A Nomadic Experiment

In a recent blog post, entitled ‘Define “Home”, I wrote about what home really means to me. I shared that my nomadic heart spans across continents, making ‘home’ a concept that is simply too big and too complex for me to rightfully define it by just one place.

The truth is, I’ve always had a gypsy soul, and over the years I’ve been blessed to travel and wander my way to such places as Spain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and parts of the continental United States and Canada. Wanderlust is innate to my being, and yet – as much as I want to fly the proverbial nest, I also really like having a nest to return to. Therein lies the challenge.

As a business-owner of two, location-independent-by-design companies (Create Your Life! & Nomadic Leaders), since 2004, I have had a stake in some virtual real estate. Being a virtual landscape pioneer brings with it the unique opportunity to work remotely, from wherever I may be.

Cool, right? Yet, here’s the catch: As freedom-oriented and expansive as this sounds, I’ve always felt it poses as much a dilemma as it does an opportunity. In other words, if I can live and work from anywhere, how the heck do I decide where my home base will be? How do I pick a place? Where do I build my nest? And what nest will best provide me with the comforts of home, while also not imposing limits on how much flying I can do?

I trust you see my dilemma.

While the DC area has been good to me, after 2.5 years, I’m moving on. My boyfriend Carl, my dog Cosmo, and I are all hitting the road for a Nomadic Experiment. We purchased what is essentially a mobile nest — an RV camper, and an SUV to pull it. In a couple of weeks, with our sweet little 20-foot nest in tow, we’re going to see where the road takes us.

We have no set timeline, no set itinerary, and no set destination. Our loose plan is to head south and then west. To be where we are, and go where we want to go. To work from the road, letting our journey inspire our work and our work inspire our journey. To live out an expansive definition of home. To wander. To experience a mix of city and country.…

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I love you, baby.

I am in a relationship and I want to share a slice of its loveliness here with you. I’ll be honest, I very much wanted to post delightful pictures of us, allowing YOU to see and celebrate US. But he’s more private than I am, and leery about being active on social media. At some point perhaps he’ll change his mind and agree to let me show you his gorgeous face, but until then I respect his preference. #thefacebookreveal
 
Those of you lucky enough to know Carl from the “real world” know that he is a prince of a man. He is kind, generous, wise, introspective and self-aware, pragmatic and principled, sentimental and deliberate, a good friend, a smooth-as-butter salsa dancer, and a master of witty off-the-cuff analogies. #truly
 
We were friends for more than a year, and I was slow to see what was developing. At one point I even tried to hook him up with a friend of mine! As he describes it, during that period we were “platonic dating”. 🙂 Thankfully, I finally woke up and began to question my ‘friend zone’ status for him. However slow I was to see it … from day one, he has been an absolute gift in my life and I trust all unfolded in its perfect timing. #friendsfirst
 
We’re both in our early 40s, each well practiced at living alone, something we’d grown to prefer. After almost a year of splitting the week between two homes, we took the leap and now live together (more on that soon). It’s a transition for sure, and I can of course only speak for myself, but I personally am in awe of how easy it has felt. #oneroof
So far, our journeys have included: a weekend jaunt to see botanical gardens in Pennsylvania, numerous hikes in Maryland and Virginia, a houseboat stay in Tennessee, processing at an Inauguration “Party” in DC and, soon after, the Women’s March, a birthday getaway on the beaches of Delaware, a family reunion in Connecticut, exploring my old stomping ground in Rhode Island … to name a few. We’ve only just begun. Together, we are horizon-gazing with many adventures ahead. Specifically, a great big exciting and unconventional Lifestyle Experiment in the works. More on that soon. #advenuresahead
 
It feels good to be sharing this. 
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Amidst All The Chaos, Let’s Talk About Order

As a creative, and as an entrepreneur, I have never struggled to make a mess. 🙂 Since childhood, I’ve had a messy room. In part, it was a teenage rebellion and response to the high standards and OCD tendencies that tend to run in my maternal lineage. I judged them as intense and unnecessary.

A pile of papers, a pile of clothes, a pile of half-read books, numerous notebooks full of random ideas… It’s been a manageable level of chaos, nothing that would be deemed outside the “norm”, and historically I’ve embraced it, telling myself it’s the inevitable by-product of my “non-linear genius.” Ha!

