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This has been a journey in every sense of the word: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

There is so much to say and hundreds of amazing photos to share. I almost don’t know where to begin.

I created a new Instagram account @teresa.sigmon to chronicle my travels. I hope you’ll check it out and follow me there.

 

 

Me, loving it at Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park, California. I had no idea how much I would appreciate this particular desert.

When I put my belongings in storage on March 12, 2018, I estimated my cat and I would be gone four months.

Well, it took us that long to make it to the east coast!

No doubt, the trip has been about the experiences, not the destinations.

I often feel that a higher source is in charge of where and when I go. So I stopped trying to figure it all out.  I yielded, and for possibly the first time ever, I am happy to float downstream instead of fighting to swim upstream.

 

 

 

Sophie the camping cat travels like a champ during my cross-country journey
Sophie, the camping cat, and I share a sleeping bag, trying to stay warm (and safe from bears) in Sequoia National Park.

 

Sophie, the most courageous camping cat, has been a dream despite less than ideal situations for most felines.

She is a beautiful travel companion — if she’s not in the carrier. Early on we came to a truce that she gets to ride loose so she can roam the car when she wants. I set everything set up so she can access her litter box in the back of the car.

Whenever I would stop to hike or shop or eat, I told her now is a good time for her to go potty. Sometimes she did.

 

 

As the summer encroached and we left the high altitudes, heat and humidity became a real concern. I never left Sophie in the car for more than about twenty minutes which meant my sightseeing and hiking times were limited.  Unflavored Pedialyte became part of Sophie’s every meal so she did not get dehydrated.

Even on days when I only drove four hours, I somehow still managed to have to set up the tent as the sun set and then wash dishes with my headlamp on bright.

 

When I look at this map of how far I’ve driven by myself, I feel a little overwhelmed and giddy with courage, amazement and pride.

Especially considering the farthest I had ever driven alone was a few months prior when I drove six hours to Etna, California to work my first fire camp!

 

my cross-country-journey

I

I was occasionally lonely. Mostly, I enjoyed the solitude, doing things at my own pace.

I’ve seen amazing scenery and made gutsy, “inspired” decisions, often deciding what to do while I packed up the tent in the morning. Or sometimes while driving and a road sign beckoned me to follow its lead.

That’s how I found the fantastically quirky Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas!

(By the way, Arkansas is a beautiful state that is underestimated and under visited. You should go there. But maybe not during biting fly and tick season.)

 

Are you’re wondering: Did I have a purpose for my trip … or do I claim temporary insanity?

I had three objectives when I put my belongings in storage:

  1. Have an adventure and see this beautiful, diverse country I call home.
  2. Extend the Sew Like A Pro™ reach and impact in the ballroom and skate worlds. Plus, meet some of my sewing school members.
    • New places.
    • New faces.
    • New dresses.
    • New videos.
  3. Visit my dad, brother and family on the east coast.
    • At the beginning of 2018, my sister-in-law in North Carolina was diagnosed with stage four metastatic breast cancer that had spread to multiple areas of her body. I run an online business. I figured I’d try taking the business mobile so I could head east and help out the family.

 


My sister-in-law Crystal and me sitting in front of the rock wall we created during my time at her house.

As of August 2018 when I write this, my sister-in-law Crystal is almost half way through her first round of chemotherapy and is doing well above expectations and her chemo test group!

Her overall energy level and health is pretty high all things considered. The cancer cells are dying off. Yay!

I dare say she has more energy than a lot of "healthy" people.

Crystal, my brother and their four children all stay busy and active with camping, home schooling and family activities!  Add five cats, three fish tanks, six hens, two chicks, plus a garden into mix and it's a good thing Crystal's energy levels don't dip low for too long.

Crystal has migraines a few days after each treatment, but those fade away. She is losing muscle mass and some nerve/muscle coordination (which is upsetting for her).  However, thus far it is minimal and not unexpected. She is doing a fantastic job maintaining her exercise routine, her "me time" and excellent nutrition.

Love you lots, Crystal!

May you continue to be vibrant, healthy and kick the pants off those cancer cells! ... P.S. Don't "forget" to take more naps  😉

 


 

Filming Sew Like A Pro™ blogs Overland Park Ballroom in Kansas during my cross-country journey
Harrison, me, Amy Castro and Carlye at the beautiful Overland Park Ballroom in Kansas.

 

I’ve been working on Sew Like A Pro™ the entire time.

As a result of traveling across the country, I’ve had fantastic filming opportunities I would not have had if I stayed home in Oregon.

I met three Sew Like A Pro™ members and filmed eighteen blogs in Phoenix, OKC, Raleigh, Saint Louis, Kansas City, and Denver.

I hope to get in a few more in the next month or two!

 

 

 

 

camping at Death Valley during my cross-country-journey
Rhonda Shotts and Teresa Sigmon at Ubehebe Crater, Death Valley National Park

When I left Portland, I took eight days to travel down the stunning Oregon coastline to a small town in Southern California near Lake Isabella. I stayed there with my long-time friend Rhonda for two months.

She and I had a fun time sight-seeing and camping in Big Sur plus Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks!

Rhonda is a great seamstress and used to work for my dressmaking business, Seams Sensational, in Portland. I was SEW grateful she could help me finish the ballgown I brought down with me.

I also got to film her tidy, rustic theme home sewing room.

 

 

 

Everything I have said here is only the tip of the ice berg. I've met dozens of interesting people, visited fifteen national parks, plus did, saw, felt or tasted hundreds of other things I think are fantastic -- all since March this year.

If I keep typing, I'll eventually have a novel.  I'm not ready to write that many pages at this moment.

Watch the video, please, if you want to know more. And follow my new Instagram account @teresa.sigmon

 

 

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If you like this video, you may want to watch these.

 

Stop And Appreciate Beauty All Around You

 

My time working fire support at Salmon-August Complex and Tubbs Fire

 

 

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    2 replies to "Personal blog: My Five Month Cross-Country Journey"

    • Lynn Lansangan

      Teresa it was so nice seeing you after so many years! Stan and Mary were sorry to miss you, as they were getting ready for their baby boy, who arrived last Monday. I look forward to more of your wonderful videos. Lynn Lansangan

      • Teresa Sigmon

        Hello Lynn! Yes, it was wonderful to see you again. I’m glad you’re still dancing and you look lovely as always!

        As I was editing the travel blog and pulling a variety of photos from the videos I filmed along the way, I noticed you and I did not do a series of photos together 🙁 … All is not lost. When I get ready to edit the video with you, I should be able to pull some screenshots directly from the video.

        Take care and best wishes to Stan, Mary and the new baby!

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