I don't know about you but for me other's experiences, insights and wisdom really inspire me.
Inspiration is everywhere.
I've even made random comments that seem to resonate with people. They weren't pre-meditated. They just seemed to pop out of my ever-active brain.
So here are some quotes I've either heard, mentioned or read while traveling.
I hope one, some, or many resonate with you.
The preceding quote reminded me of a poignant story I heard from the taxi driver who picked us up at the Copenhagen, Denmark airport. He was a very personable and REALLY content person. He was also a tour guide and had a million stories about his Copenhagen home.
He was born and raised in Copenhagen. He moved away for a brief time and returned home because he said there was no place as relaxed and easy to live as Copenhagen. We discussed what it was like to be a citizen and the advantages they have economically, in healthcare, for families, and financially. It was definitely enticing to fantasize about living there. The story he told, to emphasize their happiness quotient, went something like this:
"I have a friend who as an adult lost his eyesight. Regardless, he is the happiest, most easy-going person I've ever met. He has a little daughter. One day the daughter came up to her father and said 'Daddy look at me in my pretty princess dress.' Her father reminded her that he could not see her dress but said he could imagine that she looked very beautiful. He said "I can't see your dress SO let's dance!' Then they both danced around the room." No matter what your concerns and challenges - go ahead and dance!
7. "It’s not right or wrong, it’s sense and nonsense." Carl Jung Originally heard in a discussion of morals in Scandinavia. I believe it was in Stockholm, Sweden.
While staying in a Marriott hotel in Moab, Utah these are the messages that played over and over again in a video loop:
8. Make indifference a forgotten word.
9. Human being - Be good at being human.
10. Neighbors be neighborly.
11. Share! Greed is absurd.
12. Do everything you can.
13. Mankind = Kind men, kind woman.
14. "Let’s see what the universe is going to do."
(I took this to be a message about patience.)
"You can’t make a mistake, because you don’t have to conform."
"Always be a tree growing a different branch."
"An oak is an acorn’s way of becoming other acorns."
"The chicken is one egg's way of becoming others."
"It doesn't matter what other people think about you."
From the inimitable Alan Watts. I was watching a video about him on a long train ride from Rome to Verona, Italy.
From my personal experience:
15. "The only real way to affect change is by living by example. Words are, well, words. You can influence more people by your positive, change-making actions. I admire people MORE for what they DO and how they live their lives, over what they say."
16. “Life is so...life”
I recently wrote this to a friend in Vancouver, Canada. We were discussing some challenges we were facing in our lives. She said "That needs to be on a t-shirt." It’s kind of my mantra. Similar to the Tibetan monk who answered every statement made to him, whether it appeared to be positive or negative, with: “We’ll see.”
(Refer to quote 14. Maybe Alan Watts got it from a Tibetan monk??)
17. "Always look for someone’s motivations and agenda."
Yoruba Chief, Luisah Teish, when I visited her in Oakland, California.
I don't see this as a negative or pessimistic quote. When my intuition starts to raise doubts then I refer to this quote. It's never wrong. When we follow our IMMEDIATE intuition we are always lead in the perfect direction (as long as we don't second guess it). Or at least, that's MY experience. When I ignore my intuition, I end up purchasing some TERRIBLE piece of property in a barren desert! (Metaphorically speaking.)
18. La Vida tranquilo - the peaceful or calm life. (Sign me up!!)
"As long as you do your part, the earth is going to accept you."
Overheard on a Peru Rail train ride from Aguas Calientes (at the foot of Machu Picchu) to Cusco, Peru. In my estimation, a peaceful and calm life is when Mother Earth is happiest. Right now I think she needs a lawyer!
That's it for this week! I hope you enjoyed this offbeat post.
As always, thanks for reading.
See you again soon!
Travel can be hard.
We get out of our routines. (Not always a bad thing, but can really disrupt your system.)
We sleep in beds we aren't used to.
We eat things we don't typically eat at home (more junk and packaged snacks on the run or maybe we drink more alcohol and caffeine).
We're off kilter.
We don't speak the language.
We don't recognize the food.
We are crammed into economy seats on airlines - unless you are fortunate enough to travel first class. That does not happen very often for me, but when it does I relish more space NOT more food or alcohol.
all in all it IS worth it IF you can keep to some healthy habits.
The most important of which (to me) are:
* some kind of exercise.
