My New Favorite Book

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If life demanded little of me, I’d spend it reading. On the couch, pile of books at my side, pillows properly fluffed and propped, my body wrapped in a pink snuggie. Ok, maybe lose the snuggie.

A colleague and friend gifted Book Lust To Go to me in light of the impending rtw trip.  It’s written by Nancy Pearl, a beloved Seattle librarian, and the book details recommended reading for global destinations A-Z. Its like candy.

I quickly started in the A section and ordered Adrift from the library – a true story of a man lost at sea for 76 days. I learned all about sea turtle blood enemas — serious knowledge that I’m sure will help me in my next ship wreck. (Facts we generally don’t need to know…sea turtle blood would help quench your unrelenting thirst but it’s poisonous so you need to intake it in a non-traditional manner. I’m considering adding an enema kit to our rtw trip pack list.)

The 2nd book read was A Voyage for Madmen, which chronicles nine sailors who set off individually in a race around the world — only one crosses the finish line.

A theme seems to be developing.

I caught up with a good friend yesterday who is taking two years out of the rat race to live on a boat sailing with her family in the Caribbean and of course I couldn’t keep my mouth shut about these books. I was exactly like that co-worker who tells you their birthing horror stories when you’re 8 months pregnant. Open mouth, insert…snuggie.

Thankfully, my friends are forgiving. Book Lust To Go is such a great gift and I’m looking forward to making my way through the recommended reading from my couch as well as all those couches we encounter on our trip around the world.

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Sedona, Grand Canyon, Moab, Oh My!

Devils Garden in Arches

Devils Garden in Arches

I was planning our spring break trip to the Southwest National Parks at the same time as researching our fall in SE Asia.  There was something about the color and vibrancy of Thailand that made Arizona and Utah seem barren, dry, and, frankly…bland.

Wrong again.

The southwestern U.S. is akin to going to Mars (except you wear shorts instead of a space suit).  The landscape is other worldly…pillars of space age rust rock jutting up from mile after mile of dusty, rocky barren land.  The vibrant orange hue of sandstone monuments and arches against the ever reaching blue sky.

The kids and I shared hot Navajo fry bread dipped in honey after a strenuous hike through the vast Grand Canyon…peering down at the deep green Colorado River carving its way as we munched.

It’s all a reminder of the geographic and cultural diversity in my own country.  Our rtw trip is about an overseas experience but our spring break trip was a good reminder that there’s so much to explore in my own backyard.

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Shedding a New Skin

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A year off work is a gift and a luxury.

Think how I’d feel if the year had passed and all I had to show for it was a clean house and being caught up on Netflix.  I’m cognizant not to fritter away this precious time.

The rtw trip is clearly a large part of the gift of a year, however I have 3-1/2 months before lift off.  My goals:

  • Family & friend connection
  • Digital detox (yeah, I’m not quite sure how to write a blog AND have a digital detox)
  • Creative recovery…

…you can be in business and be creative and I’ve been lucky that most of my corporate roles have been about building from scratch or rebuilding…creativity abound.  However if you’re an “all-in” type of person, you can’t give it to work and give it outside of work.  It’s now time for my OWN creative recovery.  What does this look like?  Writing morning pages (3 hand-written semi-conscious pages every morning); walking, running or hiking in nature every day; and…prepare yourselves…Bollywood dance class.  Yes, really.

I can feel these simple steps…already applied…opening up my core.  And it feels …amazing.