Wow, you guys didn’t make this easy on us! We had a dozen entries into our SerenDIPity Challenge Contest that we issued at the beginning of the month, and they’re all worthwhile checking back in on and giving a read.
When we decided (on a whim) to do this contest, we thought we’d get a few entries at best and we’d be able to make everyone a winner! Unfortunately, we only have a few of the SerenDIPity signs to give away – so we’ve had to make some choices!
We decided to create some categories of the type of stories that got submitted, and choose our favorites within each. The winner of each category will receive one of our SerenDIPity signs.
Life Changing Serendipity
Several of the stories told of taking a big leap of faith, that lead to major positive life changes.
- Lucy tells of going on a blind date and finding her life mate sitting across the table from her.
- Alan tells of being laid off from his job and immediately finding he had clients lined up to support him taking a leap to become a freelancer.
- Nina talks of taking several leaps in her life that led her to finding her soulmate (who we’re assuming is Paul) and new career paths.
- Kobus talks of arriving to start their master degrees, and realizing they were in the totally wrong place – and decided instead to become location independent freelancers.
- Nathan tells a tale of making the leap to leave his ex, finding a VW Bus/van and found his way re-uniting with a college sweetheart and starting a family together.
You can go back to the original post thread and read these tales in full.
But our favorite life changing tale of serendipity comes from traveler, long time reader, nomad and author Tony James Slater – who told his riveting & romantic travel tale on his blog of spending all his initial travel money in Thailand, accepting an offer to join his sister in Australia and finding his new travel mate and new wife.
It’s a touching tale.. and takes the prize for this category.
Saying Yes Serendipity
There’s a type of serendipity that plays a theme in our lives, where you learn to say YES to the opportunities that present themself. We loved this tale by Sarah Kirkish that she submitted via her blog – telling of how they took a small cruise 4 years ago that lead to a string of life changing events to where they’re now preparing to full time RV later this summer.
We look forward to welcoming them to the road, and hope that serendipity continues to be their navigation.
Trusting in Serendipity Tale
It’s no secret – we’re burners. And Burning Man is the PhD program of learning to trust in serendipity. The more you fight to stick to plans and expectations the harder the experience becomes, and the more miserable you’ll be. It’s a hard concept for a virgin to really understand.. but once you do, you’re forever changed. You’re able to more aptly navigate the seas of serendipity ‘in real life’.
We’re taking a little liberty with picking this winner, as we’re privy to more of the story than told in the official entry for the contest. Back in 2009, travel writer JoAnna Haugen joined us at Camp Nomadia. She was one of the Roads Scholars who had won a travel scholarship to travel blog her way to the graduation ceremony at Burning Man. We were thrilled to host her (and her fellow scholars) and have her as part of our camp.
It’s a typical tale – a virgin arrives in the middle of a wicked dust storm and gets cranky. Miserable with a pile of food but no cooking skills – once she let go she discovered that everything she needed was right in front of her. Her neighbors had cooking skills, but little food with them. And the biggest serendipity? Hanging out with other nomads who are making it work led her to going home, quitting her job and making a go at becoming a freelance writer (which she’s totally rocking to this day!).
Check out the thread comments for her tale.
Serendipity as Spirituality
Serendipity is a way of life for us, we route by it. It’s so deeply engrained in everything we do that when people ask me what my religion or spirituality is, I’ll even sometimes respond with Serendipity.
So I was deeply touched by new-to-the-road Catholic Nomad Girl’s entry to the contest – describing serendipity as a core part of herself. She weaves in the tale of the classic Pauper King.
And I especially love her quote:
For me, serendipity is a concept that defines who a person is, how they look at the world, and how they live their life. Becoming a nomad is just an exterior way of leading me to that interior state, that state of letting go of everything within and letting myself be guided.
Daily Life Serendipity
Yes, serendipity happens on a large scale for a lot of people – resulting in major life changes. And we had some great tales of these submitted.
However, it’s learning to let serendipity into our daily life that guides most our adventures. And those were the stories we were keeping an eye out for.
Jill Blevins wrote in her blog about being disappointed that the campground she was hoping to stay at was full, but finding fun adventures to explore at the one she ended up at instead.
Yeah, that’s the kind of serendipity we experience on a routine basis – learning to trust that wherever you end up is probably the right place, and you can make the best out of any situation if you let go of expectations.
So it is a totally unexpected entry by our friend Sean Welsh of Our Odyssey, who doesn’t respond to these sorts of contests, that we’re declaring the winner of this category, and the overall contest.
In the comments of the thread, he tells of a day in their recent life of following serendipity while up in South Dakota establishing their new domicile there. There’s nothing huge and necessarily life changing in this tale, but this story exactly shows the type of serendipity that happen when you invite it on a daily basis. Even relatively mundane chores are positively affected. You should definitely go back and read about their day either on the original thread, or on their own blog.
And as serendipity would have it, our mutual routing had us able to present Sean & Louise their prize in person last night as they were passing through St. Louis. (Ironic however, that we actually know their mailing address as they’re our new ‘neighbors’!)
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading these stories as much as we have .. and that perhaps you’ve been inspired to let go a bit and allow serendipity into your life?