I turned 40 yesterday. Yep, I’m almost hesitant to admit it. Almost. There are days where I’d like to think I’m suspended permanently at either 23 or 33. But that’s not the way time, this construct we’ve created to capture the constant state of change in the world around us, actually works.
“What have you learned over these years?” a friend asked in light of the occasion. Continue Reading »
A few ideas on how walking up a big pile of volcanic rocks in Africa can teach you something about life.
For some, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is another check box on a “to do” list. For me it turned out to be a journey — in its own way, an epic exercise in achievement.
Like any journey of significance, themes emerged. Somewhere beyond Kilimanjaro’s snow-patched Uhuru Peak, I learned and relearned some lessons that resonated beyond the mountain-climbing task at hand. Continue Reading »
- Climbing Kilimanjaro: Life Lessons from the Top of Africa
- Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Day by Day
- Climb Kilimanjaro: Equipment and Preparation
Early last week, I was about to write about fears and the process of facing up to them. I would talk about traveling to places that once frightened me, meeting and interacting with large groups of new people, and jumping out of airplanes. Then, I would channel all those fears known and met through a more recent apprehension I’d tackled: riding a motorbike.
I would ride off into the sunset and deliver a life lesson about what a great feeling it is to overcome fears, to do something that scares you.
And then I crashed. Continue Reading »
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been uploading the remaining photos from our travels through India and Nepal in 2008 (This New Year’s resolution, if you’re wondering: NEVER EVER allow ourselves to get this far behind on photos.)
Experiences, emotions, and even memories of certain smells came back to me as I added labels and descriptions.
Sometimes a story behind a photo really stays with you. While sifting through our images from Udaipur (a terrific town in the Indian state of Rajasthan), I came across this photo of a girl we’d met in the market there. In some ways, it looks like so many of our other photos of children and people in India – colorful, human, evocative. But to me, this image carried a story — and a lesson.
Continue Reading »
Andy has been a street performer for over fifteen years. He’s originally from Britain, but he’s called Berlin his home for the last four of those years. We watched his show at a festival in Berlin’s Westend neighborhood this past weekend. In his performance, Andy combined juggling, balance and slapstick – all suffused with his dry British humor. His finale: fire juggling on a tightrope held by members of the crowd.
While I enjoyed the wit, the feats, and the crowd reaction, it was a post-performance chat with Andy that really left an impression. Continue Reading »
Say you moved around when you were growing up, or maybe you were raised in one place but moved away and frequently changed locations as an adult. Then you take a trip and someone asks you, “Where are you from?”
How do you answer? Continue Reading »
People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.
– Dagobert D. Runes
Why is it that so many people reserve their curiosity for new and enlightening experiences on the road while they take for granted similar opportunities just because they happen at home?
Continue Reading »
Go beyond what makes you comfortable. Open yourself to ideas, events, relationships that make you uncomfortable. Travel places where you know no one. Learn another language. Create art, even though you’re not an artist. Argue with people. Fall down. Get up. Read books, all sorts of books.
— Juan Williams of NPR during his commencement speech at Whitman College
I was paging through an article of commencement speech clips over breakfast yesterday morning and this quote stuck with me all day. It recalls so many recent conversations and its message resonates on so many levels. But doing something that makes you uncomfortable — doesn’t that sound odd? Continue Reading »
- The Joy of Living Deliberately: 7 Questions
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Travelers
- Two Years On, What Have We Learned?
- Are You a Stuff Junkie or an Experience Junkie?
- How To Travel Outside Your Comfort Zone
- Living Outside Your Comfort Zone
I woke up the other morning with a knot in the pit in my stomach. It took a while for my brain to catch up with my gut to figure out what was wrong.
On the surface, everything was ideal. We had just come from weeks of trekking in Patagonia amidst endless mountains and lake vistas, we were on the quaint island of Chiloe (Chile) and the sun was shining (a rarity for this time of year, we’re told), and more trekking and travel opportunities awaited us.
But I was burnt out. Something about our recent travel choices left me feeling ungrounded. The constant movement, logistical planning and searching for the next experience had taken its toll. Usually, we travel without fixed schedules and we stay in places longer, allowing us time to relax, work and take in a place in all its various dimensions.
So what happened? Recently we purchased airline tickets that will take us away from South American in mid-May. With this impending departure, we began to fall into the common trap of travel, the common trap of life: trying to do it all. Continue Reading »