Well, perhaps the familial OCD gene ramps up in your 40’s because since January of this year, my desire to have Less Stuff and More Order has really taken hold within me. One drawer, one notebook, one item of clothing at a time… I have been touching and sorting through every single thing I own. You might say I’m in Order Overdrive over here … and, you know what? … I’m absolutely loving it. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” said Leonardo Da Vinci. YES. I am now a believer, perhaps even a zealot-in-the-making because, while it’s admittedly daunting and rather time consuming to go through EVERY little thing you own and determine whether to keep it, sell it, donate it, recycle it, or trash it … my goodness, it ultimately feels so goooooood— so gratifying, so clarifying, so freeing.

With every car-full of things I pass along, with every drawer and shelf and closet I sort, and with every notebook page that either gets recycled because it’s no longer relevant or goes into a binder organized by category …. I am finding that the benefits go *far beyond* being able to find my stapler, or having a clean desk, or knowing exactly where that favorite pair of shoes or earrings are. The true benefits are … I have a clearer mind. I have terrifically streamlined approaches to move forward (in both business and personal). I have a deepened sense of inner peace and focus. I am no longer energetically burdened by stuff that I don’t need or love, or both.

While going through a trunk of memorabilia, I came across a $10 bill tucked into a card, addressed to me in Australia (I studied abroad my junior year of college). It was sent by my sweet grandmother for “ice cream with a friend”.…

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What’s YOUR name?

I’m going to get very personal with you here.

This week, Bethany Pearson O’Connor (a Facebook contact of mine that I don’t personally know but we share friends in common) posted something incredibly brave and articulate, about her name. And by no coincidence, I happened to see it.

While her post was about her name on the surface level, what it’s really about is her coming home to herself.

With some trepidation, I’ve decided to follow her lead, and write and share my own name story with you today. The very curious synergy of her timing, and my seeing it, feels too important for me to ignore.

I too, in these last days of 2016, have been coming home to myself, through my name. My sharing this very personal and very vulnerable story with you feels a bit like I’m undressing in front of a crowd. But, it’s my strong sense that it would not only be healing and empowering to share it, but also that it may speak deeply to you as well if you read it to the end.

My birth name was: Tara Michelle Gross.

As I’m sure you can imagine “being Gross” made me an easy target for schoolyard antics. I remember kids asking me if my middle name was “is” or “looks” or “smells”. Mean.

I remember coming home from school and telling my dad about kids making fun of my name. His response was: “Don’t make your bad day my bad day.” YUP. Keep it to yourself, kid. Don’t share your hardships with me. Don’t burden me with your hurts. You’re on your own…. Or at least that’s the message I got.

As an adult, I’ve come to know that my dad absolutely did his best and that none of his limitations or “issues” were about me. That said, it certainly didn’t make for an easy childhood. Another dad quote: “Do as I say, not as I do.” Interestingly, in his own backward way, my father became one of my greatest teachers. I made the commitment to myself to do everything in my power to live and act with the integrity and honesty of BEing someone who walks my talk. Who’s word is gold. Thanks, dad.

Anyway, so my middle name wasn’t “is” … it was Michelle.

Have you ever had the experience of meeting someone and having the sense that they have the “wrong name”?…

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Your Year-in-Review: Part 3

YOUR YEAR-IN-REVIEW: Part 3

This is the final installment of my 3-part ‘Year in Review’ mini-series. In this part 3 video, get clear on the plan you’ll need in order to make your dreams happen in 2017.

Series Recap: 
PART 1: We dialed in to 3 things you appreciate about the past year. If you missed it –> www.tinyurl.com/tarayir1
PART 2: We identified dreams and goals that did come to fruition in 2016. If you missed it –> www.tinyurl.com/tarayir2

I hope to see YOU in The Dream Acceleration Program!

May your dreams always inspire more than they intimidate,
Tara  

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Your Year-in-Review: Part 2

YOUR YEAR-IN-REVIEW: Part 2
 
As YOU reflect over this past year, what goals or dreams did *not* come to fruition for you?
 
