Constructing a Journey – An Interview with Zuri (Part I)

I am at fault for not having blogged in two weeks now, and I am starting to get complaints! 😦
At least that shows that my dear friends and family want to know how I’m doing.  I actually blog all the time (granted its in my head), but getting it down on paper, rather iPad, is another story (is there an ipad app for transcribing??).  

So I have been keeping a list of all the things I want to write about, and figured I’d start with why I’m doing this journey, why Bali, and what I want to get out of all this (spoiler alert: deep, emotional stuff will be coming shortly!). For some reason, mostly in the rare attempt to be concise, I will answer these questions in the form of an interview with myself.  And no, I’m not losing my mind here on this island!

What made you decide to go on this trip?
My roommate kicked me out.

Funny.  But seriously, why now?
Seriously.  That was the catalyst.  If she reads this she’ll probably cringe at me putting it like that, but thats what happened, and in hindsight it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.  I needed to go.  When it happened, however, I can’t even describe how awful I felt: I had to leave a great home; I felt like a failure that things between two friends had turned out so badly; I was in the middle of hunting to buy a home and now didn’t even have a home base; and lastly, I was in the middle of rethinking my entire career.   To say that I felt I was in the middle of a maelstrom would be putting it lightly.  

Ok.  So how does one go from not having a home to deciding to leave home completely?
Well, when I started apartment hunting for short term places, I realized I wasn’t happy with anything.  I love Washington, DC, and for the first time, hunting for a new place made me see that I had no desire to be in the city.  And I realized that besides work, I had no direct ties or responsibilities keeping me in DC, or the United States, in fact.  I was through reading my journal the other day and was surprised to see that I had already made the decision to leave the day my roomie gave me the boot!  Part of my journal entry that evening read as follows, “There is NOTHING keeping me here.  Should I just take some time to go away and be with myself? That’s what I’m feeling more and more.  Use this as a chance to start a new life. But it’s so hard to make actual decisions! I pray to find the answer.”  I was shocked myself to see that I had already made the decision, but was too afraid to commit to it.  It was too big, too radical a decision to deal with the implications.  

How long did it take to finally commit?
Two very long weeks.  I went with a good friend to Colorado and was in a marvelous old bookstore, The Tattered Cover, in downtown, Denver reading about going within when it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I’ve been wanting to live abroad and travel in a more substantial way for years.  Now was the time for me to do that.  Every bone in my body was telling me, and had been telling for a while, me this was the right thing to do.  There was no going back from there.  

And why Bali?
Why not?!?!!?  Actually, it started out as visiting South America. Three countries, three months.  I was trying to keep things simple; while I wanted to travel, this time away was really not about just seeing the world, but going within and seeing myself.  The more I started working out the details of South America, the more I was focusing on the details and traveling.  I felt like I was pulling away from my real goal.

Which was/is??
To be still in a quiet, beautiful place. To slow down my life and make time to be with myself, my thoughts and emotions in a way like never before. South America just wasn’t feeling like a match. I realized that I could really go anywhere in the world, and should open myself to that idea. One day while meditating it occurred to me to reach out to practitioners that I had met in Sedona, Arizona (where I learned meditation) to get their recommendations.  One woman said, “I know it may seem corny now because of the book/movie, but have you ever considered Bali?”  It just clicked inside. Once I started researching it even more, I knew it was the right place for me.  Everyone started asking if this was my “Eat, Pray, Love” journey, which I found offense to because I didn’t decide to one day follow Elizabeth Gilbert’s shoes, but I’ve come to accept that this really is!  And I loved the book.  Never actually saw the movie until I was flying here, to Bali.

So that’s it?
Yup!  Within the span of just under two months I decided to go, took a leave of absence from my contract for work, figured out some form of a general itinerary (Bali, Australia, New Zealand, maybe Japan, time permitting), purchased tickets, packed, said goodbye to friends and family, and even managed to go on a quick vacation to Puerto Rico!  It was ridiculous!  I was stressed beyond belief!  Some weeks I couldn’t even sleep at night, I think because of how much I was trying to do in such a short period of time.  I learned after the fact that some people take many months, even years to plan such a journey!  But if I took that long, I might not have gone.  I figured I’d plan the essentials, and figure the rest out on my journey; quite unlike me, the queen planner, but I was really learning to let go of the little things! I was too busy planning and executing to realize the true implications of what I was embarking upon, which I think allowed me to pick up and leave in the free way that I did.

Wow!  Sounds crazy, yet amazing!  Thanks so much for taking this time with us!  I look forward to hearing more about what you’re expecting out of this, and perhaps even some of the details on how its even possible for you to be able to take such a lengthy journey.
Sure!  I’d be happy to share more!

Stay tuned for Part II!!!

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4 Responses to Constructing a Journey – An Interview with Zuri (Part I)

  1. Michelle says:

    Zuri I am very happy you wrote, but don’t beat yourself up for not writing. It’s a time to rest and reflect and you’re on a different time table now. Thanks for sharing how it started. We love you.

  2. CJo says:

    I’m loving reading about your journey and how you ended up there! Sounds like it’s already been an eye-opening, life-changing experience. Much love, Z!

  3. Namita says:

    ZURI!!! I am loving this blog! And, sooooo proud and JEALOUS of you! Enjoy and learn sooooo much for us all stuck back here in the states! Keep up and write whenever you can! Miss ya!

  4. Kim says:

    Hi Zuri, I found your email while I was checking my emails – got side-tracked. I am back home after almost 28 hours. I managed to see Jimbaran beach on my way to the airport. I wanted to see more beaches but traffic was terrible and my driver didn’t want to chance me not getting to the airport on time. I couldn’t leave Bali without seeing at least ONE beach. I would have liked to have stayed in Bali for a few extra days but I couldn’t find a way to change my ticket 😦 Linda went to Sanur, Sarah to Semyack and Kim went to wet rainy Bern.
    Just wanted to let you know I’ve found your blog and will read it with fondness.
    Take care Zuri- if you ever get the chance, pop on on over sometime. Kim

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