Destinations with Daughters – The Big Eastie – Day 12

Today could have been a bust.

We started out WAY before dawn in the windy plains of Texas. Do you know how scary it is to be traveling 75 miles per hour on the highway in the dark and see objects coming at you from the side…all the time…really fast? The “objects” are tumbleweed. It’s a real plant (the ultimate air plant). And when you are not used to it and it comes screaming at you in the dark, it scares the crud out of you! Trust me!

After running that gauntlet and overcoming the fear, we powered through Texas towards Dallas. Our overall goal today was Memphis, Tennessee, but Char REALLY wanted to see this sculpture that, as the website says, is on display in Dallas. This sculpture has something to do with a musical piece she payed in 7th grade and she has wanted to see the sculpture for almost two years. We drove FOUR hours out of the way to see the sculpture. We paid $10.50 to get into the Nasher Sculpture Center, walked around the outside display area, did not see the sculpture, asked the docent, and was told that THREE YEARS AGO it had been retired, but we could go see the copy at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. NO WAY, JOSE!!!!

UGH! So, off we went and we arrived in Memphis around 6:30pm.

Today wasn’t a total bummer because I got to listen to Matthew McConaughey’s memoir, Greenlights, in its entirety. I began with the intro chapter the night before, but all the way through Texas, I got to hear about the first 50 years of Matthew’s life and it was riveting! I have actually never read (or listened to) an autobiography or memoir before, and to have this one read to me by the author was cool. And “knowing” what I know about Matthew McConaughey, I had a pretty good idea I would like his no nonsense approach to life – and I DID!

Road trips make you think. This book made me think more. Over the past month, and mostly on the road, I have been thinking about a lot. My time on the road has really solidified my notion that I AM a First World Nomad. I don’t miss a darn THING in my house; I miss my people, my cats, and my dog. I crave alone time – just the road and me (and a busy teenager in the back) and I think this is one benefit of being an only child – I am happy alone and I like my own company. And you know those people you think are “crazy” for traveling? Doing something new? Living outside the box? Taking a chance? They are not crazy. They live without fear – or rather, they know that LIVING life (not just surviving it) happens in the absence of fear.

There were so many quotes I heard today in this book that I have to READ it and not just listen to it. One of the best ones was this: “We all have scars, we gonna have more. Rather than struggle against time and waste it, let’s dance with time and redeem it. Cause we don’t live longer when we try not to die. We live longer when we are too busy living.”― Matthew McConaughey, Greenlights

I want to be “too busy living” to be afraid. Our trip didn’t come to a screeching halt today because I couldn’t get over that fact that leafless plants were flying across the highway at me – I got over it – I moved on – and I learned not to be afraid of tumbleweed. Today could have been a bust – but it wasn’t. Today was full of laughter, tears, too many curse words coming out of my speakers and an unnecessary detour. If we wouldn’t have gone to Dallas to try to see a sculpture that is no longer on display, I wouldn’t have been in Texas long enough to hear the whole story of a Texas boy honing in on the values of life. Greenlight.

Total Miles = 816

States = Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee

Hours on the road = TOO MANY!!! LOL 13 hours

Average Temperature = 55

Coffees = 3

Playlist = Greenlights, Lake in the Clouds (Char did school a lot of the day and then watched movies – I had the radio to myself!)

Major Landmarks = Dallas, Little Rock, the Mighty Mississippi, Memphis!

Speed Traps passed = 4 – seriously, Texas – you kept me on my toes.

People not wearing masks in public places = everyone in Arkansas other than employees! LOL

Gas bought = $95.00 – that’s what 800+ miles will do for ya!

Extras = $18.00 at subway for dinner

Hotel = $92.00 – just a half mile from Graceland and apparently not in the best neighborhood, but the hotel is pretty new looking and parking is in a secure area, so I think we’re cool.

