During Medellin’s 164 day self-isolation, which included many days where we weren’t even allowed to go outside to walk or exercise, I made a vision board. My vision board is the product of self-isolation induced free-time, a craving for creative expression and a desire to put together some sort of “life plan” amidst the chaos that is 2020.

I had a general idea of how to make a vision board, and I am pretty sure I made something similar in college, but to get a better grasp on the project I was embarking on, I googled  “how to make a vision board.” I took bits and pieces from a variety blogs and how-to articles and combined them with my own ideas.

Steps I Followed to Create My Vision Board

  1. Make a list of goals, dreams, and desires. Most of the vision boards I read about online seemed to function as a map for the upcoming year. Well, in these unpredictable times, mapping out the upcoming year with specific destinations and goals seemed futile to me. Back in July, when I made this, I wouldn’t have even been able to tell you when I’d be able to leave the house again, let alone what the next year would have in store for me. Factoring in the uncertainty that has defined 2020, I created my vision board to function more like a compass than a map, pointing me on my path regardless of what life throws at me in the upcoming year. To accomplish this, I made a list of things that matter to me, things that I am passionate about, and things I would like to have in my life at some point.
  2. Collect supplies. I wanted to draw most of the items on my list and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, so my supplies were minimal:
    • Plain White Paper
    • Black Pens
    • A free apartment guide I found at the small, local market on my street.
    • A glue stick
    • Scissors
    • The cardboard backing off of an old notebook (to glue all my items to)
  3. Draw. I drew as many of the items on my list as I could.
  4. Cut out images and words from the magazine. I flipped through the free apartment guide and was pleasantly surprised to find several images and words that applied to my list. There were also several other images and inspirational words that jumped out at me. I cut them all out.
  5. Lay out all of the pieces on the board and glue them down. I roughly laid out all my drawings, images and words to ensure they would all fit on my board. Once I was confident that they would, I began pasting them down, adjusting placement and position as I went.
  6. Create a key. This step is especially important me. I don’t want to lose sight of what 31-year-old, self-isolating, me was thinking when she included a particular word, image or drawing.

