Tuesday, December 30, 2014


I had forgotten what a fantastic feeling it is to finish up work and not be rushing off to an airport right away.  It felt like luxury!

To not be preoccupied with packing and re-packing days before, making modifications dependent upon last minute weather changes.  To not need to carry toilet paper around all the time.  To not concern myself with covering up from the neck down.  To not need basic functioning in a different language, having maps and streets in order on paper, in my head and wondering where I'll be finding food.  It's a lot of work, especially for one person.  I didn't make 2014 easy on myself. 

I would be lying if I didn't admit to feeling withdrawal symptoms, after the first couple of days through the first week (because most of the time, I love figuring all that above stuff out).  Not even a mild cold deterred it.  Had to fight hard, the temptation to not go somewhere when I had a good amount of time, advance research done and a flight credit to use up.  It didn't help that I was actually able to find enticing options so last minute.  And any time I can get away without loss of income is a good thing.

I cannot remember the last time I had 2 weeks off and actually spent it at home (vs cottage etc) by choice.  And it isn't because D and I didn't have fun plans or that there isn't a long list of things we've been wanting to do around the house either.  We've just gotten fairly decent at tackling that list during our regular weekends.

In my mind, I spend fulfilling time at home most of the year.  I'm out of the house maybe 22 hr a week during a typical week so I don't have the same pull as D might of wanting to be at home more or missing it.

Maybe there will come a day I won't feel the internal tug of war, but right now, the drive to explore is still super strong.  In the end I was glad I didn't jet off right away because D came down with a bad flu (very unlike him).   He is understandably tired and frustrated with health issues these past couple of months. 

My new set of conservative travel clothing got a real work out this year.  I had become so acclimatized to conservative cultures, when we got to the Dead Sea, I was ready to wade in covered up.  Felt naked initially while wearing my most conservative bikini (didn't feel like buying a 1 piece just for this and there were a number of other tourists wearing the same) as I had not even worn a T shirt, shorts or knee length skirt in any of the countries I went to this year despite temperatures well over 35 C.

It's not easy nor always enjoyable to voluntarily push myself often outside comfort zones.  And believe me I get scared.  But how do we grow if we don't?  There is at times a huge gulf between what I've signed up to do and where I'd prefer to be instead.  But in every single instance, I learned a lot and was pleased/thrilled to have gone.  It's just that comfort creates such inertia. 

At this stage, I don't have the stamina to maintain this year's travel pace indefinitely.  I really admire people who seemingly can, whose rigorous commitment is so strong.  Maybe someday, if I keep working on it, if it is what I want.

After the adventures of this year, I'm hyper aware of my ability to chose and how easily things can change and be lost -- Many examples all around me.  Am not taking anything I do for granted, work or play.  Cherishing my freedom and still aiming to maximize potential. 

There is something very satisfying about glancing over the year's spreadsheet, which has more than just numbers, to look at the distribution of my time.  Have I spent it wisely?  Any changes needed for next year?  Potential of 2015?  It may sound geeky, but it's fun for me.  I've even spent time putting together my tax return.  Aren't I just a bunch of excitement...

I've made some work related changes for next year, dropping a couple of things which will have a small effect on my income.  It's OK.  I've been ready for those modifications for a while now.  It makes me feel more congruent.

Love not being part of the stress and commercial hype surrounding the end of December.  Feel rested and have been able to increase my workout intensity.  Even start a detox to undo the sweets I indulged in.  Might as well aim to start the new year as healthy as possible.

My senses have taken in a lot this year.  Feel honoured for all the good in my life.  Thanks for reading and All the Best to you all for 2015.

Friday, December 19, 2014


  • I cannot believe I've been seriously entertaining the idea of squeezing in one last trip before Dec 31st.  Yes, there is no limit to the insanity.  More disturbingly, with regards to the apparent disconnect between the brain hemispheres.
  • Interesting idea:  If you pursued only the things that rank 90% or higher to you, what would you be dropping?
  • I cannot remember the last time I had potentially 2 weeks off to spent at home.  I'm relishing the thought.
  • I've been dramatically less social this year and it still feels right.  The new people I've crossed paths with along the way have been stellar. 
  • It has been 4 months with my Mentee.  He has a vastly different life agenda than the others I've worked with.  I do question his prioritizational ability with respect to managing some parts of his life and business.  His default responses don't often make sense to me.  He is a strong people pleaser with at times blurry personal boundaries and a need to provide a play by play account of what's been going on.  I've given up encouraging him to email me questions.  He prefers to talk and is surprisingly optimistic.
  • D has been diligent with doing the "right" things for his back and it has paid off.  Our last trip was a great test for it.  We will be heading out west to ski late winter so that will give him plenty of time to get stronger.  Works well this year as the snow has been slow to arrive.  One thing good about this change fee.  The same cannot be said of his leg however.  A few days after our return from our recent trip, D developed swelling and hardness in his ankle area, so off to the ER he went.
  • Creating my first ever Christmas letter.  Thought it would be a fun way to touch base with those I haven't seen for a while.  Not sure if it'll get sent as first draft is reading a tad serious for I've seen and done some heavy things this year. 
  • From Facebook, I found my old high school counselor.  He played a pivotal role during my time there, really took me under his wing.  If I hadn't been recently asked to speak to some students at a career event, I wouldn't have thought of trying to locate him again, as the last time I did one of those talks was for him.  We chatted on the phone for a couple of hours and I was stricken by news of his disability along with the tone of his voice as to how that has impacted what his retirement was supposed to be like.   For an avid musician and traveler to not be able to see anymore is tragic.  I was saddened for quite a while after our call.  He says I sound exactly the same to him, same level of enthusiasm.  
  • My brain feels less "squeezed" since deciding not to plan further than 3 months out.  
  • Am loving the new vehicle.  Feels like I've driven it forever, so easy.  Maybe I'm more of a Japanese car girl after all.  Decided on rims and snow tires which have been installed.
  • I have to admit that all the extra traveling this year has been hard on my body.  All that sitting is not so healthy.  And it was just starting to feel like a chore, which kind of scared me.  I'm not spending all that prep time (and money) for something to feel somewhat dreaded.  No anticipated issues of that next year as there will no longer be any points based incentive.
  • I leave you with views from our recent getaway.  Wishing You and Yours a wonderful Christmas and New Years!

The Siq

The iconic Treasury

Wadi Rum