When my younger son was a teenager, he said something to me that has stayed in my mind: We’re here for a good time, not a long time. I think none of us know how many years or days we have to wander this planet, so we should live each day as if it’s our last.
I recently liquidated my life in order to travel. I’ve lived in Mexico for many years and since I started writing professionally, I’ve met people from all over the world. It opened my mind to opportunities to see a world that I’ve only ever read about or observed in film. Nothing prepares you for the real culture of another country, nor the kindness of a countries’ people. You must experience this.
I have a mantra that’s been running through my mind for the last couple of years: We are all one. If the Universe is to survive, it’s not about climate change but about a definite shift in how we see each other and the tolerance we have for each nation and culture around the world.
The birth of the www. gave us an opportunity that no prior generation ever had. It opened the door to the possibility of friendships from all over the world. These friendships forge the way for us to understand that regardless of the color of our skin, the languages we speak, we have a common thread running through our lives: love. We all wake up in the morning, study, grow, form family, have children—or not—worry about our families, careers, putting food on the table, our health and our love. We are all one.
At the end of my life, I know that all that will matter is how much I loved.
I’ve finally accepted that I’m addicted to LOVE. I write about it, I’m either in-or-out of it, and I live my life and make choices around it.
I’m still a work-in-progress. At this stage of life, you’d think I’d have it all figured out, but that’s never going to be the case. I’ve chosen to love in unconventional ways and without the restrictions of conditions.
I’ve recently made a decision to change the course of my life. After living in Mexico for many years, I’ve liquidated my life and hopped on a jet plane. I’m currently in Paris and in two days, I’ll be in Frankfurt, then New Delhi, and will continue going to the Middle East, Asia, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Here’s what runs through my mind:
all my bags are packed and i’m ready to go
i’m standin here outside your door, i hate to wake you up to say goodbye, but the dawn is breakin it’s early morn
the taxi’s waitin, he’s blowin his horn
already i’m so lonesome i could die
so kiss me and smile for me, tell me that you’ll wait for me, hold me like you’ll never let me go
cause i’m leavin on a jet plane, don’t know if i’ll be back again
Yes, with self-knowledge comes self-acceptance. The choices I’ve made give me tremendous highs, and not-so-lovely lows. But this is who I am. And my life has been significantly improved because I learned to love unconditionally.
We look for the bad, the shock value of another mass murder, or political crisis, war, character assassination, anything that captures our emotions. But what about Good News?Why do we not feel the same about the good things that are happening in the world, and the good things that happen daily in our own lives?
I’m a huge believer in spreading positive vibes, giving off good energy, looking for the best in life and in people. This morning’s message from Jay Shetty talks about GRATITUDE. We need to remember to be grateful. Jay shared this quote from an Oscar speech by Mathew McConaughey.
“It’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates.” – Matthew McConaughey
Several years ago I was reading a book by Elizabeth Gilbert and she mentioned a daily habit of gratitude that I decided to add into my life: it begins with a Gratitude Jar.
I took a coffee tin and a black marker and wrote GRATITUDE on it. At any point in my day, I take a small piece of paper and write down something specific in my life that makes me smile. For example, when I decided to streamline my life, and live from my suitcase, I had a gazillion details that required constant lists, check-off, cross out, and add-in of more items. I’ve lived in Mexico since 2002. I have ties to the community, friendships, and two major careers. There were incredible amounts of details to take care of before I took the first plane out of Puerto Vallarta and headed towards Dallas, and continued on to Paris. I had to keep reminding myself that what I was doing was something I’d dreamed about for many, many years. But no matter how positive I was, I still had my insecurities.
It’s so easy to complain. It’s also inevitable that details will get missed. The only difference, on this particular journey, there was no room for error.
I was leaving North America–possibly for good–and journeying to places I’d never imagined visiting. My intention was to begin the next stage of my life in foreign locations. I could panic when things went wrong–and they did–or I could merely add another project to my list and take it all in stride.
Up until the last day before I left, I kept adding notes to my Gratitude Jar. I insisted on reminding myself that no matter how daunting I found this new direction in my life, I would be grateful to my heart and my mind for opening up the world to me and allowing this opportunity to emerge.
