Celebrating life’s twists and turns in a new year

How is life treating you all? I hope you are doing great.

I’m pretty much living the life of my dreams right now, and learning more and more to be willing and able to go with the flow.

The most recent example? I’ve been getting more and more excited about my California rail adventure, which is scheduled for January 10th through the 30th. So many people to see, beaches to enjoy, a cute cat to care for, and more time riding my beloved rails…!

And yet this morning, I read that heavy rains in California have canceled tomorrow’s run of the Coast Starlight—the train I’m planning to board next Tuesday. Apparently, the rain has rendered at least one section of track impassable.

I had been carefully noting all the rain in the LA area, hoping that it would be dried up by the time I arrived, so that I could enjoy sunny skies and easy bicycling. The forecast was leading me to feel cautiously optimistic about that.

I hadn’t considered the effects of the rain on rail infrastructure, though.


I’m still really hoping that in these next five days, conditions will make it possible for me to take the trip as planned.

Because if not, I think I’ll need to make some major adjustments.

I really don’t want to fly, for multiple reasons. Adjusting to a future southbound train probably wouldn’t be possible; sleeper cars are sold out for the next little while.

So… if my train is canceled, I will sadly quite possibly scrap the whole trip.

This would be very sad… but at the same time, if that is what unfolds, then it’s what unfolds. I’ve actually been dreaming up a very ambitious future journey, and was wondering how I might be able to afford the train portion of it. (Well, actually, how I might afford any of it, but I’m trusting in the magic, once again!)

If this California trip were to be canceled, I would get a refund or credit from Amtrak for the cash I paid for the southbound leg, and presumably I could also get a credit for the miles I redeemed for the northbound return leg. That would set me much closer to my goal for this potential trip I’m dreaming up…

Which is as follows!

Take the train from Portland to Montreal in May, and see my favorite band Marillion again in one of their last remaining 3-day Marillion weekends.

Possibly stay in that area another week or two to quarantine—since I caught COVID at this past summer’s Montreal weekend, and could unfortunately do so again—and then hop a flight to London! (Yes, I prefer to avoid flying, but when crossing oceans it’s much harder to avoid.) I would love to spend June and July in the UK, then maybe a week or two in Ireland, then some time in the Netherlands, then maybe Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Berlin, Prague… probably a few more places in Europe, TBD… then a city or two in Spain, then maybe Portugal for my birthday in November? Then return to the US, possibly even by container ship! I see there is one that arrives in North Carolina…

I could possibly spend time with family and friends in NC around Thanksgiving, and then who knows? Maybe take the train to Florida, then back through the South and Southwest, then up the west coast to Portland again in late spring or so?

Totally just brainstorming/dreaming here… but how cool would that be??

Before I dreamed up last year’s bike and train loop around North America, I had dreamed of spending the summer before my 50th birthday in Europe. Maybe I could just do it one year later?

We’ll see… but dreaming up this new plan has me feeling a little better about possibly missing out on California. (But I still hope I won’t—I do want to go there too!)

Meanwhile, I’ve really been settling into the groove of a Portland winter, and realizing that although the weather isn’t my favorite here this time of year, it is dramatically more bearable when one doesn’t have to commute by bicycle every day in it.

I’ve been staying mostly indoors, warm and cozy with friends and various furry creatures I’ve been caring for. 

I’m really enjoying continuing to live a nomadic lifestyle, even just here within Portland. I get to check out new neighborhoods, and revisit old ones.

I’m living much more frugally than during my travels, and mostly cooking my own meals now.

However, I do splurge on restaurant meals occasionally, as I find myself near different places in different neighborhoods. For example, I recently made it (finally!) to Ben & Esther’s, the vegan Jewish deli that opened here in Portland a few years ago, and now also has locations in Seattle and San Diego. 

My cream-cheese-and-carrot-lox bagel was scrumptious.

I’ve been working on editing my book, and also continuing to have magical meetings with people around the US and the world via video chats. I’m looking forward to manifesting more such meetings. (Anyone magical you think I should talk with? Feel free to make an introduction!)

Speaking of manifestation, I’ve been working on bringing about the perfect tenant for my furnished condo in SE Portland. The property has been sitting vacant since the last tenant moved out at the end of October, and I would love to get someone in there during January. I’ll share the listing here, in case you might know of an individual or couple who would appreciate a cozy furnished one-bedroom condo with central heat and internet included. (No pets allowed at this time—I’m preserving the beautiful and expensive couch the insurance money helped me to purchase after my flood!) But the place is perfect for a quiet individual or couple, and the lease could be as short as two months or as long as six months or possibly more. The building, neighbors, and neighborhood are great. Please help me to hold a vision that the perfect tenant(s) will arrive shortly.

And, if you’d like any help holding visions for yourself, please feel free to contact me for a totally free/no-strings one-hour video or phone chat. I love to help people dream big, and then bring the dreams to fruition!

All the best to you all in this new year!

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