Category Archives: travel

five years later & one week in

august 8, 2012 – when i searched WordPress and threw together my first blog post. LeGrand was an easy name to word smith and adventure was a given, so LeGrand Adventure it was.

nearly five to six years later (because time passes anyway) i’ve found myself at the beginning again. not really, though it does feel fresh, new, like starting over.

so here i am, harvesting the name from the experience and hushing the fears.

i played around with the idea of travel writing/blogging five years ago here: https://legrandadventure.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/what-do-i-desire/

in the gap between then and now, a lot of life happened. it probably needed to happen to accumulate the depth, wisdom, and motivation i’ll harness to put these words into action.

so, i’ll finally speak it. here it goes kids

in 2016, nashville became less familiar and i established new community in columbus, oh. over the course of 2017, i had fun calling myself a gypsy and living just a tad outside of responsibility – or in between nashville and columbus, often.

as 2017 rolled into 2018, situations and circumstances pruned distractions. well, i made the conscious choice to prune the distractions after taking cue from my environment.

in the small, deliberate actions, there was clarity. it was time. it is time.

you know the feeling when you’ve experienced a ton of heavy and chaos, and you can tangibly sense the lessons coming together like interlocking pieces spelling out the direction of your entire life?

no? well, i haven’t understood the feeling until now.

so at the end of last year, i made a decision. actually, i cried about not knowing what the hell to do and mid-pity party, my best friend called. now, she’s known me nearly twenty years, and she’s been witness to the biggest, hardest, weirdest (this may be it) seasons. i trust her judgement. we know each other on a heart level.

so when she called, the first thing she asked was, “what’s going on? how’s your heart?” exasperated, i flooded the phone line, “please, pleeease tell me what to do! columbus isn’t working and nashville doesn’t fit and i can’t stay in kansas city too long without feeling unmotivated. i need to move forward. i don’t feel prepared -”

“mandi, let me stop you right there…” exact words, i remember, “come live with us.”

wait what?” i’d been debating colorado eventually, when i felt more ready to kick off the mobile-lifestyle-adventure. in my mind, this was more of a march/april vision.

dana proceeded to tell me she had been reading a few days earlier and the idea hit her.

“we have a spare room and you need your people – and girlfriend we are your people too”

we were both in tears. i wanted someone to tell me what to do and she offered the next right thing on a freaking platter.

i was given time and space to think on it and we agreed we’d reconvene to talk logistics, but i already knew. this made the most sense when nothing in my current reality made any sense.

within a few days, plans were made. plane tickets bought. friends informed. with each forward step, the how became clearer.

and though i put super-intense, sometimes unreasonable pressure on myself, it’s only one week in and i’m beginning to see what this adjustment is all about –

and i want to share: 

  1. my vision of becoming a transparent author. this is it. learning, growing, sharing and over-sharing. sharing my frustrations, struggles, joys, mistakes – heartbreaks. i’ve noticed how reality and raw open up so much conversation, so much connection. and y’all – connection. i don’t know of any one thing more valuable.
  2. the tucked away dream of travel writing/blogging/ living as a responsible gypsy. because, we can all become beach bums, and then sustainability expires- what’s left? wonderful memories, of course. and my aim is to ask questions, do the research, and share how the dichotomy between adventure and stability can, do, and will co-exist in harmony.
  3. my need of reestablishment, reconstruction. if you’re healing incorrectly, it’s time to re-break and reset. and i wouldn’t say i was healing incorrectly – completely – but y’all, skipping parts of the struggle only wedges handicap in place of strength! so, through cursing the process, i still agreed to feel. it. all. knowing if i feel it all in real time, i don’t have to feel it all again later. surrender. open to taking the time, laying the foundation alone, finding me again. resilience.

“and it all starts to make sense…” -Nahko

also, i’ll be open with my vision:

  • jan – readjust, research
  • feb – repay, clear, research
  • march – see above, begin the hunt for a mobile-life-suitable vehicle
  • april & may – purchase vehicle, begin revamp adventure

sometime after may, i’ll wrap up the project and hit the road. this part is still hazy and unknown – beautiful. you’ll see the first step behind readjustment is research. this happens now, and questions are key.

pues, step one:

sustainability.

in brainstorming the “how-to,” travel and support yourself monetarily – what options have you found/experienced? for example, my best friend, dana, has the ability to take her life on the road via travel nursing. i could scout out new areas and substitute teach. and i want ALL the info. what opportunities make this type of lifestyle possible?

let’s begin this conversation.

