Tag 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.

 

 

 

Tagged , , , ,

legrand adventure – the only kind to have

truly, madly, deeply is playing right now. is that the name of it? i know it’s by savage garden – ha. and i remember vaguely hearing this song at the grocery when i was a senior in high school.

god, that’s so far away.

even yesterday feels distant.

so i’m taking deep breaths and doing the next right thing. because that’s what oprah says to do. and the next right thing is another deep breath and allowing myself grace.

grace because i was only divorced three months ago, and i’ve been transient for over a year, and i’ve been freelancing during this time, and i broke up with my boyfriend and popped my tire in the same week. this week. today.

and i went to california and italy this year, all while transitioning, and new friending, and falling in love again.

i moved here and i moved to nashville and i moved back here again.

i said goodbye to my puppies.

action, movement, motion.

almost poetic as we transition into winter i’m finally pausing.

finally breathing.

finally acknowledging – damn, amanda – a break down is not weakness. in fact, it’s healthy.

a trauma research study stated divorce, moving, finding a new job, and losing pets all in the highest category of stress and life change.

so…

another deep breath. and two more.

this life is truly, incredibly beautiful. i see opportunity. possibility. growth. transformation. empathy. power.

i also see a trampoline down here at rock bottom. (i’m teasing, this doesn’t feel like rock bottom)

deep sigh, exhale, SMILE –

and move.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Reviving the Blog

Hey there.

It’s been awhile, huh? I started this blog in 2012 as an outlet. Posted a bit about my ideal of teaching English in other countries and how that dream was a bit – squashed. I began with the hope of finding adventure in the every day. Because it’s possible, and interesting. And we all have a story.

I posted about leaving my wonderfully amazing non-profit job and pursuing other things. Those other things brought us to Nashville, and pushed me through conquering my certification in teaching Elementary and ESL. This included: the summer from hell (2013), living on Nigel’s income and withdrawing our retirement money, working 12+ hours daily with no pay, trying to show love and grace and add value as we were stressed to the point of breakdown. In fact, in the program I survived, there were several literal breakdowns daily. The only possible experience I could equate this to is boot camp, except for teachers. So yes, there was that summer from hell, which I survived when not many of us did. Nigel landed a job and then found an even better job. We slowly started accumulating furniture. Our one bedroom, unfurnished condo turned into a one bedroom with a couch, and then side table, and in the following summer we graduated to owning and enjoying a queen sized mattress. (Gifted by the parentals – thank you forever)

So we left Kansas City and set our feet in Nashville. We came with nothing (see above paragraph) and completely jobless. My teaching internship was unpaid and yes, I was admitted into the program, but surviving and passing was separate and undetermined.

But, my God, here we are. Two years into our Nashville adventure and already dreaming up our next big hoorah. I’ve quit two jobs while here. Not something to be proud of in the quitting sense, but if you look at it from my perspective, you’ll see with each decision to leave something, I’ve opened myself to something new, and better for me. Or I’ve uncovered another piece of myself that I didn’t think was reachable until the very moment in time when I had to make the decision – should I stay or should I go?

With every step, the intensity of my choices was greater and the reward was as equally great.

Currently, I am calling myself my own rule maker. I freelance my abilities and accept work when I want to work. As a married couple, we are not thriving by societal standards, but I hate those standards any way and choose not to live by them.

By our own standards, we are living an adventurously blessed life. Stepping more into myself is lending light to the vision I’ve had inside of me for some time; and suddenly I’ve found my voice that had been muted (not sure by who, probably me) and re-approaching my public story.

Again, here we are. We wanted something new and we found it. We stretched and grew into who we wanted to be, and we are preparing daily to do the same thing again – in a different way.

Please keep posted on our journey. Here we go!

IMG_9341

Tagged , ,

Current Adventure

So, I moved to Nashville. This isn’t news, really, it’s been almost a year and a half since we packed up our small Independence Square apartment and moved into an equally small West Nashville condominium.
In reflection, I have so many experiences I’ve collected in this past year. When we moved here last May, we came without much furniture or money. We maxed out my bank credit card and lived off of my retirement money (yikes) while I conquered this unpaid teaching fellowship program over the summer. As everything does, it worked out and we are still comfortably living in our West Nashville condo. Nigel has a job he enjoys enough and is playing in a band he enjoys even more. I am still teaching the sweetest little pumpkins in the world. We only had to make it 14 months on an air mattress and then my parents gifted us a bed. Life really does work out – you either find your own way or you have rich relatives. I think both scenarios are true here.
In the beginning, the transition was difficult. I was beyond stressed and secluded by my new (and extremely beautiful) surroundings. For a few months I had a hard time calling any place home. We no longer were a part of KC but didn’t quite feel it here either. Fortunately, this didn’t last and now as I sit here at 5:00 am on my balcony I couldn’t feel more at home. In fact, every time I make the trip “back” I find myself giddy excited at the thought of coming home to Nashville.
My mind keeps recalling so many other adventures I want to share but I’ll save those for another day. Stay tuned for thoughts:
-on waterfalls
-on Providence
-on teaching
-on 29
-on writing
-on traveling
-on fitness
-on my balcony
-on fear
-on Nashville nights
-on living in my own skin
-on growing out of things, or people
-on dreams and passions
-on ADVENTURE
Too much?
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Moving (on)…

photo(2)

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)

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

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.

Tagged , , , , ,