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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Here I am in front of the busy Circular Quay area of Sydney Harbour on my first day in Australia.

We arrived in Sydney one year ago today.  It was a warm, lush, humid spring day – a contrast to the fall weather we left behind in the USA.

I am not able to sleep on airlines, so it is an understatement to say I was tired. We settled into our hotel room and rested for a while before venturing out to see the city on foot.

Sydney immediately became part of my short list of favorite urban areas. It has fascinating architecture – a juxtaposition of modern and historic – public art, blooming gardens, and peeks of sprawling Sydney Harbour, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean, beyond the buildings. We walked to  the busy waterfront to see our first glimpse of the Sydney Opera House. 

Back in our hotel we booked a tour of the nearby Blue Mountains National Park for the next day. Check back here tomorrow for more.

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One year ago today my husband and I began to fulfill one of the dreams long-held close to our hearts. 

This idyllic view of the Golden Gate Bridge was taken during our stopover in San Francisco last year. Thank you to Rick and Danny for picking us up at the airport in SF and returning us there a couple of hours later. We had the chance to stretch out, eat brunch, and experience a little low-key sightseeing as we prepared for the long journey ahead of us.

On the morning of Saturday, October 1, 2011, we left Minnesota, taking a route that would lead us from the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport to Denver, San Francisco, and Vancouver. We left Canada shortly before midnight and landed in Sydney, Australia on Monday morning.  Because we crossed the International Date Line en route, Sunday did not exist for us last year.  

It was a very long flight. The next time I go to the other side of the world (I sincerely hope there is a next time!) I think I will plan an overnight (or longer) stopover in Hawaii. 

I hope you will check back here occasionally in the next few weeks. I’ll be sharing photos and memories here, as they happened a year ago.

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“A 1980s love story on two wheels, with adventures and great scenery.”
 
That is how I describe my first e-book, a memoir titled Traveling Together: Cliff and Me and the Motorcycle Makes Three. I am thrilled to announce it is now published and available in the Amazon Kindle store.

I met Cliff in 1981 and we married a year later.  We took several motorcycle trips together — to Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, the Black Hills, Door County, and Colorado.  Our adventures during those journeys are the basis for this book. At 20,000 words it is a quick read.  

I hope you will consider taking a “look inside” at the link (book title) above.  Let me know what you think!

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I have heard it said that Baby Boomers don’t want to grow up.  We want to feel young and carefree as we continue to live life to its fullest.

I plead guilty!

The evidence in this case is provided by my wide smile when I recount my activities during the past two weeks:

  • I spent time leading up to the 4th of July playing volleyball in a lake in Wisconsin with a group of friends.  The net is literally set up in the lake.  Classic fun!
  • I experienced Santana in concert – for two+ hours, under the stars.  Carlos is fantastic – he’s still rocking – making it fresh and real after all these years.  He plays with a large group of musicians, and they know how to do it right.
  • I got behind my husband on our motorcycle for the first time in many years.  He recently had our Yamaha 1100 revamped and has begun to ride it on nearby country roads.  I have been writing my motorcycle memoirs, Traveling Together, Cliff and Me and the Motorcycle Makes Three, and it brought back the memory of soaring down the road on a bike. I tried it and I liked it!

What are you doing that shows your rockin’ spirit?

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Here is the guy I fell for! This photo shows Cliff on his bike, with our travel trailer, taken in the early 1980s.

I am living in the 1980s, as I remember my past in order to realize my dreams for the future.  I am writing my first travel memoir.

Traveling Together: Cliff and Me and the Motorcycle Make Three is about the journeys I took with my husband which generated stories of love and adventure.  During the past few years I have been composing my account of these stories during writing classes. Now I am putting the chapters together to become my first e-book.

I am well on my way to completing this memoir. My plans are to publish this as a Kindle e-book before I publish the book I have been working on: Realize Your Dreams: An Action Plan for Life Transformation.

Last week I had the great privilege to participate in a writing workshop called Pilgrimages: Mindful Travel Writing & Memoir at Madeline Island School of the Arts, where I worked on this memoir.  It was taught by Catherine Watson, an accomplished travel writer and inspiring instructor and mentor.  I was part of a small group of students who poured our hearts out, writing in a supportive environment. My thanks to all involved. Did a mention that it was a fantastic experience?

The reason I was able to participate in this workshop is because I was the recipient of an Individual Artists Grant, which I would like to acknowledge with gratitude: “This activity is made possible by a grant from the East Central Regional Arts Council with funds generously provided by the McKnight Foundation.”

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What have you failed at today? Did you go outside your comfort zone and try something new? Then celebrate your failures!

If we don’t make the effort every day to choose actions that will bring enjoyment into our lives, the moment will pass. Then we are just another day older and no closer to realizing our dreams. What stops us from taking action? Is it the fear that we could fail in our efforts?

Recently Sara Blakely, the young billionaire who created the Spanx shapewear enterprise, appeared on the CBS morning news show. She said that while she was growing up she was expected to fail at trying things. At dinner conversations her father would ask, “How did you fail today?” She might reply, “I tried out for cheerleading – I was terrible at it!” And he would cheer her on. She became comfortable with failure, and certainly wasn’t afraid to try something new!

True confession: One of my biggest failures happened a few years ago when my husband and were traveling in Italy (I was the trip planner). We purchased train tickets with our destination being Cortona in Tuscany. We ended up in Crotone, located in the instep of the boot-shaped Italy. Ooops. I celebrate this mistake because we were traveling on our own, not part of a tour group, we were out of our element and loving it, and we saw a part of the country we otherwise would not have visited. I will be writing about this adventure–and many others–in a future travel memoir. If we hadn’t been willing to risk failure, we never would have had the experiences we did!

I look to other writers for inspiration and valuable information. Today I read a posting titled Why It’s OK to Be Naive  by Nick Thacker, who was the guest writer on Jane Friedman’s blog. He writes, “Our fear of failure leads us toward procrastination, lack of motivation, and, well, failure. But by being naïve and reaching for the most out-of-reach goals and successes we’ll at least be motivated by the fact that we’re part of the few who can say we’ve tried it.”

Want to realize your dreams? Then go for them! Success or failure–either way, celebrate the outcome.

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The new name “Realize Your Dreams” refers to all of us and our best aspirations—who we are and what we want to accomplish with our lives.  Consider this to be an extension of the previous title, “Midlife Transformation”. 

I want to use this site to explore how we each define ourselves.  Do we know what our purpose is, and are we fulfilling it?  If not, what is stopping us, and how can we do it better?

Beyond that, I want to discuss our individual “Life Experience Lists” (some may call them “Bucket Lists”).  These are the actions and events that allow us to enjoy life to the fullest.  What is on your list – the things you have done and the things you want to do?  Are you taking actions to realize your dreams?

I changed the photograph at the head of this blog to one of my personal favorites.  Yes, that is me, standing on Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsunday Islands in Australia.  It has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.  I asked my husband to take my picture because “This is what happiness looks like!”  I hope you and I both have future adventures and experiences that can bring the look of happiness to our faces.

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