All posts by aneternaltraveler

About An Eternal Traveler Traveling alone shows you what you’re made of. It teaches you at least as much about others as you learn about yourself. I’ve traveled 5 continents and more than 20 countries and lived internationally for over a year. Those moments have been some of the most challenging and gratifying in my life. I couldn’t imagine ever being thrown off by anything life tossed at me after those experiences. Not so long ago I returned home from a trip to find my life was about to take a sharp turn off a cliff. All at once, I was getting divorced, in fear of losing my house, and my business was petering out while the bills kept rolling in. To say my confidence had been shaken is an understatement. My existential crisis led me to create this blog because I’m tired of smiling and pretending everything is “fine” and ready to discover from the Inside Out what it means to move forward into living the life I really want wherever that is in the world. So grab your passport and let’s get moving :)

TV Diet Day 2

Image result for science teacherToday was awesomely fun and crazily hectic.  At school, I had to prepare a pretty involved lab for my science students that would allow them to analyze the presence our primary macro-nutrients in food samples.  For me, it is so much fun to create ever more efficient labs that give the students the best hands-on experience possible. Every year, I learn something new that I can improve on.  I love watching the kids do it and get totally impressed with themselves.  I love that I really reach them with Science and make them realize how cool it is.  The stress comes in making sure I corral the students appropriately so that they keep moving along, instead of stopping and socializing.  I try not to have a dull moment in my classroom.

Image result for sick kittyThen, onto my personal life—-my baby (cat) had to be taken to the Vet because he hasn’t been eating the last few days.  He is only about 8 months old and when it comes to cats it can be a matter of days without eating until kitty is in critical condition.  So, I passed off hosting my after school STEM club to a couple of other Science teachers and flew from school to home with 10 min. to spare to pack up kitty and get to the vet.  We were there for about 1/2 hr, then I came home for my regular meet up with a friend at 5:00 pm, another hour goes by.  I finally eat and then I realize I’m really, really  beat.  I am so tired that could just lay back and watch some TV and not think.

Image result for no tvOh my god, was that a strong pull. I really had to think my way out of that one.  So, I just started putting the dishes away in the dishwasher and cleaning up the kitchen to re-direct my mind.  This definitely reminds me of quitting smoking. After that, I decided I’d write my blog post.  So here we are. I do not know what the heck I’m going to do with the rest of the night.

Maybe tonight could be a reeeeeeealy early to bed kinda night?

TV Diet Day 1

Image result for no tvJust so you know, this is waaaaay easier than quitting smoking. Giving up TV is more like that awkward friend standing in the middle of the room that you feel like you have to explain. I went for the remote a few times, but managed relatively easily. I did notice that it was easier to fall asleep and I got tired more progressively; as if I watched all the machinery slow down. Normally, I practically pass out to the TV blaring away. If I am too lazy to turn it off in the middle of the night, sometimes it would still be on the next morning. I wonder what kind of programming I’ve tuned into. But seriously, that can’t be good. I also noticed that I feel calmer overall. It seems like I have more hours in the evening. I’m just happy I’m blogging again with my newfound spare time. I’ve started getting my news as a feed on my phone. NO VIDEOS. I actually read more news now because everything is in digest form. I like feeling more informed. I still don’t feel motivated to clean the house, but I’m hoping that will kick in soon…..

with love from
aneternaltraveler 😉

TV Diet

Let’s face it. This election is one of history’s greatest political debuts into reality TV. On Nov. 9th at 2:30 am EST, I was awoken like a bolt of lighting after a bad dream, by my TV announcing that “Hillary has called Donald Trump and conceded the election”. This could not be. I must have heard wrong being half asleep.

But the band played on and I had heard it right. In fact, America said yes indeed-y I want a racist, bigoted, sexist, misogynist, pervert as MY PRESIDENT! I couldn’t fall asleep again after that.

When I went to my school, which has a nearly 50% Hispanic population, many of which come from homes of undocumented parents, I had to field questions from scared faces. Questions like Ms. P will I be deported now? What will happen to my family?, Will you hide us in your house? Statements like, I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to lose my family.

Documented or Undocumented these are people first. They deserve the same dignity afforded the rest of us. These are not automatic criminals because of their skin color and language. These are people that you use as placeholders for your rage about your own life. Damn straight! Some of it was caused by this government and you have every right to be mad at it. But at the same time, be honest, no Hispanic person ever took “your” job. I dare you to prove me otherwise. Be angry. But at the right person or system. Nobody likes a target on their back.

