September 18, 2022
Good morning my friends. I hope you are doing well and enjoying life. I have always enjoyed exploring and seeking out adventure. It all began as a kid, by climbing the trees in our backyard. I felt like I was on top of the world. When I was a little older, and allowed to venture beyond the fence, I’d walk, or ride my bike, to the mountains behind our home. My mom was not thrilled about any of these activities. The magic of the mountains and tall trees always captivated me. I spent many happy days exploring. My love of nature continued to grow over the years. Attending college in San Diego, provided easy access to the Cleveland National Forest. Towns like Alpine, Julian, Ramona and Mt Laguna were within reach; along with hiking trails and outdoor fun. Trips to Mammoth Mountain, in the winter, for skiing became routine; as were water ski trips to the Colorado River in the summer. I remember visiting Lake Havasu and walking across the newly re-constructed London Bridge; shortly after it was moved there from England in October 1971. It was then I knew, travel to historic locations around the planet was in my future. My quest for adventure and travel grew from there. After graduating from college, I was hired as a fire fighter by the Department of Agriculture, US Forest Service. I spent nearly four years on a Hot Shot crew travelling across the Western States fighting forest fires. Spending the bulk of my time (often 24/7) in the mountains and nature was wonderful. I fought some devasting fires during that time; which created sadness and heartbreak for the loss of wildlife and wilderness. My soul was calmed, knowing I was part of the effort to save and restore the forest. I wonder how my life would have been different if I remained with the Forest Service.
I’ve been fortunate to travel and visit some amazing destinations, both here at home and abroad. If you have the opportunity (and haven’t already ventured out), get out there to see and experience what our earth has to offer. Let me rephrase that statement, “Make the time to travel; in your state, across nation and around the world. Once you get out there, you’ll understand what I mean. This will only peak your desire to want more!” Travel is an incredible experience and journey; both into yourself and life; just as much as it is into visiting new places and cultures. I’ve often wished I could write a blog for a travel service or publication. Each time I scroll through the internet or look through a magazine; I stop to look at travel photos, descriptions and advertisements. I’m always intrigued by new exotic places, old favorites and far off destinations. The history associated with other lands, is both educational and intriguing. Our world holds a vast array of incredible things for us to learn about and experience. What are you waiting for? Nothing will ever happen, or change, until you get your rear off the couch and venture outside. You can begin gradually with trips into nature; or you can go big and head across a continent or ocean. Whatever you decide, it will be a fabulous place to begin your quest for exploration.
My travel destinations began locally, before expanding them across the United States and the Caribbean. I didn’t take my first flight across the Atlantic until I was in my early 50’s. I’d always dreamed of a romantic holiday in Europe, with the love of my life. The timing for that never seemed to work, so I did the next best thing. I took my daughter on a month-long excursion to Italy, the French Riviera and London. She was a young teenager, and a fabulous and fun travel companion. The best part was seeing her eyes light up with excitement and wonder, while visiting ancient cities and ruins of past civilizations. We toured Italy, boot to the Alps; including where my Mother was born and raised. My Mom’s sister (my aunt) was there visiting at the same time. It was incredible to see their family home, elementary school and cemetery, where generations of family members are buried. One evening, while in Florence, we were strolling through a park, back to our hotel. I saw hundreds of people gathered, watching a soccer match on an outdoor movie screen. Italy was playing Germany. As we stopped to watch, I could feel the excitement and energy generated from the crowd. It soared when the Italian team won. A few days later, we were in Venice when Italy beat France; winning the World Cup title that year. The streets were filled with people celebrating the incredible victory. Italians definitely have a passion for food, sports and a love of life.
We were in Cannes (along the French Rivera) to help celebrate French Bastille Day. Celebrations across the country, and in this city, far surpassed any Independence Day celebrations I’d witnessed in America. The day began with a massive parade down the Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris. The event was televised live across the nation. Locals and tourists, everywhere we visited, reflected their patriotic pride with enthusiasm. That night, after dinner, we heard large explosions outside. Our hotel was two blocks away from the beach, where an hour-long fireworks performance had just begun. We made our way to the beach and saw two large barges; one positioned at each side of the harbor. Both were firing duplicate fireworks displays over the Mediterranean. There were speakers along the beach, with music playing, scroized with the fireworks displays. It was truly a magical celebration of French Independence. Touring Paris was brilliant and like being in a movie. The Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Pantheon, Versailles and Notre Dame are just a few highlights of this romantic city. This trip sparked the desire within my daughter, and me too, for more travel!
My other travels have taken me to incredible lands and locations, both near and far. Some of these fantastic adventures included, Bali, where I completed my 200-hour yoga teacher certification. My month there was magical; filled with joy and contentment. The Sacred Valley, in Peru, was inspirational and energizing. The hike to Machu Pichu was breathtaking and fantastic. How this magnificent structure was built is beyond belief. Visiting ancient ruins in Greece, Italy and Croatia were fantastic and amazing. There are fantastic structures that are among the worlds’ incredible feats of engineering. There are so many other cities, countries and places I want to share with you; but there’s not enough time to write about them all today. Beyond the wonders of these incredible places, are all the extraordinary people living in these lands. The individuals populating these nations and countries, are amazing, beautiful and blessed. They are thankful and grateful for all they have (which in many places isn’t much). Each new day is seen as a blessing and gift. They aren’t captivated by ego, fancy cars, big homes or possessions. Their greatest gift is their family, friends, culture and life. Many Americans, and other people living around the globe, can learn a valuable lesson from these humble and enlightened individuals. Life in the USA can be fast paced and ego filled. I believe life is more vibrant and energizing, when it’s enjoyed at a mindful pace. Slowing down gives me the opportunity to cherish the beauty of existence all around me. Time travels much too quickly, so don’t waste a moment. Cherish each day, with respect, gratitude and love. This is where you’ll discover your happiness my friends.
On a side note, Autumn Equinox is this Friday, September 23rd. How did we get to this time of year so quickly? The end of this month (for me) typically begins the procession of the holiday onslaught, winter solstice and a new year. The last quarter of each year seems to pass by more quickly than the previous. Do your best to remain mindful of the present. Don’t allow yourself to slip backward into the past. Enjoy each and every moment, creating new and fabulous memories. You are never too old to dream new dreams and reach for your stars. Start right now to create the brilliant future you deserve. It’s never too late. Follow your dreams. They know the way.
Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more! The puzzle of life is always changing. Change can lead to amazing opportunities. Together, let’s be healthy and strong; mentally, physically and spiritually!
Thanks for your love and support! Embrace Life! Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!