Mum came to visit in the summer of 2014, only a month or two after I had quit my job.
I was still extremely stressed out and felt like I had been pushed to the edge.
We planned a cruise to Alaska which was just wonderful but I was hiding something quite big.
I had started hearing voices, louder than they had ever been before. Sometimes I would see things in the corner of my eye and when I looked again, they were gone. My moods at this point had become that much of a rollercoaster that I couldn’t really tell the difference between up or down. Something I now know to be rapid cycling.
During the cruise to Alaska, I made a decision to fall back on my old coping mechanisms. To pack up and hit the road once more. Part of it was the only thing I knew, but a big part of it was the voices.
The voices were telling me that I had to make a pilgrimage. That in order to sustain the new life I had found (pre recent work stress that is!), I had to travel to Nova Scotia – New Scotland, to find ‘New Natalie’.
I declared my road trip plans to mum, who, knowing my love for adventure, helped me pack up my apartment and move into my car.
I never once considered taking a road map. I never once tried to plan ahead. Somewhere, somehow, I knew that the universe had my back. That I would end up where I was supposed to be.
And off I went. Me, my car and my dog. Making our way across Canada, where the road ahead was filled with meaningful signs.
As per usual, at this point, there were days filled with hysterical laughter and days filled with hysterical tears. I actually have videos from the car somewhere but I am too nervous to watch them, as I know they depict the highest of highs and lowest of lows I had ever encountered.