To kiss the world

by Kim on January 7, 2014 · 46 comments

“One regret, dear world,
That I am determined not to have
When I am lying on my deathbed
Is that
I did not kiss you enough.”
-Hafiz

Zora Neale Hurston wrote that there are years that ask questions and years that answer.  My final years in Portland asked big questions that changed the course of my life. Who do I want to be? What do I want to do with my life? These past two years have answered those questions. I want to write. I want to be outdoors. I want to meet new people. I want to explore the world.

Last night I was sitting alone in our hotel room in Hanoi. I was thinking about the upcoming year. About a month ago I wrote a business plan for my goals professionally. But last night I sat down to write out my personal intentions. What do I want out of the New Year?

It was a challenge, really, because I am satisfied with the direction my life is pointed in. But like radar, I have this natural tendency to keep scanning and beeping, searching for a blip. The year before me is still a beautiful mystery. If I squint into the hazy horizon of this New Year, I see three possible paths taking shape. All of them are good but they are also vastly different. How do I prepare for the upcoming year when I have no idea which of the three routes might materialize?

There in the hotel room, I knew that I did not want to seek out something to fix like I have done so many times in years past (lose weight, run faster, read 50 books, on and on and on) but instead to align myself towards meeting the unwritten pages of tomorrow with grace.

What I want, what I crave, is to make more space for silence. You’d think this would be easy because I have full control over my schedule. But really it is quite difficult. I am constantly moving and in a new environment. The unfamiliar is familiar. There’s no routine or structure to the day or, once I’ve established one, I’m off again to a new place. But there can be stillness no matter. The stillness has to come from within.

The stillness is intentional. It can happen anywhere. I can close my eyes on a bus or even on the sidewalk as a thousand motorbikes zoom by and find that silent center inside. This is the place where creativity comes from, where clarity and peace come from too. I want my focus for 2014 to be about nurturing that unshakable core within.

That is my resolution for this New Year.

These past few weeks have been a crash course in bicycling. I haven’t been on a bike in two years. And perhaps like in India where the rickshaw run cracked my heart open in such an unexpected way, defining 2013, the bicycle has helped me set the tone of 2014.

Because, you see, the bicycle is all about balance.

What do you plan to do with 2014?

Biking through Vietnam

Biking through Vietnam

___

I haven’t had much time to write in the past few weeks as we’ve been biking our way through Vietnam. But our bike trip has just ended and I hope to spend some time in the upcoming days catching up on the trip. You’ll hear more about it soon.

And, on another note, I’m excited to announce that Life On Fire: A Step-By-Step Guide To Living Your Dreams is now available in paperback. For those of you that have been waiting for the dead-tree version of the book, it is finally here! It’s a fun way to kick off 2014.

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Patti January 7, 2014 at 7:38 pm

“dead tree version of the book” – Ha! Ha! Awesome line.

I never make resolutions, always thinking that if I have something I need to accomplish I just need to get it done, but in 2014 I hope to embrace patience because I really suck at being patient in my life. In 2014 I will have the absolute joy of witnessing the marriage of our son to the love of his life, I can’t imagine how that will fill my heart.

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Kim January 8, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Ah, that is something wonderful to look forward to in 2014. What month is the wedding?

I hear you on the patience thing. I’m not patience either!

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Patti January 8, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Memorial Day weekend. They’ve booked a mountain lodge in Virginia for a 3-day wedding weekend.
Patti recently posted..See the U.S.A. 7: On the Road Again ~

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Kim January 9, 2014 at 2:20 am

That will be beautiful!

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Michelle D January 7, 2014 at 8:43 pm

Love this. Balance is everything. I hope 2014 is exactly what you need it to be, whether or not you know what that means today. Cheers!
Michelle D recently posted..Chasing Joy

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Kim January 8, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Thanks Michelle. I hope the same for you.

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Carmel January 8, 2014 at 12:59 am

Very excited to see what’s next for you my dear friend. You have all the talents and determination to make whatever dream you choose to come true. Your heart will lead you in the right direction.
Carmel recently posted..BLACK HOUSE, WHITE TEMPLE

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Kim January 8, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Thanks Carmel! Happy New Year to you and Shawn!

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HP January 8, 2014 at 3:18 am

Another renovation I think. Found the property, now it’s about getting it. That should fill up 2014.
HP recently posted..THE BEST OF FRANCE. VOL.1

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Kim January 8, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Yep, that should take awhile. Happy 2014 to you!

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Emily January 8, 2014 at 6:28 am

This is a special year for us because we have just started out on our own journey. I think for me I am most looking forward to listening to my heart without the clutter of other’s expectations or demands of the ‘typical’ North American life.
Emily recently posted..Chasing Chichen Itza

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Kim January 8, 2014 at 5:46 pm

You know Emily, that has been wonderful thing for us. It’s so amazing how different I feel outside of the U.S. without all of those normal North American pressures and expectations. Enjoy it.

