Skye Leigh: Life On the Road
"I can’t see myself ever going back to a typical “modern” way of life, I know at some point it will morph into something different, like living out of a backpack perhaps!"
I first met Skye in Berkeley, California. We bonded over both being from Colorado and having lived in similar parts of the U.S.-the Pacific Northwest, Florida, abroad. She didn't stay in Berkeley long. I thought Berkeley was her kind of place, but I quickly learned that there is no one kind of place for Skye. I had to let her go like when a beautiful butterfly lands on you and you wish it would stay forever. But, our value of friendship and love for travel kept us in touch. In this interview, Skye shares about how she left her corporate job over year ago to live a life on the road, favorite places she's traveled to, and what she's learned along the way.
You left your corporate job in Colorado to live a life on the road. How long have you been on the road and what inspired you to embark on this journey?
I have a spirit that demands that I have change. Three years seems to be my breaking point if I haven’t made a major change before that mark. Corporate fitness and wellness was great, but as that magic number approached, I felt I had no choice but to break away. My entire adult life has been a series of drastic changes. This type of journey was inspired largely by having the perfect person to do it with, who was also wanting a new adventure. It’s now a year and a half into this journey and although I can’t see myself ever going back to a typical “modern” way of life, I know at some point it will morph into something different, like living out of a backpack perhaps!
What are your favorite parts about living a nomadic life?
Where do I start? Let’s see... 1) Spending time in nature, the most healthy way to live following the rhythms of the natural world and the moderate climates to take advantage of the earths most comfortable and easy temperatures to be in 2) Freedom to spend each day and every minute doing what my internal guidance points to - yoga, Reiki, meditate, read, hike, snuggle, cook, nap, dance 3) Quality time with my partner 4) Connect with others - there is so much joy in having time to have a conversation with a stranger - we love inspiring others who see what we are doing and desire to create a simpler way of life for themselves.
You've had to simplify your life, which I know you enjoy doing. Has it been challenging to do that in any way? And how is it liberating?
Simplifying is not challenging for me, it's been a true love of mine for as long as I’ve been alive! Acquiring and having “stuff” has never felt good. I am a minimalist, so this way of life comes very easy to me. What’s liberating is to know that I can create any lifestyle that is authentic to me in that moment ~ it was just as authentic to have a corporate job, be a wife, own a business, be a jock, etc.
You are a woman in her 40s living on the road, which challenges the stereotype that it's only men in their 20s who choose to live a nomadic life.
I have always been a tomboy and felt as though I possess the spirit of the “20 year old male.” To me, it’s the most natural way in the world to live- in nature, away from cities, noise, crowds, and following the ideals of others. I know that we are One, the reflection I receive from others is the truth of my inner self. Because I am authentic and totally accepting of how I live, that is what I receive from my interactions with others. For me, it comes naturally to not be tied to “things” for sentimental reasons. I love not only the freedom that comes from having so little, but the minute imprint that I make on this earth environmentally.
You've been traveling with a partner. Do you think that makes for a more enjoyable and easier experience? Would you do it alone?
It is the most enjoyable wonderful experience to have a masculine partner who takes care of all the “boy” things like electricity, mechanical issues, and heavy lifting. He is also the first relationship I have experienced as the feminine person I’ve finally come to embrace. We are both enjoying this journey in exploring our birth rights and finding a beautiful balance in them. I’ve never been a person who worries or thinks of the future, this moment is all I have and I don’t want to waste it. I’m sure my life would look different without this relationship, but I would remain true to myself by treading softly on this precious planet.
What are some of your favorite places that you've traveled since being on the road?
It’s hard to call any place a favorite. It’s the rate and speed in which we travel, taking the route less traveled, seeing America by back roads and scenic byways. It’s the rainbows after a cleansing rain, the bite of the wind coming off glacial ice fields, the beauty of an organic backyard garden, a bear eating berries off a bush, the turbulent sea crashing on the rocky shore, and the thick starry sky that can only be seen in a desert with no light pollution.
I know that when I travel, I always gain new perspectives and insights (often spiritual). What are some perspectives and insights you've gained from traveling and living on the road?
My life has been a series of spiritual learnings and transformations, and I agree that when traveling new perspectives are easier to attain. I guess I would have to say that my outer life finally matches my inner life - simple, peaceful, natural, and nomadic.
You've told me before that you've lived many lives within this one. What are some of those different lives?
The wild child, the perfectionist, the traveler, the thrill seeker in nature and sports - climber, mountain biker, road cyclist, backpacker, swimmer, runner, tennis & racquetball player, water and snow skier etc, and some only once or on occasion ~ sky diving, whitewater boating, wind surfing, kayaking, canoeing. The fitness and wellness professional, the entertainer as part of a cruise staff for Norwegian Cruise Line. The yogi and spiritual seeker, retreat goer, who finally realized that all answers lie within. The business owner, the student, the loving daughter, the wife and even the “dreaded” divorce`. It sometimes feels like many lifetimes, but I am grateful that it has been all a part of this one. I am the wisdom that encompasses all of those experiences.
You are a healer. Tell me about your work as a healer and how it fits into your nomadic life?
I have been a practitioner and teacher of the healing arts for over 20 years. As a Reiki Master, Wellness Coach, and Yoga Instructor, I am able to offer my services in communities or to individuals that I meet on my travels. Mostly I work by referral. Healing speaks for itself and individuals who have had an opportunity to learn from me, often send others my way.
I know you're not a fan of social media and do not participate in it, and have gone back to operating like we did before all of this technology and online communication. How have you done this and what have you found?
I am a believer in like attraction, my intentions have been to connect with wonderful people who value friendship and who make the most out of life. We often find ourselves being invited to stay with perfect strangers, who then, end up becoming dear friends after our time together. This is something that travelers know, it’s travel magic! Before computers and social media we had more self reliance, trusted our own intuition and had to make an effort to create community. I like getting back to these basics and have been so richly rewarded for it. For $100, I buy an AT&T phone card that lasts over a year, no contest to what I used to pay for a phone plan $1,032/year! I don’t miss having easy access to technology like email, GPS, or google searches. The old fashioned way is much simpler, less stressful and more meaningful, not to mention less expensive. I like the simple existence of spending my time enriching my spirit through reading, being in nature, and having real interactions with others.
I think of you as having an "adventurous spirit". Your whole life, you've never lived in one place for too long, you've done a lot of physical adventures, and you seem to really enjoy spontaneity and trying new things. What are some of your favorite adventures that you've had?
I guess I would attribute it to needing change and having a hunger for experiencing all I can. I’ve always lived with the idea that “life is short,” and believe me “I didn’t want to miss out”! It’s hard to sum up a lifetime of experiences in a paragraph but what comes to mind as the highlights for my spirit were traveling solo in Thailand for a month, working in the majestic state of Alaska, witnessing wildlife in nature that took my breath away, standing on top of mountain peaks, and swimming naked whenever the opportunity presents itself. My inner journey has to be the most rewarding and wonderful experience of them all, I have grown and healed in ways that I could have never imagined and am so thankful for all that I have been given.