggers and I wanted to be a part of the sharing. I hoped not only to obtain an understanding from my own family but to encourage others to be curious and open to new opportunities and new experiences. I shared my blog with everyone that I met in hopes that I could encourage even just one to step out of the box and experience something new.
What is my blog about?
I’ve asked myself this question numerous times and I really can’t come up with an answer. It’s my ramblings. My struggles. My photographs. My memories. My feelings. My discoveries. It’s me simply discovering life and the wonders it has in store.
I’ve found my focus.
Curiosity leads to discovery. I named the blog “A Re-Discovered Life” months ago. I didn’t know at the time what true meaning this held, it just felt right. I knew that I was on a mission to re-discover myself and the world around me, so it seemed fitting.
I was wandering the streets of Antigua with a new friend and happened across a unique looking place named “House of Giants”. I had no idea if this was a restaurant, store, or museum but I was instantly curious and had to go inside to investigate. I am thrilled that my curiosity led me here. On entering The House of Giants (which ended up being a store); I was immediately drawn to a display of unique (and ugly) stuffed creatures. I literally sat down on the step next to the display and was mesmerized with them. Nothing else in the store mattered. The friend that I was with suddenly didn’t even exist. I was enthralled in my own discovery.
What Had I discovered?
I discovered Journey Companions. Each little Myan creature/animal had it’s on focus…it’s own meaning. I read through the tags in hopes to find one with meaning for my grand-daughter. What I ended up with was a Journey Companion for myself….a Jaguar.
“Journey Companions are 11 fabric animal characters, each one associated with special strengths and emotions from which to learn and draw inspiration.”
With 11 different animals, each with their own strengths and emotions to remind me what I’m wanting to achieve; which one do I choose? What strength or emotion should inspire me? The Bat: To overcome Fear of the dark or the unknown. The Bee: Associated with a fresh start. Each one had it’s focus. I chose to take with me the Jaguar: Associated with curiosity and the making of wise decisions. The tag on my Jaguar reads: “Unlimited Curiosity Seek Answers to the old questions. Your answers will be exactly right. ”
It was perfect!! I found my focus and my inspiration. To re-discover life bound with Curiosity and be confident that I would make wise decisions along the way.
After arriving back to my hostel later that evening, I was inspired to find out more about these little creatures. I scoured the internet and was pleased at my discoveries. I discovered that “The Journey Companions are handcrafted in Guatemala…..They are made by local women in some of the more impoverished regions of Guatemala and this enables them to raise much needed funds to educate their children.”
Not only had I found something that helped me define my focus but I was inadvertently helping a much needed cause. Wakami, the company behind the Journey Companions is part of a Social Entrepreneurship that markets products from rural Guatemala. Wakami promotes empowerment and self-sustainability for the village women involved. If you want to learn more about Wakami and the mission behind this social entrepreneurship; click HERE.
I have been in contact with the company behind the company in hopes of visiting one of the Guatemalan villages involved with the production of the Wakami products. It’s my hope to obtain a better understanding of the people and the process and see how this venture truly changes lives in an area where poverty and lack of services is a daily struggle.
Due to my impending departure from Antigua, I returned to The House of Giants and purchased another Journey Companion….this one for my nephew. I chose for him, the Turtle: Associated with Calm and Serenity. The tag reads “Mirror of the inside. Stop. Think. Quit running. From the inside to the outside…That’s the way to go!” I’m still planning to obtain one for my grand-daughter; I just haven’t decided which one is fitting yet.