New Tattoos

 

69256412_10157858930845715_5477274915306471424_nI’ve been chewing on this post for almost a year now.  The meaning this picture had for me back then is not entirely different than it is now, but for many, I think these words MUST sink in if our humanity can persist.

I do not understand why so many people I know think their opinion overrides that of others.  Have we become so selfish and so self rightous that we cannot consider or accept ideas that diverge from our own?  That we result to hate, opinionated actions and divisive speech?  It is a shameful state of things.

Too many words will do this photo injustice, so I will end by saying that I strive to use positive words in speaking to everyone.  I want my speach to be beautiful and reflect the beauty I see in all things.  It is ALL about persepctive and I choose to have a perspective focused on love.

What words would be boldest on your skin?

Hope on Standby; Social Distancing – Day 51 – A Diary

I’ve been thinking about what is making this social/physical distancing so hard…these stay-at-home orders and mandates.  I hope I can put my thoughts into words…

At the beginning of this, we were given shutdowns, lock outs and closures in small chunks – two weeks at a time for the most part.  I understand the psychology of this and it stems from the concept of hope.   If from the beginning, for us that basically meant March 12th ish, our schools said, “no more school for the rest of the year”, we would have spiraled into chaos.  If on March 12th, we were told we would be essentially relegated to our homes for an undetermined amount of time, we would have immediately rebelled.  That shred of hope; the light at the end of the tunnel; the dangling carrot has continually been there but just out of reach.

Kelly and I have known since the beginning this wasn’t going to be a two week solution or even a 12 week solution and we have been preparing our kids with this, but that doesn’t make the reality of it easier.   The hope in this is that we are doing our part to protect others; our grandparents, our neighbors, those at risk, our healthcare workers and those truly “essential” for maintaining our basic services, protection and safety.

As Americans, most of us have grown up with the concept of the American Dream and it is BUILT on the concept of hope.  Study hard.  Work hard.  Play hard.  Be an active and engaged citizen and help others.  If you do this, you can accomplish anything.  You can direct your future.  You can alter your path.  You can wake up one day and decide to CHANGE YOUR OWN LIFE’S OUTCOME!  Yes!  It will be hard – but being an American for me has always meant that I am in control of my choices and consequences, both good and bad.  If you have never left this country (or visited parts of America where this concept is still emerging) you cannot possibly know how lucky you are to be an American.  (Don’t argue with me.  I won’t listen.)

But our hope has been challenged.  Since many of our original stay at home orders have “expired” and are being reviewed, we are given potential timelines….and still nothing concrete.  Hope is wavering because the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be getting farther away.  Do you remember how much you hated it when your parents said, “maybe”?  It put your hope on standby.  Maybe restaurants will open for outside seating in May.  Maybe hiking trails will open in June.  Maybe beaches will open in July.  Maybe camping will open this year. “Maybe” isn’t a viable timeline, and this is where we get stuck.

We know that most of the stressors in our lives have tangible timelines or at least we know we can control them to some extent.  The stress of school.  The stress of finding a job.  The stress of paying bills, finding a mate, stages of raising children, abuse, addiction, our health.  But right now, we have no tangible timeline and it is causing rebellion and mutiny!  I cannot say where I fall on this fence – I see both sides – but I also know I cannot continue to tell my children “maybe” when they ask me if they will be able to see their friends in two weeks.  My family will be making some serious decisions in the next couple of days and they will be the right ones for MY family.  Hope is not something that can remain on standby.

Day 51 and counting….

PS – I have had two inquiries about staying over at the She Shed – yes, you can use the pool and I will even feed you.  No, it doesn’t have a bathroom.

Social Distancing -Day 1- A Diary

This BLOG is about adventure.  Life right now totally qualifies!

To say these are tough times is an understatement – and a week after I thought the Draconian measures of isolation were a bit much, I humbly accept my social distancing and hope others will too in an effort to slow down the inevitable …we will all be touched with COVID-19 in some way – here’s what it looks like at my house.

