"This Isn't An 'Eat, Pray, Love' Kind Of Thing."

"Don't get me wrong," I defend myself quickly, "I enjoyed the book very much. The movie was atrocious though."

Since starting these months of travel, when I find myself explaining to people I meet where I am going, when I am going, and that I am doing it all by a carry-on... They often relate it back to the book by Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love.

"A newly divorced woman... A tough divorce... Wants to find herself while traveling and enjoying life... falls in love again," they summarize.

This is when I cringe.

"While the split is recent," I explain, "it wasn't tough. We were both very open, honest and caring for each other throughout the whole process. It was sad, because despite loving each other we were no longer prepared to follow each other around. But this whole world tour I am doing isn't to find myself. I'm not trying to get over this split."

I will freely admit, though, that through travel comes awareness. Awareness of different cultures, different lifestyles, different ideas. And so you are shifted and evolved after it all. 

But "finding myself" isn't the shift for which I am looking. That's because I believe you are always "finding yourself," because you're always changing. It's a continuous process. No... Above all else, this world tour has been about "presence."

Yes. Presence.

(Me being "present" in the park yesterday. I read the book in one sitting.) 

If there is one thing I needed to learn - and still struggle with - it's the idea of being present and living in the moment.  Flooded with choices and ideas every day, it's difficult to not be continuously thinking ahead. Being only physically present but mentally five steps down the path.

The idea was to travel. To see and experience each place, forcing myself to be present. And it has been largely successful for me. I am finding myself at ease and taking in each and every single moment. It's been a tough learning experience. But it was once that was badly needed.

So really, my story is a "newly divorced woman... traveling the world... learning to be present and grateful for every moment..."

I still have 13 cities left to learn "presence" in over the next two months. I promise myself to be in the moment as much as possible.