Travel

Exploring a Snow Covered Forest

If you don’t travel off the beaten path now and then, are you really living?


That’s how what I wondered this morning, exploring a snow covered forest on the east coast.

At one point as I was climbing over a log, I stepped on a branch causing a loud cracking sound. The noise scared a fox who bolted out of a burro on my right and ran far up the next hill. His rapid movement spooked a group of deer who set off to the right as the fox veered to the left. The moment was beautiful and I experienced it because I chose to step off the paved path.

I’m not sure what I’m going to achieve or if I’ll survive this year of working and traveling, but with 4 months down and 8 to go, I’m hopeful for more unexpected experiences on this unfolding adventure.

Today, I feel like I’m really living after years of just getting by.


I’m an artist and writer on a mission to bring healing arts into the mainstream. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a monthly patron on Patreon. For as little as $1 a month, you can fund programs like my D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression E-course, my monthly “Radical” e-zine and support future creative healing projects, like my upcoming book collaboration with a dozen artists, writers and therapists who are creating a self-love revolution.

Travel

Living the Nomad Life and Loving it

It’s been two months since I leaped into a new adventure and I’m loving it. There have been obstacles that caused me to stop and wonder what I’m doing, but overall it’s radical.

Back in September, I started doing work trades through workaway. You can see that post “A New Adventure – Working My Way Across the Country“. I’m currently a my fifth work trade and in a week will be at my sixth. Each place has offered me something special and I’m so grateful for that.

My first workaway was at a raw food retreat center where I mostly worked outside in the dirt and beauty of the high New Mexican mountains. That place gave me a sense of peace and calm that only comes when I’m out in the country, away from the constant noise and motion of the city.  Venturing outside at night, the sky lit up with more stars than I could ever see in the San Diego night sky. It was awe-inspiring.

My second workaway was at a homestead in the city of Albuquerque, NM. I also spent most of my time working outside on a variety of tasks including moving mulch, pulling weeds and helping with chores. I got to experience a composting toilet. It didn’t smell bad like I had worried, though there was definitely a smell, but that was more from the hemp mulch that I used to compost my excrement.  The homestead was in close proximity of my sister’s family. I was so happy to spend more time with them than a usual weekend visit would give us.

My third workaway has been my favorite so far. I worked at a house for a couple of teachers south of Boston, MA. Almost everything was outdoors, such as helping with the chickens, gardening and chopping wood. I’m okay with never chopping wood again. Ha! It’s a very physical task. The couple was so friendly and so comfortable, I often forgot that I wasn’t at home. They invited me to some really cool events, like Honk Fest, a music and activism event in Boston, Mass. One of my favorite parts was when a couchsurfer stayed over one night. The next day, we rode bicycles to a cranberry festival. Seeing how cranberries are harvested and tasting their sweet tartness straight off the plant was delicious. That workaway was so enjoyable, that I was sad to leave.

My fourth workaway was in Shelburne Falls, MA, a beautiful small rural town in the western part of the state. My hosts were very warm and inviting. She was an artist and writer. He was an English professor. They made me feel right at home. My work there varied from inside and outdoor chores. The most memorable was herding four goats! I never fancied myself a goat herder, but I think I would like it full-time. It’s very meditative to stand in a beautiful field and watch goats. Having a host who is also a writer and artist was inspiring. I finished my first zine and had fun making art just for fun, not to sell. Click here to read my new zine, “Radical”.

Before venturing off to my fifth workaway, I spent a few days in Salem, MA to reconnect with a long time friend and experience a truly marvelous Halloween. I highly recommend visiting Salem for Halloween or any time of year. Seeing a place with such a rich and tragic history was a learning experience and a good study of human nature.  I plan on returning soon t explore more of the area.

So, now it’s November and I’m in southern Connecticut, just an hour from New York City. This is my first visit to New England and I am excited to see a part of the country that has always seemed so far away and so different. At this workaway my work is mostly indoors, helping with organizing and cleaning. my host family is a fun change of pace with two young children and a lot of activities.

I’m enjoying this opportunity to travel and work, while trying to find a balance with my art and writing. Deep inside, I know this journey is exactly what I need. I don’t know where it’s leading me, but I know that I’m going somewhere good.

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I’m an artist & writer on a mission to bring healing arts into the mainstream. If you would like to support my heart work, please consider becoming a patron at Patreon.com/Loviedo. For $1 a month, you will support the following projects:
Travel

A New Adventure – Working My Way Across the Country

Has your life turned out similar to or completely different from what you imagined in your younger years?

Mine has been one big question mark. After High School, I earned an Associate degree in fashion with dreams of creative work, runways, global travels and wealth. Instead, I spent my 20’s and early 30’s depressed, in debt and unable to hold a job. During those years I worked in various occupations and co-owned a somewhat successful retail/wholesale business with my mom, but never felt successful.

