Are you wondering how this all begins? I mean the idea of an exit strategy might not be the first thing on your mind today.
What I am discovering is that my own idea of an exit strategy began quite some time ago: the late summer of 2011. At that time I was completing an earlier cycle of my life over in Mountain Center. It was showing me how to empower myself and to grow up all over again after 70.
It was showing me people who, simply put, were going nowhere. They actually lived in a fantasy world based on their appetites and what it was taking day to day to satisfy their cravings. Some of it was money, some of it was food, some was substances of varying degrees of legitimacy. All of them were downhill freeways to an unanticipated and unrealized futility: literally until they were flat on their ass in the dirt! What the bleep?
I like to catch myself before I stumble by paying attention to the rocks in my path that come in the form of messages from all directions and that do not in any way proclaim their importance. It could all be a shrug and walk away.
But I’m not built that way. I’m asking the question: what’s really next? That causes me to notice subtleties. It’s like grabbing invisible balls out of the air to juggle.
It took three more years looking and asking even bigger questions when I finally got it that I’m seeking a different kind of end game to my life. It’s not at all than I am discontent with what I have, rather than I still believe there is more.
I had learned from an interesting friend some of the intricacies of unfolding numerological cycles based on the addition of the month and day number of my birthday with the addition of the numbers of the current year. The inkling became a kind of mental empowerment that sent me off into the cyber world of information. The uptake was that I took a wild ride on the information highway researching what life might be like in a different corner of the world.
As I took deeper notice, it soon became clear that a lot of the world was about to be in serious crises meaning that any ideas I might hold about building something beyond the present status quo would be met with heavy resistance in many of the places that I might have been interested in: Canada and Europe, specifically.
The more I learned, the more I understood that the heavy mire of government would make slogging it out in the trenches mostly a game of survival. I was already doing that where I was at the time and when I looked around me I could see no handle on the door with which to open it.
Today it’s quite different. What I have uncovered is that in order to actually create something useful, to make a platform for myself to give back what I have learned about a lot of things, it will be necessary to leave here to relocate to a much less bound and gagged society, to a fruiting land, in the mountains, in a simpler, more wholesome culture with happier people and much less toxic surveillance, police presence and skulking fear.
My view has sought and found an opportunity in the highlands of the Andes Mountains somewhere in northwest of South America. Well, I am already northwestern in North America, that is.
I’m about to drive myself in my one ton Ford van with my most essential worldly goods through the Americas thence to South America. I’m in wrap and pack mode right now. My house is chaos with piles of stuff. The website, RavenLight.us, is being designed and built by some of my good friends. I am writing as much as I am prompted to do as I assemble Raven’s Flight, the autobiography of my earlier life, preparing it for publishing digitally.
That part of the plan is forming the pieces of my new found literary career. I feel a little like how it might have been for Grandma Moses when she began to paint at the age of 78. I’m her junior!
I called up the young man (at some point all the young men are children or even grandchildren!) who publishes the local High Country Journal, a bi-monthly paper that offers some interesting articles along with pages of local advertising: May I blog my trip for your paper? He loved the ideal.
It seems there is to be a bridge built between where I am now and my destination in South America. With that I can get a press pass so that I can delve even deeper into the parts of my journey with words, pictures and video. Imagine that I feel like a real journalist!
Another piece of the process aiming for the evolution called packing the van is to get my trade together. I have been sewing nearly 70 years. I always have a stash of materials which now require going through to see what can turn into “Lotus Booty”, hand-made goods to trade through the site and on my way for gas money. So along with the time on the keyboard with the thesaurus beside me, I am sewing some clothing, pouches and tote bags with collected recycled materials. I had to buy two new sewing machines, both of them properly engineered all gear machines without any kind of computerized system anywhere and nothing to get in the way of at least 25 years of service for which they are warranted. Fine, I’m rolling and I am on a roll.
It feels really good even through the intense heat of this summer, the summer when I am detailing everything once more about my life. The Budget has shown itself to be the fuel for the game: how do I get what I will really need to make it first on the trip and then in the new country? Gas in Ecuador is $1.65: driving range is extended beyond what is possible at nearly $4. a gallon.
Motivation for something larger and more wonderful is quite easy when faced with the gas bill and the food bill and the insurances bill. Are you beginning to understand my thinking here? It involves something we are labeling “quality of life”!
When I began my research to discover what life might be like in South America, I came upon ex-pat web sites that told me all about where there are golf courses in Ecuador, which are the best hotels to stay in, where are the classy resorts and which beaches have the best restaurants, how much of my pension would I be spending for rent and utilities where I might settle.
I wore out this information very quickly because I will be seeking another kind of life more aligned with the local indigenous peoples, an organic kind of life. I will also need to earn as I go because I have no pension and only a little in savings which will get me where I am going.
So the story I will be weaving for you, gentle reader, is somewhat unusual, off beat, and in sync with a deeper rhythm that lives in the earth, way beneath the road bed I will be rolling on. It is also a somewhat mystical and magical tale of a journey and a continuing commitment to expanding my perceptions and intelligence.
The story is the story of human beings who live where they live, quite different to my white girl kind of life here in the United States. There is another language to learn and since sensibility and words inform each other, it will make a different style for my English speaking persona.
I believe I will also enjoy a little more respect as an elder in these simpler societies that does not exist much here. Even understanding that many of my peers are pretty ragged around the edges, are a little fumbling, even somewhat demented by years of doctor’s drugs that are not part of my life, my vitality and clear voice will make me a place in the world I am seeking.
Sometimes I talk to my older friends reminding them they must behave better and not whine about their aches. I have always believed if I am giving advice, it seems obvious: pay attention to advice I am giving as I seek to become a part of a different community.
Oh, my dears, it is all so very exciting just to be thinking about it. So I am going to lead you on with me to discover what kind of adventure we can find. I hope to make this writing fun and informative so you will stay with me.
Let’s roll and keep on truckin’