When In Amsterdam, Do as They Do….

The Grandness of the CanyonI travel not to go anywhere, but to go.  I travel for travel’s sake.  The great affair is to move.” Robert Louis Stevenson

I crave the experience of living amongst other cultures, the smells and sounds and foreignness of it all.  Travel and surfing are the two activities that allow me to truly live in the NOW, in the present moment.

My entire life has been arranged so that I am able to travel just about anytime and anywhere I want to.

What I love most about traveling:  The adventures that keep me grounded in the NOW, in the present moment, that make me feel more alive than being alive.

About eleven years ago I went on a four month trip around the world, alone.  Many exciting, scary and wonderful things happened in that time period.  Here’s one that I can laugh about now:

BEING MISTAKEN FOR A DRUG DEALER: Continue reading

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Don’t Hate me Because I’m American!

Austian who Hates the U.S.

Austrian who Hates the U.S.

I’m out in the middle of a remote area of the Coramandel Peninsula in New Zealand, and after having hiked literally one and a half hours to the beautiful Cathedral Cove, I see this on the beach:  An Austrian girl wearing a t-shirt that cleverly reads: “God Save US from U.S.”

My parents weren’t particularly educated – my father only finished 6th grade, and my mother went through to 7th.  They never traveled, and never got out of the U.S.  So it makes sense that they raised me to naively believe that everyone not only loves Americans, but they want to be just like us.

I was stunned the first time I realized that Americans are not only not loved, in many countries, they are strongly disliked!  I learned this first-hand 11 years ago when I went on a solo trip around the world.   I was so disappointed to learn Continue reading

How to Remain Girlish While Camping

camp-in-wildYou see them all the time, those backpacker – camper girls.  They wear their drab sensible shorts that come just to the knees and their button down, shapeless shirts.  The camera bag slung over their shoulders seems to complement the accessory of a backpack on their back, which most likely contains water, a Swiss Army Knife and energy bars.

Not a good look.  Not that they care.  It’s not about the Continue reading