If I Rest, I Rust: Confession of a Restless, Roaming Spirit

I came across this quote not a long time ago. It really stuck to my mind. “If I rest I rust. ” words from Helen Hayes, an accomplished American actress who won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award as well as receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom and awarded the National Medal of Arts. Wow.

“If I rest I rust.” Well surely Hayes didn’t rest nor did rust.

Since I left the comfort of my mother’s nest and moved out west, I’ve constantly been craving for more. I’ve tasted what it was like to live freely, adventurously, passionately… I was always planning the next adventure, and always had a destination country next on the list to visit. My bucket list evolves each year and my biggest dreams never fade to exist. I got to travel around the world, live and work abroad, volunteer overseas and even start my own business. And I get to adventure outdoors with my dogs and play in the immense backyard that is my home, the PNW. I live a spontaneous and rather adventurous lifestyle with amazing people by my side. And I am beyond grateful for that. But yet, I need more. Is this too selfish to admit?

9FEAE710-32E1-4444-A4B7-47FAF17BDC80
“My restless, roaming spirit would not allow me to remain at home very long.” – Buffalo Bill

When slowing down isn’t enough

Getting older makes me slow down. Having senior dogs also keeps me closer to home. Having to stay in one place, I try my best to change the familiar sights and diverse my days: hike a new trail, explore a new town, camp at a new spot, cook a new meal, try a new craft… I even started to play the Ukulele backwards and am re-learning my Spanish. But the region where I live is getting insanely busier by day, and after a while, I feel that the places I enjoy become a little too crowded for my wandering soul (I guess that’s the price to pay when you live where people vacation).

Surely, my heart constantly pangs for a new thing to get excited about.

Strangely, I’m the first person to hope to inspire people to live the moment. I’ve always believed that we need to learn to slow down time, and be in the moment if we want to live well. Inevitably, when I do things, I’m there 100%. Or so I try.

So why is there is a constant yearning in the deepest part of me to be in a place I’ve never been? Why am I constantly distracted by my dreams? Why is my mind always wandering, longing to where I’ve been, and homesick for a place I’ve never been?

“You are free to dream as big as you want, but always remember that every big dream comes with some big responsibilities. So be willing and courageous enough to step out of your comfort zone.” ― Edmond Mbiaka,

Is there all there is in life?

I’ve read once that the evolved human brain constantly needs something to keep him occupied. As such, we are always on the search for purpose, meaning, adventure, happiness… Some of us have created bucket lists, others have a goal ladder they wish to climb and some are content just the way things are.

I wish I could be content in one place. I try. But my desire never ceases to end. I long for more and am never fully satisfied with what I have. The truth is that this fiery desire holds me close to my dreams…

IMG_1568
“Man is the only animal whose desires increase as they are fed; the only animal that is never satisfied.” – Henry George

Wanderlusting and the ceaseless yearning for an extraordinary life

Sorting through my boundless wanderlust, I find myself longing for a life spent at sea. Diving everyday with sea life, eating the fruits of nature, volunteering in communities, away from the mainstream, waking up and going to sleep with the sun, living with the pulse of the ocean, one wave at a time… To me it calls for freedom, peace, simplicity, a dream lived awake. Careful what you dream for, right?

I recently took a wonderful trip to Japan, with an incredible layover in China. It’s been a while since I stepped out of my country and explored a different part of the world. Far away from home I felt at home… in the uncertainty, in the unknown, in the newness. I came back refreshed, revitalized, rebooted. It was extraordinary. And it leaves me with exceptional memories. But coming back to my beautiful home the travel blues hits. Instantly. Back to ordinary. Two weeks was way too short. And I’m back on a severe case of wanderlust.

03db8dfe-f952-4385-a34d-5f78450adc6e
“The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” – Sir Richard Burton

Fear of settling down

In the past years, I’ve been stuck in a routine, living a predictable life, filled with small pleasures and frolic adventures. But I’m afraid to get a stable job and be locked in one place. I’m afraid to upgrade my living situation, afraid to jump into the mortgage world, have payments, have commitments. I’m afraid of settling down.

The slightest bit of idleness affects me. I’m afraid to rest for too long. I fear stagnation. I fear to see the years blend into one another and forget to move forward and progress.

Maybe I just need that one big adventure. To get it out of my system, before I slow down again and put my feet on the ground. Or maybe not. Maybe I’ll always be restless. Maybe I’ll always chase this extraordinary life. And maybe that’s okay.

