Last week my friend Pilar closed the door to a cleaned out apartment – homeless on purpose. Her snake Pythia and dog Loki stayed briefly with me while she and her boyfriend Michael ran last minute errands – drop off a few things at the storage unit, exchange the bulky cotton bag liners for silk liners at REI. Pilar, Michael and Pilar’s 15-year-old daughter Xylia are leaving for a year of traveling through South America with nothing but a backpack for each of them. Space is going to be a premium.
Pilar and Michael took the dog and snake and string instruments that would store better at a friend’s place in Oregon, rather than their storage. Check that off the list. Xylia graduated today. Another biggy. With no time like the present for the start of their adventure, tomorrow this little crew is off for Maui to spend a month relaxing, practicing their Spanish, and getting used to having all their possessions come out of a backpack.
They will “wwoof” it on Michael’s aunt and uncle’s farm and secure all the South American stops and contents. Wwoof stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. In fact they plan to wwoof it in some of the countries they will visit, like Ecuador, Chile, Argentia, Peru, maybe even Bolivia and Columbia. Pilar will also be visit villages that are using combinations of midwifery and Ayurveda practices (she’s an Ayurvedic doctor). In a month’s time, they come home for a couple of days, make any last minute purchases and off they go.
I’m so happy for the liberation Pilar is experiencing by shedding all that “stuff” as George Carlin would say. One of my favorite clips because I think its damn funny when he jokes about how attached we all are to our stuff. I’m also happy for my girls and their guy because of the adventures they will have and the people they will meet! One of my most favorite things about traveling is that you really get to know yourself a little better, too. You get to see how you respond to surprises, disappointments, fortunes and misfortunes.. . without the convenience of all that stuff serving as a barricade between you and them
You can follow Pilar, Michael and Xylia’s on their blog