Category Archives: Travel

Getting to next

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What we expected to be three months turned into three years. San Diego became more than a spot to wait out the New York winter, it became our home. Three years ago we were bitching about the impending winter and hoping that someone would come through with a work visa for the United Kingdom and that that would be our ‘next’. Why wait in the cold when we could experience something new, we thought. We packed the car, drove west and found a home in San Diego.

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In those three years we’ve grown more than I could have imagined. We’ve done exactly what we wanted to and fully embraced the outdoor year ’round lifestyle. We’ve added hikes to our routine, elevated our yoga and gym days, come to love fish tacos and have without question come to favor a more holistic approach to life. Our daily life includes making time for self-care, being sure to find time for mindfulness activities and learning that health and wellness matter more than we ever thought before. We’ve gotten rid of those toxic relationships, become more aware of what makes our happiness flow and have decided that it’s more than okay to put that happiness first. No matter where we roam, these things are now ingrained in us and I hope, will continue no matter the post code.

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The two of us our lucky to have many places around the globe that we call ‘home’. Between the both of us, there has been life in New York, Melbourne, London and San Diego. When we headed west, we made the official decision to work contract and freelance so we wouldn’t be tied down and would be be able to jump at opportunities when and if they came along. Since the husband got an offer that was literally too ‘good to refuse’, our journey continues as we head back to New York for a little while. But we’ve made a decision that we didn’t make when we returned from our first ’round the world trip and this is the game changer.

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Experiences change us and those internal changes aren’t visible on the outside. Upon that first re-entry, it was almost impossible for others to see the changes and we felt as if these newly square pegs were supposed to fit back into our previous round holes. Needless to say, we felt squished, frustrated, agitated and struggled with the ideas of not wanting to push those life-changing experiences aside to fit back into the people we were before – well, not this time. After two ’round the world trips, two (with an impending third) cross country road trips and a three year stint living in a place we adore the changes are evident. Our attitudes, lifestyle choices, and views on health and wellness have shifted and those shifts are here to stay.

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After countless conversations, ‘getting to next’ has appeared more often than I can count. The ideas of planning for the time when your teeth might fall out more easily, where and how your heart is happiest and what makes your spirits soar are categories of chats that regularly appear around our picnic table. How to get the opportunity to spend the day to day in a space you adore while having the expendable cash to jet off on a moment’s notice and not have to worry about ‘taking time off’ – these are only some of our beach walk and hiking conversations. For now, we’ve added San Diego as a place we call home and would happily do so again. Who knows exactly what the full definition of ‘getting to next’ will entail, but for the moment, ‘next’ is bringing us to the land where the boys in pinstripes play, bagels reign supreme, and the Atlantic crashes on the shore.

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You’ll find us wearing newly purchased base layers, searching for new adventures, playing outside, wiggling our feet in the sand, seeking out proper fish taco shops and chowing down on those flagels that never seem to make it west of the five boroughs. We’re headed out in a few weeks and will fill you in on the road trip spots along the way. We’ll land in early January and are always open to new ideas, new experiences, new opportunities and new places to play. Join us along the way and come say hi when we hit the Atlantic. Wherever the journey takes us, we hope you’ll be a part of it all…here’s to ‘getting to next’.

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Returning to bliss

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I’ve been travel dreaming my entire life. At an early age, I didn’t yet know it, but it was definitely there. I adored the family beach holidays and trips to Disney and loved the feeling of full-fledged freedom each brought with them. I guess, at the time, that feeling meant no homework, not having to wake up early to rush to get to school and the possibility of having ice cream three times a day. As the years progressed and I was the one choosing the destination, footing the bill and deciding the length of time and distance of the journey, the feeling of freedom was the same but the meaning, different. It started with something special to look forward to, to do during those educational holidays (while in university or teaching) and has grown into a desire to have that freedom feeling of travel dreaming joy all the time.

