Living Without Reservations: By Barbara Elaine Singer Barbara appeared to have it all…beautiful, athletic, world traveled, had an enviable career, bright teenage daughter in private school, loyal husband and plenty of energy to pursue her own interests. She went from a country girl growing up in the Amish lands of Pennsylvania to all the trappings of the American Dream. Except when she got to the top of ladder, she realized she was propped up against the wrong building, a place...
Living Without Reservations: By Barbara Elaine Singer
Barbara appeared to have it all…beautiful, athletic, world traveled, had an enviable career, bright teenage daughter in private school, loyal husband and plenty of energy to pursue her own interests. She went from a country girl growing up in the Amish lands of Pennsylvania to all the trappings of the American Dream. Except when she got to the top of ladder, she realized she was propped up against the wrong building, a place where enough was never enough. The price to stay at the top, her soul, was too high. She was supposed to want what she worked so hard to create but she didn’t. She thought she could wait until her only daughter went off to college only she didn’t make it that long, a mistake that would cost her dearly.
Out of no where, she fell head over heals in love with Tom, an older man who had time, energy and money to play. She went from the one doing all the giving, to the one who was showered with adoration and attention. She turned her world upside down to be with him, shocking everyone who knew her, never seeing the damage she was doing to the relationship with her beloved daughter.
When Brittany went off to college, it was finally her turn to live the life of her dreams with Tom. Their time together would be shorter than either imaged when his untimely death leaves her devastated and alone. No longer interested in her work, her home or anything else, she was completely lost. Exhausted after a year of pretending everything is fine, she seeks counseling and was shocked when they recommended medication. Out of pure desperation, knowing she needed time away from everyone and yearning to be in nature, she called her dad and asked to borrow his camper to take a road trip out west. He said no, but he offered to go with her if they went to Alaska, his life long dream. In a matter of days, she and her seventy year old dad hit the road with beautiful stories of nature, adventure and rediscovering a relationship. Having spent no significant time with him in twenty five years, during the trip, she learned a lot about him she never knew.
On the road and in Alaska, she got her first eye opening accounts of people living totally alternative lifestyles of adventure, freedom and mobility. These people weren’t about accumulating stuff or saving for retirement, they were collecting memories and living in the moment.
After the six weeks in the camper, she wasn’t ready to go home-ever, so she followed her intuition and liquidated her possessions. Still searching for a slow quiet place to rest her soul and find her inner strength, she moved to the sleepy artsy fishing town of Matlache, on the Gulf of Mexico. She rented a room from a friend of a friend and took two suitcases to a whole new life. She found work in a happy little art gallery filled with color and light and to the distain of her daughter, waited tables at the local marina restaurant at night. Here she met Captain Pete who was living on his forty two foot sailboat. One night after an off-the-cuff-remark, they agreed to embark on a three month island hopping trip in the Caribbean. Even though she never sailed and they were virtually strangers, they set sail for a life changing experience. She shares amazing tales of life on the sea, fellow cruisers, Haitian refugees and witnessing an attempted murder.
The distance and isolation took its toll on her fragile relationship with her daughter. Barbara struggled between living life on her own terms and living the life Brittany thinks she should. Was she being selfish as Brittany suggested?
With no where to call home and her beloved Italy calling, she went on line and rented a room from a woman in Tuscany. Italy was a love affair from the very first day. One day, at the suggestion of a friend she went to a little family winery for a tasting and found home in the arms of a handsome winemaker, Giuseppe and spent the summer riding the hills of Chianti on a Vespa. With summer coming to a close and finality looming overhead, she realized that the dream was going to be over in a few short days and she would be going back to nothing. Until…..
In a very short period, she went from having it all, to not having a clue, to a confident woman who heard her inner voice so clearly. With everything striped away, she had to discover or re-learn what made her happy. She discovered that she would rather have an airline ticket than a mortgage, a backpack rather than a walk-in closet, a passport fill with stamps than a bank book filled with money and most of all, she would rather live the dream than watch it on TV. After years of reading every motivational, self help and metaphysical book on the shelf, she finally understood how the universe works and watched in sheer amazements as life, and all its miracles, unfolded right before her eyes.
It is a travel book, a soul guide, and an adventure tale. It’s hilarious and heart-wrenching. I’m an English major and a picky reader and devoured it! I liked it better than Eat, Pray, Love. I enjoyed that book but this was much more fun and faster-paced. Your voice is easier for readers to relate to and you have more mass appeal. You shared yourself so openly and honestly. I know that must have been hard to do at times. It was great fun to travel with you.
Barbara grew up in rural Lancaster Country Pennsylvania. After graduating from Penn State, she moved to Orlando, Florida. She has one daughter. Being a life long student of self help and motivation, she has walked on fire with Tony Robins. She finds great joy in traveling, meeting people from around the world, reading and listening to eclectic music. She is a three time marathon finisher and two time Ironman tri-athlete. As a dynamic speaker, her greatest passion is inspiring others to wake up and start living.
Barbara is available for on-line coaching on the subjects of living mobile and goal setting. Making dreams come true first takes passion and belief, then a plan and putting that plan into motion.