Updated: Sep 10, 2021
The only thing that feels more impossible than staying the same is changing. Yet the only thing more improbable than changing is not. Bright lights pierce the darkness most, and we are all emerging from a worldwide chrysalis of transformation - whether we were ready to transform, or not.
There's nothing else in this lifetime quite like a worldwide lockdown to reset ourselves, our values, our connections, our purpose. While all of us changed to varying degrees, the fact is that none of us have stayed the same as who we were in the early months of 2020. And many of us will actually never be the same again.
The Year That Transformed Us All.
I wonder, how did the past 18 months change you? If you're anything like me, you barely recognize yourself these days. Just days before the world shut down my tiny tribe and I were doing what we did best - traveling the globe. Nothing could have prepared us for the fact that less than a week after walking barefoot across Arabian sands we would be confined to our home in a foreign country, enshrouded in fear and the trapped in the unknown. That split-second adventure would be the last that we would take as a family of travelers, building upon a legacy I'd been creating for years: I was a full-time digital nomad, Canada's Top 1% Tripadvisor reviewer, a full-time blogger, entrepreneur, content creator, a solo-trekking adventurer-extraordinaire. I'd navigated some of the planet's most difficult countries as a single female traveler...
...and then I pushed all the boundaries of life with newborns and continued our adventurous lifestyle with my partner and tiny twins in tow.
In the years before the babes were born I'd burned through the pages of two passports, stamp after stamp, boarding pass after boarding pass. I was living a life I loved - wild and free - adventuring around the globe and surviving all my crazy misadventures to talk about them. This was my life-by-design. It wasn't a fortunate accident or a twist of fate. I made this happen.
And suddenly, in the blink of an eye, we were trapped. In a foreign country. with 1-year-old twins. Us, them, four walls and a wi-fi connection. That became life. And when the life you've known suddenly shuts down around you, you can't help but be forced to reconsider what it mean to be alive.
Lessons From Lockdown
While trapped in our home, an ocean apart from everyone we loved, we learned:
Mental health and mindfulness is LIFE
Physical health is a close second
A live-in nanny was the best investment we could have made
Mine and my partner's story of struggle with parenting is one we've shared openly and honestly since the beginning. We didn't see lockdown as a beautiful opportunity to connect with our twins - it was a Groundhog-Day-on-repeat living hell of "What does this mean? How long will this last? How will we survive?". We hadn't collected the tools to be grounded for so long. We'd simply never had to be before. In one fell swoop, the only lifeline we'd ever known, was gone.
And so we had to evolve.
This wasnt' just a "Travelers can't travel. What a shame." -Snowflake-esque problem. This was our life. And suddenly, it was gone.
I've spent my entire adult life creating a life of freedom. From the moment I realized what it would mean to have a "real" job, what my life would look like had I pursued my plans for medical school or stayed in academic research, I knew it wasn't for me. I would rather have died than live my life 9-5 - and I spent a boatload of time, money, effort, and fears overcoming the struggles of constructing a life I loved. I wanted to be free. That's it. And I did that thing: I created a life of the freedom I craved - only to have it suddenly, unexpectedly, taken away.
I couldn't have known then the transformation that would begin. I barely knew then how much I needed to heal. I failed to recognize at that point that my escapist, hedonistic lifestyle was a thinly-veiled attempt at licking wounds I'd forgotten I bore.
And that's what this entire missive is about.
That's the journey I've taken.
This is the new chapter I'm writing.
These are the chapters we're writing together.
And we're doing it openly, courageously, and unabashedly - here, together - with you.