Posts Tagged With: travel style

Running for life

Sharman completes the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in San Diego. You Go Girl!

 

When passions collide, the results can be inspirational. I know this is true because I've watched my friend Sharman prove it; mile after mile, running half marathons to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Sharman and I met as co-workers and quickly became friends. When she moved back to Southern California she spent some time working with a travel agent, organizing and leading trips for various groups. She also stepped up her exercise program, working out and improving her fitness. Travel and good health…two passions that continue to inspire her today.

In 2007, Sharman's best friend lost her husband after a battle with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. When faced with more friends and family members battling blood cancers, Sharman took action. She ran her first half marathon in 2011, raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Today, she has set her goals with plans to run two fundraising half marathons each year; one somewhere in the United States and a second outside of the USA. Helping the ones she loves while doing what she loves has become a lifestyle for Sharman.

What goals have your passions inspired? If you'd like to read more about what inspires Sharman, check out her story here.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Adventure calls, but when will we answer?

Our sons, Chris, Andrew and Brad in their Balmerino, Scotland school uniforms.

When is the right time to take an adventure?

There are many answers:

When the kids get out of school.

When we can afford it.

When we learn __________ (insert a foreign language).

When we retire.

When we pay off the house.

When the economy is better.

In other words, when it is easier and less risky. There is such a thing as the wrong time, of course. But how often do we keep adventure in the future when we could take the leap at the only time we are guaranteed: today?

The perfect time doesn't exist.

It will be risky. It will be difficult. Mistakes will happen. That is because adventure takes us outside our comfort zone.

When our three sons were in their early elementary school years, Sue was working full time and I was teaching and working a second job on weekends. We were beginning to save some money for the kids' college education and even saving for our retirement. The linear American dream was alive and well!

But then I had a crazy idea: Apply for a teaching exchange. I mentioned it to our friend Kathy and she soon brought me an ad she clipped from a magazine about Fulbright teacher exchanges.

We can't afford it! What about Sue's job? What about the boys' education? What if we get assigned to a country not on our most-desired list? There were many reasons not to apply.

It did not make sense, but we did it anyway.

Our sons at a standing stone in the Orkney Islands off northern Scotland.

I was very fortunate to get the exchange and our destination could not have been better: Scotland. My mother would have credited the luck of my Irish heritage.

Our year brought many challenges, some unpredictable and quite difficult. We took out a second mortgage on the house to finance the trip. Our college and retirement savings plans were interrupted.

There were times we wanted to come home, especially during the short, damp days in winter. As an American teacher in Scotland, I stumbled often. (Our Scottish friends and my former students there are having a good chuckle if they are reading this.)

But, it was the best year of our lives as a family. We made friends we will treasure forever. The old Volvo we bought took us on 30,000 miles of adventures around the U.K. and France. The boys returned with Scottish accents and a love for soccer.

So many highlights. Our sons have all traveled abroad on their own as adults. In fact, the experience influenced our kids so much that we now turn to them for travel advice!

Adventures come in many forms. At BootsnAll, I read about individuals and families doing amazing things with far more risk than we experienced. People quit jobs, sell their house and travel around the world. Some do this with children and without much money. Some find short-term jobs to pay the bills.

We all have limits to how far outside our comfort zone we will go. But, shouldn't life be an adventure? Shouldn't we live it today?

 

Categories: Reflections | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Am I a Travel Snob?

 

We prove that taking an occasional selfie is not beneath us, as we pose in front of Yosemite Falls.

“Uh-oh honey,” I muttered as we sipped our coffee and scanned the morning headlines. “I think this might be us.” An article entitled 22 Reasons You Are a Travel Snob had caught my eye. Yikes…the author wasn't cutting me any slack. He wasn't concerned that I “might be” or “could be”…he declared that “I am!” I've been found guilty without a trial.

Item #1 suggests, in part, that real travelers live in the moment and arrange things themselves, something tourists and vacationers don't do. I have to admit that we do try to avoid organized tours, choosing to explore new places at our own pace, therefore allowing us to learn to live in the moment. As I read it out loud to Reg he gave it some thought. “Hmmmm, he said. Travel Snobs…we might be…”

“Well, I don't think we're snobs, I replied a little defensively. I think we're just…really enthusiastic about our choices.” After all, I thought to myself, we don't have the ways and means to be five-star Travel Snobs, expecting and enjoying the best of everything. Nor do we feel compelled to truly rough it, packing a tent and subsisting on freeze-dried beef stew and protein bars, all in an effort to have an “authentic” experience. Happiness for us lies somewhere in the middle

Reading through the remaining 21 Reasons I felt reasonably sure that Reg and I had not yet acquired the unwanted title of Travel Snobs. I think we do have an on-the-go travel style as opposed to taking a plop-in-one-spot R&R vacation, but that is purely a personal choice.

It's taken us thirty years to blend and perfect our travel style, and I'm sure it will continue to evolve. Whether your next trip takes you 500 or 5,000 miles from home, enjoy your experience – your way…and don't let the Travel Snobs get you down!

Categories: Reflections | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

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