• sparkfireswan

A&A Lessons from Wisconsin

Updated: Jan 13

End of Week #7


We are halfway through July, and boy has it been a month already! Today is #Moonday, and tomorrow we welcome in a Full Moon/Partial Lunar Eclipse in the task making sign of Capricorn. This is the second Eclipse of the month, and the middle of a series of Cancer/Capricorn Eclipses happening from July 2018- June 2020. Eclipses shake us up, right to our core, and push us far outside of our comfort zones. There is something we are all learning and experiencing right now, on a soul level – an individual lesson we are all finding ourselves pushed through.


Mercury retrograde is also nearing it’s halfway point, and the month is still moving along. July is about taking things slow, REdoing anything that took a back burner earlier this year, and REfocusing on those things that matter the most in our lives. It can also be a time to REst, RElax, and take a vacation – to north country for example!


I am writing this post to you right now from a local coffee shop in Moose Lake, MN, on this beautiful sunshiny, muggy, Monday. Joe Jitters Coffee and croissant breakfast sandwiches welcome in the new week. We are back in northern Minnesota, and ready for the next step of our grand adventure.


Our first official campground with our travel trailer!


Quick Update on Roscoe


If you didn’t see my recent Facebook post, after his surgery last Wednesday, you can check it out here. He is healing better now, after a rough past few days of travel, and is almost through his medications too. We are taking things one day at a time and always on the hunt for solutions to make his adventure cat life the best it can be!


Lessons from North Country


Be patient.

Take life Slowly.

Surrender to the Universe.

Trust the process.

Things will happen that are out of your control, but you always have free will to decide how you will react and respond.

Be more patient, again.

Trust that the Universe is on your side, and everything you are experiencing is a lesson you needed. (On a soul level)

Always check out the windows before exiting the RV, there might be a bear!

Don’t ever take your eyes off the road, a deer might try to jump in front of Frank the Tank!

Probably don’t go for a run/walk/anything without protection, you literally might run into a bear.

Find natural ways to repel bugs and mosquitos.

Don’t be afraid to kill dinosaur bugs and large spiders.

Go sloooow – hang your laundry on the line to dry, hand wash your dishes, sweep your home, clean daily, put things in their proper place, and just breathe.

Be aware of your surroundings.


Learn to become one with the dark, instead of fearing it.

Always do what’s best for you, and don’t live your life for anyone else. Their opinion of you is only a reflection of what they are going through.

Drink less, sleep more.

Cherish your loved ones, and every moment of time you get to spend with them.

Write it out. Self reflect. Work through it. Process your emotions, your trauma, and what you need to heal so that generations after you don’t have to go through the same thing. Own up to your own shit, and find a way to overcome it.

Learn your family history. Your heritage. Learn about your great-grandparents, and extended family. Learn where you came from and how you got there.

Get to know your family, really listen to them. Ask them what they are healing from and trying to work through.

Be one with nature. But don’t feed the bears.

Eat your vegetables. (Or grow them!)

Sweat it out.

Be strong. You can get through anything life throws at you with the right mindset and the right support system. You’ve got this!

Process your emotions, don’t let them bottle up or boil over. Sit with them, really FEEL through them. You are not defined by what you feel, but your emotions ARE your responsibility. It’s okay to be mad, upset, sad, angry. But understand why you feel the way you do and where it is coming from, and let it run its course.

Life is short, make sure you are doing the things you’d rather be doing. In 15 years will you look back at this time and regret it or smile in pride from it?

Just jump.

& just remember, everything is going to be just fine in the end. And if it’s not, then it’s not the end yet.


My mom’s cabin, and some of her land in Stone Lake WI!


The Biggest Challenge We Overcame


I’ve said this time and time again, but one of the biggest struggles for us has honestly been the lack of internet and a 4G connection. One of the soul ways I’m trying to succeed right now in life is through utilizing online resources to make money and make a name for myself, which is really hard to fucking do without network connection. I’m trying to continue to build an online community, which I can’t connect to without internet. I didn’t want to see all my hard work go backwards right now, as I know building an online following takes work and interaction and availability every day and now I felt like I was being forced to be more silent. I didn’t feel connected to what is going on with my community, my family or my friends and I felt more out of the loop with what is going on in the world. I felt like I couldn’t fully share myself and my creative ventures, as I couldn’t as easily connect “as normal”.


