If you’ve been following my recent journey, you know that I’ve embarked on an exciting new adventure in nomadic living and remote working. Together with my boyfriend and dog, we are on an open-ended road trip in our 20-foot RV/mobile tiny house.
Last week we were lakeside in northern North Carolina [enjoying sunsets, campfires, simplicity and peaceful serenity while we did our work and followed the rhythms of nature]. The week before, we were in Richmond, VA [went salsa dancing, went on a walking tour of the Liberty Trail, ate yummy falafel, and on Sunday tooled around an artsy little area called Carytown …with no cares about time or to-do’s – the way Sunday is supposed to feel but honestly hadn’t in years…]
And now we’re in the Raleigh/Wake Forest area staying with my step-sister Kellie and her delightful family. Well technically, we’re their driveway neighbors since we brought our house with us and hooked it up to their water and electric. And today, my friend, soul sister, and mastermind colleague, Marcy, had me over for a delicious homemade lunch. So good to see her!
If home is where the heart is, than my home spans continents. I chose this nomadic lifestyle, in part, because it means I can visit friends and family that I don’t get to see very often. It’s a real treat to be getting some in-person time with people I missed, and feeling right at home.
It’s part of what I’m calling ‘The Tara-tour-y’. Get it?
I’m on tour, and I’m my own agent. Our loose plan is to head south and then west.
Want to join the tour?
Want to meet for a bite, and maybe an interview? Want to host us in your driveway? Want to help me line up a book signing in your town? Or a workshop in your living room? Let me know! Let’s see what we can do to coordinate our paths crossing…
Here’s to the unfolding journey!
Written by, Tara Sage Steeves
Possibility Queen, Gypsy Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, Master Coach, Nomad, Salsera, Life Hack Pro,
Owner of two location-independent companies: Create Your Life! & Nomadic Leaders
Greetings from the road!
If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen the highlight reel of my 8-day Nomadic Living Countdown. I’ve posted it here for you too, all in one neat and tidy 8-day synopsis. There’s obviously a lot involved in planning for such a major downsizing. Going from urban apartment living to my boyfriend, dog, and I all in a 20′ RV was no small undertaking. It required some very real focus and attention to organizing and getting rid of stuff, packing and preparing for our Nomadic Living Experiment.
I repeat: no small undertaking. But we were ready and motivated for the change and absolutely up for the challenge. It’s not for everybody and I’m not suggesting that YOU need to tour the country in an RV (unless, of course, you want to) — but either way, maybe you can relate to feeling restless in one or more areas of your life, feeling that your heart is longing for a new adventure. Perhaps you’ve grown accustomed to routinely taking the same route to work, the gym, the grocery store, etc. Have you ever found that while you drive your mind goes into autopilot? The risk is THIS CAN HAPPEN WITH YOUR LIFE TOO.
But the good news is you don’t have to settle for status quo expectations and life on autopilot. You too can intentionally shake things up with just a few small powerful shifts. Click here to learn how doing just 1 experiment per day for 5 days can help you create a life you can’t wait to get-up-and-out-of-bed-for-in-the-morning. I created this FREE 5-Day Mission Possible Program with love (and behavior modification know-how). It’s my gift to YOU. Enjoy!
Here’s the 8-day Nomadic Living Countdown
8 Days From Nomadic Living: Downsizing
With the downsizing and packing process well underway, I paused to catch my breath and to share a micro-glimpse of the process. Going from my abundant tea selection of many boxes of tea stacked in the cabinet, to one consolidated bag. With just one week to go, I spent my entire Saturday sorting and clearing everything “kitchen”.
7 Days From Nomadic Living: Moving Sale
The 7 day count-down! After more sorting and setting aside the few irreplaceable items that were going to storage, I posted a moving sale sign by the elevators of things I had yet to sell. (Much of it sold. Whatever was left, I donated.)
6 Days From Nomadic Living: Decision Fatigue
I find that the most difficult decisions to make are often the ones that don’t really matter but that you need to make anyway. Do you agree? I was definitely feeling decision fatigue as I made countless micro-decisions … which pots to pack …. what spices to take … which socks … which kitchen utensils … toiletries … etc.. etc… and where each item I wasn’t taking was going … sell? recycle? donate? … and if for sale, for how much? … where and to whom? You feel me? I was knackered. I put out a call for some positive juju and energetic support as I sorted through the stuff of downsizing. While super excited to simplify and have less – I won’t sugarcoat it – the process of getting there took a lot out of me. But, one decision at a time, I did it. And I’m SO glad I did.
