Recently, I found myself in a precarious, yet enlightening, travel situation resulting in having no place to stay due to a sold out flight and no lodging available for 3 nights while I tried to reach my intended destination (in a third world-esque region).

Before you feel too sorry for me I was in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) trying to make my way down to a sleepy heavenly place called #Salt Cay (DON’T go :-P) for some diving and to check off a bucket-list item – swim with whales.

I have to admit – it’s not ugly down there.

I knew of my predicament before I left the states. Fate willed this enlightening journey on me. A single mom of 2 tweenage girls, I don’t often get the opportunity to “wing” it – so I embraced my travel predicament, and went on my trip anyway – I went BIG.

I could sleep on the beach I told myself.

I may get lucky with a seat on the plane to #Salt Cay.

Maybe, just maybe prince charming will rescue me on #Grand Turk (I didn’t really think this, it just sounded good to write!)

Either way, instead of woe is me, “I have no flight and no place to stay, I’ll just stay home,” I went.

And a terrific adventure it was. I had to embrace essentialism at every turn.

It was essential to talk to strangers and form allies and new connections. It was essential that I live off of the bag on my back, and rely on my own two feet. It was essential that I ask for HELP.

And, at every turn was gratitude. Gratitude for the experiences, the connections made, the resources shared, the rides given, the trust bestowed, the inconveniences, the fun, the food, the love for another human: me.

When you think of #essentialism, what you do think of? Less. Cutting back. Minimalism. Am I close?

Recently I was interviewed by @adamCarroll and he forced my hand (and I didn’t comply!) on my top 3 books of all time. Essentialism by Greg McKeown was one of them (thanks to my ever-inspiring coach @shaunamckenzie).

“Essentialists see trade-offs as an inherent part of life, not as a inherently negative part of life. Instead of asking, ’What do I have to give up (ahem, shelter, comfort) they ask, ’What do I want to go big on?”

Ironically, Lee Brower, friend, mentor, author and True Wealth™ guru, says always always start B.I.G. “Begin in Gratitude.”

For a vacation of a lifetime about to be foiled, I chose to go Big.

Yes it was a dream trip because I swam with whales, but more so because I saw a true side of me that embraces essentialism. Now, I can’t shake it. Its official: I am an essentialist. I thought I was before. But now it’s different. Essentialism has become my mindset.