Yesterday was Day 1.  I can honestly say that having my kids at home is not hard for me and neither is monitoring their school work (whenever that comes out – this is new for our teachers and so they need time to prepare meaningful instruction – until then, the kids worked on previously assigned work and my son, who is knee deep in vocational training for precision machining, started his OSHA training).  For years I homeschooled my kids for blocks of time while we traveled – and thankfully they are both really good at getting done what they need to – sometimes with a little encouragement!

March in Maine can be crazy – yesterday was beautiful and sunny – today it is snowing.  Yesterday Charlotte hung out on our porch in a tent and did schoolwork with Cooper while I did some early spring yard work – trimming some branches and picking up old and forgotten doggie presents.

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Cooper had a playdate with the neighbor dog, and I fetched a lost baseball out of a fenced in area for some other neighbor kids.  No one got closer than 10 feet – kinda normal for New Englanders – hahahaha

Charlotte and I went to the barn and discussed with her trainer (via text) our desire to find times during the week where we would be the only ones there to ride and help with chores (the family is going over tomorrow to help with stalls – winter is a hard time to find stable help as it is – if only we could teach the horses to poop in one spot!!!).  This will all work out and getting some stable and horse (and barn cat) therapy will help us all through this.

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Char and Syllabus after some exercise.

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“Blacky” wanted a little warm up in the car while we waited for Char to groom her horse.

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“Big Tiger” getting some sunshine warmed snuggles as I watch Char ride.

My hubby, Kelly, is a pastor.  He did go to work yesterday for one last meeting of the minds before imposing social distancing for his office.  This is a trying time for those who are active in the community helping others.  We want to still serve those in need and those particularly affected by this situation but have to balance safety and service.  When people need something, they just need to reach out and ask – we will make it happen.

Day To Day….

We are not going to the gym – I am hoping we find the dedication to do our workouts in the basement – this has yet to be seen.

I had a peanut butter and fluff sandwich (on WHITE bread) and cheese squares for lunch yesterday for the first time in I don’t know how long.  And I am wondering if I can wear sweatpants for the next 8 weeks and no one will care!

Our day yesterday was the start of what could be something amazing.  This social distancing will be bringing US together.   We are looking forward to playing more games together, watching evening movies together and finding different ways to stay connected to our friends and loved ones (the letter writing has already begun).  We have plans of doing some home improvement projects, some area beautification and continuing to help those in need in meaningful and appropriate ways. I am going to treasure this time with my kids – my son is 17 and will begin his senior year next year (I hope).  This time with him is precious and we will make memories that otherwise would not be afforded to us.  My almost 14-year-old daughter is learning about resilience and adaptation.  I have a couple new books to read (one is called The Power of a Praying Wife  – another example of great timing) and I will be keep up with my travel studies and courses to keep me current with my vendors and trends.  We will come out of this stronger than before.

Day 1 and counting!

Athens or Bust…BUSTED

Well – you know what they say?  The best laid plans….or something like that!

My travel buddy and I were at our gate last night awaiting our 9:25 boarding time when all the craziness began.  My phone started blowing up with calls, messages, texts.  I had just been watching the President’s address and knew what was happening.

Immediately we went to the airline desk and these poor folks at KLM Air were gob smacked.  They had no idea what was happening!  With no time to think about anything other than the prospect of being “stuck” in Europe for 30 days or more, we acted quickly and with the only reasonable and responsible decision we could make.  We asked to have our luggage pulled from the plane.  As we are at the desk, they start boarding the plane.

A half an hour later “clarification” comes out that of course, US citizens would not be barred entry back on to US soil – but I know this game.  Disney plays it.  They don’t “close” the Magic Kingdom when it reaches capacity on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas, they just make it impossible for people to get there by stopping or diverting transportation.  I already have notification that my flight returning from Athens on Monday has been cancelled.  So while I may not have been BARRED from returning to the US, I still may not have made it back without considerable time, anxiety, and expense.  And while a month in Europe sounds romantic – and I want to do it someday with my hubby – now is not the time for a forced extended vacation.

