So For Now

Thoughts & Reflections 1 Comment »

Evidently I don’t write as much when I have a travel partner. It’s a whole different experience really. Not a bad one, just different.

I am fairly excited to spend the summer in the Ocean State. I have found few better places on this earth to spend July and August.

So for now, I’ll be here in Providence, working up some new travel funds and studying hypnosis, magic and Spanish.

Come fall…onward.

Southbound

USA 6 Comments »

The first stop was DC where we stayed with a friend of mine named Dale, who helped Desiree’s soar throat and headache with an energy healing. The next day we ate tamales at the Native American History Museum, rubbed leaves between our fingers at the Botanic Gardens and climbed the stairs to Lincoln’s Memorial for a breezy sunset.

From there was a drive through the Shenandoah mountains and down the Blue Ridge Parkway. Rolling far from both sides of the winding road were huge hills bursting with fresh green. As the night neared, thick fog rolled in. It became difficult to drive and Desiree’s throat was getting worse.

In Southern Virginia, late at night, we stopped at a local gas station. There was grey bearded man wearing a camouflage hat and a one piece camo jumper, which was unbuttoned halfway allowing a mesh of white netting to spill out from his chest.

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Don’t Forget My Postcard

USA 7 Comments »

“Have fun. Don’t forget my postcard. Drive safe. Buckle up. Stay awake. Pass on the left. Green means go. Full throttle. Open road. Live. Love. Learn.”

That’s the SMS I received from my friend Eric this morning. I read it aloud to Desiree as we pulled away from our temporary home in Providence. Since mid February we’d been staying in a spare room at my friend’s place. Today when we moved out of that room and into a Thrifty rental car, we were departing on a loosely planned zig zag road trip across America.

The winter in RI was cold and grey and it took a toll on my spirits. I have vowed never again to return to the northeast during winter months. However, it wasn’t all bad.

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A Sense of Urgency

Thoughts & Reflections 5 Comments »

Re-entry to American life has been an interesting experience. At first it was a breeze; much like my short visit home in June. Then as the fresh voices and faces faded back to familiarity, that thing they call “reverse culture shock” began to set in.

It is the shock of my own culture, what it is but which I never realized, that has startled me.

It is the frustrating disappointment in the involuntary lethargy of American life. Millions of minute conveniences fill every gap of motion and exercise we might reap some small benefit from and the food we consume satisfies our desires first and our health somewhere later.

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To Be Continued…

Plans & Itineraries, Thoughts & Reflections 3 Comments »

In many ways the past year came and went incredibly quickly, yet it feels like I have been traveling forever. And at this point I feel as if that’s exactly what I’ll do.

There have been times when I tired of moving around. I will probably never spend a single year traveling so many different places again. It wears me down and the best experiences came when I got to know a place and the people.

Yes, traveling forever, in some form or another, I believe to be my likely destiny.

Maybe I’m still young with the idea. Maybe it will fizzle out. Maybe I will soon find my way back onto the straight rails of life.

God, I hope not.

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Red Lights in Amsterdam

Netherlands 1 Comment »

After finding a sweet deal due to off season prices, we checked into a hotel in the center of Amsterdam. We ate stir fry and then popped in and out of “coffee shops” (marijuana bars) and “café’s” (pubs). The smell of weed hangs pours from “coffee shops”. The clang of glasses filled with dark Dutch and German beer sounds from the doors of “café’s”. Even in the frigid winter air, there is a steady stream of locals on bicycles.

I walked into a couple of tourist shops selling neck ties and wooden clogs, hoping to find some last minute Christmas gifts, but was quickly bewildered by the monotony of junk and gave up. Then for the first time, I ventured into the red light district.

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Almost the Last Leg

Germany 1 Comment »

From Switzerland, we drove through Germany, making a stop in Munich to walk the silent grounds of Dachau. After the Killing Fields in Cambodia, I had little interest in visiting a concentration camp, but Mike was anxious to see some WWII history. Although emotionally strained and left disillusioned with my existence, I am glad to have gone.

There’s not much to say about the Holocaust that hasn’t been said already and honestly, I don’t have much to say about it. Thinking about genocide leaves me feeling lost. All I manage to do is let the idea sit helplessly inside of me.

From Munich, we drove to Bochum before our departure in Amsterdam. It was a long drive. The stick seemed to be getting harder to shift and suddenly the overheat warning light came on. Putting the van in neutral and coasting through the cold air got it to turn off. I played that game with the light for an hour of so and then at a gas station, I poured half a bottle of coolant into the radiator. It didn’t help, but we made it to Bochum without any smoke.

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High in Switzerland

Switzerland 2 Comments »

Michel, Myriam and their roommate Julian offered up their hospitality once again, feeding Mike and I amazing food and giving us separate beds, fresh towels and our own key. They worked late while Mike and I explored Zurich and did some Christmas shopping. In the evenings we cooked and ate great foods, including nearly two gallons of Swiss cheese Fondue.

When I saw the Alps for the second time, I knew I wasn’t going to make it through Switzerland without paragliding again. I was disappointed at first when Michel told me the school was closed for December, but I sent the instructor an email anyway. Thomas replied promptly informing me that yes, they were indeed closed, but offered to take Mike and me flying anyway; and at a reduced price.

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Shop as Usual | Change the World

Thoughts & Reflections No Comments »

I came up with an idea of a way to give back to the world after my travels this year, but after I built the website I thought it might have been too late in the season to get the word out.

Then all of a sudden it started to work. Over $300 in purchases have already been made through my new website SHOPandCHANGE.org.

If you could be so kind as to do your Amazon.com holiday shopping through SHOPandCHANGE.org and send a quick email to some people who trust you telling them to do the same, there might still be time to raise a bunch of money for charity.

Remember to include a link to http://shopandchange.org and tell them they can donate without without having to spend anything extra!

Thank you so much and enjoy the holidays!

Moving Fast

Italy, Switzerland, Thoughts & Reflections 1 Comment »

Moving fast has its long list of drawbacks. I always enjoy a place most when I can slow to the pace of life there, meet locals and get a feel for the culture. However, I am finding it can also be exhilarating to move quickly.

On Sunday morning, I woke up in Venice and ate breakfast sitting on the stone walkway along the Grand Canal. Then Mike and drove Northwest. The sky was blue and made for a clear cut, jagged horizon at the peaks of snow covered Alps. By afternoon, we were crossing the Italian Alps, watching the snow get closer and by sundown, crossing into Switzerland, the weather had gone from mild in Venice, to the dead of winter. The road was covered in patches snow and mountains we rode through already preparing for avalanches. I’d never seen so much snow in my life. Entire mountains, over 10,000 feet high, were completely blanketed so that not a single rock or tree was visible. All the white made size and distance difficult to estimate.

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