But #LEAP we must and #SHIFT we will.
20 months ago, the gorgeous space and “community” I called home was about to “disband” and the moment I heard that news, as devastating as the reason was for the others, a flicker of excited energy bubbled up. An answer to a question I had been mulling plopped into my space instantaneously. Within 5 minutes I had it all planned out. I instantly knew that I did not want to create another home in that same city. I needed something a little drastic and scary to step into and help me LEAN into my work and my life a whole lot more. I had been talking about a concept for many years and dreaming about it more strongly for the previous 18 months.
Being #locationfree, a digital nomad on a decadent odyssey.
I share some intimate stories of my vision boards and goals I had created over the years to utilize the clever little RA system in the brain (see DITCH YOUR GLITCH) that had ensured I manifested travelling for more than 6 months of the year for work abroad, but THIS notion of #locationfree was a step deeper. A huge step deeper.
A traveling/ working /global nomad lifestyle.
You see my message and motto I share is #LIVELIGHTLIVELARGE – about letting go of all the STUFF that holds us back to unleash ourselves into a life of magnificence. It was time to up the ante in my own life. My vision is one day to have 3 homes that are part of a bigger, bolder lifestyle, perhaps even co-owned and shared with others and making money when I’m not there. But before I get to that point, that also means exploring where I might want those homes to be. And that is hard to do when one keeps gravitating BACK to your current home. I kept returning to JHB even when I didn’t love it because my home-base was there, my STUFF was there, my car and books, my tree house and art, my life and friends, my partner and my gorgeous cat, Stripey was there. Lucky for me, one of them gets to come WITH me a lot of the time as we carve out a lifestyle together.
About 15 years ago, staying with my friend in London, I read an extract from a beautiful poet/author’s work, “Crossing the Unknown Sea”, by David Whyte. Here is a snippet of that longer extract.
“Tell me about exhaustion,” I said.
He looked at me with an acute, searching, compassionate ferocity for the briefest of moments, as if trying to sum up the entirety of the situation without missing a beat, as if he had been waiting all along, to say a life-changing thing to me. He said, in the form of both a question and an assertion;
“You know the antidote for exhaustion is not necessarily rest?”
“The antidote for exhaustion is not necessarily rest”, I repeated to myself woodenly, as if I might exhaust myself completely before I reached the end of the sentence.
“What is it then?”
“The antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness”
He looked at me for a wholehearted moment, as if I should fill in the blanks. But I was a blank to be filled at that moment, and though I knew something pivotal had been said, I had not the wherewithal to say anything in reply. So he carried on;
“You are so tired through and through because a good half of what you do here in the organization has nothing to do with your true powers, or the place you have reached in your life. You are only half here, and half here will kill you after a while. You need something to which you can give your full powers. You know what that is; I don’t have to tell you.”
He didn’t have to tell me Brother David knew I wanted my work to be my poetry.
I too wanted more and more WHOLEHEARTEDNESS in my life. I needed to up the ante another notch. Have you ever felt so tired that you wish you could sleep for a year, hell even a decade and then wake up with the energy of a freshly fed 4-year-old? When not only your bones ache but your soul aches? Yes, I thought you would recognize what I’m saying. I have been there several times throughout my life. But in 2015, something different was creeping upon me – a feeling of, dare I admit it, BOREDOM. I was being called to a new way of life, a new way of living and a new way of being.
Time to leap into WHOLEHEARTEDNESS.
So, I embarked on my #locationfree adventure, free from excess, free from one fixed abode, free from a cupboard of crockery or a few extra pair of heels, free from books and now it is 18 months down the line. The hardest question to answer currently from other people I meet is…so where is your home Kate?
Call me up and ask me, and see what I say in response.
Today, 27th October, whilst ambling over the hill from my gorgeous waterfront house I’m looking after to the small village of Pointe Richmond on the east bay of San Francisco – with laptop underarm and a cute writers café I had previously visited as my destination, I wondered what I could, would or should write about today.
As you may know from past blogs, I am less inclined at this phase in my life and business to write blog posts and newsletters because the social media schedule demands it – I cannot be a$$ed to do that to be honest, as then it just feels too forced. Yet I actually feel as if I write to YOU all the time. I am constantly processing beautiful places, people, ideas and connections. I am constantly writing in my head, saying – ooh that’s a great blog idea but sometimes that’s simply where it stays, in my head. Can I push out books, blogs, and articles for consumption? Hell yeah and I have done 1000’s over the past 14 years since embarking on life as a coach, so now I simply write when I feel called to tell you something. And today I am called!
