Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Importance of Coffee and Conversation

What do Ireland, Italy, Belize, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Kenya, uprooting your life, and traveling across the U.S. all have in common?


As I've been making my transitions from Pennsylvania to Colorado, I realized the one thing I've always had access to in some form or another no matter where I've traveled is coffee. It's never been an addiction. I don't "ABSOULTELY-HAVE-TO-HAVE-A-CUP-BEFORE-I-CAN-FUNCTION." I don't always have it when I'm at home, but home has become a rapidly moving target, and the ritual of coffee at some point in the day gives me a constant. Regardless of what has changed around me, that one thing is something I've always been able to find. Additionally, that cup of coffee very often comes with company and a good conversation. Each conversation I've had has been its own little constant- the same sage in different bodies giving tiny precious reminders of why I decided to set off on this journey.

In spite of my efforts to be as present and "in-the-moment" as possible, I can't help but feel as though my life is a movie or a dream. A cup of coffee is like the spinning top, the totem, in the movie Inception. It's a signal to me that I'm awake in spite of my seemingly dream-like storyline. It hasn't quite sunk in that I'm one of those people I always wished I could be...

But here I am, sitting in Heritage coffee shop in Chicago, Illinois with a new friend and soon-to-be colleague, working on our computers and sharing stories about our lives and upcoming adventure. It is these moments that help shift the bittersweet transition from bitter to sweet.

I would have never realized how these simple routine daily activities can be, and unwittingly are, some of the most important parts of our lives if I wouldn't have walked away from nearly every comfortable routine I've ever had. Creating simple portable routines and rituals when our lives are in flux helps to give us grounding so we can take off in other areas.

And so, for my ritual, I have a hot cup of coffee and a quality conversation nearly every day no matter where I am.


  1. Hi Laura! Love the post. Though I dont like coffee, I do agree that traditions and rituals that, though daily, keep us grounded so we can focus on the bigger picture in life in moving forward. Travel safe and enjoy the coffee along the way!

    1. Hi Janelle! Thank you! The other thing I didn't mention about totems is that they're very personal- each character in the movie had their own unique ones too. :)