Since graduating from Michigan State University, Stacy Wright has lived in a lot of places: Costa Rica; Spain; Australia; Maui; St. Johns in the Caribbean; Park City, Utah (that whole mountain people thing that was popular after school); Brazil; and Thailand to name a few not to mention the almost two years she spent living on assorted boats throughout the world. I usually spend six months, or more, in one country, says the sun-kissed 30-year-old, who, a few weeks ago, moved into a shared apartment in Venice. I dont like to be a complete spectator. I stay in one place long enough to make friends. Ive never done the whole 20-countries-in-20-days Euro-rail thing. Shes crossed the Atlantic four times by sailboat. While swimming in the Caribbean, she watched a dolphin heal her then-boyfriends wound by repeatedly nudging it with its snout. Also in the Caribbean, she bought a boat for $5,000, only to have a British wannabe Rastafarian boyfriend sink it. She had to go diving to retrieve what personal belongings she could. While kayaking in Maui, she watched a mother whale teach its baby to breach. Shes walked a large portion of the Costa Rican coastline on a three-week trek. You know my ideal of what happens after you die? Or for just the moment before? she asks, head cocked, in a tone suggesting shes precise with words. Id like to experience every person for just one moment. Wouldnt it be great if you were everywhere at once and could see everything? Feel everything. I think I travel to put a dent in that. Wrights call to travel seemed to have been evoked when her eighth-grade Spanish class took a field trip to Spain and a terrorist threat held her and her fellow travelers up in the Madrid International Airport for 24 hours.I remember sitting in the airport and people holding hands and crying and singing Take Me Home, that Phil Collins song, she laughs, sitting on a bench outside a Topanga health-food store on a recent Sunday.She says she knows that the terrorist threat was horrible, but the incident made her realize there was a lot more going on in the world for her to see and experience.Her nomadic lifestyle, as she sees it, is less about an inability to commit to any place as it is about her inquisitive nature.I ask a lot of questions, she says turning her eyes away almost apologetically.I used to do that to my math teachers. Why, why, why?And, do you think that drives people nuts?I think it can be exhausting. I think people get frustrated. Lots of people think they know the answers, but if you keep asking them questions, they realize, or you realize, they cant answer, and they get mad.Why do you think you ask so many questions?I dont know. Maybe its horoscope, my astrological sign. Virgos thing is to analyze and worry. Wrights search for answers once led to a Vedic ashram in the Bahamas (she is a certified yoga instructor), and more recently a two-year program in Australia studying the esoteric philosophies of Rudolf Steiner (Wright was accredited to teach in his Waldorf school system). She has a degree in economics and has briefly studied flower essences on a flower farm in Quebec. As well, she is an avid reader. Shes putting off teaching (a role she takes seriously on every level) at Waldorf for a while and still wouldnt mind getting a masters degree in art history. She says her overly analytical nature causes her trouble when it comes to making decisions, but once she does, things manifest. Shes not convinced there is an ultimate truth or, rather, she thinks there is, but we will never understand it. Why?We arent evolved enough. Do you think all these experiences youre having are helping you evolve personally and therefore youre seeing small glimpses of that truth?She nods yes while flipping through a paperback copy of Henry Miller quotes titled Nothing but the Marvelous. Exposing pages and pages of underlined sections, she explains there is one she read yesterday that she wants to find?.?.?.?oh there it is!The situation one finds oneself in is always a situation one has created: We are always at the point or place we desired to be. Wright says her recent move to Southern California is about getting a 9-to-5 job and returning to the States, where she hasnt lived in some time. Besides, the anti-American sentiments abroad were getting to her. Shes never really had the experience of making substantial amounts of money. In the past decade, her jobs have mostly been limited to service-industry stuff restaurants, shops, working on boats staying with each just long enough to finance her next move. (While living in New Zealand she did work as a body double on Xena: Warrior Princess and got offered a yearlong contract.) Now, she wants to find something she can stick with and grow from just by grounding herself in one place. I look on Craigslist, or whatever, and see all those job listings, and I imagine, even for a minute, what it would be like if I were working there, and by the end of looking, I am tired out, she laughs.Theres another quote Wright always remembers. When she was living in Quebec studying how to make flower essences, her teacher told Wright that her life was like the path of a flower. I will never do one thing. I will go out and experience something and come back in, like a petal. I will have all these experiences. But the key to my life is to come back into that center and be grounded. Almost like a spiritual home... Do you know where that grounded center is?Nooo, not yet, she laughs, a little.
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