I have always loved the beach, the ocean and ships. My passion and love of the ocean has grown and evolved wrapped with my love of traveling and writing. It has taken me most of my life to be at peace with who I am and to live my life through my loves, interests and passions.
I journaled, wrote poetry and wrote stories about my travel and places I went to, my love of the ocean, boats, ships and the beach. Writing was my friend. I could write what I felt and experienced what I loved and hated without any judgement from anyone.
The experience of being in new places brought myself out into the world. At home I was shy and reserved. When I traveled I was someone else. In traveling I began discovering who I was. It was the only time I felt comfortable in myself.
Life, real life and living the kind of life that was expected of me took me away from those interests and passions I loved. I had new experiences, many of them wonderful but my heart was not in it. Life was all right but something was missing. I even forgot what it was. I was busy immersed in motherhood and all that it entailed. I lost my interests and myself in the process of getting by day by day.
And then my life changed. It seemed like it happened in a moment but it was months in the making.
My daughters were all grown up and each one heading off into the world to explore and discover their own life full of their own interests and passions. I had given them wings but still hadn’t repaired mine. I was freaking out! My youngest daughter, Monica said, “Mom, go have your own adventure its time,”
Divine Guidance from a friend lead me to a path that I hesitated walking down. Blindly I followed the path that changed who I was becoming. Spending a year at a retreat center in the middle of the woods, writing, meeting people there who were inspirational and supporting helped me feel comfortable again in my own body and mind. I gained some faith and courage in myself again.
Visiting with my daughters, Monica in California and Samantha in North Carolina I remembered my love of the beach and the ocean. When I returned to the woods I heard the ocean calling me in the wind of the trees. I couldn’t contain my desire to live at the beach. With the new found confidence from my time at the retreat center, I took a leap of faith and came to the beach.
This island I stumbled upon reawakened my connection to the ocean and the beach. It inspired my writing. I feel in love again. I felt like I was home. I settled in to this island community, getting a job, making friends while writing my memoir of my time at the retreat center where my past life had unraveled.
I began taking my writing seriously, began thinking of myself as a writer. In the midst of writing my memoir, I wrote a small collection of essays about life lessons on the beach. I published it and sold a few copies in the shop I co-own with two business partners. I dabbled in blogging a little but wasn’t sticking with it. Writing I continued to do day after day.
In my fifties now and determined to follow my passions I have been focusing seriously on my writing but still was holding back, keeping it private. Except for the blog that I was working on more and more but even though I was adding material to it I wasn’t promoting it.
And then a curve ball hit me. My sister, Susan called, “Somethings wrong with mom, and she’s going senile, crazy. It’s out of control.” The diagnoses was Alzheimer’s.
In the midst of it all I get a text from Susan. “What to go on a cruise? I need to get away.”
Two months later we are on the Carnival Destiny reliving childhood memories and reconnecting our bond as sisters. Tragedy and Fun intertwined. It was a gift we both needed. We decided in that moment that we would get together every year and go on a cruise or trip of some kind.
Mom passed away. Susan and I were determined to continue cruising and traveling. Into our third cruise Sisters Travel Adventures was formed. I was taking my blogging more seriously and had a dedicated blog now. Traveling and cruising is leading me into my writing with a passion. This was the path I should have taken all those years ago. Combining my passions of traveling, cruising and writing.
My interests, lives, dislikes, passions don’t fit in a box. They aren’t even all connected. My interests, loves and passions are a mish mash, a hodgepodge just like my life. It is who I am. All of it make up my life. Compromising and compartmentalizing aren’t cutting it. It doesn’t fit me, who I am or the kind of life I aspire to.
My writing is as diverse and comprehensive as my interests, passions, experiences and my life. My personal essays are deep with emotion culminating in insight and the wisdom I have gained. I write about issues such as dissociation, depression, midlife, major life changes, grief, dying, and death with deep understanding from my own experiences.
Traveling reignited passions buried within me, pushed aside while I tried to fit my writing and interests into some kind of structure. It has reminded me to write what I know and to write from my heart. It is my style, it is my voice. I knew all along but wandered down the wrong paths time and time again. Now I am sailing the ocean following the stars of my passions.
My writing has evolved with my travels. My focus is shifting and changing too. As my interests and loves come alive and into the light, my passions are igniting and taking flight.
When Hurricane Florence hit our island. The stirring of the ocean stirred something in me too. In the midst of still getting back on my feet after the hurricane I took on another adventure. I started going to travel agent training specializing on cruises. Going to the cruise lines schools/academy’s and signing up with a host agency to become a travel advisor.
And I have been contemplating getting back into songwriting!
Aside from writing and traveling, I love the beach – any beach anywhere in the world, being on the ocean in a small boat, sailboat or cruise ship, wine and wine tasting, dark chocolate, pasta, tiramisu, dancing, dinners with friends, and visiting (and traveling) with my three daughters.
I hope to inspire you to step into fully into yourself and out into the world through the experiences of the beach, journal writing and traveling. Writing leads you deep within to places hidden inside of you. Traveling brings that which is hidden without and often helps you discover things about yourself that you never knew possible. The beach itself is the doorway to present moment, the opening of possibilities, the inspiration and the connection of being.
It’s a weaving process. Weaving everything together self-care, self-discovery, self-expression, traveling, spending time on the beach, family and friends, and writing. And with that and the journey of experience of every moment always evolving, we become. We become who we are, who we have been and who we are meant to be.
My homeport is on Topsail Island, North Carolina. I wake up and see the ocean out my window every morning. Our island is full of tourists all spring, summer and fall. In the winter the island is much quieter. From here I take off for my travels with my sister. Sometimes she visits me here on the island.
You will find more of my personal story in my Memoir Through the Woods to the Sea: A Journey of Becoming Me
Download PDF Travel Writing Resume
Facebook: @authorcathyteoste @sisterstraveladvenrures @cruisingwithcathy
Twitter: @CTeoste Instagram @cathyteoste
Cathy holds a B.A in Holistic Studies and an M.A. in Holistic Health and Wellness from Lesley University. She received additional Clinical Training in Mind/Body Medicine, and Spirituality and Healing through Harvard Medical School. She is an ordained inter-faith minister and a Reiki Practitioner. This combination of education and personal experience informs her writing with practical knowledge and understanding combined with insight and wisdom.