So every day I start the day with an attitude of gratitude. Every time something negative happens, I find a positive in my life and my world. Something that makes me smile and remember how very lucky I am!
Have a beautiful weekend, and my lovely grandson and I say Bonjour from Paris!
I received this in my email tonight from Jay Shetty. It truly made me think. I responded to his thought with those of my own. I may be a different generation, but unfortunately I can relate to this message in ways that make me … well, let’s simply say I can relate. Can you?
What you do have control over is how you re-act to whatever happens in your life.
What we all become is exactly what we believe we can.
My confidence comes from knowing there is something greater than myself that I am a part of and also is a part of me.
How I think one masters one’s life is understanding that you are co-creating that life with the ultimate Creator. You cannot survive in this world just believing in yourself. You are not big enough to do it.
The fact that you are here, matters.
This is no accident. None of us are…
Every single thing that has happened in your life is preparing you for the moment that is to come.
My inspiration comes from all kind of places. It depends on what I’m writing at the time. Right now I’m deep into the theme/plot process that I need to follow before I can begin to write a novel. But two books are vying for my attention and that’s like having twin babies that both demand to be fed right now!
Music inspires me. Current affairs get my creative juices flowing. And dreams. Oh how I love my dreams.
Lately I’ve been watching Netflix thriller series and wondering if they have invaded my senses and taken over my mind. Theme after theme competes with ideas that I keep writing down for Luke and Samaar to explore.
Then last night I watched/listened to Taylor Swift’s Reputation Tour. That feeds my Muse for my Contemporary Romance series, “Lie to Me.” That upcoming novel already has a theme song The Essence of Us. I play that song non-stop while I’m working through what’s going on with Layla’ life. The emotion in Taylor Swift’s songs, and the outpouring of love from her fans is so inspiring.
A friend asked me recently if I still write poetry. The answer will always be, yes. I remember my first published poem. I think I was 25. I wrote it for my sister’s 21st birthday. I did a photoshoot with her and had the black and white image placed on a wooden plaque and superimposed the words to the poem on top. The first few lines were: One day, when I know who I am and where I am going and what I want will you still love me for the woman I am... I often whisper those words to myself…
Today was a strange day. Late to bed last night, early to rise, and back to sleep in the afternoon. I’ve got a lot on my mind. I think I already told you I’m leaving Mexico for a while or permanently, and traveling to the Middle and Far East. Whenever I make a major change in my life, my dreams change. It’s rather exciting. It’s like getting a coupon book for free movies, only they turn out to be foreign films with Spanish subtitles. I know I’m weird. Just go with it. I decided to share this afternoon’s dream with you.
By the way, my first novel award-winningTarget in the Sun is FREE, an exciting Contemporary Suspense story on Amazon Download today. If you’ve already read it, thanks. Why not gift one to a friend?
It’s been a while since I worked on a novel. I have four storylines that are competing for my attention, and I can’t seem to focus in on one over the other. So I get my dose of daily writing when I hang out on Quora for a bit. I thought you might enjoy my answer to a rather shallow question. It might be TMI, but then, those of you who know me understand that I’m an open book, a work in progress, and a constantly evolving woman.
This month I’m packing up my life. I’ve sold everything and will begin a journey to places I’ve never been. I have a set departure and a few locations in France, India, Turkey, and Israel that are booked. But once I arrive in Bangkok, I will be free-falling… I have no set date of return to Mexico, although my friends who’ve become a family, believe I will return. I’m not sure.
This is going to be an interesting time. I will blog, post photos here and on IG, FB, Twitter. And I’ll do live videos on FB and my YouTube channel. I promise it will be fun, and a bit crazy. I see the world in strange and wondrous ways.
We all have our preferences. Some of us take a lifetime to truly understand what we like. I’m attracted to eyes. They mirror not only the soul but kindness and mischief. When a man looks at me with ‘those eyes’ I’m in trouble! And a very good kind of trouble it is!