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Hugs and a serotonin shift

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The world has been shrinking due to the fabulous power of things like travel and the Internet. It seems only yesterday when snail mail was the focus and cell phones were things you saved for emergencies. Today snail mail is held for IRS notifications and the once in a blue moon actual birthday card and most of life’s communications are made from the tiny computers in the palm of our hands. If you’ve ever been to Disneyworld® and watched the Carousel of Progress go from the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder to that of George Jetson, it’s easy to understand how nutty it is that I can tap a button while at the beach in San Diego, California and can video conference with my godson while he’s on the rugby field in Hong Kong. While technology broadens our global relationships, there’s still a feeling of separate in a world of connection. Read the rest of this entry

Travel…a shift in the everyday existence

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Travelers are dreamers - thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com

A friend of mine used to tell me that I loved travel because I didn’t like reality. She swore that was the reason I loved laying on a beach in Cancun or seeing the sights of Europe. Perhaps part of that is true, but most of life was pretty great. If you’re healthy and have the ability of choice – what’s the problem, right? I had another friend who told me that if I loved ‘summer Stacey’, wouldn’t I want to try to embrace that person all year ’round? I imagine, in a sense, they were both right. Travel and summer, for me, have always provided a lifestyle involving freedom, possibilities, smiles and endless optimism. They’re the chocolate ice cream for toddlers and the glitter for crafters rolled into one. Read the rest of this entry

Journey, change…forward

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Do you know if you’re on a path? Have you felt stuck, in search of a new goal, or have you realized that there’s something else you can do or learn in this world? I’m not sure how much stock I ever put in all of this stuff. For years, it wasn’t for me. I didn’t need a path, journey or any of those what I once thought were ‘life coach moments’, I was living, enjoying, being – that was enough. I can’t tell you if there was a specific ‘aha’ moment or that I read this thing on @Pinterest or saw it on @Oprah® that seemed to click, but somehow, this mindset has entered my existence and it seems it’s here to stay.

“No matter how hard the past…you can always begin again” – Buddha Read the rest of this entry

Adventures in sand

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In the mind of a former New York teacher, Labour Day weekend means only one thing…back to school. Since this September baby is also born around the same time and lived in Long Beach where that Monday is the unofficial close of the summer season – it already means something else. And then, this same girl moved west and now, Labor Day weekend also signifies the USA Sand Sculpting Competition held annually in San Diego, California. This year, I not only got to attend, but spent the first day of the event volunteering and learning some of what goes on to make those incredible pieces of three dimensional artwork come alive. Read the rest of this entry

The aftermath of adventure…returning home

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Travel. A gift, choice, calling, vice – whatever you call it….when one travel journey comes to an end…it affects you. Our most recent long travel adventure took us across two continents, three countries, seeing friends and two sets of family, planes, trains, trucks and automobiles, a cross country road trip and over two months of travel. Then it ended. Don’t get me wrong…being ‘stuck’ in sunny San Diego, is no place anyone would ever use the term ‘stuck’ – nevertheless, a journey that took months to plan and weeks to execute, was over. Read the rest of this entry

Mindfulness on the road

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Recently I’ve found myself in the library in the mindfulness section. Call it the yoga addiction or the easy access to meditation and mindfulness gurus, but the mindfulness connection has taken off with me. What about you?

“The goal of meditation isn’t to control your thought; it’s to stop letting them control you.” -Unknown

I can’t even tell you when the first time was that I heard the word, mindful. I imagine it’s been floated around for years, and perhaps, like so many other things, it begins to penetrate when you need it most. And as with everything in life – things change. When I began my yoga journey seven years ago, I was looking for something to feel good, not hurt my back and an exercise that my little asthmatic lungs could handle. I didn’t much enjoy the meditation portion or the yogic philosophy or listening to anyone talk about chakras, healing ways, aromatherapy or any sort of sutras. Today, I crave it. I miss my Wednesday yoga therapy classes with Kellie and Friday meditations with Sarah at the old studio. But, as with everything in life, I’m in search of something new – something more. Read the rest of this entry

From all change…growth

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We’ve now been in San Diego for 18 months. In all that time, I’ve been a member of a downtown yoga studio in the East Village. It’s changed names and ownership, but the community has remained constant, strong and vibrant. On Friday, my yoga studio is closing its doors. It’s a bit sad. Read the rest of this entry

Growth, travel and pizza

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I have a friend who is known in her circle of friends as the ‘Pizza Expert’. She leads tours of ‘the best pizza’ in Brooklyn, runs races where the prize is a slice, sports a pizza costume on Halloween and has now developed a ‘pizza crawl’ around New York City. I have a feeling she’d ditch me as a friend if I admitted to not absolutely loving traditional pizza – well, now it’s out there. I know, I know – how can I be from New York and not love pizza? For that, I don’t have an answer, but I can tell you I married a guy who feels the same. And yet, over our own homemade ‘pizza’ dinner the other night, somehow we wound up comparing pizza to travel. Some things rarely make sense.

Cheesy Flatbread from Food Network's® The Neeleys - thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com Read the rest of this entry