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Roam Your Soul’s Online Adventure Workshop is an 8-week e-course for women that want to explore their daily lives with new eyes, experience adventure, and roam their inner soul. We will guide you through opportunities to expand your comfort zone, discover new aspects of yourself, and connect to other adventurers.
Registration opens September, 2012.
Roam Your Soul was an amazing experience for me. It was incredibly heartwarming to share such personal explorations with such sincere and insightful women. I was greatly encouraged to challenge myself and push my boundaries, and the rewards were immediately tangible. As a group, I felt that we all connected emotionally, expanded mentally, and grew spiritually. I am truly grateful for the experience, and I will definitely carry it with me forever on my journey. Thank you!! – Mariya
When’s the last time you woke up in the morning, packed an overnight bag, and just…went somewhere?
So often, we let days pass us by. We get pulled left and pulled right and all around meeting deadlines, getting things done, and perpetually rotating between what “has to get done” and “things I have to do.”
Look at the calendar and count back the days and find how many it has been since an entire day consisted of only things you WANTED to do.
How many days has it been?
This personal time is critical for growth. Personal time to pursue activities that you enjoy and that excite you makes you feel more complete, more capable.
Combine that with creating a sense of adventure – and now you have a real, life changing, eye-opening experience that will stay with you forever.
What if you had an entire day to work on you?
A self-sustaining adventure means to give yourself a day of adventure – a full day,
all to yourself.
Self-Sustaining means self-sufficient. It means that you have with you and within you all that you need for an entire day of adventure on your own. Whether you pack a bag and head to a new coffee shop, go to the local climbing wall, or find a remote part of a park to spend your day, this day is for you to experience something new, reflect on what you’ve learned, and enjoy an entire day on your own.
What would your adventure be?
Adventure consists of doing something you’ve never done before and providing moments of learning and new experiences for you to take with you and keep with you forever. Adventure is excitement, seeing things from a new angle, and trying new things.
What would you plan?
Adventure doesn’t have to be hair-raising or terrifying. In fact, it doesn’t have to be out of this world at all. It just needs to be something new and something that gets your heart rate going.
For me, it was a trip to Burlington, VT.
I started planning my self-sustaining day. It took three weeks to find a day on the calendar that I could block out, cordone off, and refuse to schedule anything. I then grabbed my favorite pack and started throwing things I thought I might need into it. It looked something like this:
An entire day by myself?? Not doing anything for anyone else?? What would I need for that? How would I entertain myself? I packed every electronic I could think of plus a journal, a pen, and the Kindle. What if it rained or what if I got cold? I packed sweaters and gloves and hats and scarves…
It’s important to keep this part simple. A self-sustaining day doesn’t mean you can’t reach out and engage with others or buy a new pair a gloves (which I did in Burlington, by the way). Self-sustaining means mentally prepare to be aware of your environment, actively engage in learning new things, and seek out new places you have never been.
I have been living two hours away from Burlington for six months and have been longing to visit. Burlington has a great music scene, is an organic-hippie kind of town with a central market and natural stores, and is pleasantly walkable. Great restaurants and quirky stores line the main promenade. Off the beaten path you’ll find colorful art installments, tattoo shops, community centers, and cozy little coffee shops. I was excited to be in this new and vibrant place.
But where was my adventure??
I had no clue. I hadn’t gotten that far in the planning and the day snuck up on me before I figured the adventure part of the whole self-sustaining day out. I started brainstorming…Get a new tattoo? No. Rummage sales racks at the thrift store? Eh. That’s no adventure. Walk around aimlessly? Too cold. I decided to just play the day by ear and roll with it.
I ended up at Speeder & Earl’s Coffee House to start my day in a caffeinated way. I asked the woman for the strongest coffee they had and sat down with my coffee and some Words with Friends to try and get my head about me on this self-sustaining adventure.
I sat staring at that machine wondering where to go now. I took a walk along the Church Street Marketplace and found all sorts of great shops.
My stomach growled when I passed The Three Tomatoes so I decided for an early lunch and some Kindle reading time. I was finally starting to relax and enjoy some time with my thoughts and being by myself. No adventure yet, or was there? I realized that just being in the moment, being by myself, wandering by myself and meeting new people and seeing new things on my own was an adventure in itself. I had coffee with the sunshine and was about to eat lunch with a fictional character from a story I was reading. I met new people and was able to spend extra time chatting with the barista and learning about Burlington from the eyes of my waitress at The Three Tomatoes.
My adventure became an experience through other peoples’ eyes.
