Keeping It Real

wpid-20141110_222448.jpg
Snow, not road dust.

I want to be totally honest…

I hate negativity.

I am a Midwest/Great Plains, proud, independent, gal. I was born and raised in a moderately large town, for us country folks. I strive to keep a positive outlook. I focus on the silver linings of situations. I consider myself a nice person. I immediately fall into the standard finger wave when my tires touch gravel roads. I can drive a sports car, a 4×4 pickup truck, a John Deere tractor, an all terrain 4-wheeler, a massive Case combine, plus a myriad of farm implements and city toys. I sail, jet-ski, even tried my hand at steering a speed boat on the Missouri River. Heck if you let me I can drive a riding lawn mower, maneuver a horse down a tree lined trail or peddle my bike on one of the many bike paths in Nebraska.

I have experienced all sorts of road conditions, snow, mud, gravel, ice, and even the destructive tendencies of “white rock”. The roads department version of speed bumps. These small boulders of white death are spread along the gravel back roads of Nebraska. For miles at a time it seems a truck loaded with them has seemingly opened its back gate, dumped them while driving, and forgot to spread them around. You will be cruising along on an unsuspecting gravel road, then BAM! Your tires slip. Your once forward momentum stalls, feeling like you’ve entered quicksand with the added benefit of sharp meteors striking the underneath of your vehicle.  I am sure there is scientific evidence that this plague of large marble sized, (the shooters, not the mibs~but that’s a whole other post) rough edged, chalky rocks is a better alternative to the tiny gravel stones of my youth, but I am failing to see it’s merits.

I believe in road trips, country drives, business commutes, luxury leisure travel, your basic ‘point A to point B’ transportation. I love the freedom of being in charge of my own mode of travel. I embrace driving to see the world around me. Yet sometimes it is time to let go. Turn over the proverbial reins to someone else.

Which is why I will drive for hours to reach a large airport just to fly Spirit Airlines. Not the airline you thought I would say, huh? Spirit Airlines is a low-cost, 2 star rated*, controversial airline. Their current ad campaign is ‘It’s the age of Aquarius’. The slogan for the company is ‘Less Money. More Go.’ They are the ‘Home of the Bare Fare’. It seems their marketing department has yet to graduate high school.

Yet, in my sunshine attitude, I can look at all of those aforementioned reasons not to fly and fly with them over and over again. I have never had a bad experience with this airline. For all the negative hype around this carrier, I have yet to encounter it. I look with a critical eye at all my travel adventures. I report straight back to you, I refuse to lead you astray. I can’t even stay in a hotel anymore without critiquing every little detail.

wpid-fb_img_1430843026771.jpg
Ready for take off!

So when I book my air travel I am very serious about who I turn those reins over to. I know exactly what I am getting each time I fly with them. My inexpensive seats will have little to no leg room for my almost 6 foot frame. The width of my seat will accommodate my former 16 year old self. The drinks, snacks, bags and check-in will cost more, if I choose to open my wallet.

I know those things. They spell it out on all of their connections with me. I am responsible for my own self (see this is where that ‘independent gal’ comes in). I know I will have a seat on the flight, I chose it. I know I will have my boarding pass, I printed it. I know my bag is small enough to be a personal item to avoid baggage fees, I packed it.

I have been fortunate enough to fly the Red-Eye to Vegas (both ways). I have enjoyed stretching my legs in my own row for a flight. I loved arriving at my destination almost 45 minutes early, due to a tail-wind and an excellent flight crew, much to the stress of my greeting party. Now I will have the opportunity to fly with Spirit Airlines for my teenagers first ever flight. Yep that’s right, my teenagers have never flown. Your travel guru, road trip maven, adventure seeking, Soul Experiencing Guide, has never taken her teenagers on an airplane. Once again, that is a whole other post. 🙂

I personally would recommend Spirit Airlines any time you need to fly a short distance, unexpectedly, or inexpensively. The flight staff is friendly, they live up to their slogan, and most of all they safely get me to where I need to go, when I don’t want to drive.

Travel well, my friends.

*Skytrax 2015 rating. Retrieved July 25, 2015

Lost

wpid-wp-1417705593522.jpeg

I lost my sunglasses today.

