Have you ever been lost?

I am not talking about the kind we talk about in my church regularly. That is a whole other subject. Everyone has been lost in that way before at some point. I am talking about you don’t know where you are. LOST! Once upon a time, I was an ambitious intern. Well, not as ambitious as some of my fellow interns who got to work at the Supreme Court or caring for the Clintons’ cat (It was 1996.) or other places that they deemed cooler than our internships, but an intern nonetheless. I met a lifelong friend the moment I walked into my housing and with our “lesser than” internships, we had an AWESOME summer. My friend got asked to housesit for a week and she took the job only if they took me on too. That weekend morning, I arose and went for a walk. I love walking. I’m sure that is not obvious. I did not wake my friend to tell her I was leaving. It was before cell phones and constant connectivity. It was a beautiful Maryland summer morning. Everything was complete perfection. I was in a residential area with some of Washington DC’s chicest homes. I walked for a while then it started to get warm. I could have kept on going, but I had no provisions. I needed to turn back. The only problem is that I didn’t know the way OR the address where I was staying. Before panic sunk in too bad, I remembered I had seen a street sign with my beloved home state on my morning trek. I backtracked until I found the UTAH street sign and prayed to find my way back. I was sooo happy to get back to that house.

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We won’t be going there…

We like to travel, but my husband didn’t want to go to China. The Great Wall was on my life to do list though. Well, when work moved us here that is how I knew I’d definitely be finally seeing it. It is much less commitment to just come on a ten-day tour to China! This portion of the wall is on the border with North Korea. It is in Dandong, China. Most Western tourists will see the wall on their Beijing stop. Beijing is not near here at all. Obviously, I like hiking but some of the stair climbing on this had me scared and breathless. It is not suitable for everyone, but there are portions anyone could do. The stairwells easily rivaled any scary European ones we had climbed up. It took us about 2 hours to do the entire Dandong wall. There was an entry fee of around $10 / 60 RMB per person. It was a really fun day trip from our current home.

“The best hikes…..”

I was just on booking dot com looking for some future accommodations today and I came across an article that I had to read. The 5 best hikes in the world Wow. What will they include? Five is sure a small number. I go to the list and I have only loosely heard of one particular destination. That isn’t to say that the other ones are not epic, but insert eye roll. I don’t need some list. Is someone going to give me a medal cause I have done their particular list? I want my 5 best readers to know that the hike YOU do is the very best one. You don’t need to go anywhere special to do it. You do it where you are. Disclaimer: if you are from somewhere flat like Kansas where my dad is from, then you may need to actually go somewhere. My general definition of hiking includes a bit of varied terrain and elevation change. Anyway, you can go on a hike NOW.  (If not, you can highly likely go on a WALK.) If you want to add some random BEST to a future list, great! But don’t choose only to do something if the circumstances are perfect. Get out and sweat a little or a ton and get some fresh air.

walking is so underrated…..

I recently read this as a comment somewhere referring to exercise. It caused me to ponder the why…..?…. Maybe because it is something that most everyone does so it is rarely intentional. You join a gym, pay your activation fee, your monthly fees, etc…. Because you have spent  A LOT of money, you just know you are FINALLY going to get fit. Those $1000 sign-up fees will guarantee your success. I always thought it would be rather exciting to join a gym. ****I have since joined a few. ***** I came from a small town and the only ones I had used were at my high school (in a scary basement on dirt!!!) or at college in the 90s. Today’s college gyms are a little different. Think: NICER. It was fun at a “real” gym for a few years. I attended lots of dance and yoga classes. I still can’t dance, but I was at the epicenter of the Zumba craze. (In the back looking very dorky!!!!!)  After pondering the above question coupled with a book I just read called Predictably Irriational by Dan Ariely I am going to surmise it is because we don’t value what we don’t pay a lot for. In order to make walking cool, it is time to charge people a lot for it. LOL

Walking with family

When we arrived in China, we had little to do. We immediately checked things out and walked a lot, but it got hot. I walked the dog at night and it felt like a sauna. We preferred to stay inside with the a/c. Then, school started and family walks took a back seat more often than not, but school is out for Chinese New Year  this week.

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Walking is free.

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Walking is healthy.

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Walking gets you outside.

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A walked dog is a good dog.

twenty18 is over

I’m not a new year’s resolutions kind of person. It’s a good time for gyms to make a lot of money, but I have no interest in paying for a gym pass and not using it. When I have had a gym pass, I used it regularly.  I don’t want to get ripped. I just want to be physically fit every day of my life. When I was on the track team in 1990, I was ripped. I didn’t know it at the time. All I knew was that all my friends were faster than me and I could not keep up. Do you want to get fit? You don’t need to do something extraordinary. You don’t have to win any races or beat anyone. You just need to move. Walking is a great form of low impact exercise. Hiking is also a great form of low impact exercise. Biking is too!!! If you have weight to lose, it will come off if you stick to it. If you don’t have weight to lose, it will still benefit you. Make 2019 AWESOME!!!!

Christmas time

78595B75-36AE-4E89-882C-07F90D88BF2BI didn’t really want to spend Christmas in China. You can get cheap flights to Australia from there if you look, but I didn’t want summer for Christmas either. My Christmas dreams include a foot of fresh falling snow so Australia was out. We came to Europe where cold temperatures and Christmas markets would put us in the Christmas spirit. We took some long flights and ended up in Prague. The winter chill was definitely there. Was my coat up for the challenge?

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Sausages and meats cooking makes you hungry and yes we enjoyed. The kids couldn’t get enough sausages. 

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European toy stores are so much more interesting than toys at big box places.  

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Puppets are huge in Prague

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Good King Wenceslas’ memorial  

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Lots of walking

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A building is a piece of art in Europe. 

Bored with my walking path

I have been growing tired of my daily walking path. It’s pretty. I walk to the ocean. There are people who are starting to get very used to seeing me EVERY DAY. Ever since school started up around the beginning of September, it became a lot of old folks and some of their grandchildren too. They don’t interact with me. Some are super afraid of my sweet dog. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Soa3gO7tL-c  I prefer walking alone. I love it. My path was growing stale though. This week, I invited a friend to meet up and walk the dogs. I had to go near her house and it’s like 40 minutes away. She was busy, but then I figured why not take the dog there anyway and walk there. It was super fun. Totally different and just what I needed. I think I’ll start doing it regularly. Today, I’ll be back to my usual spot though.

In the city

Tokyo is a big city is an understatement. I’m not really a city person though I’m living in one in China at the moment. Tokyo is made up of massive buildings that seem to go on forever. We have not scratched the surface there, but this was our second glimpse. It’s an expensive place, but there is a good website called : www.tokyocheapo.com   I used their information on both my visits. We were able to get a 24 hour subway pass though for a pretty good deal. We allowed my 16 year old to choose our city itinerary and it was fine. We travel a fair amount so I rarely get set on must see stuff cause there is stuff to see everywhere. I think you could really enjoy some amazing food there too if you want. We really just end up eating where we are when we get hungry. We had watched some YouTube people showing us what to eat in Harajuku so we planned that. We had ice cream for breakfast, but I couldn’t wash that down with more crazy sweets like they do so that was the extent of our wild foray into YouTube recommendations.

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!