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Isa // belle + compass January 8, 2014 at 6:28 am

Hafiz makes me want to learn Arabic just so I can read his original words.

But also: I work on the stillness but I have no focus and it is so hard. So I’m really backing you up on this one! And I really loved reading this – you’re a great writer, so at least your Portland realizations are proving fruitful!

belle + compass
Isa // belle + compass recently posted..egads it’s 2014 & year in review

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Kim January 8, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Thanks Isa.

And I agree Hafiz is amazing. I think he’d be one of the ten people I invite to my dinner table if I could choose anyone.

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Hannah January 8, 2014 at 8:05 am

I’m so excited to see which path you choose… I know that you will walk any and all of them with gratitude and grace. Happy New Year to you and Brian xxx
Hannah recently posted..Free wallpaper | Years that answer

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Kim January 8, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Thanks Hannah, Happy New Year to you and Lee.

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Andrée January 8, 2014 at 8:14 am

Hi Kim,
Nice to read you!
Do you know Stephen and Jane (http://www.myfiveacres.com)? They travel the world on bike, are vegan, practice and teach yoga along the way. They also manage to keep writing a very nice daily blog. Stephen is passionate about coffee and beer… I think you have much in common with them and maybe you could find some clues about how to focus and find balance, on their site.
I wish you to find the silence you’re looking for in 2014 and keep on the genuine and generous writing. I love to read your posts!

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Kim January 8, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Hi Andree,

I don’t know about Stephen and Jane but I will look them up so thanks for sharing that. It definitely sounds like we have a lot in common.

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Miel January 8, 2014 at 10:11 am

Despite what people say about resolutions, I think the value of personal and professional goals are so important! Starting into meditation I would consider Deepak Chopra and Oprah’s meditation series. Darcy and I have been doing these and have really enjoyed them. I just bought the Desire and Destiny series after having enjoyed it so much. I think you’d get a ton out of it!

Enjoy!

Miel
Miel recently posted..Reading My Way Around The World

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Kim January 8, 2014 at 5:49 pm

I agree Miel. And I think the new year is the perfect time to set new goals and look back over old ones and evaluate whether they’ve been met.

I will try Deepak and Oprah’s meditation series again. I actually signed up for it and got the emails but I never did anything with it. That’s why I need to make it a resolution.

Happy 2014 to you!

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Steve C January 8, 2014 at 10:40 am

‘Been waiting. I thought maybe your laptop got ripped off or you ended up in the ditch under your bike. No, scratch that last part. Just my imagination running wild. Something to cultivate, but in a good way. You’ve always been there with my morning paper, you’ve been missed. :(

Now that your “Deed Tree Scroll” is in actual print, I’m going to get it, quit cutting bait and fish. 2014 is my break-away year. Come summer, my house IS going to be sold and I’m going to be back on the road again. Stay thirsty, my friends, there’s a complimentary beer (or two) in your future.

My New Years’ resolution is to stop being so patient and “Get-er-Done”. All through my previous travels, I’ve always had the notion that I generally find security in insecurity. Traveling provides a constant adrenalin rush, with something to be confronted and solved at every turn. Ready, GO!

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Kim January 8, 2014 at 5:50 pm

I’m glad that none of those things you imagined actually happened!!!

Sounds like you’ve got a big year planned Steve. Just as there are years that ask questions and years that answer I think there are also years to build and plan and years to act. Sounds like 2014 is an acting year for you. How exciting.

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Rhonda January 8, 2014 at 11:52 am

“meeting the unwritten pages of tomorrow with grace.”

What a beautiful thought. I can’t wait to see where the new year brings you but I know it will be great!
Rhonda recently posted..Lingering in Lovina

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Kim January 8, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Happy New Year Rhonda. And tell Jim we say hello.

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Jimmy Dau January 8, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Looks like you’re in a good space there. I enjoy the space and stillness but it seems like it’s not happening often enough
Jimmy Dau recently posted..Musings on missing Asian food in Sydney

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Kim January 8, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Agreed, definitely not happening enough. More in 2014!

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Dustin@WeGoRTW January 8, 2014 at 12:53 pm

A site I recently stumbled upon and find a calm and peacefulness about just flipping through is http://www.cabinporn.com (don’t mind the name is a safe for work site). The site makes me want to settle down on some land in the middle of nowhere :)
Dustin@WeGoRTW recently posted..Happy New Years

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Kim January 8, 2014 at 5:51 pm

I know that site and I love it!!! They featured a picture from one of my posts once and I got a ton of traffic from it. I think it’s on page 90 now and I still get hits. Love that site, I want to move into every single one of those cabins.

