Gratitude

Youre going to Paris

This post is hard to write. Mostly because I’m afraid of what you’re going to think. I think you’re going to think that I’m bragging or wanting everyone to know how great my life is.

That’s not it at all. I think what I want you to know is that it’s just hit me, that I do have an incredible life. I’ve known it all along, but the lightbulb went off and has shifted my entire perspective. Entirely.

I’m so so so so grateful for this incredible life I have. What really hit home was something that happened yesterday. I woke up and there was an email in my inbox that read:

Youre going to Paris

And it hit me like a ton of bricks. My dream is coming true. We’re making it happen. How incredibly lucky I am to have such an amazing life to see this message in my inbox. How grateful I am for the chance to see this city and so many others. How fortunate I am to be here in this moment and have everything that I have.

So while I’m sharing, I’ll share that we have plane tickets now for Nice, France and Biarritz, Spain. Biarritz is the start of the Camino de Santiago which also means I’M DOING THE CAMINO. No shit, no kidding now. I might be alone, I might be with others; regardless, it’s happening.

I spent the rest of yesterday (and will carry this forward now as a practice) being so immensely grateful for what I have. I had an opportunity to thank the postman so I acknowledged him. I said hi to every single person I walked past yesterday. I was fortunate enough to go on a date night (which Luc scheduled – so grateful for that) and there was live music so I thanked the musician and gave him some money. The woman who served me, Carmen, was so wonderful and spent so much time chatting with us and joking.Jesse (who I’ve met once) called me and he wants to workout with me to support me with my health and fitness goals. I coached yesterday with my AMAZING coach Maria who I am over the moon with gratitude for her beautiful soul and the contribution she is for me and my life.

My heart is wide open with the gratitude and love that I have for everyone in my life and all that I have.

So while I don’t want you to know how amazing a life I have because I’m afraid you’ll judge me – I also need to say it – mostly for myself. I’m excited for what I’m creating and I’m so incredibly grateful for what I have and every single person in my life.

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261 days

Switzerland: Les Dents du Midi

Since Jaedyn graduated I’ve been counting down the lasts… last band performance, last musical, last award ceremony, last day of school… I cried my way through most of these events.

Now: we’re coming home after our trip (or so we think) but I can’t help but think of what we won’t be doing next year. We won’t be having the halloween party at the Fairbanks. We won’t be celebrating Luc’s birthday at our neighbours house and then trick or treating with our friends while Luc steals birthday candy tax from V. It goes on and one. We won’t be having Christmas with my family next year. We won’t be celebrating V’s birthday at home. When V get’s to the end of school, we’re saying good bye to her friends for a whole year.

It actually starts to become a bit overwhelming emotionally for me. Those of you who know me know I wear my heart on my sleeve and I don’t hold back on the feeling machine.

It’s such bittersweetness: so much joy, exploration, wonder to be had. Yet everything we have to say goodbye to (Sanja I got the feels you’re having right now and I’m still 261 days away from leaving!) will be hard. Not being with my parents, my beautiful Jaedyn, my besties, my friends, our neighbours, collegues… yikes.

I cling to people coming to visit us when we’re on our travels (pleeeeeeease come). I envision Skyping with friends to keep in touch. V will write postcards to her friends to practice her writing and spelling (this is homeschooling right?). I know what Christmas in Switzerland is like and it’s the stuff of dreams (except when you light real candles on a real tree – that’s TERRIFYING. My mother-in-law caught on fire just a little bit last time is all I’ll say). I can’t wait to get out there into the world and walk walk walk and meet so many people on the Camino. I think the thing I’m looking most forward to is the people. Meeting, talking and connecting with people. Getting to know where their journeys will take them both physically and spiritually. The landscapes. Watching my daughter experience so much diversity. Experiencing my marriage with Luc grow and expand.

I feel better now reminding myself why I’m doing what I’m doing. Connecting back to what my dream is. I was stuck a bit in the sadness of leaving home. I get FOMO (fear of missing out) like crazy. So when I think of missing out on an epic camping trip with friends or watching V and our neighbours kids play in our backyard or the snow, I think of what we will be missing. It’s helpful to remind myself of also what I will be creating.

Switzerland: Les Dents du Midi

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Showing up as “hard”

Money in - money out = money left over.

Yesterday I spoke with an amazing woman. While I was busting up my filter around moola, she said to me “I assert that you think it has to be hard to be free from worrying about money.” She also said “you don’t have to take a whole bunch of time to get this, you can get this now, and start living your life differently now”.

Huh. Like right now?

Yep.

I was told once that people would rather talk about their sex life than talk about their money situations and money full stop.

So I choose now for money to be easy. For it not to be a “thing”. For it not to run my life. It’s really simple and flat and not give a shit.

She said “imagine what you and Luc could do when you’re travelling around the world if money wasn’t something that you had to think, worry, stress, fill in the blank about at all.” If I’m being honest, that’s really hard. I told her, I started this program and my coaching practice in order to make money while travelling.

I started out wanting this to be a back up money making business while I travel to subsidize my travelling costs. I can work and travel and this is the job that would do it.

But now I’m in a different place. I’ve actually found a job I ADORE. I’m excited to meet so many different people from around the world who will share their humanity, stories, dreams and goals with me. Who I will without a doubt make a difference in their lives and the lives around them. That’s what I’m excited about. It actually has nothing to do with the money anymore.

I choose a life free from the constraint of money. That doesn’t mean I’m going to be irresponsible with my money. I’m not going on a spending spree. I am shedding the story that I have that I need save for some date in the future. What? Retirement? Life is now.

I bought flowers the other day for myself (and my family but really more for myself). Something I don’t do ever because flowers are frivolous and they die and it’s a waste of money. Well, I did it because I wanted them and I wanted to give myself something beautiful.

