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  • Writer's pictureMaria Vandenburg

Adjusting to Life in the "Country"

I have been a city girl all of my life, literally. Born in London, I spent the first four years of my life there. Then we relocated to Santa Monica, California where I lived until I was eleven until we moved to Seattle. Since then I have lived abroad in Melbourne and Sydney (Australia), Wellington, New Zealand, and back to my personal gas station of London (where I seem to end up every 10 years or so to re-energize and re-fuel before setting back out into the world).

And now? Well, now I find myself living with my cousin Alexa and her 13-year-old daughter Miley (who are more like soul sisters to me, along with her other daughter Marissa and my other cousin Deonne), in a place called Belfair (population 3,931), located near Bremerton, Washington on the Kitsap Peninsula.

What does that mean? It means that for Labor Day Weekend I spent the weekend at Marissa's so that I could have regular internet and take care of her horse, two goals, one alpaca, multiple chickens, and three dogs. Also along for the ride were Miley's two bunnies, Miley herself and my recently adopted cat, Rumi.

It also means that I am having to get adjusted to not being able to just walk to places, for example, the grocery store. I was telling Alexa that I love taking long walks, it's a form of meditation, she suggested that I might want to get some pepper-spray. My thought process was "Why? Are there going to be burglars out on the trails?" Nope... but there are coyotes, bears, and other wildlife that might not respond well to a human intruder. SO not something I would normally even think about.

We also don't currently have internet or phone reception which is also an adjustment for me. I have recently started the Sounds True / LinkedIn Inner MBA Program as well as U.Lab with the Presensing Institute. I am also in the process of forming my own company and completing the first pass of Crown Jewels: The Royal Heart (Book Two). Being able to connect to the internet and to others whenever I want and need to is something that I have been used to. BUT... I did arrange for satellite internet to be installed later this week.

Overall, I've been so grateful to be surrounded by loving and supportive family, this country life is still a bit of a shock to the system. I know everything happens for a reason, and it's been really interesting and powerful and step back and observe myself in this process of integration to a life of slowing down a little, adjusting to living with others, and not being able to just go and do whatever I want, whenever I want. Plus, the deepening connection to nature and the animals around me has also been really cool to witness as well.

So, the moral of the story is Maria Vandenburg can apparently "do" the country. Do I think I will permanently reside here? Nope. But I am really grateful for the chance to get to experience it now.



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