And then what???

You quit your job to travel the world and then what? My blog is about a pretty mundane subject, but the years of blogging have come and gone. I know (in a way you know strangers on Instagram) some people who have “sold it all” and have zero sponsors after a long time. They quit their jobs. They sold their homes.  They cashed in on the equity in their house; their furniture, their clothes, their doodads, to travel. It sounds crazy! Cause it is!!!!! I feel like I’m watching a train wreck. Maybe they’ll get famous and it will all be made right.  Not likely!  It took us years to get where we are with our not so perfect furniture, but good career. I realized early on I couldn’t sustain any momentum to do what it takes. I’m not going to hike Kilimanjaro one day and follow it us with something better the next week. It’s too much. We had a trip to Chile planned for this summer, but our career sent us to China. I could have done both. Nobody was stopping me, but me. It’s no piece of cake to do what moving entails. Nope. I don’t want to throw a first trip to South America into the mix. I’ve been trying to go for 20 years. It will be or it will not be.  I tried a thousand times to use my funds from my Aeromexico flights that were going to go unused to no avail. I learned that I’m not going to book flights with them ever again because of the headache. My seats were empty, but they won’t get another dime from me.  Lesson learned!

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Night walker

It has been hot here. Sooo hot that I only walk after dark. When I finally go outside, I’m not sure what’s going on as it’s still so hot. Specifically, it had been about 100 with a high humidity factor, but it has improved. It’s gross. Growing up near the mountains, the days can be hot, but nightfall always brings some relief. There are a lot of obstacles here so walking can be hazardous even in the day. Car drivers that don’t care about pedestrians and don’t step on a pot hole. We figured that out before even getting the advice from some Canadians as we had already seen a car crashed into one. 

Walking around

This is China. We have gone on a lot of walks. It has been humid. This week I was reminded of our seemingly mundane walks in Oregon daily. How do you keep your kids fit in the summer? We walked a lot. It was free. We would bring some snacks and water and pretty much do it every day. We would usually do one small camp per kid per summer to learn a new skill of choice and swimming, but walking was always free. It could be seen as boring, but being outside moving your body is never a waste.  The mundane walks to the park to play quickly turned into teens growing up.

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About an hour from our new home. 

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Dalian, China 

A lesser known place…

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City of Rocks, Idaho 

We recently went to visit family in Southern Utah. 2 daughters went to summer camp with my sister in law. We stayed busy, but didn’t get in tons of hiking time. There was a nice evening trip to Zion to hike. It was a much better time crowd wise not to get the day rush. On the return trip, we took a detour to a place my husband really likes. It was in his neck of the woods growing up and I had only gone once. It’s called City of Rocks. There is a lot of camping and it’s fairly remote, but not too far off the freeway. It’s a pretty place. There were rock climbers doing their thing. I don’t do that. I’m weak on my upper body and though I enjoyed rappelling once as a kid, I don’t really care for dangerous  heights and leg/hand scrapes.

Hiking in Grand Teton National Park

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Jenny Lake 

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The crowds really thinned out beyond the paved path, but it’s still a trail. 

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Jenny Lake adventurers

My cousins grew up in Wyoming so we grew up going to Jackson Hole. It was always cool, but now it’s very pricey. What you can do that won’t break the bank is go to the nearby National Park or watch an old West shootout.

 

WATER WATER WATER…. H20

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One of the 50% off items.

I don’t use a lot of specialty products, but water is quite necessary for any activity. I am buying these today. REI is having a good sale on Hydro Flask water bottles. Selected ones are 50% off for a very limited time.  I like hot things hot and cold things cold. I am getting one for each of my hikers in her own color so I don’t have to have any more fights over our boring black family ones. It will also be a great product to send them off to summer camp with in a few weeks. Just say NO  to throwaway water bottles clogging up landfills. REI SALE

 

Foothills

Last fall, my walking trail got closed down from October to June. 😢 It is called the Boise green belt. It extends many miles, but I stick to the river area near my home. We have spotted lots of birds, snakes, a few bobcats, bunnies, and loads of deer. On the weekend, I was always  joined by dozens of other people, but during the week it was sparse. Once it closed, I had to find other less awesome sidewalks, but I did have a quick little hike I’d do. It was a 20 minute jaunt that was great after I was energized from yoga. I have since quit yoga as the class was more intense than I enjoyed and I was left with neck pain as a 3 day souvenir each time I went. Anyway, it’s been raining a lot so I hadn’t been up the path for awhile. Cool 20 minute walk/hike/workout add-on.