IMG_9396
”Adventure may hurt you but monotony will kill you.”

If I rest, I rust

I’ve been trying to find good enough reasons to be satisfied in the present moment. I try to do the things that make me happy on a daily basis. But I can’t ignore that ache for more. It exists for a reason.

If living the journey is the goal, if pursuing a life well lived is the path we are on, it will not be restful. It will not be comfortable. Nor will it be easy. But it will be exciting. It will be valuable. It will be worth it.

So I’ll keep pursuing the most important things that my heart aches for, even as crazy as they are. Because as long as I can feel, I am living – and as long as I am living, I’ll keep moving.

IMG_0772
“They told me to grow roots, instead I grew wings.’ – Lou

Confession of A Diver: How I Found Awareness Floating In Nothingness

I was 5 years old. I sat in the staircase of my apartment building where I resided with my mother. I looked through the window I faced, pondering the why and the how, trying to define the meaning of myself: Who is this person inside of me? Why do I think like this? Why do I act like that? Why do I feel this way? At such an early age I already had a deep interest for existential philosophy, although I didn’t have the knowledge nor the experience to answer much. There was a constant hunger to know more. A need to fill the void. I’d ask my mother:” Who am I?” She’d answer: ” You’re my daughter. You are Capucine and you are 5 years old.”

I always felt different, yet I didn’t know why. Although I always had a strong circle of friends, I always found myself safer in nature, in quietness, in open space, in something I didn’t quite understand yet…
When I started to travel, adventures and experiences were predominantly leading my way of living. During a trip to Panama, I decided to get certified for scuba diving. I learnt in the natural pool of the ocean. While at the surface of the water I feared the underneath, being part of the ocean made me feel safe. It made me feel like floating in space, into an under-terrestrial world, where all worries and efforts vanish in the void. In the ocean, I felt far from the light of the surface, far from the reality I perceived, floating into the darkness of the depth, drawn into selflessness. There was something so special and unique about diving that trigged my curiosity. I wanted to go back underneath the surface, and explore that state of mind that I had experienced.
DCIM100GOPRO
When I moved to the Caribbean, I had the chance to be surrounded by one of the best diving playground in the world. I took the great opportunity to dive frequently. Every dive had it surprises and its secrets, its poesy and its romance. Yet, it wasn’t just about finding that shark or that eagle ray or that murray eel. It was the opportunity to withdraw completely from the world, and from myself. It was a disengagement from my reality, a liberation of all worries. It was about losing all longing for worldly desires. But mostly, is was about letting go of doing and entering a place of just being.
IMG_1531
While breathing underwater, I’ve never felt so disconnected from my conception of reality, this persistent illusion that I have of life at the surface. Yet, this void, this unconsciousness that I encountered underwater brought consciousness into my life: I became aware. I was aware of my breathing, of my surroundings, of every little detail that filled the space. I was in a state of void, filled with blissful awareness. I was aware not only of my body and of the existence of my mind that I discovered at 5 years old, but also of my soul, my consciousness.
I noticed the vast openness, the emptiness allowing all things to be. I understood that you can’t have something without nothing. Like you need empty to see solid, a background to see contrast. By emptying myself I allowed the ocean fill me in. I became interconnected with the elements: I was the ocean. I was the fish. I was part of it all. And that was my reality.
DSC_0071 (13 of 28)
Living life one breath at a time. Every breath I inhale purifies my mind. Every breath I exhale releases a worry. It clears my mind, empties it from contaminated ideas and thoughts. It is a return to the essence of the mind, intrinsically pure, empty. Like nothing else in the world matters than breathing and being.
Breathing underwater is nothing like our daily life at the surface. It is one deep and long breath at a time. There is absolutely no rush. Because if you do, you die. So is life at the surface much different? Why are people rushing so much on Earth?  Where are they trying to go if it isn’t quicker to their death bed?
DSC_0056 (3 of 4)
Most people fear nothingness. They see emptiness as a negative state. Just as some see scuba diving as boring, inactive, with a lack of thrill. Their reality of life is conceptualized by one’s own ideas, and formed by a culture of rushing in the doing-mode, living busily and effortfully, and striving for better and bigger in order to give a sense of self. But really, the basic of reality is nothing. Once you experience the true essence of nothingness, it reveals the meaning of everything. It provides you with clarity, and allows you to make room for new choices, and open up a world of possibilities. Because the void is fertile. And new things come out of it. Scuba diving not only allows me to be amazed by the simple details of nature and wowed by the grandiosity of the ocean, it also brings me blissful awareness, clearness, happiness and peacefulness. It allows me to rest in the stillness and the quietude of my being, to be aware of my surroundings, to interconnect with the elements, and to reconnect with the essence of who I am and how I want to be in this world.

