Life

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Life points us in the direction we need to be moving. Our faiths take us to places we feel we need to be. No longer should we be confined to small sections of this planet nor should we be led to massive monuments with the destination being the only experience we enjoy.

Tourism is dead. The traditional, move from point A to point B, way of touring this magical sphere is over.  The days of experiential travel are here!

Travel is alive! 

But wait, you ask, ‘I thought that was the business you are in?’ Soul Experiences is in the Experiential Group Travel industry.  If you Google search ‘Tourism’, ‘Group Travel’, ‘Tour and Travel’, ‘Tours’, you will find us and a myriad of other tourism companies. These are words you will here from us still but our focus is the journey, together. Sure we will see lots of the “must sees” of this world but while we are rolling down the road to our destination the journey will be exceptional.  Gone are the days of disconnected tour guides and questions left unanswered!

Do not cling to the familiar, explore the journey! Every time we travel we learn. We learn we are more alike in our differences than we once believed. We learn we need experiences to grow and be fulfilled. Experiences are not gained exclusively by aging. Wisdom from our age, only adds to our soul experiences. Experiences are the stepping stones of a fulfilled, soulful life’s journey.

Travel Well My Friends!

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Sun In Your Face

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“Turn your face to the sun…and the shadows will fall behind you.”

Traveling with little, to no, destination in mind is a wonderful way to discover new unexplored areas.  Lessons I have learned while traveling are invaluable.  Until you walk, dine, interact, immerse yourself in a region you cannot fully understand the travel presence in a community.

Iowa is home to miles and miles of year round outdoor activity opportunities.  Even the urbanized areas put a high value on their green spaces.  You would be hard pressed to find a city, town, or community that does not boast at least one city park.  The open areas are shaded by towering shade trees, and the hiking trails lead you on remarkable winding adventures.  It is a nice respite to hike instead of drive for awhile, even if I no destination in mind.

As I wandered aimlessly down a twisting path, through the overgrown brush, the words above crossed my mind.  If your face is to the sun, all your shadows are literally behind you.  It is not just a fanciful way of expressing one’s belief that things will get better, it is a fact.  Let the sun sine down on you occasionally.  Put the worries that darken your life behind you.

Travel well my friends!

Pastimes

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Bowling, fishing, biking, skiing, boating, knitting, scrapbooking,….the lists of pastimes could go on and on.  This past weekend I participated in a pastime that I have come to love, Cowboy Action Shooting.

I have not talked about this pastime very often in a public forum because I was raised to think quite differently about firearms. Society and the media have attempted to paint the issue of the 2nd Amendment in a black and white.  I still believe that the grey areas of this ongoing debate have yet to be determined.  I have no use for guns. I do not own a gun and believed there is absolutely no reason for anyone to own one.  I was raised with the belief that guns were created for one purpose and one purpose only, and that purpose has no place in my household.  Then I met him….

He came into my life as a friend, we started getting to know each other and then the most amazing thing happened to me, I fell in love with him.  He introduced me to this pastime/sport shortly after we met but it was another few years before I even attended a match. Looking back I am sure he tempted me with clothes!

For all the hesitance I displayed about firearms, I feel the exact opposite about costuming.  I love costuming!  It has been a lifetime, yes a lifetime (I literally have a black dress from my childhood that is now in my costume wardrobe) of building different costumes for various events.  I have enough costumes to start a small store.  If I don’t have what you might need to help you change your persona, I know enough similarly costume addicted individuals that can help us out.  So when I learned costumes were strongly encouraged and sometimes required for Cowboy Action Shooting I was intrigued.

 

I started this learning process as rigorously as I begin any unknown project….lots of research.  I read about the sport, the clothing, the era, and yes, the guns, with the same fervor of a law student preparing for the Bar Exam.  After months of study, I acquired a costume and took a very deep breath, ready to attend my very first Cowboy Action Shooting event (match).

I started out as an observer, watching the routines, the safety procedures, and of course, the fun.  Away from the matches with a private instructor, on a private range, I learned the fine art of safely handling the guns, specific to the sport.  I was then practice shooting after my instructors felt I was ready.  At the matches I was soon keeping score, counting misses, picking up brass and helping anywhere I could. Basically I was a full-fledged shootist without firing a gun.  Finally after a beautiful summer of Sundays at the range I decided I was ready for my first competition.

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This pastime has taught me another outlook on my belief structure. I feel the shootists I have met are celebrating a very volatile time in United States history.  Not all of history is peaceful, much of it is violent, but in amongst the tragedies there are stories of perseverance, dedication, love and heroism.  As a settler in the Wild West it was imperative to you and your families survival to use the best tools available to you, from wagon wheels to guns, your survival depended on your choices.  Cowboy Action Shooting allows the people of present day to celebrate another time and place that helped shape what this country is today.

I will not say my view on guns has changed drastically but my appreciation for another viewpoint has changed immensely.  I will continue to grow in this sport with a love of history and costuming to support my desire to learn everyday.

For more detailed information of this historical pastime go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowboy_Action_Shooting with great links to CAS, SASS and NCOWS clubs.

Soul Experiences

Road Trips

It is a glorious day. The sun has made a magnificent return to the sky. No longer veiled by immense clouds, the blue above me is intense. Autumn is in full swing. College football is on the television. The leaves are beginning their colorful change. The air has lost the oppressive heat that engulfs this area during the summer months.

