Let’s be honest about something right up front: It’s been reallllllly damn hard to travel the last few years. Trust me, I know. We went from being gone over half the weekends of the year to being completely stuck in place for 99% of the time because of all this nonsense going on around the world. More than almost anything else, we miss traveling, as it was foundational to our lives, to our personalities, to our sense of wonder and magic. We miss it, desperately, miss blending into the fabric of a new society and feeling not like tourists, but locals, not like trespassers, but those that worship ever stone underfoot, every bell sound from every church, every smell from every bakery. Losing that, that random and exhilarating life where we never knew where we’d be next, has been crushing, and so it’s sent me searching for ways to be ok until it returns.
In some ways, the hiatus from that life has given birth to new things that would never have seen the light of day if we stayed that old course. This Signal Fire would have never had the time or space to become what it is, if we kept up our wandering, we never would have found each other here, and I wouldn’t have discovered this format, this essay style that lets me write what is arguably my favorite writing I’ve ever had the freedom to write. I wouldn’t have discovered all you, you wonderful little Sparks that are the Light Chasers community. I’m aiming for the acceptance of what is, as we talked about a few weeks ago, rather than the resisting of it. I am grateful for the chance to find you all, to create this safe space. I am grateful for the time at home with family, the break from the hustle and bustle. Do I miss it, yes, absolutely yes, and just now it feels like we’re slowly getting back into it, slowly starting to reclaim what was lost. We’re booking weddings again, all over the wide world, we leave in a few days for one in Scotland, and we couldn’t be happier about it. Now, I think we know balance a bit more, though to pay the bills, either more of you wonderful people need to hop behind the little paywall and join us (shameless plug!) or we’re going to have to start hopping on a lot more airplanes, and aiming our cameras at a lot more of you.
At any rate, one of the things that Has helped me retain some of that wanderlust feeling, that travel buzz, has been a website I stumbled on not long ago, that makes me feel like I’m traveling, without actually doing so. It’s called Radio Garden and it literally lets you select radio stations all over the planet earth, and tune in. Local stations, with local voices, local accents, local commercials and ads, local songs. It lets you feel like a, yes, Local, without actually doing anything at all, no need for TSA or luggage, no need for a mask on an airplane or a negative covid test to come home. I love it. Plain and simple, I Love it.
What it got me realizing, all this listening to all these amazing local radio stations, is that sometimes in this weird and wild life, we need to push our minds out of the localities that we’ve been routined into. Sometimes, we have to allow ourselves the mental space to truly feel like we’re somewhere else. This mindful escape, whether aided by music across the airwaves thousands of miles away or in the still quiet of your own mind, is fundamental I believe, to building a balanced and more well-rounded attitude towards our own lives. As I’ve mentioned ten thousand times on this Signal Fire, sometimes things suck, sometimes we miss the life we loved living, sometimes we need to allow ourselves to call that out, and to soothe it away in whatever healthy ways we can find. Music is always one of these ways for me, and weirdly even more than the music on Radio Garden, it’s the local ads and local personalities and local voices. I feel like I’m there, just waking up and making eggs in some flat in Edinburgh, or having dinner in some pub on the West coast of Ireland, or some cafe in rural France. Soon after, I feel better, and I feel revived, and I feel reinvigorated to get back to that life once more.
The bottom line is, I Do believe that the things we’ve endured will stop feeling so hard eventually, I do believe that we won’t all suffer forever. I believe that the lives and friendships and adventures we spent so long creating, will not vanish on the stiff winds of Covid or anything else. I think we’ll overcome, and we’ll find what was lost, but in the meantime, we need not feel shame for finding ways to cope, to soothe, to balance. This is one, and there are many.
I would love to hear from you, the ways that you push your own mind out of your own localities, and how you feel better. What do you turn to to make yourself calm, or breathe, or find patience when it’s in such short supply? Please, sound off, let’s start a thread on soothing. Radio Garden is my tip to you, and I cannot wait to hear yours, to me.
Then, when the dust all settles, we’ll see each other again, somewhere out there, far away from all we know right now. I cannot wait.
Slowly I float off,
ride radio waves like wind,
imagine a life.