Anyway, I could rant on and on. The more I’ve watched the news over the last week, the sicker I stayed. Looping clips of tragedy folding in on themselves just like watching ribbons of taffy from outside a window on the boardwalk. Media’s unending stifled loops of laughter and distress reminds me of the old time movie strip players – you play and play the movie reel and the player would over heat like hell; at times burning up the reel and sometimes even burning the whole place down. I say, alright already Media hype – burn baby burn. Make the looping stop! Hey, Digital Technology. Thanks a lot for this unforeseen consequence.

And yet again, I must digress. What do they say in therapy? Oh yes, “The only person’s behavior you have control over is your own”. So, in the spirit of therapy and rugged Americanism, I’ve decided to go off TV….COLD….TURKEY. Already, it has proven invaluable, as I’ve managed to thrill and entertain you with a version of our nations tragedy and my reaction to it. I can assure you this level of brilliant creativity does not come from a mind half (or more) watching Criminal Minds while blogging. This is my all people. 100%.

So I’ve decided to see how long I can go without watching any television. I also want to track the sorts of things I do as alternatives – you know other than going to bed reeeeealy early. Why not join me? I’ll share my daily experience and you can share yours. If you’re not too busy watching TV, that is.

with love from,
aneternaltraveler 😉

Being High. Who does it hurt?

A friend said to me,”is it wrong that I enjoy being high? Shouldn’t we, as adults, be allowed to change states as we choose? Should the state really have control over our freedom of choice? Should we be imprisioned for making a choice to live in a different state? ”

A lot of interesting questions. Personally, I live in a state that doesn’t appprove of neurochemical state changes. 

I’ve never really had an issue with the use of “alternative” natural medications to get you where you need to be. One caveat…it can’t hurt others or keep you from supporting yourself like a freaking adult.

Otherwise, have at it. 

What do you think?

with love from aneternaltraveler 🙂

Never Work a Day in Your Life

My mother used to tell me that if I find what I love to do, I’ll never work a day in my life. Well, it has taken me until I’m nearly 40 to know that feeling. 

2 years ago I changed careers and became a middle school science teacher. My dad and I shared this passion for the world around us. I remember talking for hours about the “Big Bang Theory” with great excitement. it seemed like we lost our own concept of space and time once we got started. I also remember my mom telling me that at age 3 I started asking why and never stopped. It wasn’t long before she bought me my own set of encyclopedias to devour after I exhausted her with questions. I am lucky that both my parents supported my tireless interest in learning about the world around me.

I put everything I have into teaching my 7th graders life science and not only do I walk away exhilarated,  I also look forward to getting up every morning at 5:45 for work no matter how bad the previous day was. Today is a new day. New attitude. New adventure. 

This year I personally teach 175 students everyday. I teach all 5 periods in a row with lunch mostly spent with students or making things for class. I have roughly 35 students every class period and by the grace of God and some serious relationship building, I manage to keep their behavior in check while they actually learn something. After school, I run a STEM Club which allows the über nerds to have a special playground. We do experiments and competitions. I just love their enthusiasm and dedication. They inspire me every day in so many little and big ways. 

Ironically, with all that intensity,  I sometimes have to pinch myself that this is a job I get paid for. Not a hobby I love while I work a job I hate. This IS my job (for reals-as the kids say).

So imagine my excitement when. I found out I’m being nominated for Teacher of the Year!!! I almost cried when I was told. They said that I was one of the most engaging teachers they’ve ever seen. That everybody wants to be in my class because they have so much fun learning and for many of these student it’s their first time geting an “A” in science. They said how I go above and beyond in the classroom & outside with my club. Parents ask for their kid to be in my class (apparently). My enthusiasm is contagious. 

I mean how cool is that!?! I feel like a rock star.  I get to shape all these minds. Show them how fun science and learning really are. I get show them their potential and teach them how to think and feel that they are worthy of greatness.I get to know the unique way that 172 future leaders of this country really think and feel. I get to be a kid again because they think it’s cool that I’m always real with them. So they accept my nerdiness and goofiness, and bad science jokes. They also listen and behave respectfully when they know it’s time. I will never be a parent myself, but I am so honored for the privilege of teaching your child how to believe in themselves and get excited about the world around them. 

I want to say thank you to all the people who helped me along the way – even those people who treated me poorly along the way. There are two sides to every coin and there are good and bad influences in your life. At some point, if you want to heal, you have to come to love them both. Without them – all of them – you would not be who you are.

All of these experiences finally directed me to my deep passion and a clear understanding of what it really means to “never work a day in your life”. 