So first it’s eyes, then it’s soul, then it’s brains—I love smart men. They’re usually cocky and annoying and can make you feel inadequate in a way that’s rather adorable. They are adult men with this immense sense of wonder about the subjects that fascinate them. And even though the subjects may be way out of reach for me, I’m wildly attracted to the light, that almost childish sense of wonder as they work through their discoveries, day after day.
And then there is sexy. That comes in all shapes and sizes but I definitely have a type in that area too. I won’t reveal myself because then I’d be at a disadvantage. I get a reaction, an immediate jolt when I find someone attractive. It’s generally mutual. If it’s not, I ignore the feelings and move on.
Am I shallow? Yes. In some ways that I won’t go into here. I have definite physical things that work for me and I haven’t met anyone yet who doesn’t fit into my likes. Maybe I will one day…
I’m still looking for ‘the one’ who makes my heart sing, speaks to my soul, who will love me and show me that happily ever after truly exists.
It’ been awhile. Have you wondered what happened to me?
I’m unpredictable, enigmatic, and always evolving. If any of my past relationships (men) are reading my blog, you can stop smiling now! I write sporadically, sometimes about topics that make you smile, shake your head, and check the post, wondering if I wrote it at all. “This is me,” as a dear friend of mine would say.
When you begin to understand me, I will do a 180 and you have to start all over again. It’s 2019. I rarely look backward, instead, I prefer to move on and live in the moment, moving towards the future. I have many amazing and beautiful things that happened in 2018, including taking back my emotional life and healing a very sad heart. Well, let me think about what I just said. I’m a woman. Do we ever truly heal our hearts? If we are open to love we will always be putting our hearts back together. So rather than look at 2018 let’s move right on into 2019!!
I have lived in Puerto Vallarta, on and off, since 2002. I fell in love with Mexico in the late 90’s. Many believe I moved here for a man. Let’s just say that I moved here out of love… a love that encompassed self-love, a lover, and a need to save my life rather than stay in a bad marriage and die a little each day.
And now the time has come to move on. I’m not saying I will never come back. But there are places to go and people to meet and stories to write and experiences to live, and love…yes, there will always be love.
I’m traveling first to the USA, then Paris to see my son and grandson, then I will visit India. I’ve never been before so if you have any places in India that touched your heart or spoke to your soul, please share them with me. After India I will spend a couple of days in Istanbul, and then I will have my birthday in Israel. First I will stay very close to the Wailing Wall, in the Arab Quarter in Jerusalem. Just writing this sends shivers up and down my spine. I’m drawn to the Holy Lands like many before me. I suppose my Catholic upbringing has a lot to do with that, but so does the life and death of IDZ, and the exploits of Samaar and Raven (operatives in my series, Code Raven– the first 3 are .99 cents).
After Israel I will go to Bangkok. From there I have absolutely no plans, but I will visit and possibly stay, in Bali. I will follow … my dreams.
Yesterday a friend of mine looked me in the eye and said, ‘You’re following your heart. You’re in love with him.” I objected profusely. “I’m in love with life, with travel, with places I’ve never been to and people I have yet to meet.” She raised her eyebrows and smiled. And then we both laughed.
Do I have a return ticket? No. I never look back and rarely go back, I always move forward. “But, will you come back to Mexico?”
I’m embarking on a journey-of-a-lifetime. In the next 48 hours, I will book my destinations! So many people have asked me why I’m going. Why now?
I’ve sold all my possessions, and yes, I’m taking my photos, and small family heirlooms. So my blogs/vlogging/books/photography will take a different spin over the next six months. Get ready. I promise you it’s going to be amazing and I’m taking you with me!!
We believe that traveling around the world shouldn’t be hard: it’s actually something everyone should be able to do at least once in their lives. Whether you choose to spend a few years or just a couple months traveling this beautiful planet, it’s important to see what’s out there. It’s up to you to make the dream come true and take the first step. Launch TripPlanner to piece together and price your ideal route. Not sure where to start? You can always call one of our travel consultants and get some complimentary advice!
2. Travel opens your eyes.
If you’re open and willing, travel will make you an incredibly more well-rounded human being. And that’s really the goal, isn’t it? If you don’t know where to start, check out our Around the World planning guide.