Recently I was hired for a 9-5 job that I didn’t like, that paid just a little more than minimum wage and made me feel sick every day, The fact that money doesn’t buy happiness, even with weekends and holidays off to follow my passions, really sunk in. I decided that something had to change…as I’ve said so often in the past 7 years! I felt like there were only two viable choices, spend an unknown amount of time searching for another job, feeling quite despondent, or plan an adventure. With only debt and comfort holding me in place, the decision was simple, yet frightening. Seek and discover my passion, but give up the security of a paycheck and friends nearby? How will I pay my debts? How will I have money for food? What if something happens?

So many doubts went through my mind until one moment at work. I was scaring myself out of the idea when one of those Aha! moments hit. –I have no faith in my ability to take care of myself as an artist and writer. Basically, I do not trust myself.–  Right then I knew that this was a chance I had to take.

I chose to participate in work trades through Workaway.info. What is a work trade? Basically in exchange for 25-30 hours of work per week, I receive a place to live and food for a specific set of time. Through Workaway, you can work anywhere in the world for a variety of people, businesses or organizations for varying periods of time. There is no pay involved, and transportation and expenses to and from the work trade are all on you. This is a big financial decision for someone at my income level.

After research and phone interviews I was able to find a series of four different work trades, each lasting two weeks.  I will be homesteading, gardening, making sea salt, and helping at a bed and breakfast. This month I am in New Mexico and in October I will be in Massachusetts.  The reason I decided to jump to the other side of the country is so I can celebrate Halloween in Salem with a dear friend, who has been inviting me there for years. My plan is to do work trades for about one year, but I am staying open to possibilities.

My first workaway is in the beautiful mountains of San Fidel, New Mexico at the Ann Wigmore Raw Food Retreat Center, as seen in the photo below. So far, I have been helping to clear brush and rocks and learning how to grow wheatgrass. It’s only been two days, but my body feels wonderful eating a mostly raw food diet. I love working outside and living at the base of a mountain. The scenery is beautiful, the air is clean and it’s quiet!

What happens next? I don’t really know, but you can follow my journey by subscribing to updates in the upper right corner.

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Diy therapy book cover

 

“D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression” is available through Amazon; available as both an e-book and a paperback.

If you’re suffering from depression I strongly encourage you to seek help. If you can’t afford a therapist find a supportive mentor, teacher or healer who can help you discover inner peace. Healing is possible IF you are open and willing to commit to a self-care plan.

 

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Want more creativity and play in your life? Print my FREE COLORING BOOKS!

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Find art and gifts at my boutique store, Zazzle.com/OviedoStyle

Book Reviews

Book Review: Up; A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure

I could barely put down”Up;  A Mother and Daughters Peakbagging Adventure” By Patricia Ellis Herr.  Fresh mountain air filled my lungs,  morning sun warmed my skin, leaves of trees brushed against my skin and gave me shade when it was hot. I could smell the flowers, dirt, sweat, and rain.  Birds chirped and lizards scurried away as the thrill of this oh so enjoyable exercise that only hiking out in nature gives me. Vicariously of course.

Peakbagging is the term for climbing a group of peaks/mountains. This wonderful story is of a mother and daughter who climbed all 48 of New Hampshire’s highest mountains. The kicker is the young girl was only 5 when they started.  Her mother noticed the seemingly endless amount of energy her daughter possessed. So they went hiking, the young girl loved it and they continued. It’s a short book, but interesting enough to hold my attention so that I could barely put it down. I was a bit sad when it ended, not due to some tragic plot twist, but because I was enjoying the hikes with them so much. Since birth, my life has been a back and forth between tiny mountain towns and bustling cities so that I always want both worlds simultaneously.  For the past several years I have lived in a large city and often wish to be out in the wilderness more than I find myself there.   I give this book 5 stars and recommend it to anyone who loves the stories of other adventure seekers.

Up; A Mother and Daughters Peakbagging Adventure. By Patricia Ellis Herr

Find UP online or at your local library. What is a favorite books of yours? 

Art, Empowering Discussions

why not?

LIFE CAN BE WAY TOO SERIOUS! Sometimes I just need to be free and stretch my legs.

Why not walk down the street and let your imagination run free. Up doorsteps, fire escapes, trees and walls. My imagination knows how to bring a bright goofy smile to my face as I walk down the street.

Imagine bright oddly shaped flowers blooming out of mailboxes, vines climbing up the wall with silly little creatures that swing to and fro.

Imagine painting a mural on a blank wall. Maybe you add glitter or feathers or paint the pieces of trash you found in the gutter and glue those to the wall.

Imagine those rain puddles as bright colored pudding where the kids jump and splash, licking the splattered pudding off their faces and laughing all the while.

Imagine fairies and elves poking their heads out from behind trees as you pass and showing off their own bright goofy smile.

Imagine that the most mundane tasks are accomplished while dancing. Is the mail person wearing a tutu and tossing letters and packages perfectly into the boxes and arms of those that are waiting. Is the delivery person walking on his hands and carrying boxes inside stacked on his feet? Are those people in their office cubicles taking breaks and singing out the window?

Imagine a world where for a few minutes you are just happy. You are not thinking about deadlines and dinner times and play dates and plans.

Just imagine.