Restless - This American Girl

caribbean van


Last night a Caribbean surfer asked me

“do you ever sit still?”


It got me thinking.


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I have been virtually incapable of sitting still for as long as I can remember.


Hyperactively running in circles around my backyard half naked screaming “I’m jungle boy!”


Gyrating in my seat in the classroom antsy to move, to speak, to create.


Strutting ahead of my group of friends on the street

“slow down turbo” they would shout.


Consistently receiving the same feedback on my report card

“can not sit still in class.”


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So it makes perfect sense

that today

as a wanderlust adventure junkie

I have found happiness

and ease

in constant movement

all over the world

held back by no one

completely free.


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I can hop a ferry from Spain to Morocco

in a spontaneous quest for adventure.


Spend one afternoon in Leon

and decide to leave when it fails to charm me.


I can book a last minute flight from Colombia

when my funds drop to frightening lows.


I can come and go

wherever I want

whenever I want.


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It is so easy

to pack my bag

and run away

to new places

with new people

new sights new smells

new stimulation.


I find this beautiful.

I find this freedom.


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But freedom is also feeling content

and enchanted

wherever you are.


Because you can be as trapped in a cycle of constant moment

as driftwood caught in a riptide

always moving

but going nowhere.


Little Corn Island


So even when my feet feel itchy

from time to time I bring myself here.


To remember how to simply be.


To see how much I can grow when my restless traveling energy flows inward for a while instead.


To remember how to be ok sitting still.


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What does it mean to sit still?


Is it waiting for someone to finish a sentence

without interjecting the thoughts you’ve already formulated in your head?


Is it laying on the beach without fulfilling your urge to shift, to walk, to wander?


Is it sleeping in a hostel for more than one night?

Staying in a town for more than a week? More than a month? More than a year?


Deciding to stay long enough to invest in a home, a job, a business

to invest in belongings, relationships, a life.


To stick around long enough to watch everything around you grow and change

rather than moving to see something that is already so obviously different?


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Or is it simply being content in one place

a physical, an emotional, a mental, a spiritual


for as long as you are there

no matter the duration?


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Do you shift and change your location

your dwellings

your relationships

when things get too uncomfortable

for you to want to face?


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Do you move your body

in unison with your buzzing mind




in a constant attempt

to distract yourself

rather than face what is truly going on inside?


Like me

do you struggle

to sit still?


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As a person passionate about experiencing every square mile of this muddy, sandy, grassy, water covered earth

I wonder

does sitting still require the absence of movement

while wandering the world means the absence of rest?


Is it possible to find stillness in movement and movement in stillness?


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Can you surrender, relax, and breathe


speeding on the highway to your next engagement


task managing your day at the office


relocating for a job, a loved one, an adventure


winding desert mountains on rickety buses


flying above vast waters on turbulent airplanes


climbing volcanoes for miles under the hot equatorial sun


paddling with fury to catch the set breaking behind you


searching for water, food, and shelter

in a new town in a new language?


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Can you sit still in unity

no matter what is moving

no matter what is changing?


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In your stillness

can you watch the change of the tide in the same ocean that has known you all your life?

You, the constant that is always changing.


Can you stand at your window and see the hummingbirds buzz around the sweetest flowers

while a sloth slowly moves from limb to limb?


Can you sit with your breath and feel how it deepens the longer you sit, the longer you stay?


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Can you release your mind and let it be free

while you sit surrendered

melted like an ice cream cone

on a hot Caribbean afternoon?


Tayrona National Park Colombia


Can you allow your body hold you

in one place

for as long as it needs to

without the distraction

the business

the hurriedness

the chattiness

of your mind?


To see the quiet movement within you?

The subtle movement around you?


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Just for today, could you try?


Could you find a place of stillness

no matter who you are

no matter where you are ?


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Whether you’re a backpacker

a wanderer

a daydreamer

a busy-body

a multi-tasker

a stressor

could you sit for a moment

and see that even in stillness

everything continues to change?


Could you find the perfect moment

where you feel so continually





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even in my restless explorative traveling body

that loves to wander

to flutter

to dance

(yes Caribbean surfer dude)

I do find stillness.


And it doesn’t itch at all.



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