3. Traveling helps you learn who you are.
All the challenges and opportunities travel lays at your feet help you discover who you are in a way that’s only possible on the road.
4. Travel creates meaningful relationships
People you meet while on the road become some of the most valued names on your contact list. They become places on the map to visit later on. These folks give you a glimpse outside your hometown circle of friends, and force you to take in new and refreshing perspectives, and ultimately realize that everyone is the same.
5. Traveling develops skills you didn’t know you had
Sometimes it’s only far from home that you realize you you’ve got skills you’ve never used. It’s travel that brings them to the surface and makes you smile, satisfied to have reached the mountain top, or crossed a gorge or helped a villager clean up after a storm, or even to have successfully ordered a meal at a rural Chinese restaurant.
6. Travel helps you learn new languages
There’s something satisfying about being able to throw around a few words of Greek, knowing how to say thanks in Thai, pulling out that long dormant Spanish to book a room in Santiago, or simply hearing a language you didn’t know existed just a few weeks before.
7. Travel means adventure
Zip-lining over the jungle canopy in Peru, successfully navigating the maze-like streets of Venice, bartering for the best price in the traditional markets of Marrakech, taking a speedboat ride in New Zealand, or hopping in a Land Rover and heading out to watch animals grazing in Tanzania: these are adventures worth having. People are hardwired for the excitement of adventure and travel may just be the best way to tap into it.
8. Traveling gives you perspective
Meeting people from other cultures will teach you that the way you’ve been looking at the world isn’t the way everybody else does. In fact, your point-of-view might have some major blind spots. Seeing the world for yourself will improve your vision and your grip on reality.
9. Travel helps you move forward
If you’re between jobs, schools, kids, or relationships, around the world travel can be a perfect way to move from one of these life stages into your next great adventure. A big trip won’t just ease your transition into the next stage of your life, it’ll give you a chance to reflect on where you’ve been, where you’re going, and where you want to end up.
10. Travel is education
Seeing the world provides an education that’s absolutely impossible get in school. Travel teaches you economy, politics, history, geography, and sociology in an intense, hands-on way no class will. Fortunately, the school of travel is always taking applications, no entrance exam required.
11. Travel challenges you
Getting your daily latte at the same place and staring at your screen at your nine-to-five every day not nearly interesting enough? Even if you choose to work on the road (and keep staring at the screen), you’ll have to find a new place to drink your latte, and depending on your destination, finding coffee, and foamy milk or a good place to sip them could prove to be a sizeable challenge. Travel is full of moments of joy and challenges. Overcoming the challenges gives you some of the greatest joys of all.
12. Travel shakes things up
It sucks to be stuck in a rut. Everyone knows what that’s like. A big trip can be your perfect solution. Fly around the world, stopping over in all of the places you’ve always wanted to visit. Go ahead and plan your ideal route around the world (it’s easier than you think!)
13. Traveling proves that dreams do come true
You imagined it, daydreamed about it, envisioned it. Guess what? It can be done. Around the world travel is possible, you just have to decide you’re willing to take the first step and start planning your itinerary. What are you waiting for? We’ve put together some specials to inspire you to live your dream.
14. Travel gives you cool stories
Let’s face it. Even for folks who can’t tell a story, just the words “last year in Mongolia” get you instant party points. Even when events seem trivial, nostalgia and distance create an irresistible spin that makes mundane things like getting your laundry done in Zanzibar, entertaining. Just don’t be that person and overdo it!
15. Travel is literally food for thought.
You’ll be constantly surprised at the flavors the world has to offer. The way people in other cultures and countries prepare food, and break bread together (not that all cultures even eat bread) will astound you.
16. Travel gives you a sense of accomplishment
If you’re the kind of person that dreams big, you’re probably one to reach for new challenges. Finishing a trip gives you the satisfaction that you were able make a goal to travel and accomplish what you set out to do–see the world.
17. Traveling for the hell of it
Why travel? Because you can. Because you want to. Because it beats the alternative (staying home). Why not pick up your tickets and get the ball rolling!