One of my colleagues, Kerry Michel, wrote this not an hour ago and I couldn’t agree more….”Just some clarification, this ban does not apply to legal US residents (last line of the first paragraph) and does not apply to all European countries. I am in no way advocating travel to Europe for anyone, just providing accurate information, as that is key to making sure we understand the parameters of the Proclamation. Additionally, for those who do travel to said countries on the list, returns will be limited to certain airports with the appropriate screening tools before reentry is allowed. Those airports have not yet been identified; a list is forthcoming. So, flight changes may become necessary for some. Can you still be quarantined? Yes, absolutely, so make appropriate arrangements should you choose to travel to any of the Countries on the list. As I have been telling all of my Clients, this is a fluid situation and is literally changing every single day. Staying informed is the most important first step.”

And, informing my clients and attempting to stay on top of this living beast that is ever changing right in front of my eyes is my top priority.

So, while I sit here on hold (as I am sure I will be ALL DAY LONG taking care of clients who trust me and I will not let them down) I will get to Athens someday – and I feel for all those people abroad whose livelihood is being severely disrupted, but there is a time for stubbornness and a time for responsibility.  Last night I had to draw the line.

Nuremberg – Our Last Stop

Our last stop and point of disembarkation for our Christmas Market River Cruise was Nuremberg, Germany.  We had a pretty full day here touring before heading home the next day, but I would have loved more time!

Nuremberg envoked a range of emotions for me.  Being a lifelong and enthusiastic student of history, this beautiful place is shadowed in the echos of Hitler and his reign of terror.  I often marvel at the some of the cool locations I have visited and wonder dreamily whose steps I am following.  But I STOOD where Hitler stood and it brought tears to my eyes.  Life’s contemplations resurfaced and one begins to ponder this world.  That’s pretty deep for a bus tour!

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We continued on to the location of the Nuremberg Trials, then into the Old City…which is stunning!!!  But there was that shadow….and it is hard to shake even now in reflection.

The Old City of Nuremberg, with its ancient castle on a hill, HUGE Christmas Market and warm and welcoming people, invited us in.  I am a sucker for a castle, so we gladly toured it and enjoyed the views.

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The inner courtyard of the castle.

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A beautiful view from the great hall.

Nuremberg definitely had the biggest Christmas Market – and I would say, the best prices as well!  We found a lot of our goodies there and enjoyed Nuremberg sausages and saurkraut, German ginger cookies, and my most favorite gluehwein was found at the Scotish cultural booth (amoung other nations represented in this small area of the Market) – it had whiskey in it and it was lovely!!!

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Nuremberg has something for everyone!  I can’t wait to go back and visit again!!!!

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

If you are not one of those people who purchase Christmas presents all year long, October is the month you start to think about what you are getting those you care about for Christmas.

A few years ago, in about October, I started re-thinking my approach to gift giving.  I was thinking back to gifts I had been given as a child – either for Christmas or for my birthday.  I knew I got gifts – I saw pictures of me at Christmastime or my birthday opening presents, but my own personal memories of what I got during those special times is faded.

I DO remember ONE singular gift I received as a child – I remember waking up on the morning of my 10th birthday to find staring at me an adorable Cabbage Patch Kid.  Her name was Diana Mindy and I was SO excited to get her!!!!  But she is the only gift I can actually ever pinpoint.  Isn’t that strange?  What do you remember getting as a child?  I remember gifts I DID NOT get as a child – I wanted an Easy Bake Oven and a Lightbright but never got those.

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This is Diana Mindy – still looking good after all these years!

 

Do you know what I have specific and a multitude of memories of?  Things I DID with my family – learning to ski with my dad; going camping; going on road trips with my mom; going to Disney with my mom; going to Aruba with my mom as a senior in high school.  I could tell you a handful of details about each and every one of those experiences, and THAT is what changed my mindset about gift giving.