* some semblance of decent sleep. (I ain't 25 anymore. Hostels, couch surfing and sleeping in the airport don't work for me.)
* regular, healthy meals. (That doesn't mean don't try the local fare. Just be careful of the hot Thai food, the oily Greek food, the saucy French food, and the meaty English food if you aren't used to those cuisines.)
this is what I have found to keep me as sane, healthy and happy on the road as possible.
GET OUT AND WALK! The single best exercise you can do. AND IT'S FREE!!! Many, many cities are not only walking friendly but encourage walking. Some of the Hop On Hop Off buses are really expensive, so walking can be a better alternative. Pick up the pace, slow it down, alternate, swing your arms, climb the stairs, park your vehicle far away from the entrance to a building you're visiting. JUST WALK!
I practice Qigong everywhere I go. Qigong is a moving meditation that works on flexibility, balance and strength. It's the mother of Tai Chi. You perform the same movement over and over again. No need to memorize a long series of movements. OR you can string movements together. There are many simple warm-ups that get your blood flowing. (Videos on the way!) It's unbeatable for stress, tension and relaxation. It's fun, easy and portable. Like walking, there is no equipment needed but your body. The best place to practice is outdoors. BUT you can certainly practice in a small space like in a hotel room, hostel or wherever you happen to be staying.
Meditate! I suggest meditation because (again) you need nothing but your mind and body and a place to sit. Just focus on your natural inhalation and exhalation. Take deep, cleansing breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.
Stare at the sky, focus on a lake, the ocean, the mountains, wandering wildlife, or a flower. The options are endless. Ride a horse, pet your dog, dance, do some rhythmic, gentle exercise. It's all meditation.
I once meditated in the New York Subway. As detached as possible I watched the trains rush in and out, and the people scurry AND I did it with a smile on my face. I may have looked a bit demented BUT the simple act of smiling releases oxytocin, the feel good hormone.
If you need more ideas for meditation, feel free to message me. I've got a million of 'em.
While traveling I always seek out vegan restaurants. That's because I'M vegan. Luckily, they abound in nearly every place I've been, or at least vegetarian restaurants or vegetarian choices.
Even if you AREN'T vegan ditching meat and dairy for a day or two won't hurt you, as a matter of fact it may help you. Meat can make you lethargic, disrupt your digestion or make you out and out sick while on the road. Vegetables and fruit are often locally sourced - farm to table - or organic. A vegan eating program is full of fiber, vitamins, mineral, and phytonutrients. Many of which we may lack while we are traveling. We ALL know what happens to our system when we're on the road. It's important to keep the pipes running smoothly. (Hey, that's the best way I could possibly put it!)
My cardiologist says he never does blood tests on his patients after the holidays because the results are always too high or too low. He lets his patients get back to their regular routine before he feels he can make an accurate assessment. I'm one of those people who traveled then had a scheduled routine blood test just a few days after I returned home. The results weren't stellar compared to the previous year because I was out of my eating, exercise, and sleeping routine. As soon as I got back to my clean eating, exercise and sleep hygiene everything went back to normal. No need to have the life scared out of you because you mistimed your annual blood work.
Don't forget your supplements, or medications, because vacations are especially not the time to wean off of medication. Most of us need at least a multi-vitamin, copious amounts of water and to be extremely careful with caffeine and alcohol while traveling. It's TOO easy to celebrate, party and overindulge on vacation.
Need a pick me up in Peru or another high altitude South American country? Drink Coca from Coca leaves. It's unparalleled for altitude sickness and a perfect replacement for caffeine without the jitters, nervousness, anxiety or acid. It's perfectly legal in South America. How do you think the terraced Andes mountain farms and Machu Picchu were built? Yep, Coca! Children can safely drink it, too. The reputation of this life affirming tea has been decimated because of the chemical process that it has been subjected to to make cocaine. Leave it in its pristine state and it's a miracle herb.
If you are interested in more tips to stay healthy while seeing the world, don't hesitate to contact me.
As always thanks for reading!
Take a look at the slideshow. I add new photos every week.
I'm writing from a hotel computer somewhere between Denver and Grand Junction, Colorado.
Because early this morning a cup of coffee (not mine, I drink tea) was accidently deposited on my MacBook Air.
I got the kiss of death on the computer screen: a white folder with a black question mark in it.
