Hi! My name is Mariah and I am embarking on the adventure of my life. It all started with a feeling, a longing to pack a few belongings into my trunk and head West. Words like simple, free, authentic, and off the grid, kept spinning around in my head. Then I started noticing that other people were using and thinking about these words too. They were pursuing lifestyles I envied- unconventional, spontaneous, and carefree lives filled with joy.
I was on the path to living a successful life. I was following a typical linear course (graduate from college, choose a secure well-paying job, move into my own apartment, climb the career ladder, settle down, etc.) but I was unhappy. Three years into my professional career, after an amazing trip abroad I had an awakening. I knew I desperately wanted to get off this track. I wanted more. Or really, I wanted less.
I wanted to stop being a consumer and start being a contributor. I wanted to live a life of simple adventure. I looked around and started realizing it really was possible. I realized there were global movements focusing on exactly that -simplicity, community, freedom. People around the world were returning to their roots by growing their own food, placing more value on time than money, and living in harmony. And then I picked up an old favorite book of mine and read this:
“What I want is so simple I almost can’t say it: elementary kindness. Enough to eat, enough to go around. The possibility that kids might one day grow up to be neither the destroyers nor the destroyed. That’s about it. Right now I’m living in that hope, running down its hallway and touching the walls on both sides.” -Barbara Kingsolver
What I want is so simple I can’t explain it. It’s a feeling, a hunger for more. More than possessions, promotions, or pride. I want something bigger than security, routine, or a savings account. I want to see places I’ve never heard of, work with my hands, start relying on kindness instead of currency. I want to love unabashedly, learn unreservedly, give from the bottom of my heart.
The Barefoot Beat is a collection of stories and mementos gathered from around the world and shared with you. It’s an exploration of culture through music, travel, food, and photography. It’s an attempt to pursue simplicity and authenticity in a society that demands consumption and conformity. It’s about uncovering the common threads that bind humanity and choosing to love what I can’t always understand. It’s about being transformed from the inside out.
So at twenty-five I find myself squeezing my belongings into a mustard colored backpack, ready to embark on a new chapter of my life. I’m giving up my own living space, a full-time job, and the knowledge of what comes next. I’m not sure where this journey will take me or what my life will look like when it’s over. It’s going to be messy, complicated, and confusing at first. I’m going to have my doubts and you might even think I’m crazy. That’s okay.
I would be honored to walk this journey with you.
*Curious as to where this journey has led so far? Check out the About Me page for an update on how my life has changed in the last EIGHT years since it all began!Google+