Experiences change our brain.  Encountering NEW situations and taking on new adventures rewires us, renews us, re-entwines us with our loved ones.  It reconnects us to ourselves, to each other and to this life.  What better gift is there?

The giving of experiences doesn’t have to be a big trip somewhere…although it could be!  Last year we gave our children a short trip to Quebec (we live within driving distance and went between Christmas and New Years last year), a concert experience, season’s passes to a local water park, a  2-week high adventure Boy Scout summer camp for my son and my daughter and I took a super cheap flight to Paris in January and spent 4 nights in an AirBnB and explored the city.  It was the BEST Christmas we have had in a long time!!!  We still talk about every single one of those adventures and will continue to do so.

Life is short.  Take the trip.  See the concert.  Go to the show.  Get the pass.  Bypass the mountain of gifts that get forgotten by January 15th and give the gift that keeps on giving…memories to last a lifetime!  Don’t miss out!

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I didn’t know she stuck her tongue out until I looked at the pictures that night!!! Notre Dame in the background.

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Lined up for the toboggan ride! Quebec City, Quebec.

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My daughter and her BFF meeting their favorite musician, Jon Foreman from Switchfoot – he signed my daughter’s Ukulele!

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Fabulous concerts at Soul Fest 2019!

 

Points on a Timeline

There are pivotal events that mark every generation in time.  Some generations have more than one event and some events last a while.  These events are so profound, that everyone you speak to has a story.  They remember.  They remember the day, the time, the feel, what they were doing, where they were.  They remember the impact it had on their lives and how the world was changed by a point on a timeline.

For my great grandparents, the events of WWI and the Great Depression spanned many hard years interspersed with years of joy.  For my grandparents, it was WWII and the rise of Communism.  For my parents, it was Vietnam, walking on the moon (my mom tells a story of where she was precisely as this event occurred), the oil crisis, MAD and the fall of the Berlin Wall.  For me, while I remember the fall of the Wall, the events of September 11, 2001 will forever be seared in my memory.  That was a day that caused a tremendous shift in my life.  A day I will never forget.

Flashback to early 2001.  I was working as a teacher in a local high school.  I was not married, didn’t have kids, and while my family was nearby, I have always had a bit of an adventurous spirit (I am sure you are surprised by this revelation) and decided to join the Army.  That probably isn’t where you thought this story was going….but it’s true.  As a 25-year-old, I enlisted in the Army and my ship out date was September 11, 2001.  I signed my paperwork in March 2001 with a “delayed” entry – I wanted to finish teaching and work one last summer in Maine – then I was headed to basic training, then to become an Arabic linguist.

Plans were following as scheduled – I arrived VERY early morning to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) in Portland, Maine on September 11th (with my mom in tow) and in between being weighed, drug tested, measured and examined one last time before I shipped off, my mom and I watched the horrors that we know as 9/11 unfold before our eyes on the big screen TV in the MEPS lobby.

The situation quickly became critical.  No flights were offered and who knew when the skies would be safe again?  The phones were sporadic, reports were all over the place and panic’s arms embraced us as we didn’t know WHAT exactly was happening to our world.  No one at that MEPS station had been sworn in yet, and on that morning, all the new recruits were hurried into a small room and were told to “Go home.  The world has changed.  You are not obligated to fulfill your contract.  You are FREE to go.  Those of you who want to ship out, we will be in touch”.  This paraphrase is as close to accurate as I can make it 18 years later (I don’t remember what I ate for lunch 5 days ago – but this I remember).

I eventually went home and waited.  My resolve was solidified.  I would not run away in fear.  I would not turn away from my word.  On the 16th of September, only HALF the people who had pledged their word showed up.  I do not hold it against those who did not show up.  They had their reasons and I had mine.  I left for basic training.

