It may have appeared to those who followed along with my recent travels that I was experiencing the trip of a lifetime. Several people even stated that in comments to my posts here on the blog and on Facebook. But honestly, “It wasn’t.” Sure, the trip was great in so many ways, but in my opinion I hope to never experience a trip of a lifetime. That’s because I intend to keep experiencing trips that are amazing and hopefully better. Plus, even though I tried to be honest about a few of the challenges that popped up during our 90 days of travel, lots of things happened along the way that were completely unexpected. Isn’t that how it is in life? What’s the saying, “No matter where you go, there you are.” And I’d add to that, “No matter how well you plan or hope, stuff happens!” So, in reflection I thought I’d mention a few thoughts that could benefit us all (me!) when “stuff happens” in our future—regardless of when or where they happen. And if you have a few practices that work for you, I hope you share them in the comments below.
After spending time on the Amalfi Coast it was time to head inland to visit our good friend Cheryl Morgan. Cheryl fell in love with Italy years ago and it was always her dream to buy a home there and do her version of Under The Tuscan Sun. So about four or five years ago, during one of her visits, she bought a house near a lake southeast of Rome in a little town named Posta Fibreno. Not only did she turn her new home into a lovely retreat, two years ago she bought another house nearby. When we heard she was remodeling it and making it available to guests, we figured it was time for us to visit. And it was just the sanctuary we needed for a few days. [Read more…]
Back when Thom and I were deciding where to go on our European Adventure I knew it was time to visit the east coast of Southern Italy. Like most people, I have seen photos of the Amalfi Coast for as far back as I can remember. What I had never really thought or read about was the coast below the Amalfi Peninsula. Plus when I heard that many Italians choose that area of their country to vacation to (and avoid the crowds of Amalfi) I figured it would be somewhere to explore. Plus, because the Amalfi Coast is so popular, it is less expensive to both stay and eat in locations further south. I found a vacation home that looked great and off we went through mountains and tiny Italian villages to the little town of Maratea. [Read more…]
In 2019 I began a dream of traveling to Spain and Portugal for the first time. I’ve been fortunate to travel to Europe several times in the past but have never journeyed to either of those countries. I did my research, planned my itinerary, made all my plane and train reservations, and carefully selected all the places we would be staying. Then one month before we were set to leave, COVID hit. Fortunately, every single one of my reservations were refunded. Then as 2022 approached my dream began to return—but this time the plan is for an even longer trip. After all, if 2020 taught us nothing else, it was that time is precious and that it is SMART to seize every opportunity to do those things we have always longed to do. [Read more…]
At the beginning of every new year I face a big temptation to start planning how I hope my year will unfold. Even after COVID hit in 2020-21, I managed to chart out certain activities that I knew would be enjoyable and meaningful. Some happened—some didn’t. Now at the beginning of 2022, I find myself drawn to my usual pattern, but this year is a bit different for two reasons. First is because I found myself hesitating a bit when it came to travel planning this summer after my recent health scare in Mexico. Second is because I came across an interview of an author with a new book that challenged my perception of time and how we as humans often have a very dysfunctional way of dealing with it. Since listening to that first podcast and several others, I’m beginning to see time in a new way and how that can lead to creating a more peaceful and meaningful life in the future. [Read more…]
For the last four years I have considered it a privilege to scour the internet for what I consider to be the best blogs and websites about positive aging and retirement I can find. While my list certainly doesn’t contain all the sites available on these topics, they are personal favorites that I believe are noteworthy and offer thoughtful and provocative insights on the subjects. Plus, for the most part, I believe they are also fun to read and uniquely different. Thank you to each of the authors and creators who put in the time and effort to provide such helpful ideas and information while sharing their lives and experiences with all of us throughout the year. Taken together I believe that those of us who read the wisdom found in these sites will surely benefit with a healthier, happier, more content and SMART life as the years go by.
When I first decided to take a break from my weekly blogging schedule for a month or two, I had no idea how easy it would be. In fact, except for a couple of times when Thom and I made short video clips (a potential vlog) along the way, I didn’t think about blogging at all. Now that I have arrived at our first destination here on Vancouver Island, I must admit that I’ve had a few twinges of guilt about not being more productive. But other than those twinges I’ve been just happily experiencing being a nomadic “sort-of” retired person for the time being. However, that doesn’t mean that we haven’t taken dozens of photos (along with our short videos) that I decided I wanted to share with any of you who are interested. So here are a few of the best I thought you might enjoy! [Read more…]
Let me tell you a little secret. I am a bit obsessed with the peeling on the manzanita tree. It’s similar to the attraction you might get after your husband or child gets a sunburn and you see their skin start to flake and peel off. The temptation to “help it along” is very strong in me. I would never touch a scab, but there is something about that flaking skin. So, every summer when we stay in the mountains and I see the manzanitas beginning their annual shedding, I just have to participate. Naturally that got me wondering. I know humans peel after a sunburn, and snakes and other reptiles peel on a regular basis. But why the manzanita? After a little research I realized how I too might benefit from an “annual shedding and letting go.” And perhaps it would be SMART for each of us to consider our own benefits from peeling away certain parts of a life we may have outgrown.
When was the last time you hugged a tree? Believe it or not, I’ve spent the last couple of days doing just that. Remember a couple of weeks ago I recommended that we all spent at least 21 seconds a day hugging someone (or a pet) that we care about for our own physical and mental health? But what about trees? Ever since I finished a book titled Braiding Sweetgrass, the act of connecting deeply with nature has become so much more necessary than I ever realized. So, while I don’t know if any of you reading this will ever be motivated to do the same, I wanted to at least invite you to consider how important that connection could be to both your wellbeing and that of Mother Earth as well. [Read more…]