Quite honestly, at first it made me feel really left out. The thoughts running through my mind consistently were along the lines of: I can’t just text my family and friends and anyone I’m missing, as it may not go through (and picture messages most definitely didn’t go through). I can’t just “google” anything on my mind or on my to-do list. I couldn’t do any research on stuff that would help us out or things we may still need to order or look up. I couldn’t upload any blog posts or Instagram updates – AND I couldn’t do freelance writing articles as I couldn’t access topics, sign up for articles, or research what is needed in an article. (And that was supposed to be a way to make money right now!) I also couldn’t promote or follow up on my CBD oil business, which was also supposed to make me money right now! Dude, I also couldn’t fucking watch Netflix! *sad face*, *eye roll*… And I also couldn’t load my workouts that I pay money a year to access and do at home instead of at a gym… And it really all felt like a struggle and a major adjustment at first.


& then everything fell into place. We got into a new routine. We found solutions to the problems at hand and things changed from there.


First, we would drive into town twice a day (morning & night) and connect to the outside world. Then, we would realize there are spots off of County Rd F closer than town, that we can park on the side of the road and connect. I also realized I could download my workouts to view offline and have my whole built up library of moves on hand. I did the same thing with my favorite podcasts! Next we discovered on an afternoon walk that we had a 4G connection just down the road out of my mom’s cabin’s driveway. And then eventually, the internet just didn’t start mattering as much anymore anyway.


Adam got a cash job and I wasn’t as concerned about my online diligence for money, at the time. I stopped caring what time of the day I was posting on Instagram and what everyone else was doing and posting on there. Our lack luster desire for 4G fizzled out and we started to actually like not being connected to all the drama and responsibility of connection.

We started to feel more free, and in charge of our connection on our own terms.


Positive Realizations


We have spent the last 7 weeks in the middle of the woods in North Country, where everything is peaceful, tranquil and serene. It’s been a great time to relax and take life slowly. It’s been a great time to just LIVE instead of rushing from one thing to the next. It’s been a time to just BE, and I think that is what we are each missing the most right now.


You know, at first it was a pretty drastic change to move to a remote area with no 4G connection point, but over time it really became nice to just write freely on my laptop without the distractions of my phone and social media scrolling. When I do have internet access I more heavily prioritize writing back to messages and responding to questions, versus letting responses go for several days or even a week. I am able to more clearly realize the social media addiction paradox and how much of your time and your life it sucks away. When I do post it can be more thoughtful and creative as I’ve had more time to think about it and prepare it without just posting something last minute while I’m online, because I feel like I have to. When I do post I can focus more so on myself and what I am trying to say versus what everyone else is saying. When I am online I can make my interactions more powerful and meaningful to connect at a deeper level instead of more superficial interactions.


Adam likes to joke that he went from selling and financing cars to flipping burgers in Stone Lake, but you know what – he’s been happier this way and more stress free. There isn’t any pressure to make a big money deal, and there isn’t any drama or hostility to deal with. We were more than fortunate to find an opportunity to bring in some cash while we were in Stone Lake and we are super grateful for that. It also gave Adam an opportunity to get out, socialize and do something else. And it worked well for each of us to have that time to ourselves.


Overall, the 7 weeks we spent in Wisconsin has also been a really great time for us to realize that we really don’t need anything more out of life than we already have. We don’t need more space, we don’t need more things, we just need each other and our Bengal babes, and the great outdoors. We haven’t gotten sick of each other from spending so much time with one another, and if anything it’s strengthened our bond and pulled us closer together. I’d like to think this is allowing us to really get to know each other better than we have ever known each other before.


The Last Lesson


Wisconsin tested us all the way until the final moment we left. We prepared to leave for several days, talking through plans of what to do and when to do it. We took a day to straighten out and organize things in the camper, in the bottom storage of the camper, and in the van. We cleaned, we burned papers we didn’t need, and we fixed up a nice set up for the cats. But that wasn’t enough for Wisconsin, we still needed reminders to slow down.