How were people viewing me? Alone and chatty and curious? Where I was to go next depended solely on the conversation I was having with a stranger now. My heart rate had definitely gone up. Going on advice from my young and friendly waitress, I headed over to the City Market. City Market is an organic grocery store that blows Whole Foods out of the water. This place is legit. First, they were serving gluten free mini-cupcakes at the front door followed up with organic milk to wash it down. I almost blew a gasket when I saw that you could grab some peanuts from the bulk bin and make your own peanut butter. Hello, peanut butter adventure! Passing by the boxed stuff isles, I stopped in my tracks when I saw this:
These people obviously know their market. I wanted to buy one of each item just to support hippies being included in their marketing strategy. Arms full of organic soap, gluten free pretzels, and some hippie friendly items, I checked out and threw my things into a re-usable bag and headed out the door. I felt success! I felt excited! I felt that I had found a place that said, “Hey, Christine! This place is for people like YOU!”
I needed that.
Yea, I know. It’s not crazy out of this world adventure. I didn’t try anything crazy scary. But I did do something new. And I learned something new about myself – I like being around people like me. And apparently, Burlington has a whole community of people like me. Enough to open up a grocery store full of opportunity to think and feel and purchase in a healthy, eco-conscious way. Why hadn’t I been doing this kind of exciting connection-making at home?!?
Because I needed to try something new before I understood.
After that, I had the confidence to get off the beaten path. I walked down some side streets, got out of town…and just…wandered while munching on some yogurt covered pretzels. And that’s when my adventure happened.
There was a man in a tattered jacket all bundled up riding a bicycle shopping cart. Somehow, he had taken a shopping cart and attached it to a bicycle. Thus, making a “bicycle shopping cart.” He wouldn’t tell me his name and wouldn’t let me take a picture of the bike but it was a piece of work. Fully functioning with pink streamers and hubcap lined cart art, This piece of machinery was colorful, creative, and practical. He loads it up with recyclables, instruments, clothing, anything that needs to be moved from one place to another. He told me that it took a long time to collect all of the “artwork” that he had decorated the bike with. Our conversation was short and I felt awkward having stopped him to ask about his bike but he said that most people just stare so he was happy to tell me about the bike. He took the shopping cart from the grocery store and got the bike from a friend and said it made sense to put them together. A shopping cart bicycle. I told him the trend would more than likely catch on. Just look at what they are doing in Copenhagen!
I said goodbye to my new friend and the new adventure and started heading home as the sun started dipping behind the buildings on Church Street.
Self-Sustaining Adventure Day…Complete.
How I Found my Way Back to Adventure as a Stay-at-Home Mother
by Abigail Anderson
The day I turned twenty, I bought my first car. It was a white 1991 Honda Accord, with only 99,000 kilometers on it. Within the first year I owned it, I added another 50,000 kilometers to the odometer and many more in the years that followed.
In my early twenties, I travelled anywhere my little car could take me, and my adventurous spirit would lead me. It took me to numerous towns where I could try out independence as a young adult; it carried me home when I missed my Mom and Dad; it brought me closer to old friends who had moved away to form their own adventures and to new friends whose adventures were crossing paths with mine; and it carried me from one new job to another so that I could discover my skills, abilities, and passions in this life.
It’s been twelve years now since I bought my first car for my 20th birthday. I still have the car, though it doesn’t see many adventures anymore. These days, a little worse for wear and speckled with rust, the odometer slowly climbs to the 400k mark as it takes my husband to and from work, so I can enjoy the first few years of my children’s lives before they start wanting independence of their own.
But I digress.
This story is not about a car. It’s about a journey, and even though my wonderful little car carried me safely to each destination my wandering heart desired, somewhere along the road, I forgot I was the one driving the car…
When I was 24, I went back to school, and I met my future husband. Within a few years, we bought our first house, got married, and had two beautiful children. This was the life I had always dreamed of.
So now what?
I started feeling lost, purposeless, and guilty – guilty that I felt purposeless while being a mother to two helpless and wonderful babies, and lost because it never occurred to me to have a ‘next’ goal after having children. It was as if in my mind, my life would be complete at that moment on, and forever more.
Needless to say, I was in need of an awakening of the spirit. As a mother, I simply knew it wasn’t enough. How was I going to teach my children to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals if I was too chicken to step out and show them not only how it’s done, but that it’s important? How but by taking risks, would I teach them if the reward is great, the effort is easy.
Although I had become aware that I needed to start pursuing goals in my life again, the thought of taking any risks was terrifying. It had been so long since I’d had any adventures. I hadn’t met any new people in years; I hadn’t been to any new places, or travelled on my own; and because I was a stay-at-home mom, I hadn’t been supporting myself financially either.
So, I started small. To get inspiration, I read story upon story of women and mothers who are taking the adventurous road, following their passions, and facing their fears. To grow, I challenge myself. I challenge myself physically by learning about fitness; I challenge myself mentally by picking up some new hobbies like painting, and going back to some old hobbies like playing guitar, writing, and crafting; I challenge myself psychologically by opening up to people about my goals and dreams and in so doing, I hold myself accountable to loved ones who have my back; and finally, I challenge myself emotionally by learning new skills to increase my compassion and understanding for both myself and for others.