 

 

 

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Moving (on)…

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So now I rededicate this blog to adventure, whether that maybe real, tangible adventure or the soul adventure this life has us riding. I feel I keep chasing different styles and goals, but now I’ll make it clear.

I received the news I hoped to hear (after what seemed like years, ok, eight days…) and I am overjoyed to step forward toward the unknown and super exciting.

Many details need to be sorted, but very soon my love and I will get a chance at newness: new places, faces and experiences.

Stay tuned for what is next! (Stay alert for another secret blog as well)

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Transition

I’ve transitioned from extremely free to extremely busy in a matter of days. Maybe extremely busy is an exaggeration; however, I now have plenty to fill my days and I am relieved to not be overly-stressed with a 40-hour a week commitment on top of everything else.

In the third week of the new year, I began my Masters course: Classroom Discipline and Motivation. With the possibility of teaching beginning as early as this fall, I am pretty thrilled to learn a few classroom motivation secrets. I am also preparing for an interview in Nashville on February 9th; and wait, there’s more, I’ve been studying for the ESL Praxis (and will take this next week, ahh!) My stomach is nervous, which means I’m not as relaxed as before, but that’s okay.

I’ve picked up a few sub opportunities here and there, but for the most part I’m leaning on my wonderfully, amazing man.

Finally, amidst the new found busy I do not want to forget to make the space for relaxation, tranquility and a stillness before the Lord. (It’s all for Him, about Him, because of Him).

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What do I desire?

Hi.

Perhaps the grandest of adventures is in the making. My loans will soon be paid (well, we’ve paid four in one year. I am extremely STOKED about this) and my full time job will be no longer as of December 28th. It’s funny. I wanted full-time work so badly and now I’m running as fast as I can toward change. I believe I served at CFCA for the appropriate allotted time. As mentioned previously, I successfully depleted four different student loans with one remaining. My attitude toward the final loan is to not focus on it, let it disappear more naturally. I’ve learned a great deal about working in the non-profit world. It truly is fulfilling, but so are many other things. I know I can do anything I would like to do. Some things may take more time and effort, but it’s the risk I’d take given wanting to do that particular thing.

What is my dream job? I’m not really sure. My Facebook news feed provided me with the most interesting video.

What would I do if money didn’t matter? It’s so hard to say…we are so trained to search for something that earns us money, not fulfillment. But how do we pay the bills if what we want to do doesn’t currently earn us anything? It’s really a hard, heartless, vicious cycle.

I want to write. I want to travel. Could I become a travel-writer? My current worldly answer is…I can teach. Only sometimes am I passionate about teaching; however the answer is acceptable and the pay check is real, not imaginary. Would I love it? Probably not…would I enjoy it? Yes, sometimes.

Right now, my husband and I are looking for work in Nashville and Chicago. I’d like to move. I’d like to do something interesting and mobile before I’m 30.

Perhaps it’s all so overrated. Thoughts?

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LeGrand Adventure

I need an adventure.

This is something I say pretty frequently. I NEED an adventure. I am fond of change. I like learning. And, really, I NEED ADVENTURE.

But what is adventure? It depends on who you’re asking. One of my coveted adventures is teaching English in other countries. Actually moving abroad for a year (or more) and experiencing another culture and language while making some money teaching. Recently, I’ve completed a certification course in order to teach English abroad. I need to schedule a time to shadow a current ESL teacher, but altogether, it seems I’m prepared for my adventure…

…well, not quite.

You see, I am married to an amazing man. I am SO thankful for all the balance and love he brings to my life. However, with this love, and with this amazing balance, he also carries his own share of adventures…and…as of lately these adventures don’t consist of moving abroad…ever.

Hmm.

I’ve never dealt with this before. I mean, before marriage/relationships, you set an adventure and then you “just do it.” The daunting thought of never achieving this “dream” leaves me a little dazed, wondering which way to turn next.

One thing I can make clear is this: I love my husband, and I respect that he has his own dreams (adventures). I also respect that he may not appreciate or understand my dreams, while I may not appreciate or understand his. However, we are both able to respect the other perspective and try to compromise. Because he may never be ready to move abroad does not make null my commitment to him…it just makes it a little more difficult.

…And maybe it makes things a little more exciting. I am now challenged to seek many things… a new attitude, a new goal, another adventure. In fact, my recent challenge is just that: seeking adventure in the every day. While I’m mulling through what it looks like to have my adventure on hold, I plan to MAKE adventures weekly, even daily. And then I’ll blog about them.

Yes.

That is what I will do.

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