Saturday, January 25, 2014

Where am I now and what lies ahead of me...

As I sit down to write this post, I'm struggling for a title. So I'm going to write it first and title it when I'm done. 

Upon the first of the year it began to to hit me how big of a year 2014 is going to be for me. Those who know me know my that I quite often live a larger then your average adventurous lifestyle. Go big or go home. OK before I offend anyone, I know I live within a very small percentage of the population and it's not for most, but it's for me, it's what makes me tick, it what makes me happy and, as cheesy as it sounds, completes me. I'm in one way or another an adventure junkie. 

Looking back at 2013 I can't say that nothing big happened, as lot really did, as my previous post had depicted, but I didn't really feel like I had accomplished anything big and it wasn't one of those years I would say was an amazing year for me. Yes, I did however have amazing things happen in small doses. It was a year of trial and error, live, learn and move forward, it's because of everything that had happened in 2013 that has led me to make 2014 a big year in terms of big adventures, mainly due to timing, but also due to sheer will and determination to make my dreams happen.

So the best thing about not having a full-time standard job is flexibility. I choose to take a 6 month contract assignment, so I would be free to do what I wanted to do when I was done and I didn't have to make any permanent choices that I didn't feel I was ready to make. So I was counting weeks and doing math and figuring out how to squeeze my adventures in between my work contracts. Or maybe I should say fit work in between my adventures.

Alright, enough blabber I'll just get to it already. Those who follow me on facebook, may have already gotten an idea of what lies ahead of me, or where I am in my first adventure of the year. After my contract ended in January I had always been planning on a trip to Costa Rica and then later in the year thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail. In planning and researching my Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) hike my Costa Rica trip morphed from a yoga retreat vacation to a backpacking trip, through Costa Rica, Panama, and Nicaragua. So thru-hiking if the big event of the year, more in what that entails later but just in quick detail: The Pacific Crest Trail is a trail that spans from the Calfornia-Mexico border thru Califormia, Oregon, and Washington to the Washington-Canada border. It is 2600 and some odd miles of backpacking through wilderness and some desert in the Southern California. This is all done in one shot, for most it takes about 5 months with an average of 20 miles a day. There will be many posts to follow regarding my PCT planning, what the hike looks like for me, gear reviews and the actual hiking of the PCT.

So where am I now? I am 5 days into my backpacking trip through Central America. I flew into Costa Rica, made my way down the Caribbean coast into Panama and am now in Boquete, Panama. I will travel until mid February, then return to the Bay Area for a 13 week work assignment and then off to the PCT.

Here are a few shots from my trip so far:

Saying goodbye to Izzy, with all my all that I will travel with packed into my backpack of 30 pounds.
Punta Uva, Costa Rica
The hillsides of Boquete, Panama

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Test 123 we go again, this is attempt #2 of this blog post. I'm using the IPhone Blogger app and bluetooth keyboard to blog. Somehow my original draft of this post disappeared. Bummer, it's never the same to rewrite a blog post once you've done it already, cause I'm already over it. But I'll do my best.

It's been over a year since I've been blogging and my last series of blogs were about my training and my attempt of the Leadville 100. So, what have I been doing since then, where I have been? I'll do my best to give you all a very condensed version of the last 15months of my life. Lots of changes here, I guess I could summarize my last 15 months by saying it is all about stepping outside that square little box of the comfort zone most of us live the entirety of our lives in.

Rewind back to October 2012, I had made the decision to quit the job I loved and leave the city, I never thought I would leave, to start to follow a dream of something I have always wanted to do. Over the summer I had spent a lot of time in the small mountain town of Leadville, CO. It was during my trip there in July that I had stumbled upon a foreclosed bed and breakfast. It was then the wheels in my head started turning.

The end of October I gave up my lease, of the 1 bedroom cottage I had lived in for 5 years, put most of my belongings into a storage unit and moved in with a friend, to save money and start cultivating a plan.

By mid November I had given notice at my job, deciding I would work until mid-December and move at the end of the year. Come December 31st I packed up my car and stuffed my storage unit with more belongings that I didn't foresee needing until I had settled down more permanently, at this point I was moving to Leadville with no place to live and a per diem nursing job at the local hospital.

Fast forward a few months. Though I had throughly enjoyed my first winter in Colorado spending most of it outside: downhill skiing, running on the groomed snowmobile trails, and even trying snowshoe racing for the first time. I was starting to feel this small town living wasn't for me and opening the bed and breakfast I had dreamed about, perhaps wasn't the right time and place for me. I was dearly homesick for California.

Now what? I had no plan but knew I didn't want to stay in Leadville.  So in June I called a nursing traveling agency and started looking at my options. Which brought me to a 6 month contract in Santa Clara, CA. This had all happened quite quickly, By July 15th I was starting and new job and living in a new place I had never been. I was terrified, I had no idea if I was going to like it, what if I missed the mountains and small town living, then what? And having to work full time again, I certainly was giving up the luxury of working 2 part-time nursing jobs and having lots of time to explore and play. I was scared of how I would adjust to a more structured lifestyle. Let me tell you I DO MISS the small town living and the mountains and I adjusted 'just ok' to an 8-5 40hr work week. But boy was I happy to be back in California and I absolutely love living in the Bay Area. Maybe only once or twice, in my six months in Santa Clara, did I only vaguely miss San Diego. So I know one thing for sure, I truly am a California girl at heart, I missed the California culture, more then I miss the mountains and the small town living.

I just ended my 6 month contract on Sat, January 18th and once again had to move all of my belongings out of the company provided housing back into my car, onto the next adventure. So what is my next move you ask, well I have some pretty big announcements of some exciting happenings in 2014 for me. Of which will get it's own blog post.
Beaver Creek Snowshoe series
Skiing the back bowls of Vail. My favorite ski spot.
Summit at Leadville Heavy Half, 13,000 and some odd feet
Back in California