adam’s two-month cross-country soul-searching trip

Saturday, September 28:  Today, my youngest son Adam, 20, takes off alone on a two-month trip across the United States.  His destination is California, with a stop in Boulder, Colorado.  His plan is to get to San Francisco by Friday, October 4, where he will attend a 3 day C.H.E.K. Holistic Lifestyle Coach Program: C.H.E.K. Institute: Advanced Training Programs.  According to the website: This three-level program is based upon the techniques that have helped thousands of people increase vitality, decrease stress and sculpt the body of their dreams. Each level looks in increasing detail at the underlying causes of disease and stress, considering the body as a “system of systems.” Using a coaching model, you will learn how disease and stress are preventable through healthy eating habits, lifestyle management and appropriate types of exercise.

Adam takes off at the crack of dawn in his VW Jetta
Adam takes off at the crack of dawn in his VW Golf

On November 13, he arrives at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm for a 10-day Permaculture Design Certification Course. According to the website, Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm: Permaculture Design Certification Course:

Permaculturists can grow food just about anywhere, repair environmentally damaged lands, design lovely and long-lasting green-buildings, produce power, run successful people-oriented businesses, and build authentic community. All by using fundamental permaculture principles and applying the three Permaculture Ethics:

  1. Care of People
  2. Care of Earth
  3. Share the Surplus

Permaculture is a creative and artful way of designing our lives, where waste become resources, productivity and yields increase, work is minimized, people and nature are preserved. All by thoughtful planning and a respectful approach to life.  Thus embraced, we create an environment where all may thrive for future generations. 

His car loaded up with bananas for breakfast
His car loaded up with bananas & apples for breakfast

In between these two courses, he plans to camp, hike, visit my friend Jayne and her son Nicholas near San Francisco, visit my sister near Los Angeles, and attend a yoga meditation retreat from October 30-November 10 at Dhamma Mahavana California Vipassana Center in North Fork: Dhamma Mahavana California Vipassana Center.

He is determined to chart out a course for his life that embodies the values he finds in these kinds of environments, and we finally decided that there was no point in continuing to insist that he follow the traditional path of going to university.  Even though he is a brilliant boy, one who has always been in gifted & talented programs throughout his school years, he insists that he doesn’t want a traditional education; neither does he want any part of the rat race life we live here in America.  I have to admit I know the truth in his beliefs.  After all, how many of us are truly happy in this life we lead in America, scrambling to get ahead, gain more possessions, and neglect our health and peace of mind?  As his parents, we can only hope that this trip will enlighten him in one way or the other; we hope he can find his passion and evolve into the successful and happy young man that we want him to be.

He’s due to arrive back home by Thanksgiving, at which time we hope to give thanks that he has developed a clearer vision of his life and direction. 🙂


Postscript: While on his trip, Adam decided he wanted to do a two-week internship at Earthship in Taos, Mexico, so he added that on to his journey.  That was due to end on December 13, so the plan changed for him to arrive back home before Christmas instead of Thanksgiving.


25 thoughts on “adam’s two-month cross-country soul-searching trip

  1. May his journey bring him direction, a good life plan, and lots of inspiration. 🙂 Not everyone is cut out for university. I sometimes wish we hadn’t pushed our youngest son into going. He’s stuck with a big debt (student loans) and the work he does now does not require a college degree. Most of what he’s doing he learned on his own or through certification courses. As for his degree, it’s hasn’t done him much good in the job department. His wife has similar woes, only bigger, as she went to law school (more debt) and has not been able to find a job.

    1. Thanks so much, Robin, for your good wishes for Adam. I thought Adam would love university, but obviously he has a mind of his own and has decided it’s not for him. I hate the idea of a lot of student loan debt and I know Adam would hate it too. He really wants to just live his life simply and healthily, and I can’t blame him for opting out of the rat race. I hope he finds more happiness in his life than I’ve found. I think what happened to both your son and daughter-in-law is happening increasingly to many young people. What good is it to get that education if you’re going to be underemployed? I know that experience myself, with my Master’s degree and my inability to get a job just because of my age. It’s interesting that what your son does only needs certification courses, or things he’s done on his own. I think that’s what Adam hopes to do…. Thanks so much for sharing your son’s experience. 🙂

  2. Given that scientists have now concluded (was there any doubt?) that humans are 95% responsible for climatic changes we may need people who have a different vision about the way we live our lives – he is gonna have to give up that gas guzzler though 🙂
    I wish him well in his journey – and you too in letting go 🙂
    Jude xx

  3. Cathy, I could not be more pleased to read this about Adam! He sounds like he is really on his path now, and frankly, this world could use a few million more people like him. I wish him a safe journey and all the best! I have wanted to do Vipassana retreats for almost 20 years but sadly never did. They are life transforming. I admire his willingness to finally make his dream and his values his future career. As an employment counsellor, I was known for telling clients, if you do what you love, you will be better at it than anyone else, and that means that sooner or later, someone will for sure pay you to do it for them. Bon route Adam!

    Lisa   “To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.” – Anonymous “The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem.” – Captain Jack Sparrow         Love animals? Feed and water / spay and release local strays, donate to an rescue shelter, or better yet, give a lonely animal (or two!) a forever home today!

    From: “nomad, interrupted” >To: >Sent: Sunday, October 6, 2013 5:41:00 PM >Subject: [New post] adam’s two-month cross-country soul-searching trip > >catbirdineurope posted: “Saturday, September 28:  Today, my youngest son Adam, 20, takes off alone on a two-month trip across the United States.  His destination is California, with a stop in Boulder, Colorado.  His plan is to get to San Francisco by Friday, October 4, where he w” >

  4. I totally agree with what he is doing! If I had my way, I would live in an RV and roam the world! There is so much of the world out there to see, why limit yourself to books????! This is why I home-schooled my gifted children (I still have one at home). You learn more from exploring, talking to people of different cultures, walking in their shoes and feeling the ambiance of where you are at! Hope he enjoys it now because when you have a family, your priorities change and then you never truly know who YOU are as a person! Good for him!

    1. I’m glad to hear your words of encouragement and excitement for Adam. I want nothing more than for him to find his passion, and at the same time to be self-supportive! I agree with you for sure, but I just don’t want to be supporting him forever! 🙂

  5. Hello … earlier this morning, I read your post. I just wanted you to know I attached a link about this post of your son’s travel, in my blog for today because it relates to a few of my old posts….. I enjoyed reading it.

    1. I saw the link to my post, Nikki. Thanks for mentioning it. Just to let you know, I’m a “she” not a “he!” I’m glad you’re on the sidelines cheering Adam on. I am too, although I’m worried for him too. 🙂

  6. Here’s to Adam finding his own path, Cathy. I guess we all do it in our own way – at different ages and life stages – I sure did! 🙂 Can’t wait for a Thanksgiving update. ~Terri

    1. It turns out Adam is now planning on staying till mid-December. I still haven’t figured out what to do with my life, so how can I fault my own kids? Thanks for the good wishes for Adam, Terri! 🙂

  7. Best wishes to Adam and congratulations to him for having the courage of his convictions and following his passions instead of being trendy and fitting in. I hope it all works out for him. He must really like bananas a lot!

    1. He loves bananas! It’s great for him that he’s following his passion, and as long as he can support himself eventually, I’m all for it. However, if it means he needs our support indefinitely, then we’ll be pushing him to figure out a way to become self-supportive!

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