Tag-Archive for » Travel «

July’s Wisdom Gathering Morsels

Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View, Yosemite Nat...
Image via Wikipedia

Yikes, where did the beginning of summer go?? This month was kind of hard for me with a lot of stress on my plate and way more decisions than I feel up to making right now. *phew* I’m a bit fatigued by it all. No reason that can’t change though right?

Fun Thing Of The Month: Yosemite. So beautiful. The rocks were huge, the water so clear and the weather so perfect. It was a great vacation.

Lessons I Learned: Flying isn’t the WORST thing in the world, but it’s far from my favorite thing to do. So in the end, sometimes it may be worth it to get to some farther places if I want to in the future. (I used to be really terrified every time I flew, and very certain I would die.) Good to know I’ve got a few more options than I thought I did before.

Books I Read:

  1. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Movies I Watched:

  1. Source Code
  2. Let Me In
  3. Sucker Punch
Goals for July:
  1. Go to Yosemite with my brother CHECK!
  2. Go swimming CHECK!
  3. Get a haircut. OOOPS!
  4. Make a plan for the rest of summer. TRYING!
  5. Move everything into one storage unit. OOOPS!
Goals for August:
  1. Really it’s August already!?!
  2. Fix storage units, like yesterday!
  3. Get doctor checkups all scheduled (how do they always end up needing to be done at the same time of the year, all at once?)
  4. Create another fitness podcast… even if it’s not perfect, just do it.
  5. Find 2 art classes to take in the upcoming months.
Health Stats:
  • 2.2 hours spent exercising
  • 1 mile running
  • Can you tell this month was not so good for the exercise routine? Honestly it’s been too hot here for me to run at all, I tried and got overheated and panicky half way through. Yosemite gave me blisters on my feet as well that made me very uncomfortable and lazy. It was a rough month! But that doesn’t mean next month can’t be better. Maybe more yoga and pilates since I can’t make the running thing happen for now.

Must stop avoiding some important tasks I’ve been putting off. That’s my big thing for the month, how bout you?

Thanks for stopping by this month!

My Yosemite Vacation 2011

June’s Wisdom Gathering Morsels

Cover of "My Side of the Mountain Trilogy...

Cover via Amazon

Fun Thing Of The Month: Reading, running, yoga. Nice relaxing month full of goodness. Trying to achieve balance is quite a task but it’s fun so  long as nothing else gets in the way.

Lessons I Learned: Running the 5K went really well. I surprised myself simply by finishing. Baby steps add up to a whole lot after some time goes by…

Books I Read:

  1. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
  2. The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner
  3. Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck
  4. Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo
  5. My Side of the Mountain trilogy by Jean Craighead George
  6. Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson
  7. 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America by Albert Brooks

Movies I Watched:

  1. Dreamcatcher
  2. Powder Blue
  3. Black Death
  4. Red Riding Hood

Goals for June:

  1. Plan vacation for July. All ready to go!
  2. Do 5K walk or run for cancer. Finished the race in under 45 minutes! Major for me!
  3. Go swimming at least once. (Gotta find time to play in the pool!)
  4. Get haircut.
  5. Prepare for True Blood season return. YAYYYY!! So happy to have my own guilty addiction back in order.
Goals for July:
  1. Go to Yosemite with my brother
  2. Go swimming
  3. Get a haircut
  4. Make a plan for the rest of summer.
  5. Move everything into one storage unit.
*new* Health:
  • 7 hours spent exercising
  • 18 miles running
  • And I completed my first ever 5K run (and any race at all for that matter)!! It was exciting.

Thanks for stopping by this month!

Value Pack Your Vacation: Tips For Keeping Your Memories Clutter Free

A scrapbook page featuring a photograph taken ...
Image via Wikipedia

While being here in the Seattle area I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about sentimentality and memories.

I love to document. That is one of the few unwavering qualities I have kept throughout my entire lifespan.

I photograph, write, hoard keepsakes, record, draw, compile, etc!

However this can cause several clutter related issues, mentally and physically.

  1. Every scrap of paper becomes important and it takes up space.
  2. You constantly worry about losing these “things” from your trip.
  3. Over-spending seems rational at the time.
  4. You become wrapped up in the past moments (of time/significance/value).
  5. Being mindful, alert, awake, and conscience becomes an uphill battle.

