Traveling Light

It was about a year ago I went on my own bucket list trip. I think it is always interesting to hear about people’s bucket lists and the things and places they want to travel to, see, and do in their life. Sometimes the experiences are very similar to others and sometimes they are wildly different. Reflecting the uniqueness of every human being and the desires of adventure and curiosity of exploration.

In March of last year I saw one of my favorite musicians was doing a summer 40th anniversary tour, and living in Music City USA means we often get the concerts smaller towns don’t. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have long been my favorite band, probably because my momma raised me right. But I knew I didn’t want to see them in Nashville. (Don’t get me wrong, I love Bridgestone, but for the first time seeing my favorite musician?) So I looked at other cities and saw Seattle, a city I’d long wanted to visit but had 1-no excuse to and 2-no one to journey there with.

IMG_5110And that’s a hard rub as a single person. You know your other single friends are on budgets like yourself, and may not be up for traveling to the same place or seeing the same things as you. You don’t want to force people to adhere to your travel plans or destinations out of shear selfishness.

 

20953703_10105336340976795_4326938811749454304_nSo I went alone. To a city I have never been to. Staying in an AirBnB. Driving in a city I had never driven in (but hey, still on the left side of the road!). Because I wanted to see my favorite musician and visit a city I’d dreamt of seeing for a decade. I did research on some things to check out, bought a random city pass to see a bunch of sites I may not have otherwise have gotten to see. I went to two different distilleries for tours and tastings, saw the OG Starbucks, and even fell in love with an artist that I will not shut up about a year later (Chihuly glass!).

 

 

Chihuly Blue

Yes, there were times when I was apprehensive about being there alone. Loneliness crept in at moments, just like they do on a random Tuesday night at home. But I learned that I miss out on life, on living and adventuring if I wait for a boyfriend or spouse to come along to do those things with. Sometimes you do have friends who can make trips work, or you go on adventures with your family to places like I am doing in a couple of weeks with my sister to Chicago. But there are times, when you are single, that you just cannot make it work and you either sit by planning for the day when you might have a partner or you jump and take the trip.

If I had waited, I would’ve missed seeing my favorite musician live in concert. Maybe that’s what has really spurred my heart and passion for traveling as a single. Because if I had put off that trip, or opted out because of my marital status, I would never have seen him perform in person (and ya’ll it was so good….).

You still have to be aware when you travel alone, and probably more hyper aware than when with another person or in a group. But living your life means living it as it’s gifted to you right now. Not waiting for the “what if” days to come that may never come to fruition. As I shared on Instagram earlier this week, Flying across the country solo showed me the beauty of life, adventure and even my singleness while also reminding me that no matter what I may feel as a single, God’s designed my life and is very present in every bit of it. I have to choose to recognize my heart and desire for living out that life. Regardless of the lie of “less than” as a single, regardless of the loneliness, regardless of the emotion I attach to it or presume about it.

Saturday Adventuring

IMG_4663It’s the unofficial start to the summer with Memorial Day upon us. I don’t know about you all but here in the South it’s already gotten hot. But one thing’s for certain, Saturdays in the South in the Summer were meant for adventuring.

Sometimes it’s planned and other times it’s on a whim. That’s kind of how I like living my life these days. And we all should enjoy plans and spontaneity.

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Stay tuned as I share photos over on the Photopalooza tab (we may rename that to Adventuring) and share some of your favorite places of unplanned or planned collisions with adventure.

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Happy adventuring everyone!

The No H Summer

For a very long time there has been a very real stigma attached to singles. We have to have someone in order to enjoy life. You have to have someone in order to own a home, to choose a life of fulfillment, to be content. It’s about the outward presence of another in order to be living life. 

I have come to realize in the last year to find contentment is to be joyful in spite of circumstance, to choose a perspective that is not my own but one in which God colors my life. It’s to surround yourself with women and men who are the picture of life and love. It’s to fall in love with a contented life that isn’t bound by a boyfriend or spouse. It’s loving fully this glory which is set before me, walking confidently and with dignity through it in every moment. 

As I referred to in a post just days ago, a life isn’t defined by a marital status. I do believe you must be an example though for others, in coming out of something you have endured with heartache and hurt, in joy and triumph. So this summer I am choosing the theme of the #noHsummer for my life.  (My name is also spelled without an h and something I throughout my days as well)  

Follow along this summer on my social media and right here on the blog as I share the adventures of being a no H Sara that has no H (husband) and what life looks like in that. What joy and fun and adventure awaits if we stop waiting for Him to send us someone and instead we live this life He has gifted us with abandon. 

To Students…

As you start classes today, I want to share some thoughts and words with you in this new year. Bear with me because at times I may seem nostalgic for days gone by.

This year will be different. You will face challenges you did not face last year, but you will also taste success that you did not sample last year. Every year of your collegiate experience is different but you don’t realize it until well past the time you could have enjoyed it. Take time this year to revel in the tasks you face, whether projects or job responsibilities. There will never be another time in your life where you face them with the tool box you have right now.

Photo courtesy of djtrackstar.com
Photo courtesy of djtrackstar.com

You have the opportunity, right now, to choose how your day is going to go. We don’t get to decide others’ actions, but we do decide how we react. Face your reaction with purpose, with thought, and with the knowledge you carry right now. Frustrations and temptations will mount quickly, but in those find who you are and how you choose to confront them. You be you, not a version of someone else.

Take time this year to get to know someone deeper. This can be a resident, a classmate, a professor, an administrator, or a pastor. But take that time to foster community with another person whom you don’t know that well right now. As humans we deeply want connection and community, and you have the power to encourage and grow the community you encounter daily. Make a cognizant and consistent choice to water the community so it will grow. Invite someone to coffee and foster a conversation. You’ll be surprised when two hours later you are discussing life lessons with a new mentor or friend.

Know you are being prayed for daily. Take hold of the knowledge that numerous people are praying for your growth, development, and sustainment in each and every moment. If you reach a point in your journey this year where you are drained, discouraged, or weary, or if you are facing a challenge, let someone know by simply asking them to pray for you. Let me know personally and I will pray, as I continue to pray over you now as you begin the year.

Get outside of your comfort zone at least once a week (or once a month at the very least). What does that look like? Engage in a new study area on campus, try getting involved in a student organization you never would have thought to look into, sit in a different area in class…you create your own adventure this year. And let it be a glorious adventure, full of rough terrain and strolling meadows. But make this year YOUR YEAR. Own it. Embrace it. Live it. Don’t just let it pass by.

Sincerely,
Sara