No, this is not earth shattering news.  I did not loose my car in a ginormous mall parking lot.  I did not become separated from my beloved child at said mall.  I did not misplace my cell phone…again.

You see, while I am enjoying the great outdoors, I need my sunglasses.  The sun feels harsh on my eyes.  The warmth on my skin feels like magic kisses but my eyes have become dependent on the shade provided by the dark tinted, thin plastic.  The sunlight looses its sharp edges, the burning blast becomes an inviting glow.

Travel can feel like this.  Our dependency on the familiar.  The warmth of excitement, we feel, discovering new places.  The magic of adventures on our journeys.  Although, the harshness of flight delays, the sharp edges of an unknown road, unexpected expenses, are ever present when we step out our doors.  All these components of traveling can impede achieving relaxation we so desperately desire.

Let Soul Experiences be your “sunglasses”.  Let our experience shade you from the harsh reality of traveling.  Journey with us and let us soften the barrier between you and rejuvenation.

Travel well my friends!

20140707-101122-36682091.jpg

P.S. I found relief from the sun after I pulled my shades from the top of my head. 🙂

Tiny World

This area of Kansas is stunning.  The Flint Hills remains much the way it was at least 300 years ago.  The dusty ruts of the California and Oregon Trails may be gone but the history of their migration are steeped in the landscapes, architecture, and residents. 

As I traveled back north towards Nebraska the little towns were begging for travelers to stop and stay awhile.  Signs for historic hotels and landmarks.  “Two-dog, cow towns” diminishing with less rail traffic,  beautiful sturdy limestone buildings erected to conform the non-conformists, and the “oldest round-a-bout in Kansas, which was a fun gathering area for the citizens of Blue Rapids.

The world seems tiny when traveling in a local areas.  Take some time to really enjoy what each of your stops offers.  Our world may seem tiny while looking at the big picture but when you slow down to experience the big gifts of small towns you might just see how really magnificent tiny can be. 

Road Work

construction-ahead1

Summer can mean only one thing….road construction.  As I creep up to, yet another, sign holding, brightly clad, hard hat wearing worker, my mind races to the amount of precious time I am wasting.  I sit in my car.  I scroll through emails.  I mindlessly change the channel on the radio.  I am too easily distracted to bring a book along for the marathons of delays.  I don’t want to miss anything interesting going on outside my little car’s windows.  So I sit.

Please don’t get me wrong.  I am eternally grateful to all the hard working women and men on our country’s roads.  I respect them for the intense work that they do.  I know in the end of it all our travel times will be improved and all will be right for this travel enthusiast.  But right now trying to be patient, trying to envision the light at the end of theses road construction delays, is very difficult.

Here are some helpful tips for road safety this summer

  1. Don’t get impatient.  It is so easy to loose your temper when faced with long delays.  Try to play soothing music or practice deep breathing.  Or map out your destination to avoid construction all together.
  2. Put a smile on your face.  I have said this before, it is impossible to remain angry when you are genuinely smiling.  Think of all the blessings in your life and take the time to smile.  Besides everyone else will wonder what your smiling about.
  3. Curb Road Rage.  I’m not going to say anything else on this except it is irresponsible to use your vehicle for your anger outlet.
  4. Slow down.  Obey the speed limit signs.  Reducing your speed increases your reaction times.  Expecting the unexpected in construction zones is a must.
  5. Remember this too shall pass.  Figuratively and literally.  The construction/destruction will not last forever and when all is said and done your future travels will be much smoother. 

Road trips are one of my favorite modes of travel.  I will continue to adventure on the open roads but rest assured it may take me a little more time.  Which I will be thankful for so I can slow down enough to enjoy the world around me.

Travel well my friends.

Big Wide World

wpid-20140314_134704-1.jpg

Every corner of this world is waiting.  Waiting for an explorer.  Waiting to change.  Waiting to whisper to me.  Seductively it calls to me to leave what I know and venture beyond the familiar.  Tantalizing words spoken on the wind.  Crashing demands slammed down in torrential rain.  Soft beckoning of the graceful lacy snowflakes.  I desire to adventure, running wildly like a Hobbit, shouting over his shoulder as he embarks.  This big wide world is calling to me, I must go.  I will return to tell of my experiences, but I would rather, you came along.

Travel well my friends.