For example, I’ve been keeping my ferry ride receipts thinking, “Hey now I’ll have all the exact times and dates that I rode the ferry each day!” For some reason “late afternoon” is no where near as valuable as the “3:36 pm” stamped on my reciept. What? Why?

Analyzing the logic behind this reveals the mistake in my thoughts. Do dates, times, accuracy, amounts, digits (or anything that can be quantified) really have more value than being ready for whatever the current moment is holding for you? Is it worth missing out on all the great unexpected things that happen in strange places?  This logic leaves regret and clutter waiting for you the moment you set down your bags at home. You’ll accumulate useless items, forget how you were feeling/thinking/sensing and you’ll waste time and money.

I still have a shopping bag full of unused postcards, books, brochures and receipts from a trip I took several years ago to San Francisco. It’s taking up space and making me feel guilty for not “doing something” with it. Sometimes we rationalize “Hey, this will be great for that scrapbook I’m going to make someday!” Yet, I’ve never made a scrapbook in my life, and I’m much more fond of digital organizing anyways.

1. Unless you are a die-hard scrapbooker, the paper is just junk.

Take a photograph of it, or better yet, find the spot on the front of that postcard and photograph yourself right there! Taking pictures is simple, easy, affordable and accessible to everyone these days; why do we still buy postcards with other people’s photos on them? However, there may still be things you need to keep for records or have an actual use for back home, if this is the case…

2. Dedicate a finite amount of space for travel trinkets and papers to bring home.

Be diligent amount what goes in and what doesn’t! Consider it a sacred space (folder, box, envelope, whatever) for only the most irreplaceable items and documents. Some people are collectors, so take that into consideration BEFORE you go on your trip. If you collect sand/dirt samples from around the world bring the jars with you and only take what you can. If you like sea shells bring a small jewelry box or trinket box for these. Press leaves from trees. For all of you sensual people (meaning the 5 senses!) Take a paper rubbing of Lenin’s headstone, or Micheal Jackson’s Hollywood Star. Rub a flower on a postcard you’re sending home (like a scratch-n-sniff). And of course, copy down that recipe for traditional sourdough bread to replicate at home. Then…

3. Store as much digitally as you can.

Easier to retrieve later. Less delicate. Longer lasting (keep backups regularly). Takes up almost no space at all! Really, digitize as much as possible. The zoo map you think you need to reference at some point can be scanned or usually something similar could be found online. But I’ll save the best tip for last…

4. Document as you go, and then forget about it!

Take a picture and then REALLY take it in. Use all of your senses here. Be present. You are in a brand new place and you can define your experience there any way you want. You can get in and out rushing to take all the snapshots to prove you were there and convince everyone how awesome it was OR you could actually just be there and feel amazing the whole time. These days, when you send an email you have a copy archived for a lifetime if you need to reference it. Your photos practically organize themselves by date or location. And with GPS and geo-tagging you can lookup the name of that awesome beach you surfed at later. Enjoy now; your friends will be jealous no matter how well or poorly documented your trip was. (They’ll be dying for your tan/shoes/massage/haircut/whatever long after you stop talking about the trip.)

Category: Travel  Tags: , , ,  2 Comments

How Travel Boosts The Momentum of Your Legacy and Offers Eternal Life

Philadelphia - Society Hill: Washington Square...
Image by wallyg via Flickr

When all is said and done we leave our loved ones, friends, extended family, counselors, mentors, teachers, and faint acquaintances with one thing — legacy. Legacies continue to move on through life long after we are physically gone, but the time until our legacy leaves this earth is a great variable. For historic figures one could say their legacies will never die and never be forgotten. For your shut-in neighbor next door, it’s hard to say. I speak, both as a shut-in (on occasion) and as a grieving daughter trying to figure out what’s left of her father. What’s his legacy? How does it affect me?

I was challenged recently towards my overall feelings for my father now that he has passed. Perhaps I had turned him into an idol who never did wrong and appeared super-human. (This was the suggestion of my opponent.) It struck me badly and I knew it wasn’t right.

I wasn’t delusional… my dad had no super powers, nor was he even ever PTA ‘dad of the month’ or anything in that vein. He was good and he was bad. Like all of us. But what I’m left with is the wonderful feeling of being part of his legacy. Humbly, I am now an intelligent woman taught in part by him (1/2 credit goes to mom) to be inquisitive, open-minded, self-reliant, creative, kind and strong. He brought great things to this world, but what I know best, is what he left with me. These are the things that I will carry with me in my legacy.

