You’re Never Too Old To….

You’re never too old to do anything as long as you believe in it and start
stepping one foot in front of the other and don’t question it and don’t look
back. Most everyone supported me on the outside but I could tell they
were concerned underneath. But those who know me knew that if
anyone could bike around the Planet alone it would be me. My
mothering duties were complete, at least the physical part. Xica turned
18 and was ready to move out on his own and begin his adult life,
choosing not to go to college like his brothers did, until he was clear on
what his passions and interests were. I thoroughly respected that as he
had a clarity regarding the excessive cost of higher education and did
not want to be in debt unnecessarily, if even at all.

After helping him move out and preparing to sell the house on my own
after 2 failed attempts with odd real estate agents (Santa Cruz is also
known as “The Weird City”)…the footwork began. I had spent $16000 to
legalize my beautiful very first cob house on my property, which cost me
nothing to build. I had become enraged with Santa Cruz and its building
officials. After all I was the “Cob Queen” of Santa Cruz…I had a
reputation to uphold! Being downtown I could no longer hide or have
privacy from their eagle eyes and besides I had taken over all the space
I could with all of our Eco-Living projects. There was no room to expand
AND I was very clear that I could not and did not want to live there any
longer after 20 years, almost half my life. Santa Cruz had treated me
well despite the torment and suffering of dealing with a drug-addicted
co-parent and the increasing population of loonies and marijuana
plantations in everyone’s basement. We had many friends, a healthy
lifestyle, an easy lifestyle,and lots of travelling adventures to stay
sane….but the bubble of Santa Cruz was claustrophobic and my
European roots and African past-life passions were calling me
elsewhere…I longed for elsewhere…

I had trained my sons well to cook, clean, do laundry, build a house,
grow food, learn languages, read books, not use the computer and
phone so much, travel, appreciate world music and culture, be polite
(they might disagree on that one), eat and live healthily, trust in the
Universe with your dreams, manifest what you need and want, honor
women respectfully as Goddesses, and most importantly, to be free.
I felt very calm and serene that my children were safe and could get on
in the world very successfully and autonomously without me waiting at
home for them. And after solo parenting 24/7 for ten years….it was my
turn. That was what I had promised myself the day I knew they had to
be with me only until their Father decided to take care of his addictions.
I sold my House and reaped the benefits on December 7th, 2014, at the
age of 50. I couldn’t have found better new owners of our eccentric
property and they have since taken it to its next life, “upgrading” the
streetcar house to a very fancy remodeled version that starred on the
“Houzzz” TV show. They kept the treehouse and one cob house and
our cat “Sazzy” and the 2 banana trees and the avocado and apple
trees and the same bright yelow, purple and green paint colors. It looks
great and I am very proud of it.

Two days later, on December 9th, with my new handmade foldable Bike
Friday boxed up, my 4 saddle bags full, bungee cords, handlebar bag
and camping gear bagged up in a soft suitcase, I was escorted to the
Oakland Airport by my eldest son Viva. Usually it’s the parent sending
the child off to travel the world, right? Tears flowed as they always do
when parting from my beloved amazing children….and then there I
was….finally….living the dream, as everyone said….Viva waving me
off…not knowing when and where we would meet again.

Being an Aries, I have always liked adventure, jumping in, not knowing,
new things, new landscapes, new vistas, new people, new challenges,
new gifts, etc. That is when I feel most alive. Not having had much
experience with long-term authentically intimate and present
relationships with a partner in my life, which I imagine is another time
when one can feel most alive, all I have known to bring me this wave of
energy and buzz is the anxiety and excitement of arriving somewhere
you have never been before, not knowing what you will see and do that
day, what you will eat, who you will meet, and where you will sleep that
night. That has been the motto of my 4-year journey, except when I was
stable somehwere for 1-4 weeks to either rest and recuperate or to
teach a cob workshop.

I got used to it and I loved it. Sure there were hard moments, some
scary experiences like being mugged twice (both times I got my stuff
back in miraculous ways…see my Blog for the details 😉 and losing my
personal backpack with my treasures in the rain on a busy road in Brazil
at night (also recuperated!!!), but those were literally the only “negatives”
of my whole 4-year Journey. Well I can think of one more that I am not
really ready to share yet, linked to a male encounter, but I am sure it is
on my BLOG.

Goddess was with me the WHOLE time. I assure you. I would wake up
each day thanking the Universe for her support on this journey. There
was not one day that someone did not ask me if I wasn’t scared
travelling alone, in Brazil, in Senegal, in Cabo Verde, in Colombia, in the
US, in Europe, in Morocco. I smiled and always responded “No, the
people of this World are so kind, so generous, so helpful.” And it takes
getting out there on a limb and being vulnerable, new and
unaccustomed, asking for help, smiling, welcoming invitations and being
polite…to know that the World is really a safe place.

