During the past 30 days, I have traveled 12,000 miles to over 3 countries and 20 states. I’ve traveled by car, plane, bus, truck, and train. My destinations have included speaking engagements, family vacations, and new homes in Arizona. Needless to say, it has been a difficult, intense month of physical journey.
But my journey over the past 30 days has been far more than physical. It has also been emotional, mental, and spiritual.
I spent 7 days in the neighborhoods of San Salvador, El Salvador speaking on marriage and parenting. I met people with plenty of food to eat and I met a mother who couldn’t afford the $10 pain medication for her dying 15-year daughter. I spoke intimately with mothers, fathers, business owners, world travelers, pastors, librarians, and ex-gang members… often side-by-side. Third world countries are emotional destinations for me. They force me to wrestle with questions of wealth, poverty, and injustice. Unfortunately, the answers are never easy, but are intimately complex. But perhaps the greatest struggle of them all is to simply not forget the questions…
I have spent the last 4 days in VT saying good-bye to some of my best friends in the world. Over the past 6 years, they have become more than friends… they have become like family. It was not easy to move away from our families in the Midwest to New England, but we have been well taken care of by the people of VT. They have been our friends from the beginning (helping unpack boxes) to the very end (helping load the moving truck). They have watched our kids, cared for our kids, and served as good role models for our kids. It was more overwhelming to leave than I imagined. But each tear was met with a hug, a smile, and a kind word of love and encouragement. Thank you Vermont for making our departure both unbearably difficult and infinitely sweet at the same time.
As difficult as it was to leave Vermont, it is clear that our hearts and (soon-to-be) home are in Peoria, AZ (I am actually writing this post from a hotel in Indiana half-way through our journey to the Southwest desert). I am confident that our decision to relocate was based in wisdom, discretion, and mindfulness. I am excited about the new opportunities that await us. The best truly still lies ahead. My passion for inspiring others to find minimalism played a huge role in our decision-making process. And I am excited about the future of promoting it in (and from) a new location.
I have never feared change. I have welcomed it and have been challenged for the better because of it. But, at times, it can be hard. It can be emotional. It can be draining. But the pay-off is often worth the investment. Because we are all in this together… just trying to make the most of this short journey called life.
Where you can find me around the web:
Before leaving Vermont, I sat down in the studio with my friend Colin Ryan to discuss minimalism, blogging, and six-packs. The end result may be one of my favorite audio interviews that I’ve ever been a part of. You can find it here: A Stand Up Life.
My monthly post on Organizing Your Way went live last week. You can find it here: A Simple Path to Little Victories.
Colin Wright, Joshua Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus, and myself are hoping to take minimalism to the masses at SXSW2012 in Austin, TX as a panel discussing the topic of “The Rise of Minimalism.” You can vote for our panel (which increases our chances of being selected) here: SXSW Panel Picker: The Rise of Minimalism.