In this video, I share why many dreams go unrealized and fall by the wayside.
 
It is SO important not to ignore or disregard the fact that you did not achieve them. Rather, by shining light on this fact you can get really clear, and set yourself up to fully actualize your deepest dreams in 2017.
 
If you’re ready for this year to be different, join me for this powerful journey: www.DreamAccelerationProgram.com
 
Be on the lookout for Part 3 which brings it all together — coming soon! 🙂
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Your Year-In-Review: Part 1

YEAR-IN-REVIEW: Part 1

With the New Year on the horizon, it’s essential that you give yourself the space to review these past 12-months.

What’s something that YOU have a great appreciation for? 
Write down at least 3 things that you are appreciative about.

If you’re having trouble finding what you appreciate most and know you want MORE in the New Year, join me for a very special journey … The Dream Acceleration Program.

Learn all about it at: www.DreamAccelerationProgram.com

Realize your biggest, boldest dreams in the New Year!

Stay tuned for part 2!

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Wonderlost

Nomadic Leaders got some blog love from Erin Nicole Scherer of Wonderlost Travel. 🙂

Erin shares her exploration of the world and location independence.

Have a read! –>  Building a Life You Love

life-you-love

Share a comment: Where’s YOUR next world exploration destination?…

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[nō-ˈma-dik] What does it mean to YOU?

Nomadic [nō-ˈma-dik]: adj. Relating to, or characteristic of, being on the move.

What does it mean to be nomadic?

At Nomadic Leaders, we believe “nomadic” is, first and foremost, a state of mind.

To be nomadic is to be a mover and a shaker, regardless of where you are.

It’s about moving from within.

It’s about doing what it takes to move forward: from where you are currently, to where you’re headed.

It’s about building momentum, propelling a movement, moving hearts and minds, and moving and inspiring others into action with you.

It’s about trail-blazing.

It’s about the exploration and discovery of unpaved roads and new horizons.

It’s about creating a ripple effect.

It’s about setting new ideas into motion.

It’s about speaking up.

It’s about challenging the “status quo”.

It’s about unleashing potentials and welcoming new perspectives.

It’s about immersion into new experiences.

It’s about following where an idea leads.

It’s about believing in your dreams and taking action on behalf of your deepest desires.

It’s about embarking on a brave personal journey, an exploration of what’s around the bend, beyond the horizon, and above the clouds.

==> Do YOU consider yourself to be nomadic? Why or why not?

 …

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Travel far enough to meet yourself

In that moment, I felt I had no history, no reputation, no expectation, and no obligation to be who I had been yesterday.

travelfarenough

 

For me, “far enough” was Australia.

The year was 1996. I was 20 years old and on a 16 hour flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia, when, in an instant, I was moved to tears by the realization – and the profound freedom – that NO ONE, in the entire country that I was on my way to, to live in for the next 6 months, had any preconceived notion of who I was.

Forty thousand feet in the air, this was a time-stopping awareness for me.

And seeing as the woman seated next to me on the plane ALSO had no preconceived notion of who I was, I didn’t hold back. I allowed myself to feel it. Tears of relief streamed down my face in tandem with the release and the profound opening that was happening in my chest.  Sitting on that airplane, I processed a sudden and life-altering realization of a new kind of freedom.

It was a freedom that had only come from traveling far enough to meet myself.

In that moment, I felt I had no history, no reputation, no expectation, and no obligation to be who I had been yesterday.

I was just me. On a plane. Luggage in tow. Enroute to a new land, for a 6 month journey.

I grew up in a really small New England town where everyone knew everyone. Every trip I went on up to that point, was with people I knew. Some high school classmates went to the same college I did. Not bad things, but it’s important to understand that up until this singular moment on the plane, I had never known the experience of not being known.

I had never known the experience of others not having any preconceived expectations about who I am.  I suddenly had – and was – a blank slate. I could be just me – whoever that was.

Me, with no one to please, and no pre-conceived notions or expectations influencing me.

IT WAS SO PROFOUNDLY FREEING!

christmasI wiped my tears and smiled at the lady in the seat next to me.

Little did I know, she would end up hosting me, opening her home along with her family of five, for a full week during a visit I’d make to Brisbane that December. …

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