5 Days From Nomadic Living: Giving Love Away
With 5 days remaining, I went from struggling to decide what to part with, to surrendering. On this day, rather than trying to sell things, I hit a point where I wished I could just beam it ALL to donation. For starters, I gave ‘Love’ (and a few others items) away. I delighted in doing so — a metaphor in motion. Because, really, isn’t that what it’s all about? 😉
4 Days From Nomadic Living: Farewell Pistachio
With a sense of nostalgia, I sold my little Fiat. I bought her (a.k.a. Pistachio) 2.5 years prior, just days after moving to northern Virginia. Fun to drive and cute as can be. I loved being able park in Washington DC in spaces that no one else could fit in. One time the space was so tight, a man standing on a nearby curb who saw me parallel park, clapped. 🙂 Pistachio and I also took to the highways, on road trips south to Florida and north to Rhode Island. And now just days from me leaving Virginia, we parted. Farewell, Pistachio … and thank you. Maybe I’ll see you on the road.
3 Days From Nomadic Living: We Put The Cart Before The Horse
Here’s a quick story about when Carl and I went to the RV dealership and purchased our 2018 R-Pod 180. While learning about the weight of the unit, the towing info, etc., the sales guy asked, “What do you drive?” In unison, we answered: “a Fiat” “a Prius”. Maybe you had to be there, but it was a funny moment. Here we were, looking to buy an RV with two vehicles that obviously weren’t going to tow it.
Before we left (in the Prius) we purchased the RV Camper, awaiting our return to pick it up. We literally put the cart before the horse! Arguably not a rational logical move. We put into practice what, in my coaching with clients, I refer to as ‘Quantum Leaping a Dream’. By, quite literally, putting the cart before the horse, we took a big ol’ leap of faith – diving in to the deep end and teaming up to do something that neither one of us had done before. With our decision to put the cart before the horse, we ensured that we would figure out what we needed to figure out, and gallop our way back to hitch our cart. And that’s exactly what we did. We sold our Fiat/Prius. And the R-Pod got it’s horse.
*** What Quantum Leap have you, or are you, dreaming up in your own life? What dream is stirring within YOUR heart just waiting for YOU to leap? Want to chat about it with someone who “gets” it? I love connecting with people from my online community. Let’s connect for a complimentary session and explore the possibilities, shall we?
2 Days From Nomadic Living: See You Later
Any friend who helps you carry boxes and drop stuff off at Salvation Army, is the real deal. As if there was any doubt. I was blessed to meet Laura salsa dancing just a few weeks after moving to the DC area. That night, she yelled goodbye, waving vigorously at me from a balcony when she saw I was leaving. I knew then and there, we’d be friends. Not long after, we went for a 3-hour kayak conversation (much more talking than rowing) and it was a friendship made.
Just 2 days from nomadic living, after helping me move some stuff, I gave her the grand tour of our 20′ camper, we ate take-out at the R-Pod dinette table, and we took a “see you later” selfie (no goodbyes). So glad our paths have crossed. And I know they will again. True friendship transcends time and space.
1 Day From Nomadic Living: How Long Things Take
Our last night in the (almost empty) apartment, after a busy day of tasks too many to name, was all on the heels of a late night out dancing. We accomplished a lot on this day and sleep felt like a true reward. After months of planning and preparation, it was very exciting to be less than 24 hours away from the kick-off of our nomadic lifestyle. Knowing that, by this time tomorrow, we’d be fully moved out of the apartment and fully moved *in* to the R-pod, was definitely exhilarating.
Big life changes are rarely made overnight. They take time and require planning and preparation. Generally speaking, the bigger the change, the more planning and preparation needed! But, how long? How do YOU determine how long things will take? As a rule of thumb, I find that when it comes to getting big, daunting tasks and projects done …. things take exactly as long as you have for them. Knowing this – and even better – learning to trust this, is a bit like having a superpower. Once a deadline is set, get to it, all while trusting that the time you have is exactly the time you need. Often easier said than done, I know. One of my favorite personal mantras is “Time expands for me.” I tell myself this (on repeat, until I believe it) especially when I’m feeling like the time I have is shorter than the time I need. And, lo and behold, it all gets done.
On the eve of this great adventure, having certainly wondered and felt concerned about whether we’d pull it off and get everything done and ready to go in time — I felt confident, a knowing in my soul, that we got this.
What about YOU? Do you find that things take as long as you have for them? How do YOU ensure that tasks and projects get done, done well, and efficiently?
November 5th, 2017: The Nomadic Journey Begins
Farewell apartment 207 – and thank you. Onward and upward! We are officially excited.
***** More to come! Follow the journey: www.nomadicleaders.com *****
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. To visit people we know and love, and create new connections along the way. To give free hugs. To live simply, with less stuff and more freedom. And, of course, to find our way to sweaty salsa dancing hot spots along the way.
