To Everything…. There is a Season….
I’m a pretty darn lucky girl.  I was born to and raised by incredible individuals by the mantra “you can do anything you put your mind to”.  There was the moral do’s and don’t, but never societal.  I was fascinated by space as long as I can remember, so they supported my interest and after space camp and a good education, I had the privledge of working in Aerospace for 15 years, first as an engineer and most recently as a program manager.  I sent lots of satellite babies to space.  Like these ones.FB_IMG_1514574292268.jpg
I loved it, but one day, I didn’t love it anymore and felt like I’d accomplished what I’d wanted to in the field.  I had ideas of other industries I could navigate into, but I wanted to be committed to the career change at that time.  15 years employed by corporations means 15 years with explorations limited to PTO and weekends.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always had great benefits plans and absolutely made the most of my vacation time, but it was time for an extended departure from the 9 to 5 world.  I didn’t just want to visit other places in the world, I wanted to live amongst new communities.  Experience things I’d never experienced before.  Face the unfamiliar, step outside of my comfort zones, and create new ones.  Ones where anything can happen, and trust it will all work out just fine.  Accept that although we have control over ourselves, we have very little control of the world around us, and appreciate that unknown expanse. So I quit my job, moved my stuff into storage, made sure I had trustworthy renters in my house, found a surrogate home for my dog, packed up my bags, and moved to a sailboat in the South Pacific for Chapter 1.  Chapter 2 is currently materializing (after an interlude at home in Maine for the holidays) and I’ll be ski-bumming out of the Renegade Inn (#JeepLife) for the next few months in Western US and Canada.  Chapter 3 will likely include some time in Europe, starting out with a trip through Croatia with some friends from Denver.  There will be times of traditional “travel” and tourism, but I also plan to volunteer and do work exchanges.  Travel by boat, car, van, bus, bike, foot, ski, and who knows what else.  Research my options and make plans in the places I’m going some, but leave plenty open to what materializes and what feels right.
I’m not much for self-publicity, but I do want to share in this journey with my friends, family, and anyone else that’s interested. I know I’m lucky that I’ve gotten the chance to feel career satisfaction by 37.  I have some expendable income, and not much to be responsible for.  I don’t feel pressured to instead “settle down” with kids and a family, and because it’s not where I find myself right now, I accept that.  So far I do not feel lonely in my journeys, but actually feel more connected as a solo traveler because I have to interact with people I encounter to have any personal interactions at all.  It’s empowering and humbling.  You see both how different cultures are and yet how we’re all so similar as at our cores.
I’m calling this thing Valeda Scribbles… A play on my name, a homage to my sloppy handrwiting, (proof below) and an admittance of the fact that I’ll be telling this very first person with not a lot of filter.  I want to tell the real story and convey my experiences as-is.  So here we go world, whatcha got in store for me? 🙂

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