My 2020 Vision Board Key

  1. Green Scenes- I found the three “green scene” images in the apartment guide. I want to spend more time in nature. Hiking. Camping. Living.
  2. “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” -Audre Lorde- This quote resonates with me so hard. Until I was about 25, I crunched myself into other people’s fantasies for me and sure enough, I was eaten alive. Everyday since I first started waking up to this reality, I shed another layer of false identity and become more myself. I don’t want to lose sight of, or lie about, who I am or who I am becoming ever again.
  3. My Mandala Drawing- I like drawing mandalas and want to draw more.
  4. The Piano- Ever since I was a little girl, I thought it would be cool to know how to play the piano. I have no plans to learn how at the moment, a piano is quite a cumbersome instrument for a nomad, but if the opportunity presents itself, I just might
  5. Habitar La Ciudad- (Live in the City) From Chicago to Paris to Bangkok to Medellín, I love cities. For most of my life, I have lived just outside of a city. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs then moved to the outskirts of Las Vegas at 19. I lived in Bangkok for short stints while traveling through Asia. Moving to Medellín was the first time I actually planned to settle down in a real city. And boy did I settle down, but not like I had intended to thanks to COVID19. At some point in my life, I want to experience living and working in a city that isn’t in pandemic mode.
  6. Green drink- I need to drink more greens! Yesterday, today, and tomorrow!
  7. House Plants- At some point, maybe when I’m living in that city, I’d like to have house plants. Maybe even a simple herb garden in my kitchen.
  8. Parque- (Park) I love parks. City parks. Walking to the park. Having picnics in the park. Playing with the kids in my life at the park. Parks are dope.
  9. Sueños- (Dreams) This is one of those words that you see and think yup, dreams, those are good, I need to include this word on my vision board. But the word dreams actually means more to me than that. I have always been a dreamer. People used to tell that my dreams were too big. That what I wanted was impossible or too difficult to accomplish. Those days are behind me. Now that I have accomplished more than one of my “too big” dreams, very few people question me anymore. This is a reminder to keep dreaming too big.
  10. Propósito- (Purpose) This is another one of those words that you just have to include on a vision board when you come across it in a magazine. For me, the word purpose reminds me to ask myself “Why?”
  11. Freedom- My purpose, the answer to my “Why?” is freedom. Freedom to travel, freedom to spend time with my family, freedom to learn, freedom to love, freedom to share, freedom to be me, and most importantly, the freedom to help others find their freedom.
  12. Hablo Español- (I speak Spanish) Even though I have been living in Spanish speaking countries for nearly 9 months now, and my Spanish is still painfully poor, I want to be able to speak Spanish one day.
  13. Black Lives Matter- I support Black Lives Matter and believe in the importance of anti-racism education. Check out my list of Anti-Racism Resources, read my article explaining what it means for me to be a Black Lives Matter supporter, and my article about confronting family and friends who oppose Black Lives Matter.
  14. The personal is political.- I AM A FEMINIST. It took me a long time to understand what that statement meant and an even longer time to acknowledge the necessity of feminist politics. I came to the feminist movement through personal life experience, not academia. It wasn’t until I went searching for ways to explain racist things that I’d witnessed, and sexist that things that I’d experienced, that I read feminist literature. AND MY WHOLE LIFE MADE SENSE. Check out my list of Feminism Resources.
  15. Write a book.- I want to write a book.
  16. Reread Vagabond Journals- In April of 2016, when I decided I would leave behind my life in Las Vegas to travel indefinitely, I started a journal to document the process and called it “Vagabond Journal.” I have been writing in it consistently ever since. I am currently on “Vagabond Journal 17.” I want to reread these journals (there are over 1000 typed pages) to remind myself where I came from, where I’ve been, and where I am going. And to get inspiration to write my book of course.
  17. El Lugar Ideal Para Vivar- (The Ideal Place to Live) I liked how vague this phrase was when I came across it in the magazine. This is a reminder to live in the ideal place for the moment. That may mean a short term or long term stay but it doesn’t have to be either. There is no commitment attached to it.
  18. Disfutar el Aire Libre- (Enjoy the Outdoors) Another one you can’t pass up when you’re a nature lover. And especially after this pandemic, I am looking forward to enjoying the outdoors more. Hiking. Camping. Living.
  19. Blog- I want to blog more consistently. Blogging has helped me process my experiences, find my voice and help others along the way. I know the more I do it, the better writer, storyteller and guide I will become.
  20. Mountains– I love the mountains. I want to live in our near the mountains as often as possible.
  21. “Radical simply means grasping things at the root.” -Angela Davis- I am radical for the sake of truth.
  22. Papaya- I want to eat as much papaya as I can whenever I am living somewhere where it is easy to access for cheap.
  23. Pine Trees- I love the woods. I want to live in the words for a period of time.
  24. Palm Tree- Palm trees make me happy. This is a reminder that even though I don’t naturally gravitate towards tropical climates, they are good for my soul.
  25. Purple Flower- I added this solely for the pop of color.
  26. No Debt Ever- I got myself out of debt before I left to travel long term. It was nothing crazy, basic stuff we are taught to believe is normal- college loan debt, salon business debt, even some ill-advised credit card debt. I never want to go down that road again!
  27. Vegetable Garden- I drew this because one day, maybe when I am living in the mountains or the woods, or maybe even through an urban community garden in the city, I want to grow vegetables. I have never grown anything before but hope I’d be decent at it.
  28. Books- I should have drawn these books with headphones attached to them, because audio books are my thing. I want to keep reading as much and as often as possible.
  29. Yoga Girl- I want to practice yoga more consistently, preferably outdoors.
  30. Camper- I would like to take an RV or camper around the USA at some point.
  31. The Little House- I included this to remind myself that, if I ever do decide to plant roots somewhere and settle down for awhile, I never want to own more that what I need in that moment.