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Wildflowers

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Wildflowers and sage brush. I thought it was a very American site with the barbed wire too.

walking takes no skill….

but sometimes,  you take a spill…… I have been very fortunate to have been blessed with a darn healthy body. Walking is something most people can do. It is something most of us don’t even think about. A few weeks ago, I was out walking my dog and I twisted my ankle. I don’t know if my dog jerked me or if I just did something goofy and I wasn’t hardly even moving at the time. Anyway, it hurt! I knew I needed to sit down. It improved about 5 minutes later and I was able to make it home without too much irritation. I then realized I had some weeds to pick and so proceeded to weed for an hour. When I went to bed, I realized my ankle hurt. Oh yeah, I hurt it a few hours ago and forgot as I tended to things. My daughter who runs track told me to ice it. Um… that didn’t feel good so I couldn’t take much of it. It was swollen, but no discoloration. I obsessed all night over whether I’d be mobile in the morning. Luckily, it was worse off resting in bed and I was able to resume my activities the next day. It’s still not 100% a few weeks later, but it makes you think. What if I’m going to be down? What will I do? There are so many simple blessings that many of us don’t even think about day to day.

The Holy Land

Spring break in Israel. It was a long trek from Idaho to Israel. We arrived on a sunny morning in Tel Aviv. We headed straight to our seaside hotel and allowed for a shower and some sleep time, but with the caveat that the sleep could NOT continue past a certain hour. Then, we had to get active so that we could get on the local time zone as soon as possible. We toured Jaffa on the Mediterranean Sea. On day 2, we took the train to Jerusalem. The train ride was nice and scenic. We arrived at the final destination and no taxi would pick us up. The taxi stand was nothing more than a nice sign? Taxis were dropping people off at the local shopping center, but would not take us to town. We were getting hot, angry, and desperate. Finally, we got a taxi and he was a great trustworthy guy. We felt very grateful to get to our hotel. There is a real language barrier there. Luckily, English is an option, but understanding anything was a real issue. We arrived as they were preparing for Passover. As a person who spends a lot of hours in church per week, I had an understanding of Passover, but not really how it would look in Israel. I still don’t, but we know a bit about how it affected us. The hotel told us that everything had to be cleaned in the restaurant. That meant EVERY single surface!!! If we hadn’t been told that we wouldn’t have known or cared what was going on at other restaurants in town that were closed. Also, it meant that the quality and service of food in the hotel restaurant would be drastically reduced and NO bread. I understand the no leavened bread part, but the total lack of abundance of all other food?? It was unique. McDonald’s was closed for cleaning. We didn’t know if it would reopen. The next day, it did and the FOOD which was then Passover approved was inedible. We did enjoy some local grub that was really good and some that was really weird, but which we ate cause we were famished at the time. The weather was nice. It was not too hot, but even quite cold one morning after a storm. We had planned on going to the Dead Sea, but we decided we did NOT want to drive there so we chucked our car rental and stayed in the city on foot. We walked a lot. We were in close proximity to the Old City and we spent a lot of time there. We saw a lot of stuff, but we missed a lot too due to being on foot and opting to forego public transportation in the event that we didn’t understand where to go or how to return. There are a lot of souvenir shops and by a lot, I mean too many. The problem is that I didn’t see one high-quality place to buy something nice. I paid too much for a couple of t-shirts, but only bought them cause I really wanted to. Prices are negotiable and I don’t really want to deal with that so largely opted to keep my shekels. At the end of the week, our tired feet had barely added a dent to their old stone streets, but we had seen for the first time the center of the universe.

 

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The Western Wall

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Spices for sale

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Walled city. One day we walked around the tower as far as we could. It required a fee.

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Rare smile by the teen who would rather a “normal” spring break.

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Jerusalem

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Armenian Quarter in the Old City

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Tour groups

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View of the Dome of the Rock from a residential spot.

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Old City of Jaffa

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Jaffa

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Street of Jaffa 

 

 

The last day of twenty 17.

It’s New Year’s Eve. I’m a big partier. I’ll be watching Stranger Things tonight. My teen begged and begged us to get Netflix. I don’t watch much on tv, but we’ve been catching up on it during the Christmas break. I’m kind of into it. We already had a big walk today and went to church. 2017 was an awesome year. We woke up in Utah for a snowy hike on the first day of the year. Hiking is something most everybody can do. I like to emphasize that it takes NO skill. Everybody seems to need to be the best at something and a mountain really doesn’t care how fast you go up it. The same with a walking trail. Every town on the planet has a place to walk. I’ve walked in some of the most urban places and some of the most remote. You can find enJOYment in walking. I also biked this year in Central Park for the first time. You can circle the whole park without breaking a sweat on a nice temperate May day.  I enjoy a leisurely bike ride whenever possible and renting a bike on a trip is extra fun. I’m not going to be racing anybody. I’m out for the fresh air and a bit of physical fitness. I will definitely be finding some new and old hiking destinations in 2018. I hope you will too. Happy New Year!!!!

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We had a white Christmas in Boise, Idaho.