Skipping down the hill, I thought mmmm, maybe I can just write down and share my maverick life hacks for showing up on this #locationfree adventure. So here you go…#locationfree #minimalist manifesto
- SHOW UP
You can think, dream and talk about a concept all you want till those cows come home, but mostly life demands that we show up full tilt before we can really access it! You have to leave your home, literally leave your comfort zone, leave your safety net to witness the real magic unfold. If you are currently being called to a place, whether to visit, live, work or do community work, sort out your life in whatever way you need to, and just GO SHOW UP. When you take one step, life will throw ten you more in your favour to support your journey. But you have to be willing to make the first move, no matter how flipping scary and how much everyone else will test your crazy notions.You want to do WHAT? Have you thought about ….and off they go rampaging about why you should NOT do what your heart demands that you do.
- WHAT’S YOUR SIGN?
Know how life gives you signs, support and encouragement along the path so that you can tune in better – mine is LEMONS! Yes really. Not white feathers, black cats, clouds in a certain shape, but good ol’ fashioned fresh lemons. One morning in Lesvos, Greece this year, awaiting the arrival of my mum on a charter flight from the UK later that day, I went for a very early stroll around the bustling port of Mytilene, before the rest of the world woke up. I usually start off my day with the juice of a fresh lemon in room temperature water.I had been traveling for 2 days from South Africa and suddenly craved, really craved my morning lemon ritual. It keeps me regular, alkalizes my body, boosts my immune system especially with all the traveling, and gives my stomach a rest before I guzzle coffee. But NO shops were open for another 3 hours – it’s Greece, continental laid back time! But I was CRAVING my lemon. Next thing, within about three minutes I was walking around a sharp corner of the cobbled street, marching up the hill towards the fort on the hill for a gorgeous lookout view, when I almost stepped on it.There at my feet lay one perfect lemon instantly manifested. I burst out laughing. Like a magic trick – POOF. But there was no one around, no kids playing trick or treat, and not even a lemon tree above me to have generously dropped it on my path. Just a beautiful, bold, ripe juicy lemon at my feet. Of course, I picked it up, caressing its oily skin, smelling it and grinning for an hour till I found a coffee shop open. I do regret never having taken a photo of it in situ to show you, but here is the next best thing.
I asked the owner of the coffee shop for water and a cup, and some utensil and proceeded to get stuck in while she made my coffee. She kept glancing over at me smiling – whilst I tried to explain, Kalimera, I found this…
I felt like every part of the universe was conspiring WITH ME that morning. I have many lemon tales on my journey around the world to show me I am on the right path. Perhaps there is a book in this idea!
- HELP PEOPLE TO HELP YOU
I am always looking for ways to help people out in life, it is such a delight for me to do – so I have adopted and embedded the idea that people love helping me out too! It’s about letting the energy keep flowing in and out. So I have learned the art of being bolder and cheekier in asking people for specific help and telling them what I am doing and why so they know my vision for life and work. I figured I have nothing to lose and it might even inspire someone, plus what you don’t ask for, you don’t get. When I got to the USA, I reconnected with everyone this side of the pond to say hello and check in, and then would share what I was up to– whether to share that I was available to house-sit, wanting to connect with people in the realtor world, or just see who they felt they needed to introduce me to. I make it my job to be interesting company, thoughtful and always leave a space better than I find it, to leave a bit of my energy in my wake. I call it spreading the light. To make people feel good, smile and bring some joy.One such meeting was with a friend and colleague Anthony -we met on my very first visit to the USA about 4 years ago when I came to study with Brendon Burchard. I saw him again back in March just as he was about to attend a friend’s wedding, and we grabbed a food truck lunch in the heart of San Fran. Staying in contact with people you like and respect is so vital. Keep those connections flowing! Don’t just show up when you need something, that’s tacky! He said back then if ever you need anything, just ask.So I did.I drove 90 minutes to go and see him close to his work, took copies of my new book and asked for help! This guy is such a rock star that he is now ON Brendon’s stage sharing his story and collaborating with Brendon. FYI – that is HUGE. I feel so blessed to know him. A former pro-NFL player, now changing the world with his story and lifestyle products. I literally asked him if, as a guest speaker, there was any way he could get me access to attend the course as his guest. #cheeky! I know what an awesome environment Brendon Burchard events are for both learning and connecting – the first time I attended one was the precursor to me being invited as an expert in the award-winning movie, The Secrets of the Keys in the USA. So Anthony managed to get me on the list. I then panicked, as my cash flow was getting low, really low, yet lo and behold some work landed in my lap that week with the YPO. I started asking around for a lift from San Fran to San Diego and a roommate at the hotel, and ta da ta da ta da…I landed up meeting the only person I was meant to meet and collaborate with on my big idea for my book. Watch this space! I now have a global partner and we are adding another whole component to the book!Show up and help people help you! Remember my mantra if you have ever heard me talk at an event. Step by step…
- BE HARDCORE WITH PARING DOWN YOUR BELONGINGS!