Traveling during this time of the year is spectacular. The continuous green of the hillsides have changed to hues of green, yellow, brown, and orange. Splashes of red will soon follow as the sumac ignites. Road trips are a great way to familiarize yourself with the area you live. Stopping in the small towns that dot the highways can reveal to you more surprises than you may expect. Keep the adventure going by checking into a local B & B, simply for the sake of curiosity. Great food can always be found in the corner cafes or local pub. Just get out there in this big wide world and enjoy yourself. You may find your road trip is a refreshing soul experience.

Travel well my friends.

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Ribs, Rods, and Rock N’ Roll

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The quiet little college town of Vermillion South Dakota came alive with the sounds of music, the tastes of BBQ and the sights of shiny chrome bumpers, this weekend.  It is a new festival that is literally “off the beaten path”.  We had a wonderful time connecting with new friends and enjoying time together.  The food was amazing, the music was energizing and the community was welcoming.  The whole experience left us wanting to linger longer on our ‘mini-cation’ (Monday always comes to soon).

Be sure to give Soul Experiences a call to reserve your next adventure away!  We had a great time and would love to have you come along for our next journey!  Next stop….Lincoln Nebraska, for our Husker Staycation then on to Nebraska City for a taste of Autumn on our Apple and Wine Excursion.  Check out www.soul-experiences.com for all the details of our upcoming fall tours.

Travel well my friends

Off The Beaten Path

TRAVEL UPDATE!

North Central Kansas was reviewed last week.  I will showcase Iowa highlights this week.  It was a great weekend, albeit speedy, in Iowa!  Below is the original post that kicked off my Great Plains “off the beaten path” reviews.  We have only just begun with Kansas and Iowa.  Stay tuned, more to come!

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I use the phrase, “off the beaten path” often.  I value the adventure of discovery.  I enjoy finding new, seldom explored areas.  I venture away from the norm and I love sharing my explorations with anyone who will listen to my exuberance.

I am a native Nebraskan.  I have lived in this state my whole life.  It is a perfect location for this wandering traveler.  I am centrally located in the United States, I enjoy white Christmases and hot summers, that remind me of my love of winter.  The cost of living in Nebraska is low, owning an acreage is a reasonable goal.  I have wide open vistas in my backyard, trees that tower over my neighborhood and history that is as boundless as the open skies above us.

I feel The Great Plains are the most overlooked travel destination in the continental US.  It is my favorite “off the beaten path” area.  For the next few weeks I will be highlighting some of  my top picks for fun travel adventures in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Colorado.  I hope to share with you insights to unexplored or seldom explored areas with the intention of sparking travel desires for you.  Most of the highlights will also be sneak peeks of 2015 for Soul Experiences.  So if have not traveled with us yet or haven’t traveled with a group, this may be the preview you need to embrace a new form of traveling.  Come along with us as we search The Great Plains and beyond for “off the beaten path” journeys.

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Off The Beaten Path

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I use the phrase, “off the beaten path” often.  I value the adventure of discovery.  I enjoy finding new, seldom explored areas.  I venture away from the norm and I love sharing my explorations with anyone who will listen to my exuberance.

I am a native Nebraskan.  I have lived in this state my whole life.  It is a perfect location for this wandering traveler.  I am centrally located in the United States, I enjoy white Christmases and hot summers, that remind me of my love of winter.  The cost of living in Nebraska is low, owning an acreage is a reasonable goal.  I have wide open vistas in my backyard, trees that tower over my neighborhood and history that is as boundless as the open skies above us.

I feel The Great Plains are the most overlooked travel destination in the continental US.  It is my favorite “off the beaten path” area.  For the next few weeks I will be highlighting some of  my top picks for fun travel adventures in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Colorado.  I hope to share with you insights to unexplored or seldom explored areas with the intention of sparking travel desires for you.  Most of the highlights will also be sneak peeks of 2015 for Soul Experiences.  So if have not traveled with us yet or haven’t traveled with a group, this may be the preview you need to embrace a new form of traveling.  Come along with us as we search The Great Plains and beyond for “off the beaten path” journeys.

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Travel Addict

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I am ready for the open road!  Once again I feel the pull of travel tugging at my soul.  I desire to unleash my car upon the blacktop of our country.  The unknown waiting to be discovered.  The small communities with their amazing stores, hiding treasures from the mega chain retailers.  Beautiful gems of unrecognized accomplishments you only hear about if you slow down long enough to listen.  The local café serving up home cooked meals to the famers.  The local merchant selling knick-knacks none of us really need but a trinket from the area, brings back our travel memories when we are ensconced in our daily routines, reminding us of the fun we had.  The community playhouse is a refurbished barn, giving new meaning to “off Broadway”, with the performances exuding more passion than the highest paid actors on the Big Screen.

I long for adventure, discovery, knowledge and soulful awareness.  My next planned travel is not till Friday….maybe I will squeeze a quick trip in first! 🙂

Simple Treasures

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Travel moves my soul.  It makes me feel alive.  It helps me to gain perspective on our big wide world.  I desire travel like I desire my children’s happiness.  The mountains call to me, the beach beckons, faraway lands whisper for me to explore.  The path that was not taken will always be my favorite passage.  I want to stumble through snow in July and trudge through the tropics in February.  I want to venture to the top of the next ridge and look over an unexplored valley.  I need to board a train with no particular destination in mind. 

On this day I wish you happiness, inner peace and a sense of adventure in all you do.  Even if travel is not your inspiration, enjoy the simple treasures around you.  They abound even when life is crashing over you, there will always be a blessing for you.  Look closely and enjoy the day.

Travel well my friends.