Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My upcoming odyssey

As far back as I can remember I have wanted to travel. As a young child I remember looking at copies of National Geographic and thinking to myself, I want to go to there. I want to be with those strange and wonderful people with their neck rings and plated lips. I want to climb those mountains and dive in those waters. I want to eat with people, photograph animals, and trek through wildernesses most others will never lay their eyes on. I want to visit some of the most remote areas of the world.

Fast forward 40 plus years. I have a stage 4 metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. I am doing well. I feel healthy. My doctors agree. Everything is going really well. The thing with this diagnosis however, is that it is terminal. My oncologist looked me straight in the face and told me, "You will die of this disease." It's the when none of us are sure about. And yes, I like to stay positive and be funny about it, telling her that I was going to be a miracle and cure myself. And don't think for a minute that I didn't mean it. But...

You see just like every other person, I am NOT in control. If I were, I would not have gotten cancer to begin with. I do have strength, I have power, I have choices. So now I will have the strength to say yes to my power and I will make choices that I can LIVE with. So in two weeks, I am going on what a friend called an odyssey. And I liked that.

For the next year, I will be backpacking around the country. My intention is to see some of the most remote places in the US, while taking time to dive deeper into the most remote places inside of myself. I could go on about what my dreams or expectations for this time are, but as I have learned on other quests, you get what you need, not what you want. Cue the Rolling Stones.

But I do have some practical desires. While out on the road, I hope to be able to visit friends and family who I have scattered all over the country. I hope to do a couple fun things like go zip lining or sky diving, but funds are very limited so we'll just have to see. It is my dream to guide people through vision quests, rights of passage and similar ventures so this will be a great opportunity to seek out areas where these can take place.

I am also extending an open invitation to anyone who wants to come out and camp or backpack with me for a short time. I will be heading out to Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and Utah on the first leg of my trip. I am leaving September 1 and have to be back to Florida by October 15th for my quarterly medical checkup. Right now, I think the second leg will start in Washington and take me down along the west coast then into Arizona and Texas as it gets colder. I have pinpointed some of the warmest places to spend winters camping and backpacking. I love you Google. I will be blogging and posting as I go along, so if you want to keep up with my adventures or try and schedule a get together, please follow me on Blogger, Facebook, Google+, or Tumblr.

So, I am leaving in 2 weeks and I have a ton of stuff to do, so you will see posts from me about things I need help with before I go as well as just getting myself ready for the journey ahead. Please feel free to comment on anything. I love dialog. Your thoughts, feelings, insights, etc. are most welcome.

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