Abandoned

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The heat bore down on my shoulders as I walked the perimeter of the forlorn oasis. It seemed someone just forgot to unlock the gate, but it was forgotten long ago. In the heat of a summer day, an abandoned swimming pool is not what you want to find while traveling.

An empty hole of concrete, painted white. Overgrown cracks in the walkways. Last years leaves blowing around, crunchy and brown. Its enough to break a child’s heart or a grown-up’s heart who wishes to splash like a child again. Yes, I could find something else to do with my afternoon. No, I was not going to throw myself on the ground in a full blown toddler meltdown (although the thought crossed my mind). The abandoned pool seemed more desolate the longer I surveyed it. As I moved on back to my car for bigger adventures my thoughts began to wander, like they usually do, to writing about my discovery. I was having trouble putting this one in a positive light. I am not fond of summer weather. I am often heard sating the only two activities one should be doing is hiding in blessed air conditioning or swimming in a cool, clear, pool during these oppressive days.

My traveling heart is always looking for the experiences in my adventures that easily translate into meaningful life lessons. To be honest I was coming up blank at the time. Sure you could say something like, “Nurture your life so others won’t see it as abandoned” or “If life drains you be sure to fill up again”, but really? We all know our nourishment both physically and spiritually is a requirement for our own personal success. It seems contrite and almost condescending to hear the clichés over and over again.

So today I leave you with this simple statement…

If you are feeling abandoned, unlock your gate, let someone in.

Travel well my friends.

 

Success

regret

We all have them. We all attempt to ‘silver line’ them. We all try to reduce them.

REGRETS

It’s not a pretty word. It lingers on your tongue like a bad tasting sip of wine. The word evokes doubt, indecision, and even fear when spoken. If you write it, the word flows awkwardly from your pen. Regrets never have a feel good feeling.

So why then aren’t we frozen in time? Not moving forward. Why do we, as the human race, repeatedly venture into the unknown? Wouldn’t it be less painful to just do the same thing over and over again. The proven method that cannot cause regrets.

What would our world look like if no person had one regret?

That is terrifying. No one would strive to be different. There would be no innovation. No iPhone, no cars, not even the most basic of items. We would still be living in the era of the Caveman. Our world would not exist.

I take chances. Not only for the shock value of it, but also because I want to minimize my regrets. The eventual outcome for most of my risk-taking is success. On this day will you work towards success or have regrets? You know what I’ll be achieving.

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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Sunrise

Nothing in the world compares to being on the road as the sun creeps up the horizon.  I put my back to the East and started driving.  The jet black of night surrounded me. Illuminated by the errie blue of the dash lights on my little car. As the black gradually lighted to inconsequential shades of grey, my imagination conjured Dr. Seuss creatures moving in the empty fields. 

  

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!

Embrace Love

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Love is the greatest gift of all.  It takes us places in our hearts, it touches our souls and reminds us how our body and mind can fool each other.  Love wraps us in a warm cocoon of safety.  So whether it is a love between parent and child, or an all encompassing love between lovers, be sure you embrace love.  Embrace the security, and happiness that reside with love.

Travel well friends. 

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What am I supposed to hear?

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My life is a series of events that seem to crash into one another.  There aren’t enough hours in a day.  I have not learned to clone myself to be at multiple places at the same time.  Mundane routines seem to cloud the exceptional.  Daily life jumbles together to make a scrambled collage of unfinished projects, work, and social life.  

Then, every now and again, I stop.  I truly listen to what my heart is telling me.  I watch the world around me.  I feel how things are flowing, and I make a change.  The change does not need to be earth shatteringly huge.  For I am not Superman needing to save Lois Lane from certain death by causing the world to spin backwards on its axis.  I am me.  Not cloned, not superhuman, just me.  I like me, even if it is hard to accomplish some goals or stay on task with others.  I like to mix up the mundane.  I love to flit from one life event to the other.  The adrenaline I feel from minor stress keeps me moving forward to accomplish all I have set on my shoulders.

So when you are feeling overwhelmed, please, take a moment to breathe.  Take in the world around you for just a moment or two.  Always remember your babies won’t be babies forever, the dishes can wait, deadlines are a goal not the guillotine, and most of all, listen to your heart.

Travel well my friends.  

Secret Getaways

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Take me away to a snow filled place

Just you and I

Where the cold welcomes me

My breath freezes on the wind

It is my dream to sleep beneath

the stars with snow all around

A magical place of snow and ice

You are my warmth, my shelter

I want to wake to the sunrise

surrounded by a sea of white

Just you and I

Your arms encircle me

We are alone in the snowy land

I find peace in the icy quiet

Noises muted on the snow covered world

Crystals shimmer like the dust from a fairy

No tropical masses

No sun drenched beach

Just you and I beneath the stars

Snuggled in out of the cold

with soft blankets and each other

Just you and I

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Winter Toes, Summer Water

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There is magic in water.  It is life-giving and taking.  It washes us clean both physically and spiritually.  We consume, immerse, bend, play, collect, rearrange, covet, and transport our water.  We have a very special connection with this liquid.  It is part of us, literally.

I love the water, open oceans, sprays from a sprinkler, warm showers, rain from the heavens, but most of all, the cooling waters of a swimming pool.  I have maintained a swimming pool of some sort for the last fifteen summers.  I have loving established a small wading pool for my toddler to cool off in during our muggy, hot August days together.  I have graduated all the way up to a 5,000 gallon above ground back yard pool, where you must keep PH, alkalinity, and chlorine levels at a precise amount.  Dutifully changing filters, skimming leaves, refilling water after a wild splashing party.  I find my focus on the perfection of the crystal H2O distracts me from my general dislike of summer. 

My favorite treat in the winter is a dip in an indoor pool.  Letting the chlorinated vapors saturate my sense of smell, the warmth of the pool consuming my body in a truly warming embrace.  I use the stairs to ritually step on to the first of the concrete slabs to my ultimate relaxation.  The water gently caressing my toes, my ankles, my knees, and waist, until I dive under to feel the weightlessness of my watery delight.

Water is also a focal point for my meditations.  I love the varied colors of water in nature, muddy brown with green tinges to light aquamarine, reflecting to the sky above.  I imagine the rapids of a cold river, quiet tropical coves of salt water, expanses of natural and man-made lakes, water trickling down a fountain, cascades of water falling to pools below splashing noisily.  My mind seems to focus and relax, calm transcends my spirit.  Find your focal point and put your winter toes in summer water.