I don’t know what that means for YOU, but how do you be hardcore compared to how you are currently living? For me, that meant totally letting go of my gorgeous tree house in the heart of a big city and all my belongings except for 3 boxes and a piece of art. Stuff that I figured I would ship to another country one day. The hardest part? My big Tiger Stripey going to live with my dear Megan, and all the books. Yes, all the books signed by the authors I know.I literally travel with everything else that I own, except, wait, I fib; I leave my salsa dancing shoes under my boyfriend’s bed! For the rest, when it’s time to move, I open up the cupboard and pack everything into my case and head to the airport, ferry, or car. And I hate to confess that STILL, that darn rule of 80/20 applies. I have one suitcase of clothes, and yet I probably don’t touch close to 60 percent of it most of the time. I have party clothes, smart corporate clothes, sexy dresses, comfy travel stuff and casual wear. And 7 pairs of shoes! All in ONE international 23kg suitcase! Don’t believe me? Well then pick me up at the airport if you can beat Naldo to the arrivals! What would hard-core look like for you?
- THE LOW DOWN – IT GETS REALLY LOW!
I have to be honest and say #locationfree is ALSO tough! So is your life in some areas. Deal with it gracefully!
I’m still a working girl. I need to work, I have to work, I yearn to work, and I want to work. I also still honestly need an income; like most of us do and even if I had a million bucks buffer in the bank I know I would still be doing 80% of what I’m doing. It’s in my bones. All that my current chosen lifestyle of #locationfree means is that I no longer work from one city or country or have an address to call my own home. I don’t call any country home right now. But as much as glamorous destinations and a gorgeous photo roll is – filled with deep blue Aegean sea and daily rock swims with dedicated writers, exploring the ruins of Athens and Delphi, lavish housesits with stupendous views of San Francisco, living with a Siberian cat in the very heart of London, spending 4 months with my mum, delightful rendezvous, connections and conversation in JHB with my partner Naldo, being captivated by European summers, cruising to Mexico and everywhere else in between looks and is delightful – it definitely, most definitely has a flip side. Every single choice we make has the pro and the con side. It is no different. My view is just different.
It gets tough. I get lonely – even though I strike up conversations with total strangers, I spend a LOT of time completely on my own. I miss my lover. Breathe! I long for my close friends. I yearn for my cat Stripey and feel him next to me often in the deep of the night. I am regularly deeply exhausted from traveling and from always needing to “land” in a new space, city or country. I don’t have my regular dentist, hairdresser, nail salon or yoga studio on hand. Or the supermarket where I don’t have even think where the milk is when I walk in. Autopilot doesn’t exist out here. So I usually look like a woolly mammoth 4 weeks after I leave SA (I have been known to walk into a male barbershop to get the back of my hair done with clippers whilst I long for my salon of choice – this gal has to TRY and stay video friendly ya know).
I do my own nails – thanks to my Nan as I learned to be a superb nail painter doing her feet growing up.
I have a very cool and sexy yoga app on my phone: DOWN DOG
Meditation reminder to keep me sane: HEADSPACE
Lots of audiobooks – better earphones are on my wishlist! Oh, Dubai is my next work stop so that might be a little shopping spree. If you have favourite brands, please let me know!
Plus a sassy and HOT Latin American mix made by yours truly, Naldo. If ever you see a crazy white woman with wild silver hair doing a little salsa step and hip gyration whilst walking down the street, it might just be me!
I also travel with my biokineticist sitting on my shoulder nudging me on– with my ball and band and make sure I do core exercises.