image

6 Lessons My Free-Spirited Friend Taught Me

I just dropped my best girlfriend at the airport. Along with all her necessary belongings and a one-way ticket to Panama, she is leaving a place she called home for the past 11 years, and taking the plunge to start a new chapter with the love of her life.

She met her now-fiancé while on a surf trip in Panama a couple of years ago. What seemed to be a simple vacation fling soon turned into a flaming romance. She spent the last year with him, living on their sailboat and running charters. She returned home for a few months, to make money and sell all her stuff. Now she is back to a simple life: She realized that she didn’t need much to be happy and satisfied.

I met Julie on a friend’s boat on July 1st, 2005. It was 35ºC, and she wore wool leg warmers up to her mini-skirt, rocking her unique fashion style in the summer heat. Her free-spirited nature amazed me and I knew right away a long friendship was about to begin. In those 10 years we have adventured often, such as road tripping Hawaii, backpacking Central America, and exploring the wilderness of Canada’s West Coast. Julie has always been my invaluable companion on so many escapades.

My friend is one special human being. The kind that doesn’t follow the mold, but instead chases her dreams. By following her heart, she ventured around the world, living and working in places such as Europe, Australia and now Panama. She has a collection of “Dreams-To-Do Lists” and manages to check off most dreams realized and goals achieved on a regular basis.

I will miss my best friend, indeed. But the inspiration she leaves behind is greater than any sorrow. I will follow her journey through life as I walk my own. And I will always be grateful her for those things she taught me:

1. Embrace Reckless Abandon

Life is too short to reminisce too much in the past, or live too far in the future. The moment is here, ready to be fully lived. Anything you want to do, at this right moment, do it. Taste experience to the utmost. Do what makes you feel alive. Be with the ones that fulfill you. Embrace your life and the people in it. And when you meet the moment, live it. Sometimes the little things are the big things. Be present to meet it.

2. Don’t Care What People Think

We tend to over-think what people might say by what we do or we don’t do. We act like this as a way to protect ourselves. But sometimes, putting too much energy into those thoughts prevents us from fulfilling our greatest potential and from enjoying life to its fullest. Life is too short to worry about what people think. Start living now! Express yourself, be bold, smile often, have FUN, shine brightly. Like story-teller Oriah Mountain Dreamer once said: “Look like a fool, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.”

3. It’s Okay To Be Scared

Whether it is being afraid of taking a big step forward, afraid to try a new experience, afraid of the change and transition, being scared generally means opportunities for growth. As long as you don’t let the fear overpower your mind and control you. Once you overcome your fear, you feel a sense of pride and independence. You get closer to who you are and discover what you are capable of. It makes you stronger, it makes you grow. So get out there and create new boundaries. Test the limits. Make the impossible possible. Make mistakes, make discoveries. Believe in yourself. Being scared makes life exciting: It makes you feel alive.

4. Discover And Do What You Love

What is it that you ache for? What makes your heart beat? Where do you feel the most alive? Whether you follow or cultivate a passion, the idea here is to do the things you love, and go after the things you want. Whether it is a job, a hobby, or an activity, it is important to have passion infused into your life. You can have a very successful job, yet feel unfulfilled. Like explains the author Gretchen Rubin: “What you spend time doing can also tell you what you should do. Because sometimes the things we do without thinking really are things we naturally enjoy or are good at. ” It’s about finding what draws you in and what makes you shine and feel beautiful. And once you find it, embrace and cultivate it.

5. Just Do It!

Ever wanted to learn how to surf? How to dance salsa? How to play tuba? Ever dreamed of travelling the world, owning a business, living on the beach? We live in an era of many possibilities and opportunities available for us to choose how to make the most of our lives. It’s easy to be lazy and dream of how things could be. But really, for most people that can afford the essentials in life, everything is possible. And you’ll never know until you get up and try. Stay curious and keep learning. Challenge yourself. It’s never too late. Just get up and do it!