We’re nervous and we’re excited. I hope you’ll follow and support our journey, and perhaps we’ll see you on the road! 🙂
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”. It has been in that envelope since 1996. Grandma would be happy to know that, all these years later, “ice cream with a friend” is indeed how it will be spent.
So, today I am celebrating how profoundly and positively efforts to amp up ORDER is impacting my life, my business, my heart, my soul, my mind, and even my body. And this is only the beginning. Please stay tuned.
What about YOU? I want to hear from you. How does order support or inhibit YOU? Do you agree that less is more? Why or why not?
#minimalism #thegiftoforder #lessistrulymore #simplicity #thebeststuffoflifeisnotstuff #freedomthroughless
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”? Like, it just doesn’t fit?? Sometimes I can’t for the life of me remember someone’s name, and I feel like it doesn’t stick in my brain because it’s the wrong name for them. I want to, and sometimes mistakenly do, call them by another name.
Well, I can honestly say I have ALWAYS felt like a “Tara”. It’s right. It’s MY name. My soul and “Tara” feel like a right match.
But Michelle? Meh. It always felt flat to me. I accepted it, I didn’t mind it. It’s what was on my birth certificate. But it never really felt like “me.” It was fine. No matter. I was pretty indifferent to it.
In 2003, I went to a festival in the desert called Burning Man. It was a transformational experience in many ways. On “the playa” people often named themselves. I remember meeting a woman who introduced herself as “Delectable”, for example. Another was Dr. Wasabi. When asked what MY name was … before I could even think about it, the words “Tara Sage” came out of my mouth. I’m not sure why or where it came from. “Huh,” I thoug ht, as I heard myself. Sure, yeh, Tara Sage … I liked it. And for that week in the desert, I was Tara Sage.
After I returned from 10 very transformative days in the desert, I quickly learned that I was *still* Tara Sage. Very much so, in fact.
The end of 2004, I got married. And, about 5 years later, divorced. When I married, I honestly didn’t think long and hard about the prospect of changing my name. On so many levels, I was done being Gross. 🙂 I welcomed the change: Steeves. Ok then. I had no strong objections. It seemed a perfectly fine name.
A very wise and well-meaning friend of mine, challenged me on this decision. “Why would you take your husbands name?” she asked. “You should keep your name.”
Well, my answer to her was, look, neither one is “my” name. The way I saw it, I either had what was my now long-estranged father’s name, or my husband’s name.
I did briefly consider taking my mother’s maiden name, Giannoni, which would have in many ways felt right and have honored the fact that my half-Italian roots represented my true family, in every sense of the word …. but I decided against it. I thought that would be especially confusing and my soon-to-be husband probably wouldn’t have appreciated it. So, by default, Steeves it was.
And while I was at it, I figured this was an opportunity to let go of “Michelle” and at least own my ‘Tara Sage’ self. So, I legally changed my middle name too and became Tara Sage Steeves.
After marrying, as my business grew, and with it my “personal brand”, and I became a twice-published author as Tara Sage Steeves, I realized I was pretty locked in to that name. So when I divorced, my name remained. While I really didn’t want his name anymore, I honestly didn’t think too long and hard about it. It just seemed logical that due to my “public” face, and wanting to avert any damage-control to my brand or my business, I remained Steeves. And, legally, I still remain Steeves.
BUT – interestingly, on my holiday travels last week, I had lunch with that same friend, and my name came up again in conversation. She shared that she thinks I could just be Tara Sage. Sage, she said, could be my “last” name. In a sentence, she seeded the question in my mind and heart: Do I want to revisit this? Could I just be Tara Sage?
I mulled it over for a few days. And then, on December 23, I dropped “Steeves” from my Facebook name. It felt like a small but personally empowering and important step. And I was honestly relieved that it seemed to go rather unnoticed.
But however vulnerable it is for me, seeing Bethany’s post just a few days later, I gotta say … it feels good to be shining a light on it. Freeing!
While I’m in no hurry to manage all the many logistical pieces that would be involved in a legal name change, perhaps Prince was on to something… You can call me Tara. Or Tara Sage Steeves. Or “the life coach formerly known as Tara Sage Steeves.” 🙂
Or, if you’d like, you can call me Tara Sage.
Allow me to invite YOU to consider for yourself:
- As our calendar year comes to a close, what would be most empowering for YOU to let go of before the 2017 bell tolls? (A worthwhile question for anytime of year so if you’re reading this post-2017 calendar turn, then think: end of the month.)
- What would best express the truest, brightest, most authentic version of YOU?
With love, and truth, and the freedom of letting go of the old,
Happy New Year!
May it be truly merry and bright,
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.
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,
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!