I won’t go into all the details of THAT adventure – and adventure it was!  But I will say that the delay caused by 9/11 significantly shaped my life in so many ways.  Little did I know that my future husband was 3500 miles away in EXACTLY the same situation as I and we both ended up in the same battalion and company in basic training.  We were both to be linguists and the very event of 9/11 and the activities that followed for me and my husband, lead to 17 years together and two gorgeous kids (and a WHOLE LOT in between).

I am not thankful for 9/11 – I am sorrowful.  It pains my patriotic heart and also fills me with great pride to be an American – there was so much sacrifice, love, selflessness, generosity, courage and commitment on that day and the days that followed.  I believe my husband and I would have met eventually anyway – we were fated to be together – our love was written in the heavens for sure – but 9/11 was the catalyst for that time in my life.

I pay homage to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their fellow man that day; for those who had no choice, and for those that DID have a choice and ran towards danger anyway.  I pray for the families who lost so many loved ones and I want them to know I remember those fallen and I remember THEM.  I will also never forget the pride I felt as an American on the days that followed, and I will strive to BE that human every day; to personify sacrifice, love, selflessness, generosity, courage and commitment.

For so many reasons, I WILL NEVER forget.

America the Beautiful

The weekend of July 4th, my hubby and I took our daughter and 3 of her friends “camping” at my dad’s small cabin that is on the banks of a tributary to one of our local lakes.  We got a “new” used camper this season and wanted to try it out before our week long vacation, so taking it to my dad’s to work out the bugs was just what we needed.  We brought up our boat so the girls could go tubing and we had wonderful weather and a wonderful time!  My daughter and her BFFs had a blast and while we didn’t get to fix any of the issues in our camper, we did make a punch list, so there’s that!

While on the boat Saturday morning – at 9am to beat the crowd – I sat in awe and wonder at the fortuitous life I have.  Sitting in that boat, watching these amazing 12 and 13 year old girls enjoy an activity I also enjoyed at their age, made me think of how very lucky we are to live in THIS amazing country.  I don’t want to hear about bad politicians, problems people have with race or gender issues, abortion, religion, drugs…. No complaining.

I have seen other places and because I have seen the REAL of other places, I can say how great America is.  I don’t always like the politics and I know sometimes things get pretty shady, but for the average Joe, this is a darn great place to be.  Those girls on that tube…they can be anything they set their mind to.  They have limitless possibilities in their future – and I think that’s why I adore teenagers so much – I am in awe of the life they have ahead of them and pray fervently for their success – whatever that looks like for them.

Those girls on that tube have choices many 12 and 13 year old kids will never have and cannot even fathom.  Choices that are theirs solely because they were born in this country.  They have rights as citizens and humans and it is their CHOICE how they exercise and cherish those rights.  And as I look out over these girls giggling and making memories in the summer sun, I know they cannot fathom how fortunate THEY are.  Someday they will know.  I hope the America of “someday” is just as beautiful as my America today.  I hope we continue to improve.  I hope PEOPLE continue to improve.  I hope you all have that glimpse of America the Beautiful.  It’s out there – look for it!

Here are some of my favorite pictures that say America to me!

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Moonrise over Pine Island, Long Lake, Naples, Maine

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Sunset in the Pennsylvania countryside

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Acadia National Park, Maine

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Nubble Lighthouse, York, Maine

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Cogg Railway, Mount Washington, New Hampshire

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Mount Washington, New Hampshire

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Sunset in my backyard, Maine

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Boy Scouts, Memorial Day parade, Small Town America

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My favorite American pastime – Football!