Are you living your dream? If not, give me a real reason you can’t start to change that.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Teaching is a hard b’ness

Never a dull moment. What is it to have lunch to myself or with a colleague? Every free moment spent with students who have no access to resources many of us take for granted. Internet. A computer. You assume it. They look for the chance to access it. I work with some very poor students. These students need help getting meals. These students have been removed from their families by child services. I sometimes want to check out from the pain they are forced to feel….ALL THE TIME. I am there at lunch, at free periods, after school. I show them there is an adult who gives a shit about their success. I give up my life to make sure they have a future. I had my shot. Whatever I can do, I will. They cry to me. HELP ME! I find a way to help. I am more than a teacher. I am a parent, a counselor, a friend. All the people they never had. I have always fought for the underdog. I continue that fight. ALL my kids will have a voice. I AM FEARLESS. I know what it is to have no one listen. I have ears. I hear you. I will make sure your voice is heard. I am your advocate. I am a soldier. I am hope. You matter. I believe in you. Even when the darkness falls, look to me and you will find a lighted pathway. You are NOT alone.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Fly into the Light, Butterfly

Like a worm in a cocoon we are unaware of the transformation taking place until the moment we emerge a butterfly.

As the season that represents the hopes and dreams of the world is upon us once again, I find myself  filled with a hope and joy in my life I haven’t felt since 2003. 12 years in the making. I nearly gave up many times. It has been a long journey; at times very painful. Nonetheless, I have finally arrived. Today, I realized it all at once.

I haven’t been on a solo travel adventure  in some time.  As I left my house this morning my luggage lightly packed to leave room for possibilities, I stood on my front porch and taking a deep breath I thought – you’re really happy aren’t you?

I am at peace.  I finally care about something again.  In my teaching, I have purpose.  They help me be a better person and I help them too. I have great friends. I haven’t found that one special guy yet, but I’m enjoying dating 4 different men of interest in the meanwhile 🙂  I make a good salary finally and found a way to make extra money and paid off all my student loans.  I am debt free.  In 3 months I took my 7th graders to great success in an engineering competition where they were 5 of only 12 students in two counties to be awarded “outstanding engineers” and have lunch with the Chief Scientist of NASA. My life is on the rise again after fighting in the trenches so long. 12 long years.

I’m estranged from my mother who left me on Mother’s day, yet to return again. I have made peace with her choice and learned there are some things you cannot control.  One of those things is how people choose to behave and interact with the world.  Sometimes the greatest gift you can give someone is to let them go. Many times she asked me to leave her life. I wasn’t listening.  Now I hear loud and clear.  At about the same time my ex-boyfriend had left and my pet of 16 years died.  The timing of those two relationships ending was the peak of the tragedy over these 12 years. I spent much of the summer recovering from two big blows. I was really alone with myself once again.

After I came out of it all, I began to map out how I wanted the future to look. I became very clear on what I would and would not accept into my life. I thought a lot about what I wanted to focus on.  I made a plan. I stayed focused.  And you know what? I’ve been knocking it out of the park.  My goals are from my soul so working towards them feels in harmony with who I am.  When I FEEL that connection, I know I’m on the right path.

I also made the choice to have a serious talk with my doctor to manage a debilitating health concern when I finally couldn’t continue to have any quality of life without beginning medication. It is something that no one knows about and I’ve kept private for a very long time.

“Coming out”, if you will, freed my soul and allowed me to accept the whole me. Walking into the sunlight helped me love myself better.  In the end seeking treatment instead of suffering all these years was a great act of self-love.  Everyday I am happy I made the choice and my only wish is that I had made it sooner. That conversation with my doctor saved my life.

So, now I head to the red rocks and sunshine of health-conscious Sedona to introduce myself to the world of butterflies.  A new beginning; surrounded by some of the best of natures’ creation, I will spread my newborn wings and fly towards that which brings joy, peace, and health.  I look forward to witnessing the vastness of the Grand Canyon and drinking in the elixer of possibility seeing both my smallness and my greatness at once.

As  I go into the new year, I have but one resolution – to keep flying towards the light.

—- With love this holiday season from aneternaltraveler ❤

Who’s Changing Who’s Life?

Offically about 1 month into my first year as a science teacher and overall I have to say it was one of the best career decisions I’ve ever made.

I truly love the subject matter. I enjoy reaching the kids and engaging them. I even have gotten through some major challenges like breaking up a fist fight in my class or having one of the boys make a sexually explicit gesture towards me.

I teach 150 7th grade students everyday. My day starts at 5:30 am and I usually leave school 12 hrs. later. I eat lunch with the kids I’ve called in to get their work done and keep from failing. I write parents every Monday so they knows what’s coming up and in my off time I have more meetings and have decided to head the after school STEM Club. 