But this effect is not exclusive to our loved ones and closest friends. We leave little bits and pieces of ourselves with everyone we interact with.

Which brings me to the momentum of a legacy. It would seem the more people we get to know the better our chances of living on for all eternity (deep down isn’t this something everyone kind of wants? To be remembered.)

However, I think the key lies much more in variety. Two examples:

  • If you continue to meet the same ‘types’ of people you leave yourself closed off, entrapped by your own legacy within this group of people.
  • However, when we treat a scared child with generosity (or love or trust) your legacy changes. It shifts gears. It moves faster. It begins to swirl around a bit more and gain powerful dynamic. Afterall a dynamic legacy is a lasting one! It can take on a life of its own; and before you know it you’re making history (if that’s what you desire).

Travel grants you incredible chances to build momentum, leave behind a trail of influence. The number of people is not as important as the vast opportunity variety brings. Equally as important (worthy of its own blog post) is to gain messages from others. Learn their stories. Build their legacies. Realize the connection everyone has in this task!

I’m not sure we’re all trying to change the course of history, but we all can relate to a longing for life. Heck we plan our lives months (and years) in advance depending on the presence of life in us.

99% of people would probably say death is it, the end, you’re done here and we’re beyond earth (in some way, whatever your beliefs).

However, if you could ask those same people whether or not that sounds satisfactory… what do you think they might say? What would you say? Are you okay with death being the end of your existence? If you left no trace of your life behind would you be okay with that? Leaving no mark on humanity in any way? If we don’t leave anything behind, did we even ever exist? (You all know the tree metaphor I’m thinking of so I won’t repeat it here.)

This topic is very complex, and I don’t mean to delve too deep into morbid “death” talk on this blog, but there is a lot we can do NOW, right now, to build the momentum of our legacy. To feel more fulfilled. And ultimately, satisfied with what we’ve done so far. I will be exploring this further in an upcomng post.

So now, what will you do with your new opportunities to connect on the road and build the momentum of your legacy? What can you do right now?

Niche Topic Blogging Month – Experiment

As I proclaimed on July 1st, I would be practicing a NaBloPoMo (or National Blog Posting Month) and I spent the next 30 (or so) days attempting to post something daily. Occasionally I followed along with their suggested prompts, other times I had feature story ideas of my own. Overall, the experiment went great! I’ve found 30 days to be a very magic number for me. Which bring me to the month of August. Another month. 31 days of opportunity… (And an extra day for some magic making!?)

August is my experimental Niche Topic Blogging Month. In many ways it’s quite similar to the concepts of NaBloPoMo:

Pick a topic for a month. Write one post every day relating to your topic. Deepen your relationship with your writing and your audience.

The only difference for my experiment is that I get to choose the topic and address it from any angle I want. Also, a daily post is not required. Now, this is definitely something you can participate in as well. The goal is to focus your writing, learn your audience, and learn what works (and what doesn’t). Many blogs begin with a clear niche they’ve carved out and fit neatly in to. I, however, have always preferred a more organic style of blogging. You can cultivate a better relationship with a blogger if what they’re writing about also, directly relates to their personal lives, values, and changes.

This creates my favorite types of blogs.
Case Study: See Gala Darling, a woman who writes in general on the topic of fashion, self improvement, confidence, and courageous living (among other things). Does her blog fit easily into a niche? Not exactly. Her posts always reflect her current adventures (international playgirls are busy), the changes going on (new man, new dog), as well as her own personal transformation (learning how to deal with money)… You know, the stuff that’s not included in our how-to-live manuals that come out at birth (wait, we don’t have those? oh…)

So in a sense her personality is her niche. Her style is her niche. But will you find your name listed in a blog directory category listing? No. So how do you then market your writing? … And the experiment was born…

  • I will be spending this Niche Topic Blogging Month (NiToBloMo?) of August writing about transformative travel and change that occurs during a brand new travel adventure.

There are no fancy badges or applications to fill out. This is simply a writing experiment for my blog. So look forward to 30 (or so) days of great, focused writing on traveling, packing, planning, changing, preparing, fearing, and experimenting.

This perfectly relates to my current situation, while at the same time focusing on the core propelling it all forward, travel. My niche for the month!