There is generally a huge lack of routine, lack of familiarity, lack of community, lack of support, different beds (definitely not good for my dodgy spine), even a couch every now and then, deep loneliness, airports, LOTS of airports and air-conditioning and time wasted traveling. I have learned to turn the travel time into an art. I am not swanning around the world in business class, so trust me when I say it’s exhausting traveling across the globe.
I have learned that I need way more sleep than I used to. Ha- maybe that one is just aging and nothing to do with travel?
I know you would think it’s all exciting being in different locations, but you have to recalibrate everything in every new place! Sometimes my credit cards and cash cards don’t work no matter how many steps I take to improve that from the South African side, or my phone doesn’t work. The other day I had $50 of groceries at the checkout, and three cards didn’t work. Embarrassing. Walk across the street and draw cash out with the very same cards and go back to pick up groceries. Go figure! Oh my gosh – my cash flow gets dangerously low when living in a Northern Hemisphere more than the southern.
Traveling all over the world also means I miss out on much work because people cannot “see” me. I’m not at all the events in one city, or can pop out to see a client.
Most things are working, and some things could 100% be improved! That is called life. And I wouldn’t change a thing! Well…. except seeing my loved ones more!
- FLIRT DEEPLY WITH PEOPLE AND LIFE! ALWAYS!
This one is super simple, but maybe not that easy. Get turned on by life, people, the planet and the possibility of magic all around you. Be memorable! Flash your pearly smile, make eye contact and be intimate with people and fall in love with life every day. By this I mean, be kind, be open, be interested AND interesting. Find that magnetic part of you, that is truly you and share that with people. Our world needs to be flirted with. Do you do that?Most importantly, when someone says “Hey, you should meet so and so”, just say YES and do it. I have had THE most magical fun, and fortuitous meetups through the most bizarre, wonderful circumstances. From a generous woman Illana I literally met the day before I left SA when having my eyebrows done (oh gosh, add that to my list above), who then introduced me to her friend Mel here in SF, where I landed up staying for two nights in her spare room and doing my first ever USA local movie (yes yes already did MY movie premiere in Las Vegas but this was in a regular theatre); to looking for the BLUE ANGELS on fleet week together, and being introduced to others in her network all from that one little mail saying- oh you must meet so and so.Then one of my writers penning their book in Amsterdam (originally from the Bay area) introduced me to her cool writer friends here in SF – we became friends over the past few months and was generously offered her home (aka palace) that I’m looking after right now – well actually let me be honest and say the house is really looking after me! Then by simply being here (read #1 SHOW UP above) next week I move into the neighbours home to stare at this stupendously glorious view a little longer and look after a gorgeous kitty called Eames.
- HONOUR THE DAY AND GET OUTSIDE
I fell into a deep emotional hole (it’s been a bit of a theme this year) the first couple of weeks when I arrived in the USA. I was really battling in a housesit- way too much clutter, junk, and dirt everywhere for me, so it felt like I should have been working in the house as an organizing job to sort it out, yet it wasn’t my place. nor was I being paid to do that. I felt like I was being swallowed up every which way I turned. I wondered what the HELL I had done by just getting on a plane and showing up to just BE in the USA for three months with no plans and no work. Thank goodness for animals, yoga at a local studio, accessing the community and a friend who reminded me to look for beauty and signs wherever I was. I went for a walk and found all the things she told me to look for! I had been holed up with my computer with clients in SA and already stressing about USA cash flow, so was feeling totally constricted in every sense of the word. My Mum reminded me to get out of the house every day– and I remembered, DUH, to go and work in coffee shops. And the very first time I lodged myself onto the Starbucks seat, I got chatting to someone and my day was brightened. I make it a point to get out, meet people and drink good coffee, or the evil thing below. How can you get out and connect today?
- TRUST TRUST TRUST
Short but sweet – No matter how hard life gets, there is no more to say other than TRUST TRUST TRUST. And then, trust some more. And when you can’t, talk to someone who does, until you can trust again. I’m off to look at this sublime view at the bottom, so until next time, see what you can do to try out one of these life hacks!
ARE YOU GOING TO CLOSE OUT STRONG IN 2017?
I am about to embark on the last process I run for the year and it’s my favorite signature mastermind titled CLOSE OUT STRONG.
If you want to end YOUR year on a high and close out with energy, mindfulness and learn to harness the
highs and the lows, then GRAB A PLACE HERE.