6. Be free

Being a free-spirit isn’t a trend, or something you want to be. It’s about being you. It’s about creating your own freeway and not following the conventional path. Accept and be happy with who you are. Be honest with yourself and lead the life YOU want to live. Take the time to explore your heart, your soul, and your goals. In doing so, you will find peace. And once you do, spread your wings and fly. The world is yours, and you are free.

∞§∞

If you ever make a trip to Bocas Del Toro, on the Northeast Coast of Panama, check out Julie and John’s charter business:

11295922_1148755158484546_5322365442084603794_n

7 Ways To Cure Your Wanderlust At Home

Travelling months overseas and returning to the nest to feed on money isn’t always easy. We go back to commonness and boredom can easily come from daily routine. We feel strapped in normality with the urge to be on the road again living a satisfying life of adventures and discoveries. We constantly scroll down our travel pictures, chat too regularly with our friends met abroad, steadily look at flight sales and we wish we could throwback Thursday everyday. We withdraw ourselves from our current world and dream of our next escapade. The symptoms are right: we are diagnosed with wanderlust. This impulse to travel and explore burns our body with an aching fire. But until the time comes to fly away and vagabond another continent, there are a few things you can do to help cure your wanderlust, at home.

Keep Planning

Whether you plan the next big trip abroad, or simply a weekend getaway with your friends, planning soothes the wandering soul and energizes the spirit. Researching about a new location, new activities, new places to eat and to sleep is exciting and refreshing. It is always motivating and stimulating to look forward something.

IMG_5099

Set Yourself Goals

Setting goals not only allows us to have a better understanding of where we are going with our lives, but it also raises our motivation and self-confidence. While we are mainly focusing on planning and saving money for our next trip, doing a little bit of life planning isn’t a bad idea either. By setting the ‘big picture’, we can start to assemble the resources we’ll need to achieve our dreams. Open a saving account, and even if it is a little at a time, you will be grateful in 10 years that you put that  money aside. See yourself do the things you love. Work on the things you really care about. Set yourself the goals that will allow you to fulfill your short and long-term dreams.

IMG_8624

Be Creative

Just like artists, travellers are built with deep emotions. We are passionate, compassionate and loving individuals. We are inspired by life and are engaged in all its beauties. By writing about our wanderlust, or photograph through nostalgia, or paint our emotions, sometimes it helps relieve the itch and find clarity. Travelling is an inspiration booster, make sure you keep your inspiration alive.

IMG_3281

Try a New Activity

Trying something new is not only revivifying for the soul, but it also gives you the opportunity to meet new people and challenges your skills at something you’d never think you’d do. This winter, I took a shot at skate-skiing. We have such a beautiful terrain built here in Whistler, a legacy of the 2010 Winter Olympics, offering over 35km trails of nordic skiing. I’ve never tried downhill skiing before, being primarily a boarder, so it involved a few funny falls indeed. But to be out there with friends sharing the same first experience, meeting people with different conversation topics and exploring a new zone in my own town made me feel like I was a thousand miles away.

n-web_callaghan_by_Toshi_Kawano_from_TW_20
Photo by Toshi Kawano courtesy of Tourism Whistler

Go On a Road trip

You don’t always have to fly to cure a wanderlust. Sometimes you can just hit the road for a few hours and feel completely lost. Taking a couple of days away from what we know, and wander to a new town is refreshing and rejuvenating. Put on a good playlist in your car and head to a new town. To see how people live in a city nearby, do what they do, eat where they eat, play where they play – Sometimes only a few k’s can change drastically and make you feel like a world away.

DCIM100GOPRO

Explore Your Own Backyard

When I come back from travelling abroad, it takes me some time to adapt to everyday life, and then suddenly I fall back into a routine. That’s why I chose Whistler as my home base, a playground itself, so I can get energized by nature and adventures. While my goal at home is to focus on making money, and spending time with the ones I love, I make sure I get outside every day. From exploring a new forest trail with my dogs, hiking a new peak, camping a new ground, canoeing a new lake, snowboarding a new run, I find extreme satisfaction in simple moments, right here at home.

DCIM100GOPRO

Ask Yourself: Why Do I Feel Like Packing My Bag And Leaving?

Bored with routine? Life is lacking of purpose? Running away from something? Absence of inspiration? Missing your friends abroad? Lost in wanderlust? Sometimes it helps to know where the itch comes from so we can sooth the tingle.

Although sometimes, there’s really only one remedy…

Capucine 1019