Writers have an admirable discipline: consistently practicing their craft. Sitting down everyday at a desk with a blank page. Delving into a topic with words typed quickly on the keyboard. Despite uncertainty successful outcomes are derived from a rhythm to their exploration.
As travelers in our lives, on the road or not, there’s a similar “blank page”. We’re often in uncertain places and unclear about the “How To’s”. Creating rhythm is a start.
How do you create rhythm amidst the unknown in a new destination?
Living in Valencia, Spain recently taught us a few secrets for finding cadence. During our second week a small routine formed. There was some balance between the known and unknown. We knew the grocery store’s location and ventured to the neighborhood Farmer’s Market, the Mercado. We began commuting to school, along busy boulevards and multiple bike stops. We went to our favorite cafe earlier, ahead of the lines later in the morning.
Procuring “local” knowledge meant an easier routine and stronger engagement with our endeavors: learning Spanish, enjoying the Remote Year community and staying current with professional obligations.
Here are a three secrets for creating rhythm despite disruption:
1. Structure and Habits
We weren’t home, yet, we were home. Some habits remained the same. We created a simplified daily schedule knowing when we’d work, attend class and eat our main meal. We incorporated different local customs into a reliable structure.
Incorporate those essential Must Do’s, staying flexible to different circumstances.
2. Longevity and Bumps Along The Way
Bumps along the way, such as misjudging distances despite using a GPS, rattle the psyche. Biking around in circles can become just part of life sometimes!
We learned to ignore how something was suppose to be (easy to navigate, for example or lots of extra time over coffee) and accept what was- the old city with it’s narrow streets were confusing! We loosen and even eliminate expectations.
We’re in life for the long haul. Ride the “Bumps” as much as you can. Carry on.
3. The Why?
When simple Spanish phrases eluded my vocabulary, unable to say much of anything in class or the easiest of situations, remembering the Why for saying YES to a new adventure calmed the chaos. We had made a deliberate choice to live outside our comfort zone. Sometimes there would be exhaustion.
Wasn’t there also joy and happiness alongside? Yes!
Breathe in the “Why You’re Here” and breathe out the rest. Return to your core.
Rhythm is enhanced by knowledge, beyond the basics, by habits and routine amidst the new and undiscovered. You don’t have depth without rhythm.
When life is feeling chaotic, “Stay Put” and slowly, deliberately broaden your circle, putting your toe in the water a little more every day.
Wishing you beautiful rhythm no matter how crazy or difficult;
Wishing you sunshine even when it rains;Wishing you knowledge inside, the “you’ve got this”;Wishing you loving community to support you along the way.
“As you begin to realize that every different type of music, everybody’s individual music, has its own rhythm, life, language and heritage, you realize how life changes, and you learn how to be more open and adaptive to what is around us.” (Yo Yo Ma)