It was the morning of July 13th, my 30th birthday, and we were all packed up to make our way northwest to Sturgeon Lake, MN. We had to first make a pit stop at the Summit Lake Game Farm on our way out, as it was right near my mom’s land and a place for us to empty our black tank after 2 weeks of not doing it. In the moment I didn’t at all feel like we were rushing, if anything we were just anxious to get on the road, but we managed to encounter two obstacles that could have went south really fast.

  1. We somehow managed to not take the cap out of our black tank hose, before hooking it up to the RV and opening the black tank valve. So essentially all of the components of the black tank (just urine if you really wanted to know) were ready to pour out, but road blocked right at the connection point where the hose meets the RV. The only way through that one was to pull the hose off to get the cap out. Adam said, “you might want to back up”, and we got through it. Don’t worry, we sprayed water on the ground too. Lesson #1.

  2. I’m walking towards the van to check on the cats, the van was running with AC on because it was a sweaty pile outside, and all the sudden I heard the doors lock. “Adam please tell me you just somehow locked the van doors?” …. Nope. Roscoe did though! The only thing that saved us there was the fact that one window was cracked enough for Adam to get a stick through it to roll the window down further and unlock the doors. Next time we have to have another set of keys on us, especially if we are to leave the van running with the cats inside. Those rascals sure love to accidentally lock us out and also roll the windows down for an easy escape! Lesson #2.


30 Trips Around the Sun


The day was long, it was stressful, and it was also full of new beginnings. People kept apologizing to me about having to move on my birthday, as most people close to me know how much birthdays mean to me, but it really wasn’t anything worth apologizing over. I think it was the absolute right choice to make to stay an extra day in Stone Lake, and spend the night of the 12th with my Mom and Dick. We had an enjoyable ‘last supper’ in going to the fish fry at the Game farm Friday night, and we topped the night off with some nightcaps at the old Stone Lake Pub.


Saturday morning my mom and I had a small service for my childhood ‘Sam the cat” and laid him to rest in north country on her cabin land. We cried, we hugged, we laughed. We reflected and remembered. And we moved on to the next spot. The trip there wasn’t without stress, anxiety, frustration and doubt, as it wasn’t an easy trip for Roscoe, or any of us – but we powered through and we got to where we needed to go. (More updates on Roscoe to come in next week’s post!)


Saturday night was social, loud, and adventurous. There had to have been 20 people at my dad’s campsite that night, maybe even more. It was a simple birthday, but still a great one, and one surrounded by those that were just trying to smile, laugh and have a good time too.

Thirty is going to be a day, a year, and a decade to remember. Things will never be the same again, they will only be better. I’m absolutely thrilled for this age, and all that’s to come! My 20’s were great, they were wild, they were full of lessons galore – but I’m ready to lay those years to rest and move onto the next chapter.


NEXT WEEK:


What have been the pros and cons of tiny living and how have we dealt with the challenges we have had to overcome thus far?


I will also give any and all updates on where we are at with our house, Roscoe, our journey, and our next destination! By next Monday we should have a much grander plan of what’s to come for us, and hopefully we will be getting ready to make our way to South Dakota by then too. The open road!


Nomadic Newsletter Coming in July…. August!


Due to Mercury Retrograde, and all the chaos that is the month of July, I am pushing the launch of our Nomadic Newsletter to August. This will allow me more time to prepare, and less of a chance to encounter too many digital disruptions from the cosmos above. Sign up now! Subscribe to our Nomadic Newsletter through our Patreon page and in turn support our cause! By making a monthly contribution you will gain special inside access to photos, tips, tricks, and detailed updates on our progress, scheduled to begin in July! Here is the link to subscribe: A&A Destination Unknown


If you want to make a one time contribution, we also have a Go Fund Me page! Check it out here: Help us see all 48 states!


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For more reviews, content, and other adventures, be sure to follow me on Instagram at Spark Fire Swan.

xoxo








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About Me

Hi, I’m Amanda. Thanks for visiting my page!

I was born & raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. I lived there for 30 years of my life, and always dreamed of warmer winters, mountains & palm trees, and life outside of what I always knew. 

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