What does that mean? Au revoir, MacBook Air.
It turned on for a while after it was dried out with a hair dryer.
To say I am frustrated because most of the last 15 years of my life personally and professionally was on that computer, is an understatement.
I hadn't backed it up to the external hard drive for over a year.
I wasn't using it that much, except to cross reference information with my desktop and occasionally write on the road.
SO my BAD for not backing it up with a vengeance every week.
There are no Apple stores for many, many miles from where I am staying.
An authorized store trained to take a look at my computer to see if I can retrieve anything from it is also at least a hundred miles away from where I'm staying.
This trip was purposefully one off the beaten trail.
YES! Shit DOES happen.
First, my Air was not synced with the iCloud like my Desktop, iPhone and iPad.
How I overlooked that, well, OPERATOR ERROR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Needless to say I'm angry but I can't be too angry because it was truly an accident.
It's a good lesson to stay present and the moment you go on autopilot things like this happen.
We start going through our day, often mindlessly executing tasks, we space out and then BAM.
Plus, when you write for a living, or are on the road for business, it's essential to keep files backed up and do your best to make allowances for hiccups.
Or big, ugly burps.
Let my misfortune be your forewarning.
Back it up.
Keep the liquids a mile away from your computers.
MOST importantly, even on holidays and vacations, don't check out.
I love this saying from the 1936 Olympic rowing team: "Keep your mind in the boat."
The biggest lesson?
When both of your hands are full, don't try to do anything else.
Unless you sprout a third arm and hand.
I'll let you know next week if my computer is now a really pretty, shiny paperweight.
As always, thanks for reading.
See you again next week! (Hopefully!)
I post articles and pictures Monday through Thursday for your viewing pleasure!
With all of the traveling I've been doing I see a lot of different faces, in a lot of different cultures and countries.
Most are NOT so obsessed with looking like they are 25.
MOST are into aging gracefully, or as I like to call it PRO-AGING.
Why would any of us want to ANTI-age?
I know there are many people who don’t want to age.
THAT is IMPOSSIBLE no matter how hard you try. That's one of those things we just have to "get over".
Wouldn't you rather age than the alternative?
And by the alternative, I mean death.
Or is “die young, stay pretty”, the preferred option?
I am extremely passionate about aging intelligently.
What do I mean by that?
You can age intelligently by caring for your skin, your mind, your body, your relationships, your career and your health.
We have to get out of the mindset that "aging is a curse".
I have seen gorgeous women (and men, for that matter) in France, Greece, Croatia, Italy, Spain, China and many other locales, who are absolutely stunning inside and out..
And over the age of 50.
They are living a good life, having fun, and taking care of themselves.
They are loving, making a contribution to their communities, wise, knowledgeable and resilient.
That is REAL beauty!
I'm just one of those women who can’t wrap her mind around “anti-aging”.
And it isn't just the entertainment industry that is obsessed with the clock not moving forward.
Is it Vanity?
All of the above?
We can all spot, from a mile away, the person who has had so much work done on their face or their body that they don’t look real.
And let’s face it (lol, pun intended), a 70-year-old woman with an extreme facelift still does NOT look 40.
Plus, no 50 year old who has overdosed on fillers will ever look 25.
Don't get me wrong I wholeheartedly support taking care of yourself.
Get facials, Dermabrasion, Dermaplaning, some Botox, muscle stimulation and any of the non-invasive procedures that you fancy.
Along with that exercise, eat healthy foods - be a health advocate - but going under the knife, sometimes again and again and again, seems to me to be another addiction.
Is one ever REALLY satisfied after they get on that merry-go-round?
Have we become such an insecure society that we only care about how others see us and that influences how we see ourselves?
My West Virginian grandfather, on every one of his birthdays, would always say that he would rather be having a birthday than not!
It took me a while to get there and now I feel exactly the same way.
As we age, granted, everything isn’t still in its original place.
We may not have what we had in our teens, twenties or thirties.
However, if we really think about it most likely we have more.
Some of the most inspirational people I know and observe are not in those age categories.
That is not because I'm of a certain age, either. I have friends in their 20’s to their 80’s.
When was it decided that only youth was beautiful?
Is it a North American or western phenomenon?
In my teens, twenties, and 30’s I didn’t give aging a second thought.
I was too busy with my career, and in my VERY late 30's having and raising a child.