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Dustin@WeGoRTW January 15, 2014 at 6:20 am

I have been going through the site a page at a time and finally made it to 91, but no luck yet on your post. I saw a couple other Kim’s but did you use a maiden name or other last initial? I will keep my eyes peeled for it though.

Keep having a blast! Still jealous as we stopped TOO prematurely, not that we will ever stop traveling but you know.
Dustin@WeGoRTW recently posted..We are Moving to New Zealand

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Kim January 15, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Wait, what? I’m confused. What are you looking for??

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Kim January 15, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Sorry, I got confused when I was responding to comments behind the scenes. It is a glass fire lookout in Oregon that they posted on the site. From a blog post I wrote about renting the lookout.
Kim recently posted..My morning run on Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) January 8, 2014 at 6:03 pm

I love that quote about some years being questions and others being answers. I haven’t figured out what this year will be yet… maybe that tells me all I need to know?

I’m hoping 2014 lets me nurture the stillness within as well, somewhat ironic since we’re based in hot & honking Vietnam (as you so eloquently put it!). But like you said, stillness and balance, those can be achieved anywhere if we make it a priority to work at them.

Good luck in 2014, Kim! I’m excited to see where this year takes you AND where you take this year!
Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..Mini Budget Breakdown: Brunei Travel Costs

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Kim January 9, 2014 at 2:20 am

Ha, I suppose it probably does :)

Thanks Steph, I’m excited to see where this year takes you and Tony as well.

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Montecristo Travels (Sonja) January 9, 2014 at 8:59 am

Your such an inspiration Kim. It is why I come back to your blog time and again. I have always struggled with silence. I am an introvert by nature (well camouflaged I assure you) and so my silence is only possible with my alone time. “me time” is mostly on evenings my hubby has martial arts classes and every second Monday I am off work. I call them my mon-days a little play on words since French for mine is “mon”.

So silence … hard to get. My mind is rarely if ever quiet. I find hiking and sailing to be the two activities that bring me as close to meditation as I think I can – at this time – reach.

Really looking forward to your bike tour tales… and learning more about Vietnam.

As for us… 2014 will be a year of change on every level I think. We work towards our fitness and nutrition accreditations. We will break ground for Montecristo travels with (I hope) a trip to Latin America… and more… gentle and exciting change. Happy New Year’s you two!

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Kim January 10, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Me too, I am an introvert too and the only way I can recharge is with silence. That is why it is so incredibly important that I make it a priority. Luckily, we just relocated to the beach and I can feel myself just easing into that slower pace and taking time to just be quiet.

It sounds like 2014 is really shaping up for you. I bet it will be a great one :)

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Sarah Somewhere January 9, 2014 at 10:04 am

Happy new year Kim and Brian! Yes it’s a funny old life this one, so free and spontaneous and yet because of the online component of what we do, it can become slightly chaotic and a case of more, more, more (at least for me). I have to watch it, and am always attempting to walk that line of balance. I’ll probably never find it, but as long as I’m mindful of what I need, I think I’ll be okay. I’m sure you will be too. One day at the end of a yoga class, sitting in stillness, a voice told me, “This, is where you belong.” I felt a wave of warmth come over me, and in that moment I knew exactly where ‘this’ was. Sounds crazy, but all of my moments of clarity seem crazy afterwards. Thank you for the reminder.
Sarah Somewhere recently posted..Sweet things are made of this:

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Kim January 10, 2014 at 4:34 pm

I don’t think it sounds crazy, I live for moments like that!!! Happy 2014 to you Sarah, it looks like it is shaping up to be filled with many adventures. XO

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Sonya January 9, 2014 at 11:44 am

Lovely, inspiring post for a January read! Fab cycling photos!
Sonya recently posted..Vintage Ski Posters

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Kim January 10, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Thanks Sonya. Happy 2014!

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gail January 12, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Read the kindle version, just bought the paperback. Can’t get enough of it. Cheers to an amazing 2014!
gail recently posted..9 Travel Resolutions for 2014

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Kim January 13, 2014 at 12:53 am

Bah, I’m so glad you like it!!! Thank you so much! And I saw on your blog that you are reading it in book club in December. Such an honor!

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Stephen January 12, 2014 at 10:42 pm

wonderful post. Very touching. I can also still close my eyes, find my center, and kiss the world. Keep up the adventures!
Stephen recently posted..$250 Flight Voucher Giveaway – Because You Guys Are Awesome!

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Kim January 13, 2014 at 12:56 am

Thanks Stephen!!

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Maddie January 14, 2014 at 11:50 am

I can’t wait to read about whatever direction you may be headed in this year, we wish you both the very best :-) This year will be a year of questions for me I think, you always think you’ve got it just about sorted and then a whole new set appear out of nowhere!
Maddie recently posted..An update on life and our 2014 plans

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Kim January 14, 2014 at 4:23 pm

No kidding, the questions never end. Happy 2014 Maddie!

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