Saturday, September 20, 2014

I lust for travel

Three years ago I turned a magical number, it was the kind of number where you where you look over your shoulder and
you are pretty sure you have more path behind you than you have
ahead of you. It just creeps up on you. Poof - how did I get here? Then the
 existential questions - what's it all for? Why am I here, What am I doing with my life?
Ah the analytic mind causes more suffering than anything else!

You know when you're growing up - you have certain dreams, you make kind of a mental
movie in your mind of what you think your life is going to be.  A blueprint. Some things
happened with some determination, other things didn't happen - hard as I tried, some things
just shaped me like water does to a rock over years of bubbling along a stream.


So in the early part of 2011, I was thinking of those promises
 I had made to myself.
What else was it that I wanted to do in my life that I had some control over
 (sort of control at least)!

I had promised myself I would travel, and travel as much as possible.
I remember as a child spending summers at my uncle Yanni's home on the island of
Rhodes in the Mediterranean (my favorite theio). We were 11 people plus one cat. Four
of us kids slept on the floor for 3 months straight. We went to the beach, we learned how
to swim, we tried new foods, we went to town fairs, our Greek improved, a boy kissed me
for the first time in that neighborhood. Funny thing is his name was Yanni too!

I was hooked. That travel bug bit me so bad, it didn't even hurt.
When I look back those were the best summers of my life. I took the time to tell
 my uncle before he died a few years back that  teeny two bedroom house was
 magic to me. It was a palace. It contained so much of my joy.  
That island made me part of who I am .
I wanted him to know that those summers were part of the best years of my life.

So that promise I had made to myself, and that vision had slipped away somewhat.  
 I was determined to make it happen again. With a mortgage and things to 'get done' it
 isn't always easy to make things 'happen'. So - I started to think, and imagine where
 it was I wanted to go.
What was on my own bucket list.

I took out my albums and box of messy photos, and found a photo of me in each and
every pretty part of the world and started sticking them onto my mirror......and I realized
 I had done so much. already. Much more than most people had, but for me this was
 simply a drop in that bucket (don't pardon the pun), The physical photos stuck on
 my mirror for a few months in the bleak winter, and I would look at that chubbier face,
and that Jon Bon Jovi hair cut and think you did do some.
I had been heading toward my goal of travelling the world a bit at a time...yet the
world was still so vast, and I wanted to do so much much more.

With each kodak film moment, I realized how much of my bucket list I had accomplished.
Old photos of me on a vespa on Aitutaki Island of the Cook islands, 
Swimming in the blue lagoons of Fiji,
 taking tango lessons and dancing in the milongas of Buenos Aires,
Drinking apple tea in the souks of Istanbul,
 smoking a rare cigarette on the beaches
of southern Spain with my sister and friends  
crossing the US Mexican border on foot into Tijuana, 
posing in front of gondoliers in Venice,

Deep inside, I knew I had made a bigger promise and I had yet to fulfill all
 of those promises.

The bucket list of life for everybody is different.

I asked a friend recently, would you be disappointed if you didn't see
more of the world.
No she said,  I knew for me this would be a huge sense of loss and regret.
 I knew my
dreams and my wishes were my very own. I wanted them to come true,
and with at the very
least this one, I had some power.

So the spring of 2011, I made a renewed promise, that I would make every
effort to take that
 one trip per year that wouldn't be a resort trip, but that would make part
of my bucket list
diminish, one small drop of it at a time.

If anybody was going to keep their promise it had to be me to my own self.

That year with some savings, and points that my bestie donated to my pilgrimage I
made it to Peru. I had dreams of going to Machu Pichu since my early 20's. That
morning we woke up at 4 a.m., and took a winding road up in the dark, arriving
at the gates. I had butterflies in my stomach. There was a chance even so close
if it was foggy we'd not see what we came to see. The skies cleared....I cried at the
sunrise, knowing that I had promised myself and I'd made it.

I made it through gruelling year mentally, and got myself to Peru, through it's
Amazon forest, and to its' tiny town of Cuzco, and finally to the sacred
Machu Pichu.
I even landed in a potato field with a 'xeno on my back' as my
brother said, as
we coasted off the hills at dusk paragliding on a fairly calm day.
I vowed that year,
that every single year ahead of me I would scratch off one more part of the world,
one more of my promises.

As the Llama spits on that good luck you think in Peru? Nah...

This is a testament that you can make things happen, you find a way, even in the
darkest moments. In my case it's just a trip, or two or three, but to me it is more than 
that. It is a fulfillment of a dream to travel the world, and a promise I made to myself
in grade 7 with Mr. Ibrus when he told me about the canals of Venice, and I said to
myself at age13, I have to go there. Wherever that is I have to go.

 And I did just that.

Here's to everybody's buck list in life. I am hoping that if you have one, this will make
you believe a little more that you can make those things happen, one step at a time, one
wish at time. The power of believing, makes things conspire to make those things  

So tell me, what's on your road map - or bucket list?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014

Two besties take a trip through Arizona

Ever get the feeling that there's a place on the planet calling you?
I have more than once. 
 I have a notebook I usually have in my big messy
bag just  full of lists.  
One of those lists is a bucket list with places I want to go to.
 Usually odd ones like a tree house in Vermont, or a trip to see the gorillas in Uganda, a safari that is hugely unaffordable.
 Sometimes those trips come at inopportune times.  Last year Maria and I contemplated Israel, then the fighting started.
 Mind you, I went to Europe shortly after Chernobyl, things will happen on the planet.  
You can't let that stop you. 
 Just make wise choices

I love getting off the beaten path.

One of the places I have always wanted to go was the South West United States.
I had seen images of the Arizona's  Monument Valley, it was definitely a place
I wanted to see.  
I want to drive down the famed route 66,
 and go down to the depths of the Grand Canyon
paddle down the Colorado River, 
find out if the vortexes really exist in Sedona.  

Imagine my thrill when unexpectedly, while telling my bestie Maria, that I just couldn't
 get this trip going this year, she said

I'll go with you!  

We hadn't traveled together since
 As we started to talk about it - and make teensy steps toward making it happen we

 our beach trip to Venezuela which was over 8 years ago.

realized that we were thinking about another trip that two other ladies have taken on
the silver screen.

 You may ask, are we gonna argue about who is who....?
Nah - just as long as we go!

Wanna see the Thelma and Louise trailer ?

Thelma and Louise Film Trailer

So - then the question became - uh - do we rent a convertible?
Duh - the answer was...yep!  

Then we realized two pieces of luggage don't fit in the 

We booked our tickets, bought our insurance, are packing our backpacks and sunscreen and binoculars 
(on the look out for Brad Pitt look-alike?)

Mitsubishi Spyder Convertible so Maria (Thelma) spent an hour 
trying to get another convertible.....
.we managed that.

The dogs are being baby sat - by loving hubby Mikey (not my hubby - hers!)
Thanks Mikey!  

In the mean time we're gonna get outta town.

First stop Phoenix, wanna follow?

Can you say Road Trip?  Yes!

Fasten your seat belts! 
Hope it's Not gonna be a bumpy ride. 
Vroom Vroom!
Hang tight - and follow us if you're curious about where our travels take us.