The sad thing is that today those groups are getting bombarded with the notion that one tiny wrinkle or a grey hair is a fatality.
Keeping up with whomever is the only way to beauty or self-worth.
We weren’t inundated with the products on the market today to keep us perpetually 25.
When did that happen?
Skin care IS important. Mostly so we don’t get skin cancer, which is a hell of a lot worse than a wrinkle.
I have never met anyone who died from a wrinkle.
With age comes wisdom. YES! It's CLICHÉ but it's true.
Maybe wisdom doesn't come to everyone over the age of 40 but those years are life experiences and life experiences teach us.
Who decided for me that my laugh lines were ugly or that my silver hair makes me old? (A guy on YouTube did last week but he was just asking for trouble online and I happened to be there.)
The fact that I'm not still wafer thin makes me less than?
Honestly, I'd rather be healthy and strong than skeletal.
BUT the pressures I have felt and see my friends experiencing are an uphill battle.
When did we lose our talent, creativity, abilities, and exuberance because we turned the corner of 40, 50 or 60?
I was out one evening in Vancouver, Canada with girlfriends between the ages of 40 and 60.
We were having a great time going dancing, hopping from restaurant to club, to coffee house.
We were laughing and joking and having an AMAZING time.
At one point in the evening, we were all crossing the street, and a group of 20 something women was crossing the street at the same time.
They started pointing at us, laughing and making jokes about us.
One of my friends turned around and shouted “What are you laughing at? We’re YOU in 20 years!”
Well, that shut them the bleep up.
If those ladies are LUCKY they will be anything like us in 20 years.
We were a group of attractive, accomplished, talented, vital, vibrant and SEXY woman.
We had life experience.
We were walking, talking, living, breathing, oozing experience.
Everywhere I go I learn something new from other women in other cultures. I love going into a European drug store to pour over the shelves of creams, notions and potions. Most which ultimately end up in my suitcase in the convenient travel size. Europe is light years ahead of us in self-care.
Eating right, exercising, meditating, being grateful, making a contribution somewhere, going for it, going with the flow and making your mark (whatever that is) at ALL ages - THAT'S the ticket.
It's wonderful to have older women friends to learn from and to absorb THEIR wisdom.
What is NOT wonderful is to have pressure to be someone else’s idea and image of perfection.
AT ANY AGE.
So go ahead and use those potions and lotions (cuz soft skin feels terrific), but don’t lose sight of your beauty inside and out.
Don’t let someone else tell you what is aging and beauty. (I'm also talking to the men out there, too. Pro-aging is not just for women.)
Find your support system and nurture it.
“Smell the roses.”
‘Grab for the gusto.”
“Go for it.”
‘You do you.”
Be YOUR best self.
AND never let someone else define you - at ANY AGE!
My wish for you is long and luscious PRO-aging on whatever continent you reside.
As always, thanks for reading.
KaZ has been in many facets of entertainment, plus the co-owner of two restaurants, a fitness center, a television production company and the owner of a cinema. She did a stint in politics (she won't be doing that again anytime soon), and in veterinary medicine, She now focuses on writing.
In addition to the above, KaZ is an award-winning vocalist, a former dancer, stunt actor, circus artist, & professional water skier. She has worked as a theater artistic director & writer.
KaZ has been a published writer in magazines & books since the age of 15. She has written plays that have been produced in New York, Florida & New Orleans. She has a featured chapter in the book How To Survive A Move. (Up-to-date she has moved 45 times!) KaZ wrote an article for Organic Wine Journal, and also an article featured at the Ground Zero Memorial.
KaZ co-wrote 2 television informational series & 3 television pilots.
One of the pilots, a sit-com, was produced as a reality pilot. KaZ has revisited it and it's now a one season cable series.
“(And ) Then This Happened.” is based on life, love, and everything in between in the mid-life years. Loosely based on her life and the life of two of her best girlfriends.
KaZ's many high pressure pursuits led her to meditation.
She began studying meditation in '91. Her initial training focused on Kundalini Yoga with Yogi Bhajan and his teachers. She is a certified Master Meditation and Qigong Instructor.
Most recently KaZ taught in a juvenile justice facility, and lectured on mental health in juvenile justice.
With writing being her first love, look for KaZ's upcoming children's books
from the mind of two grandmothers.
Plus, a play based on letters from her two great uncles during WWII.