Freedom and Independence

Declare Your Personal Independence Day

cartwheeling into a better life

Although written in 2020 – I believe this post has relevance in today’s world.


When Glenn and I left the United States and moved to Mexico it was with the intention to become roamers.

We now have Mexican temporary residency and have a lovely home base and good friends to come home to, from wherever our pin lands on the big geographical/mental map.

We are both wanderers at heart. Glenn visited one-hundred countries and me fifty-three.

And, we remember our bohemian times galavanting around the world as a montage of happy moments. We want that again. Our goal was six to eight months a year in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, then travel the remaining months. We had almost three years of itineraries planned out on our calendar.

When COVID-19 happened, everything changed, for everyone.

We each had to take a breath and attempt to release control over the things we could not change, and find our personal independence. That has been a challenge and a goal.

What did we want out of life? If life stayed the way it is right now.

Today is Independence Day in the United States. Yet, I don’t think most people in the country feel truly independent. Many have built personal cages, the climb up the ladder, the need for a large bank account, society norms, that they are unable to break free from.

“Taxation without representation!” That was the battle cry. We rebelled when we were forced to pay taxes to England despite having no representation in the British Parliament. Doesn’t that sound eerily familiar today? We pay taxes and there is no way our government is representative of its people. It declares one law after another designed to keep control over, and take from, its chattel. To me, the United States has become one of the least free countries in the world. Its plight has worsened in the time we have been gone. But the persona of individuality and freedom persists.

We wanted something different.


The day we left, I declared my own personal Independence Day, and I have had one ever since. I was going to return to the mentality I had when traveling. And I had my mantra.

  • I would break my cage.
  • I would seize the moment.
  • I would explore with all my heart.
  • I would be inquisitive and learn from my surroundings.
  • I would become healthy.
  • I would document.
  • I would embrace my individuality.
  • I would spend money wisely and not look towards it to make me happy.
  • I would relax and breathe with intention.
  • I would find my best life with Bipolar 1 and ADHD.
  • I would not simply exist.
  • I would follow my dreams.
  • I could do anything.
  • I will leave an exclamation mark when I die.

I am striving to honor this pledge and accomplish my goals, each day finds me closer.

During COVID:

  • Even though we are stopped from wandering the world at this time, we can still wander San Miguel and it’s surrounding.
  • We can still meet new people, just at a distance. I am attending several ZOOM writers groups a week.
  • We can be inquisitive; Glenn is learning how to cook and found an interest in reading, and I am learning how to write and achieve my goal to one day have my memoirs published.
  • We are getting out of the house, eating well, and doing YouTube pilates.
  • I am continuing to write our Expat Lifestyle and Travel Blog – Our Prime Of Life and have launched a new blog for writing – Ria Talken Writes.
  • I have a new hair color and have reintroduced jewelry and color into my wardrobe.
  • I say what I mean.
  • We aren’t in debt and we spend money on experiences rather than things.
  • We are following our dreams of creating a life we can be proud of.
  • My husband and I love each other for what we can both bring to our relationship, we have achieved an equal partnership of support and honoring our differences.
  • I have found peace with my Bipolar and ADHD.
  • And, I believe with persistence and an open mind, we can do anything.


Don’t let someone else determine your fate. Believe in, search for, and love those who want to raise you up, not tear you down. It may take soul-searching and difficult change to accomplish a life that is best for YOU. But now is the time to take charge and live.

Declare your Independence.

P.S. why not write a paragraph about your independence and post it in the comments below. We would love to be uplifted and learn from others.