It doesn’t have to be hard. It is easy. I chose to be free from my money story now.

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OnFocus Journey

Footprints

Today I share a piece of unperfected writing that I will submit to Island Parent for consideration for a monthly submission for the next 20 months. I’ve never considered myself a writer, hence never thought myself good enough. It’s with fear of failure, trepidation, and feelings of not good enough that I write this – and will submit it anyway. Please share any feedback you have to make this article great. The idea is to have a monthly article posted in Island Parent of the journey our family is taking both from a worldly standpoint and from a inside-out perspective.


My phone bings. I look at it. It’s Trello being updated by my husband. Ahh the sweet sound of our 5 year-in-the-making, 1 year trip around the world coming closer to a reality. (Trello is a sudo project management app that is helping to keep our unquestionably complicated journey in check.)

5 years ago, after living 5 months in Switzerland while I was on maternity leave, Luc (my Dear Hubby) and I decided that we would come back there on a more permanent basis after our eldest daughter graduated high school. 2 years ago, that idea turned into a trip throughout our world. And now we’re 9 months away from leaving.

A lot has happened in that time, I became a personal life coach, we have both approved leaves from our jobs, and our dreams of where we want to explore have grown and expanded. We are discovering what it means to “slow-travel”. AND it all hasn’t been sunshine and rainbows – oh no! I remember wondering what are we going to do with our house (still a bit of a question mark to be honest). There was one particular planning session with Luc that went wildly sideways (I might have said “forget it let’s abandon this trip altogether” – not a shining moment). Our daughter graduated and then left for 4 years of university across the country to follow her dream (yep we’re going without her). And the thought of homeschooling our soon to be 7 year old sends me running as fast as I can to the interwebs.

While I explored my dreams and goals with my coach, I knew that the only thing between me and my dream was me. It’s all possible. It’s also completely outside of my comfort zone. That little voice in my head tells me still “oh this is going to be a lot of work. Why would you want to do this HARD thing. It’s going to be scary out there. Just stay right here where it’s super warm, cozy and you already know how it’s going to go.” Got it. Thanks. And I’m going to chose something different and something unknown.

One of the first things that people say to me when I tell them we’re going on a 1 year holiday “I would too if I won the lottery”. Know this: you 100% don’t need to win the lottery. There is a crazy big community of families that have been living for years on the road. Giving up their jobs and making money while travelling. There are resources out there that can make travelling cheaper (house sitting, buying plane tickets with points, and budgeting to name a few). Coaching can also help to dissolve your relationship to money – it’s definitely helping me.

What I will provide over the next 20 months: many many resources to help families like us, see that this can be a reality. Inspiration to people to live the life that they dream. Courage to show that it can be done. Reality of what life actually throws at you and the humour that surrounds it. The journey that we as parents are on in this world and in our lives.

Our itinerary so far: New York, France, Switzerland (where our home base will be for 5 months and our youngest will go to school in French), I will walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain, Italy, Germany, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Bali, Australia and Fiji.

My journey to get me to where I am right now has been one of self love, self reflection, giving up suffering, control, right and wrong, tapping into who I am, humanity, time and money. I have by no means perfected any of this, it’s a work in progress and I will be working on this until I die I’m sure of it.

This has and will be a journey. I look forward to the journey with you.


Robin Howe is a mother to two beautiful smart daughters (18 and 7), wife, public servant and a personal life coach exploring what it means to be human and what this great big world has to offer. Follow her journey at OnFocusCoaching.ca

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Around the world

The world

I have finally released the info that I’ve been holding for over a year now: Luc, Violette and I are going on a 1 year leave of absence from our government jobs and travelling the world. I can finally be authentic in my speaking and sharing. There is so much freedom and excitement in that.

So what does this mean? Well, I can speak about my coaching business in relation to my travelling the world. The reason I started my coaching practice was to create more financial abundance while we travel. (Instead of spending all our money without an income coming in.)

Looking at how I relate to money about this trip and in life is my next blog post.

The work of a life coach is: partnering with your client to help to create and manifest their project, goals, desires and dreams. Travelling for a year with my family is also a dream of mine. Who would I be to not live my truth? How could I be a life coach if I also wasn’t living my dream?

I get it. It’s hard, it’s scary, it’s waaaaaaaay outside your comfort zone to live and breathe your dreams. Every day I’m getting closer to my dream, seeing what it’s going to take to get us there, constantly moving through comfort to uncomfortable. And I have no doubt that it’s going to be so amazing, so back to my being, so soul filling, so much adventure, growth, peace, angst, love, desire.

So where are we going? Well it seems to change daily (thanks hubby for helping make it impossible for me to plan :P) Here’s what we have chosen so far:

  • Leave mid-July 2018
  • Fly with one way point tickets to New York
  • Get cheap flight from New York to Switzerland (CH)/France (undetermined where exactly currently)
  • Try to be in CH for Aug 1 (national holiday)
  • Cote d’Azure to visit family in Aug
  • Violette starts school in CH mid-August
  • Robin leaves for Camino de Santiago beginning of September
  • Luc meets Robin for last 100 km.
  • 2 weeks of holidays for Violette Oct (Germany/Italy)
  • Leave for Sri Lanka/Maldives first week of January
  • Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia (not in that order)
  • Phillipines, Bali
  • west coast of Australia, great barrier reef
  • Fiji
  • Home July 2019.

Now we prepare to leave. UPDATE: We just bought our first one way tickets! We’ve bought our backpacks, getting the house ready to convert our level to an Airbnb, finding someone to look after our rentals, passports are in the works (France), renewing other various ID, researched vaccinations (thanks Kim!), worked out a budget, where we need to get visas, and started a fabulous TRELLO board (well many actually) to keep track of the project. So much more to go. I can’t wait.

The world

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