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Swift River, Kancamagus Highway, White Mountains, New Hampshire

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Erathusa Falls, New Hampshire

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EPCOT, Disney World

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Tuscon, Arizona

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Tuscon, Arizona

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Ossippee Lake, New Hampshire

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Ossippee Lake, New Hampshire

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Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire

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A grand harvest, Maine

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Autumn approaches, Maine

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Monterey, California

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Capitola, California

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Williamsburg, Virginia

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Tampa, Florida

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Key West, Florida

Fear Factor

Recently in the news, we have been bombarded with fear producing stories.  Stories out of the Dominican Republic of vicious attacks on a resort property, tourists dying in their beds, visitors disappearing.  The alleged murder of a US attorney general at a Club Med in Turkoise (Turks & Caicos) last October (by all accounts and pocket books, an expensive, high end resort), a Texas couple recently dying in Fiji, a cruise ship collision with a tourist boat in Venice, trouble with specific makes of airplanes, terrorism attacks, kidnappings and everyone is familiar with the scare tactics implemented to keep people away from Mexico.  In so many cases, as with most of the sensationalized news fed to us Americans, there are details missing that are important to know in order to speak intelligently about many of these situations, and yet, fear is what rules us.

Did you know that one of the original reasons the concept of an “All Inclusive” resort came about was because the builders/planners/innovators of this concept wanted to create a haven of safety in a place that might otherwise not be considered “safe” for everyone?  Many of these places are in the equatorial belt – the paradise islands with crystal blue water and lush tropical landscapes.  SOME of these places also boast revolutionary governments or no proper governments at all.  Some of these governments are corrupt and poorly aligned.  They have disgruntled and disenfranchised citizenry and poverty is rampant.  They are crossroads for drugs, dark undergrounds and unseemly characters – and this is nothing new.  But these places have and continue to provide the respite many Americans and Europeans enjoy, and yet, when bad things happen – many times out of lack of common sense, we are afraid.

Fear binds us.  It doesn’t allow us to grow and it keeps us stagnant in our learning and in our full experience of life.  Are there truly UNSAFE places in the world?  Well, yes.  And even more so, I think that depends on who you are and your purpose for going to a place.  People live and thrive in many places I would consider dangerous, and yet missionaries and humanitarians travel to these places all the time.

I once visited Bogota, Colombia (about 20 years ago) and the people I was visiting assigned a family member to me as a personal “guide” (bodyguard).  I was a cute, tall, blue eyed, blonde, young American woman – prime for the ransom/kidnapping market.  I did not go out at night and did not venture outside of public places or familial settings.  I was cool with that.  Precautions were taken for safety.  Don’t we do that all the time to mitigate dangerous situations?  We wear seat belts, force our kids to wear helmets, we don’t (or shouldn’t) walk alone at night, we don’t leave our buddy and we don’t take candy from strangers.  We don’t get into a stranger’s car, we don’t meet someone in private we met on the internet and we don’t give out our address on-line.  We caution our kids about on-line interactions and warn them about the dangers of drugs.  We implore them not to text and drive and beg them to call us instead of driving home drunk.  Bad things happen everywhere.  The occurrence of bad things will not be the guiding force in my life.

Some people cannot overcome the fear.  I think what it boils down to is that they are afraid of death; their own or a loved one’s.   I know people who have longed to travel to Europe – absolutely DREAMED of it and have the means to do it but will not go out of fear.  Fear of terrorism, fear of not knowing how to get around, the language, the culture, fear of what might be happening at home, fear of dying.  So, they stay and they dream and they fear and they miss out.  In my perspective, they will regret being held in place by irrationality.

There is no shaming here – just an acceptance of how our choices shape our being.  I personally have a low opinion of fear.  I have things I very much dislike – the dentist, for example.  It is irrational and I know it and I go to the dentist every six months anyway.  I am not fond of heights, but I like to fly, go on roller coasters and climb ladders, but I am cautious when I do these things.  I am not afraid of dying.  I am confident that the people I love know my love for them, and I am resigned to the multitude of things in this life of which I have no control.  I am confident in my salvation and everlasting life in Jesus Christ.  I know I could walk out my door this very second and die – die behind the wheel, die of some horrible and fast moving disease, die of carbon monoxide poisoning, die by getting kicked in the head by a horse, die by drowning, get electrocuted in my bathroom…..do I need to go on?

I choose life.  I choose adventure.  I won’t miss out!  That is MY take on fear.