Here are the top 10 things I learned:Continue Reading
Life Lessons while Traveling
An open mind, an open heart and an open plane ticket home make for a lot of learning experiences.
The first time that I visited Saint-Martin-le-Beau, a commune resting near the banks of the River Cher in central France, it was a cold evening in January and the rain slopped across my windshield as I navigated my rental car over the train tracks that run parallel to town.
Because it was nighttime, I didn’t yet realize just how small the town of Saint-Martin is, and I certainly didn’t yet understand just how large a space this place would soon hold in my heart.Continue Reading
It is going to reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit today in France. That’s 40 degrees Celcius for all you non-Americans out there. It’s hotter than Hades no matter what scale you use.
Between the oppressive heat and the omnipresent bugs, I am reminded of the month that I spent in a bungalow just outside the Monkey Forest in Ubud and the overarching lesson that I learned there: The jungle ALWAYS wins.Continue Reading
I had a hard time deciding where I wanted to be on the day that marked the last in a year of firsts – the one year anniversary of my fiancé’s death.
One never really knows when grief will claw its way out of its carefully contained space in the heart and squeeze, but there is a strong likelihood that a “first” will bring with it an increased dose of that familiar feeling of loss. For me, the first Christmas, the first birthday, the first Valentine’s Day without Jeff were all days to “get through” without falling apart.Continue Reading
Outside of temples and padogas across Southeast Asia, there are cages full of tiny birds. If you buy a bird and release it, this symbolic gift of freedom is believed, by some, to bring good luck or to ensure a wish will come true.
I asked a guide in Vietnam about this and she said that, for her, the practice is symbolic of animal cruelty rather than luck. But, pointing at a group of fish swimming lazily in a pool outside of a temple, she said: “These are wishes that I can believe in.”Continue Reading
When I set out for the beach town of Canggu, just over an hour south of Ubud on Bali’s southeastern coast, I didn’t plan to learn to surf. Actually, I didn’t plan to…plan. My whole goal was to go somewhere new with absolutely no plan at all and to say “yes” to any (reasonable) suggestion that came my way. So, when the first person that I met said, “you must learn to surf when in Canggu,” I gulped a little.Continue Reading