Our current adventure started as a fleeting thought while we were living in Tulum, Mexico.
After a year and a half of paradise adventures in Mexico with my freshly turned 7-year old daughter, River, I felt that we had mastered the art of international grassroots living and paradise lifestyle, and that we were ready to spread our wings. Although I could have continued learning and gaining from Mexico and Mexican culture and language, and enjoying our many excitement sources there and bonded international friends, I was okay with exploring a new location to land. Somewhere farther, more remote, and less developed. Our Mexico adventure on crack, if you will. In order to have even wilder adventures, receive even more inspiration, put life in even greater perspective, help even more people, meet more international friends, learn a distant language, explore a whole new place, embrace even more of nature, dive wrecks, navigate islands and lagoons, spearfish, eat new food, and feel a brave new world. See how life is way out here, removed from everything. Experience an atoll, submerged in crimson sunrises and sunsets from the same location, on a thin strip of magical volcanic land, a coral reef with species greater than the imagination. And so.. I went. I came. And now this adventure begins.
Backtracking to life in Mexico a year ago, I read a story in the news about a real life Mexican castaway who washed ashore on some tiny island, after being stranded at sea for six months. The photos and video footage of his rescued location were so beautiful, so foreign and remote. The palm trees were so tall. I could tell that the location was somewhere very isolated, untouched by man. And I thought about being there, and how grounded the living would be there, how rich the culture, how strange the language. I thought about how much more inspiration I would receive everyday living there, from the culture and environment and location. From the stranded essence and shipwrecked sensation. Of life on a tiny island, somewhere far, far away. Where paradise flowers grow wild and sharks are your friends. Where you catch fish for dinner and wade barefoot to different islands in low tide. I thought about this inspiration for my writing and got so excited. And then I thought about it for my life. And got even more. It represented everything of our Mexican adventure. Except it would require even more challenge, more courage, and more strength than Mexico. Perhaps it would cultivate even more patience and beauty and ocean adventures. Perhaps it would give me even more of what Mexico had given me. More amazing life and dreams unfolding. More language and friendships and fairy tale adventures.
So where was this guy anyway?
I researched it for nights on end while River slept next to me on our mattress on the floor, in front of the fan, under the Mayan hammock strings and next to the garafone de agua. Under the Mexican flag we hung so proudly, attached to the prayer flags from the Himalayas. In our Mexican casita of love, pressed in the corner of the room so I could pick up the wifi signal of the neighboring lavanderia. From the outside floodlight glowing into the bedroom, I planned our next adventure. The light shining onto the laptop keyboard, and onto my dreams.
Already living a life of unbelievable stories in the paradise of Mexico, after watching life transpire, bringing me to live by my dreams and believe in them so, I now wanted even more. I wanted to see if even more dreams could come true. I wanted to challenge my dreams. ‘Oh yeah? Well try this one. Make this one come true. This one will stump you!’ Yeah.. sort of a game this has become. A personal challenge. And a universe aligning. Mexico showed me that dreams come true. That I am strong and can do whatever I want. That I can be, and believe, go, lead, teach, write, experience, share, and create, anything, and everything, that I can dream. So I believed I had the right to go to this new place. I believed that I deserved this opportunity. And so I manifested living in this castaway reality.
This fascinating place was called the Marshall Islands. Located in the South Pacific. On the far northern end, near exotic indigenous places like Papua New Guinea and Nan Madol, the lost city of an ancient Pacific kingdom. A real life Atlantis. Endless adventure. Beautiful, kind people. Simplicity. An ocean paradise.
And I had never even heard of it before.
But I wanted to go.
And so I made it happen.
After a global journey from Tulum, Mexico to Wilmington, North Carolina to Atlanta, Georgia to Seattle and Whidbey Island, Washington to Honolulu, Hawaii, River and I arrived in Majuro, the capital atoll of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
And we got our bearings of life on a 4 mile atoll, in the middle of the edge of the earth. Swimming, learning, walking, watching, smelling, feeling, and listening.
To the way the wind blows through the tall palms in a way it only does in the South Pacific. Navigating grocery store prices and mentally calculating from pesos to tropical island US dollars where everything is imported. Where honeydew melons are $27 US and tuna is $1 US. i live in a place where sweet fresh caught tuna is cheaper than water. Walking barefoot on tree-lined streets, passing ladders leaned up against trees for coconut gathering. And happy children playing volleyball in the rain. Women in Guam dresses, unmarked taxis, Filipinos and Indonesians and Marshallese, water rising on both sides of the street, an enormous lagoon of fishing boats, monsoon episodes and coconuts with straws and amazing handmade leis, hair flowers the size of watermelons, and ukelele music in the gardens. Where electricity powers off and storms roll over and the sun beats down and the children run free. Where the seashells are massive and pristine. And time stands still.
And I know, that this is all the inspiration I need. For I have already followed my dreams. And they led to here. A tiny atoll that I had once never even heard of. And I wait for what will happen next in this beautiful life. That knows how to give and receive. How to bless and achieve.
I stand in my backyard and look at the stars. And the moonbeams sparkling on the sea. And I think back to Mexico. Where my dreams were just beginning. Or America, where my dreams were born. And I say ‘thank you’ in every language I now know. For this beautiful life, when we are aware.
More adventures unfolding everyday.