Just because you left your hometown does not mean you traveled. If you went somewhere with you family, stayed with your family, talked only with your family, and moved between places with only your family, you have not traveled. If you went to an all-inclusive, sat on the beach by yourself, had someone bring you everything, you have not traveled. If you go back to the same place every year, with the same people, and did the same thing, you have not traveled. You went on a vacation. (more…)
This past weekend David and I crossed off a couple items from our bucket list. We took a train for the first time, stayed in a Bed and Breakfast for the first time, and biked from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C. along the Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Towpath. We covered 350 miles in 3.5 days. It was an amazing, scenic journey that I can’t wait to tell you about. But first, a side story. (more…)
“But if you love someone, then you want your beloved to be happy. You might feel frightened for him initially, but that feeling soon gives way to pride at seeing him doing what he wants to do, and going where he always dreamed of going.”
- Paulo Coelho, Manuscript Found in Accra
It’s always amazing to think how fast time passes. Today is our 4th wedding anniversary! David returns home from Kazakhstan tonight, and I can’t wait to see him. It’s amazing how long 10 days away from my blue-eyed best friend can feel.
We all love souvenirs. Seemingly irresistable while traveling, we are convinced that our trip memories will all be lost unless immortalized by that overpriced turtle made of seashells (I had a particular weakness for those growing up). Over the past few years, my souvenirs have become less seashell turtles and more house items (I guess I really am getting older…). In any case, I love decorating our home with items from around the world that remind me of adventures. That table runner from Guatemala, the framed papyrus from Egypt, the swinging chairs from Ecuador, the napkin rings from South Africa… Admittedly, I just returned from the Bahamas with a magnet of a colorful lobster. Old habits die hard. Mom, if you are reading this, I really DO love it. Thanks again!
Of course, in the end, my favorite souvenirs are the pictures that we take. Nothing brings back that flood of memories quite like a candid photo. The biggest fear my husband and I have while traveling is that we will lose our camera memory card. We carry multiple cameras and have seriously considered putting stickers on them that say, ” If found or stolen, please keep the camera and enjoy. But if you could, kindly send the memory card to…” (more…)
Let’s get the usual suspects out of the way: You should travel when you are young because it is when you have the most independence and the least responsibility. Travel when you are young because grad school/law school/job opportunity will be there when you return. Travel when you are young because it is more difficult when you have children. Travel when you are young because you shouldn’t wait until retirement to enjoy your life. Travel when you are young because you will never regret the memories you make and the adventures that you have. Jeff Goins wrote a nice post about all this. You should read it.
How about this:
Travel in your youth to avoid being ignorant. (more…)
“Wow, this year is going SO fast! I can’t believe it’s the end of August, it feels like summer just started.” “School has started already, it’s unbelievable. My baby is a junior. He’ll be graduating next year! “It’s September? Wow, I need to get more work done.”
And likely in three months, you are going to say,
“It’s almost Christmas! 2012 has almost come and gone.“Another semester under my belt, it went faster than I thought.” “Time goes so fast… it feels like yesterday that I…”
The changing of seasons, the start of a new school year, birthdays; starts and ends have a way of demarcating the time and pointing out how fast, how very fast life goes. Often acute feelings of nostalgia and anxiety follow suit, for a brief moment. Then we settle comfortably back into our normal blur.
We can go through life in a haze. Wake up, go to work, come home, go to bed. Wake up, go to work, come home, go to bed. Wake up, go to work, come home, go to bed. Stuck in a constant cycle, we run in place until we dig a rut for ourselves so deep that we can’t see the life going on around us at the surface.
Routine kills our ability to celebrate life. Winning the rat race still makes you a rat.
So, how do you snap out of it? How do you climb out of your rut and live in the beautiful life on the surface? How do you slow down time? When will you say, “Wow, it’s still August?”
Call them tricks, call them strategies, call them goals, call them resolutions. Call them whatever you want as long as you do whatever you need to do to wake up, to shake up your life, to become acutely aware of what you are doing right now and how truly blessed you are right now. When you wake up, when you savor, when you notice, life does and will slow down. My suggestions:
Around You, to you, or you, because of you: Journal, blog, or write letters (yes, real letters). Document what is happening to you, for you, because of you, and around you. The process of putting your experiences into words renders active reflection and causes you to notice. Most importantly, you think about things instead of moving on to the next immediately. Make bullet points to save time, just reflect.
Pack up and go: When you travel, life feels richer because you make time to slow down, to be adventurous, and to notice your environment. If you are in a new place, you are constantly taking in more information and learning. You are soaking in every moment. I encourage you to travel more, even to the town close by. Make more time for adventure, for enjoyment.
Shutterbug: Take more pictures of daily life. Take pictures of the dinner you just made, of your neighbor’s dog, of your friends. Don’t reserve your camera only for travel. Take a photo a day. Make a conscious effort to document small special moments and life will slow down. You will look back over them and smile, remembering that day.
Catch Z’s: No one likes the guy who brags about sleeping for 3 hours. They don’t. When you are rested you are ready to take on the day’s challenges. You think more creatively, are more productive in your day, and hold more interesting conversations. You are happier and more fun to be around. When you are really awake physically, you can be awake mentally. Life is better, time slows down. Live with intention and make it happen.
Celebrate: Make a big deal out of small victories and small moments. Go out for ice cream, toast at dinner, do a happy dance. Say I love you, say thank you. Again, make a conscious effort to both notice and pay tribute to small moments in the everyday.
Be Skillful: What have you always wanted to learn? Take an active effort towards it. Sign up for a class, subscribe to a blog, read a book. Then you will remember this season, this year, as the time you learned x,y,z. You will remember that experience.
What will you do to slow down time? What do you already do that works for you? Comment below!