I LOVE what I get to do. I’ve never felt a greater sense of purpose in my life. I now understand what they mean when they say, do what you love and you’ll never “work” a day in your life. I bust my butt day in and day out, but I don’t want to miss a day watching them blossom and grow.  So, in sickness and health, I am committed to these 150 amazing and unique people 100%.

Just wanted to check-in and let you know where my attention has been lately and why I’ve been less prolific.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Tango and Life

Why does the tango imitate life like no other dance knows how? No matter how many times you watch it, you will feel different emotions depending on your life at the moment. It pulls together happiness, sadness, anger, violence,  regret, and fans the flames of your desire into a smoldering restrainted mess of hot coals waiting to catch fire.

To dance it is to know your own darkness. It allows you to discover what it will take to pull you from the depths of your own personal hell. Dancing tango tears at your soul becuase you cannot hide your soul from the dance. Tango reveals your truth and forces you to decide whether you will look at it in the face and dance or you will turn and spin away never to return.

Life, like tango, magically lets the full range of human experience flow from one move to the next. Moments strung together become a dance  we learn to savor more as we look back and can see how all the last steps have led to the next steps.

To tango. To life. To the next step.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Smile More Everyday

I was thinking today about the many ways in which we frustrate ourselves as human beings.  I wondered if there was a common cause of the hell we put ourselves through. So, I asked the question and waited for my mind to speak up.

Hours later…..

It came to me that much of our frustration can be traced to trying to change things or people that are not ready to change or feel no need to. Without realizing it many times, I think we expect others to consider our way of doing things or our way of thinking as obvious brilliance.  If they don’t comply we call them names or distance ourselves or worse gather other people together to “hate” them too.  Sometimes that anger turns inward and becomes depression, especially when we take their behavior as a sign of our failure or inadequacy.

wpid-20131213_104651.jpgSometimes, in fact I think more often than we realize, we have to accept things as they are in the present. We cannot force our way or change someone else.  Trust me, just like you I wish I could too. That annoying, undermining co-worker, the self-centered family member, the careless friend, and so on and so forth.  Trust me. I get it.  Why do you think I spend so much time trying to noodle my way into alternative pathways of thinking?? I struggle with these issues and I want you to know you’re not alone because we all do.  Heck sometimes WE are these people for others.

What I’m beginning to learn is that while we are on the path to accepting others “as is”, we are going to have a lot of stress and frustration to manage.  Acceptance is waaaaaay harder than hate.  Acceptance asks us to let go of our own egos for the chance to be a great leader.  Acceptance isn’t being passive. It is an active process and the greatest opportunity to eventually create real lasting change.

Most people don’t change or collaborate or compromise, because they feel threatened and defend their ego or their position. If you play into this, which most of us do, you end up with a stalemate. Everybody is positive they are right and each one digs in their heels.

In order to become the change you want to see in this world, you must release the obsessive thoughts that have become your focus in order to make room for more constructive energy to enter.

Exercise is Good for Your BrainPersonally, I do this by engaging in some form of physical activity during which I push myself past my own mind and out of my thoughts.  Then, I keep going until I find myself laughing or smiling. Let me give you an example, yesterday I went for a long bike ride with a lot of changes in elevation. My lungs and my legs were really feeling it. To keep going I had to stay completely focused on believing that I could get up that next hill.  So, that meant I had to get rid of thoughts that weren’t helping me achieve that goal. That means those obsessive thoughts had to take a hike while I was on the bike 🙂 When I made it up the hill, I was feeling like my lungs and legs would explode but it also felt good to show myself I could do it.

blond girl swingAt my half way point, I saw a park with swings.  A mother and child were swinging together and they looked so happy.  Next to them was another empty swing.  I stared at it for awhile remembering the joy I felt swinging as a child.  I wondered if it would be foolish to do it again at my age and whether my hips would even fit!  I said the heck with it and got on the swing and began to push myself higher and higher just like I did when I was a kid. I found myself spontaneously screaming Weeeeeeeeee!!! and smiling and laughing with such joy that I forgot all the negativity I started out with at the beginning of my ride. I was playing with the child inside that was always there waiting for me.

The point is this: Find a way to smile more everyday. Let go of the tension everyday.  Don’t let it build up. If it takes an intense walk, run, bike ride, etc. to reset, then DO THAT. Everyday grant yourself peace of heart and mind by choosing to find your smile. Choose to play with that child inside. Reconnect. Remember who you are – you are not a reflection of other people’s behavior. You don’t need to change anyone or anything to feel good about yourself and your life right now.  Just be.