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Jumping Feet First into Friendship & Adventure

by Kayce Stevens Hughlett

“I feel very blessed to have spent this magical journey with you both soul tripping and ‘soulstrolling.’ I feel like I have been touched by the finger of God and I am shiny all over.” Jen Duchene

Jen Duchene, Sunshine Sue, Kayce HughlettWho knows where and when some friendships begin? It might be with a casual conversation or a Facebook friend invite. You could be sitting in a poetry reading and a new soul mate appears in the seat next to you. Someone walks into a class you’re teaching… or sits next to you in a café… or you bond over your newborn babies. All these serendipitous meetings have happened to me… and more. They’ve been pivotal introductions that changed my life.

I wish I could capture a highlights tape of each encounter and play it back when I forget the lovely randomness of life. We can’t control where we’re going or who will step onto our path anymore than we can know what tomorrow will hold. What we can do, however, is be present to each moment and allow the time to become a snapshot in our mind.

Recently I shared this post on Facebook:

“And so the adventure begins. Heading to San Jose to hop in a car to meet two peeps, Sunshine Sue and Jen Duchene, who I've never met in person to go spend the weekend with 30 more best friends I haven't met either. ‪#‎itsyourturn2015. Here I come!!!!”


I followed a tug of my heart to jump feet first into a new adventure. What could be better than sunshine and a sandy beach, especially for someone who lives in rainy Seattle?

The official impetus for the trip was to meet thirty women entrepreneurs who are setting the world on fire with their creative and strategic businesses. The event was beyond magnificent and I know I made friends who will be with me far beyond our time together. The heart of my trip, however, came on the last day after we said our official good-byes.

My amazing traveling companions (emerging author and Fitspiration creator, Sunshine Sue and phenomenal numerologist, Jen Duchene) and I prepared to hit the road up the coast toward San Jose. Before we even left the parking lot, we were doubled over with laughter as Sue pulled her grandmother’s vintage hats out of the car and we started taking photos. Jen pulled a marigold leaf off of a bush and showed us how it magically turns water into a mercury-like substance. We oohed and ahhed and laughed some more.

Heading north on Highway 101, they asked if I’d ever been to the Madonna Inn. “No,” I responded… Next stop? The Madonna Inn, of course… just because we could. When we hopped out of the car, breathed in the fresh air, and looked at the magnificence of the landscape, I declared our souls officially on a stroll.

We walked with eyes wide open. Stopping. Pausing. Laughing. Talking. We giggled at the names of the themed rooms like Hearts & Flowers and Irish Hills and wondered what those walls would say if they could talk. Jen put a flower in her hair. I imagined having tea parties at the multi-colored tables and Sue led us on a sanctioned tour of the men’s room with its famous flowing waterfall.

Patio at Madonna InnWhen we’d had our fill of the Madonna, we popped back on the road in search of the San Luis Obispo Mission. Pulling into town, we reached an unspoken agreement that something else was planned for our time. We parked the car and the day continued to unfold as we wove in and out of shops along the charming main street of San Luis Obispo. The weaving of this space and time together brought our souls into harmony. We had no plan. No agenda. No watches to keep time.

We followed colors and scents and our own rhythms. We bought face glitter and “Bitch Be Gone” spray, handcrafted soaps and colorful wraps. We looked at glistening stones and lacy tops. Examined bird feeders and tasted chocolate. We absorbed the sweetness of being with friends you feel like you’ve known since before time began.

Our stomachs rumbled and one of the shopkeepers directed us to a local haunt we never would have found on our own: The Creeky Tiki Bar & Island Grill. We walked through the bustling bar, toward the back and outside onto a courtyard with twinkling lights, aged brick patio, and a moonlit view of the San Luis Obispo Mission. Sharing tacos and salads, we savored the evening and paused with reverence when the church bells began to ring.

We took photos of the bathroom walls, two of us were christened with bird poo and the third called us “Lucky.” We ended our time with ice cream from the local creamery. More giggles. More conversation. More gratitude.

As I head home and write this piece from 30,000 feet in the air, my heart softens and my eyes fill with the memories of this perfect day.  I don’t know where or how these friendships began, but I know they will continue because my soul has been indelibly marked by these memories of moving with intention. It was a soul-full time sprinkled with openness, love and a delicious sense of come-what-may.


Join Sharon Richards and me for your own Soul Stroll in Paris. Three spaces available May 9 - 16, 2015. Click here for details. 


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