All in The Latvia Series

On Loving Strangers

Velta, the teeny tiny tough-as-nails Latvian grandma I've shacked up with for three months, has taught me profound lessons on resourcefulness and survival. I'm now realizing she's also taught me the beauty of sharing your life with strangers.

I don't mean blogging about my adventures, splashing them on Facebook for whomever to see. I mean intimately sharing your weird day to day life. With someone you barely know and cannot actually speak to. For months. And loving it. And loving them. And being open to all of the randomness that ensues.

On Bathing as Luxury

Here's the thing: Sitting naked on a stone cold floor in a primitive cabin on the other side of the world - bathing admittedly like a Victorian whore - puts your life into perspective pretty quickly. It was a microcosmic moment that perfectly summed up my feelings about Latvia. 

On the Power of Food

My whole attitude for my three months Latvia was set to the speed of I Can Figure This Out. 

No plumbing? Okay, I can figure this out. Fire for heat? Alright, I can figure this out. Water from a well to bathe in a small metal basin? I'm in, let's figure this out. So there I was, waking up groggy and peering into an empty fridge. It was my first nudge from The Universe. I also get to figure out how to feed myself in the simplest of ways. I certainly got what I asked for. 

On Arriving

I will never forget my first view of Latvia.

Peering out the window of my airplane, a tidal wave of excitement and panic washed over me: Somewhere deep in those woods is my little off-grid homestead. What am I doing with my life? Oh man, Imma needta figure ma shit out real quick.

On Leaving

No one has perfected the art of leaving like travelers. We live our lives in a constant state of leaving somewhere, leaving someone. I've learned to never say goodbye, just "I'll see you later." I sat with thoughts of leaving for many hours on my flights around the world. I realized something.

Leaving feels like firsts and it feels like fear. 

Finding my edges in Latvia.

Last year I radically purged my life and chose to travel indefinitely because I want to find my edges. I want to question them and challenge them. Then I want to push past them. 

My solo trip around the world is motivated by an obsession to redefine what I think is possible, what I think I’m capable of. So I've decided to go full Hemingway. I'm spending three frozen months in the isolated Latvian countryside in an off-grid house. Seems like that’ll do the trick.