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  • Reply
    August 27, 2021 at 2:06 am

    Ria what an amazing piece. Truly inspirational. I love how you separate the physical from the mental ability to explore especially with so many physical restrictions in life. A powerful article. Sincere thanks. PS I live in England and what you say about the US government is exactly what we are experiencing also here in the UK. Congratulations for escaping! Enjoy life x

    • Reply
      Ria Talken
      August 29, 2021 at 8:19 am

      Thank you so much Tracy for your encouraging and lovely response to my post. Both my husband and I traveled a lot (separately and together) and I firmly believe everyone should try and broaden their physical horizons by trying to do so. Typically, when we returned to the USA we fell back into a life neither of us felt comfortable in. Not everyone can travel of course, but making travel a priority and doing so really provides the best “hand-on,” “reality” education. When I first traveled outside of the USA I was amazed at how different and often more simply people in other countries lived. And that brought us now to Mexico. We live much simpler here, but we don’t have simple lives. We live with intention. That is a big difference in our mentality and mental health. We do see the news from the UK and yes, there are a lot of similarities happening and we feel for you all and hope things get better. A personal independence day/life can be accomplished anywhere. Follow your values, prioritize, evaluate dreams and passions and make a plan to live a life that works for you. Sometimes these things take years, they did for us. But change, even baby steps, is possible to achieve.

  • Reply
    Robin Powell
    July 5, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    Good morning fellow wanderers. My life changed 7 years ago, not by my choosing, which gave me the personal strength to move forward to a life of my truth and purpose. I’ve traveled since my late teens and have always felt I was a citizen of the world. 54 countries later I have faith in human kindness and commonality. Once we can wander again I hope to continue my personal growth and exploration of this big beautiful world of ours. You and Glenn ate an inspiration to help keep my spirits up. My favorite travel quote…All who wander are not lost…maybe we have found our souls. Stay safe and healthy. Robin

    • Reply
      Ria Talken
      July 5, 2020 at 8:02 pm

      Thank you Robin,
      Yes, I think us wanderers have a certain kind of outlook. We look at what is visible and also what is underneath. Nice to have you on board. I hope you subscribed so we can keep in touch. Best wishes on your journey.

  • Reply
    Ron Kavorkian
    July 5, 2020 at 2:47 am

    Ria, you just blow me away with your insight and vision! Every blog and now your “Ria Talken Writes “ makes me wish we could have spent so much more time getting to know you as well as my cousin Glen.
    While I’m proud to be an American I haven’t been able to look at our Flag with honor for the last 3 plus years. We as Americans have many skeletons in our past and as bad as these past years have been it appears to have awakened the call to finally atone and correct our past mistakes.
    Your writing has inspired me to assess my life goals and or at least take note of what I can accomplish in the time left!
    Thanks Ria and Glen for sharing your journey!!

    • Reply
      Ria Talken
      July 5, 2020 at 8:12 pm

      Aw, thanks Ronnie,
      We really have found our peace down here, yet are chomping to spend time experiencing what else the world has to offer. So glad Glenn and I took the time to talk to each other and determine what made sense for creating our best lives. Some times it is just a matter of putting on the breaks and figuring out what changes need to be made. Goals are great. I am so glad you are enjoying the blogs. I am in the process of writing my memoirs too. Big hugs from us.

  • Reply
    July 4, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    As always, a good post and it gave me something to think about today. Earlier as heard what DT said, I felt like I had become a citizen of the Divided States of America instead of the United States of America. We cannot let that happen. We must stay focused on being united and being the best of what the USA has stood for, not the worst. Not all of our history has been anything Pollyanna could be proud of but we can make it so much better than it has become in the last 3-4 years. Happy Independence Day to both of you.

    • Reply
      Ria Talken
      July 4, 2020 at 6:53 pm

      Well said. I believe we, individually, must determine who we are, our values, and our goals. A country gives us the rules we have to abide by to live there. But each person needs to bring out their best selves after learning from and being open to all experiences. A country made up of strong, caring individuals will survive and prosper. One made up of only those who try to exist and have personal gain will not.

  • Reply
    Fabienne Saurel-Cameron
    July 4, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    Ria, I am very happy you two have found each other. It is refreshing to hear how happy you are. Keep giving us some nees. As we cannot travel in the present time, your photos are for me an escape. I am glad you have found love and peace!
    Happy 4th,

    • Reply
      Ria Talken
      July 4, 2020 at 6:08 pm

      Thank you Fab, we are loving every moment, even with the restrictions. And we are still making plans for a return to travel when we are finally able to. We have a pitcher of Margaritas and a terrace waiting for you when you visit.

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