I should have counted my kilometers rode and the beds and places I
slept and camped in. So many different places. Some great sleeps and
many difficult sleeps, just from the changes. And of course I’m no
teenager. But in the end, when I look at photos of myself on the journey,
I looked beautiful, radiant, shining, healthy, youthful and happy. Now
that I have stopped the biking life since August, 4 months ago, I am
missing it terribly and feel the difference in my appearance and
aliveness. This whole transition from living on the road, changing places
day in and day out, seeing amazing vistas, landscapes, smelling new
smells, eating new foods, speaking new languages and most of all
transporting myself on a bike through Space with all my stuff….has been
very hard. I like and prefer being in limbo, being everywhere and
nowhere, not belonging to one place but to all places, being free
physically and mentally, being open to all possibilities, being very
connected to the elements, pushing my body hard all day and then
eating tons of delicious food in between, being very tired and very
worked out, and really enjoying the rest. For me it’s Paradise.
The part of this journey that I have not yet mentioned is the work, the
service, the love of my life that I got to share along the way and continue
to earn a living doing what I love and in the most miraculous ways.
Knowing I did not want to just use whatever resources I had for four
years of travelling without giving back significantly and in doing so
earning money, one of my very initial intenions I decided was to see if I
could hold cob building workshops along the way, somehow. Clearly
teaching cob workshops in California and the US where I was known
and had a following was alot easier than trying to set something up in
the dozen countries I was interested in exploring. I had no idea how I
would do that, and once again I put one foot in front of the other, and
when you are pedaling for 4-5 hours a day there is alot of thinking time.

The first workshop connection was made using the Workaway website
where people put hosting requests online for people they need to help
them with anything. I found a woman (another Aries) my age in the
Canary Islands on Fuerteventura who needed help building a cob
house. In 3 weeks we organized a 25-person 4-day workshop and
finished her 2-story cob house (2 walls were already built). It was a true
miracle. A huge success and bode well for my income idea. While there
I connected with someone who also wanted to host a workshop later
that year. And I found another woman my age in Senegal who wanted
to host a cob workshop. And on and on. And from that first connection
and workshop in March of 2015 to the one I most recently completed on
the island of Faial in September 2018 I have completed 25 workshops
(mostly lasting 14-28 days) over 4 years in 12 different countries. Many
of the workshops were in new places but going back to countries I had
already been in because I would meet the next hosts while doing
another workshop. So in truth I have not been around the world but
rather circled from Europe down to Senegal through the Canaries and
Cabo Verde 3 times, after which I finally set myself free from this merrygo-
round and headed to the US and then South America. I never got to
truly go around the world and besides I have other plans for my life and
it would take a lifetime to see everywhere by bike as I have. I did meet
an Indian man while in Senegal who had been biking for 10 years on an
AIDS awareness mission and was intent on hitting every country in the
world. When we met he was heading to his last 2 continents, South
America and North America. I have to say he was a bit kooky and I can
surely imagine why.

Nonetheless, here I am now sitting in a little rented studio on the island
of São Miguel in the Azores which is part of Portugal, on Christmas Day,
alone with my computer, writing. It seems fitting that I write these words
now as I prepare, in a few weeks, to complete the purchase of these
magical 6 hectares of land in the Alentejo region of Portugal that will be
a new and future Homestead. Today, 4 years later, my Journey is complete                                   and I am ready to birth a unique Ecovillage in a sweet part of the world.
I have been transitioning from the travelling nomad
life to the Homestead life emotionally and preparing for a new project to
collaborate in with others. I want to create a Center for people to
come and rest, find themselves, experience community living and how
to care for and live close to the Earth. Something that we are seeing
more and more of today, thankfully. I hope to make this Center
accessible for everyone, bringing people from all walks of life, all
backgrounds, cultures, races, and ages together to learn true Collaboration,
Communication and Love. I looks forward to working with my three
sons who each have very special skills and interests that will greatly
support and enhance this project.

Shortly, in mid-January, I will embark to Argentina and
Chile, new destinations, where I will meet future workshop hosts
(Argentina) and teach a 6-week workshop in Chile on my student’s land.
My travelling life continues as that is the work I have developed over the
last decade and a half, though I will need to make the time to be still on
the land to begin my journey there as well. I am really thankful Karen
has asked me to put words down and tell my story, as I do have an
unfinished Journal/Blog waiting to be completed, a Book in mind, and
even a Screenplay. This has allowed me to summarize and start the
process energetically. As a by-product, I hope to be an inspiration to all
of you who read this, to know in your Heart that your desire and need to
feel ALIVE is worthy of taking the first step and the next, to do what is
necessary to honor your right and need as a Human on Earth to feel
Free to be yourself always and have a BLAST in this Lifetime! Ho!