I am driving the car again.
Even though my adventures look very different from the ones I had in my early twenties, I feel excited, scared, and every bit as uncertain as I did then. But, from those small steps through the door to adventure, I am once again finding meaning in my life. I am becoming braver with every step I take and change has once again become a love in my life. I am filled by a sense of mystery and anticipation of what my life will look like in the coming days, months, and years. With compassion for myself, I move forward knowing that though I will stumble here and there, memories will be created, and others will be inspired just as I have been by all the brave women I read about and hear about on a daily basis.
Whether your idea of an adventure is trotting the globe, getting out and meeting new people, or doing something different from anything you’ve ever done before, if you don’t open the door, you’ll never get out of your box. If you’re scared, do it anyway. And remember: just as no two people are the same, no two adventures will ever be the same, so seek out your adventure, not someone else’s.
Abigail E. Anderson is a mother, wife, blogger, and motivator, who is constantly learning new ways to enrich her life through change. She is currently working on her first novel. To learn more about change, find out more about her story, or to simply connect with another adventurer, visit ChangedbyChange.com.
Women can be an amazing force.
Over centuries, across cultures, around the world, women have been undermined, under-represented, and underestimated. We have fought for personal freedom. We have struggled to have rights. We have carried the weight of balancing our nurturing sense with our business sense. We talk a lot about “the fight” or “women power” or some other two word phrase that makes us sound like we are fierce warriors on the fight for our independence and for our voices to be heard – and this has been an important part of women’s history but I beg to ask the question…
Is fighting the best action for a community?
Fighting can be an effective change agent. Fighting can create change quickly. Fighting can also be devastating. Harmful. Life-ending. What if, instead of “fighting the good fight,” we recognized the amazingness of the woman’s spirit and sought to highlight our amazing capabilities, support each other’s amazing endeavors, and advocated for those that are stifled by restrictions? What if our focus was to bring good through goodness and change through love, resilience, and dedication?
Roam Your Soul has begun to create a community of women adventurers using an online social forum. Adventurers come in many forms and go on amazing journeys in many different ways. You are an adventurer. We all are.
Roam Life and our Roam Your Soul project has sought to find amazing people doing amazing things so that we can introduce them to you. Through their stories we hope you find inspiration, insight, and we hope that you connect to one another through life’s stories. That’s what adventure is all about. The experience. The story. The people. We can change the world. Together.
Amazing Women Doing Amazing Things: Interviews and Stories
Abigail Anderson, Founder of Changed by Change - How I Found my Way Back to Adventure as a Stay-at-Home Mother
Creating Your Own Self-Sustaining Day
I often read blogs about adventure and travel to remind myself that life itself is an adventure. We so easily get lost in our daily lives, our daily routines, and our daily obligations that adventure seems so far away and excitement seems like something we’ll just have to get to on the weekend.
One of the blogs I follow often is from a couple that sold all of their belongings, quit their jobs, and began traveling the country in an RV. They tell great stories, have met some pretty amazing people, and have practical advice on how to follow through on living your dreams. One post, 7 Lessons from a Year on the Road, reminds us of something incredibly important:
Lesson #1: How easy it is to not follow your dreams “Inertia is an incredibly powerful force. It’s far easier to follow a routine, even a hated one, than it is to do something risky, unfamiliar, and meaningfully different.”
Challenge: Give yourself a day of adventure – a full day, all to yourself to find that experience that is meaningfully different.
Self-Sustaining means self-sufficient. It means that you have with you and within you all that you need for an entire day of adventure on your own. This adventure is yours to own. What is it that you’ve been wanting to try? Where is it that you would want to go? How would you like to spend your day? Whether you pack a bag and head to a new coffee shop, go to the local climbing wall, or find a remote part of a park to spend your day, this day is for you to experience something new, reflect on what you’ve learned, and enjoy an entire day on your own.
So far, the Roam Your Soul workshop has had three themed adventures:
1) Seeing things from a new angle
2) Being an advocate
3) Taking Risks Makes a Woman Strong
A self-sustaining adventure: you create it, you plan it, you do it.
Basic Rules for a self-sustaining day:
1. You must pack everything you’ll need for the entire day. Nothing should be purchased along the way and all essentials are at your finger tips in your day pack or bag.
2. Make the adventure meaningful. Test your comfort zone. Get out of the routine.
3. Make time for reflection. Build quiet moments into your day. Write, draw, video blog. Find a way to express your thoughts on your experience. Engage in the process and the adventure.
4. Find an adventure that speaks to your own soul.
So, join us in the experience. Get your daypack out, pack it full of your essentials, and head out to enjoy your very own solo, self-sustaining adventure.
Want to share your self-sustaining adventure story? E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org