A New Adventure Begins…

New Adventure
We’ve been on US terrain for 6 months now. We’ve had our share of ups and downs, highs and lows and everything in between since returning. After traveling around the world for a year, you get used to many different ways of life. You also get used to moving around frequently and finding stability within your family, rather than within your space. 

Our boys have always been adaptable and traveling makes them even more so. Each new door they opened, while on our trip, became home. They found a space on the floor, a table or anywhere to call their own, unzipped their backpacks, and set up their lego base and legos. That was the consistent way in which they defined their home for the night, few days or couple of weeks. Our Family, nature, the world around us and legos.

Many people often ask me how it feels to be settled for the moment. It’s been an adjustment and we appreciate many aspects of both. The one thing I always wish I could express in response to the most challenging part of not being on the road right now is this…

The intense stimulation of each and every sense we possess is constant. Every person, every structure, every train ride, every flight, every meal, every walk you take, every emotion, every bit of Love in your soul is heightened beyond explanation. Your mind and sense of being expand in ways only you will understand. You allow yourself to grow and change forever. This is what happens to me each time I travel…Each time I become one with another country, another culture, another human being, another part of myself. 

We are enjoying the routines and the many wonderful things an extended home life offers. I’m giggling as I write this. Extended home life? After living a long period without a home, cars and most possessions, I suppose that is exactly what this feels like. Something we appreciate and cherish every moment of, yet, something we are not attached to, dependent on or in need of.  

A new adventure will begin for us tomorrow. Our boys are both very familiar with the many remaining countries around the world and they each have destinations pinned to visit as part of their bucket lists. It’s never too early to start one of these and never too late to fulfill a dream. A journey experienced outside of whatever feels most comfortable is a journey worth taking. 

Although countries such as Mongolia, Albania, Madagascar, Turkey, Iceland and Greenland top their lists, we spontaneously made a decision to check off their # 2 for this expedition. #1 being Antarctica which will be taken when they are just a little older 🙂

We are off to the Last Frontier. The Great Land. The Land of the Midnight Sun. The largest state in the United States. Dana’s last remaining state in the USA to visit. Alaska.

We are looking forward to the majestic wonders and awe inspiring experiences. We are looking forward to another exciting journey as a family. We are looking forward to crossing paths with the people we are meant to meet in the upcoming weeks.  

Thank you all for joining us as we persevere through the unknown and discover all of the tiny, authentic components that make up who we are.

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In His Shoes

pierce france
As the sun rises each day, we are given the precious gift of life. Upon waking, sometimes we are elated, enthusiastic and tenacious for the moments ahead. Sometimes, we are not. For me, yesterday was one of those “not” days. 

I woke up on the verge of tears which, over the course of the morning, led to many and I had no idea why. I even went down to look at my calendar expecting to see that my period was most likely coming this week. No. It wasn’t my period although when I expressed my sadness, my husband’s first question was, “Are you getting your period?” Yes, women, I’m sure you can relate.

Perhaps the sadness emerged as I received a text informing me of the plane crash in Brazil. Maybe it was the deadly earthquake in Ecuador, the recent one in China or the wars taking the lives of innocent human beings. Perhaps it was all of the negative judgment regarding Robin William’s death or possibly the news about a friend’s son being shot and killed last night.

I realize we all have lists. We all have issues and we each deal with them in our own way. It has always hurt me to witness the way many judge others and spread negativity on subjects they could never possibly understand completely…unless they were the person directly affected. We are all entitled to our opinions and everyone will certainly always have one, as I do. I am all for constructive contribution and honest expression. I wish that people would first do everything to understand or relate to another or their situation and whether we do or do not, realize that spreading this negativity and discrimination about others doesn’t help anyone.

We can never ever truly know what it is to live and walk in another’s shoes just as others couldn’t possibly know what it is to live in ours.

As the news continues and the opinions are declared in reference to suicide, I will admit that I was, until recently, a person who believed that taking one’s own life was selfish. Today, as I consciously sit with this sadness and ponder the meaning of selfishness, I am considering that this decision may not be the selfish action I once thought it was.

This tragic conclusion we too often witness is labeled ‘selfish’ as we consider the loved ones left behind. How could they leave their families knowing this will deeply scar and affect them forever. They will be left suffering and facing the unanswered questions and always wondering if they had done something in any other way, would it have made a difference.

Today, I am feeling that those loved ones are the reason they may have held on a little longer. They are the reason they couldn’t possibly let go sooner in order to find a peace they so desperately needed and longed for. It breaks my heart to imagine a person in that moment, and I’ve known many, making the decision to leave what they could no longer endure. Not even for one more second. 

I invariably question how anything could be so unbearable as to end one’s life. I can imagine. Yes. My heart aches as I try to conceive the level of despair which leaves one with no other alternative. Don’t we always bounce back? Isn’t the sun going to shine brighter tomorrow?  Won’t we find a way out of whatever ails us and look back upon that dark time with gratitude and a new perspective? Won’t we be given another chance?

Many of us may not have experienced or even comprehend clinical depression. From what I understand, it is fierce and incessant. I believe that the resolution to end one’s life comes from an inconceivable anguish and desperation which many of us couldn’t possibly understand. Many people are unable to see the light or the detour and this choice feels like the only one.

As we grieve the loss and struggles of loved ones or strangers from depression, ill health, innocent victims of war or natural disasters, we are left feeling powerless and unsettled. We wake up with an acuteness we can’t describe and we begin to search deep within or elsewhere for an answer. We each face adversity. We each feel pain. We each suffer. This awareness will hopefully prevent others from judging or assuming to understand a person or the choices they make. 

I sadly realize that despite our efforts and our love, some will still make that desperate and devastating choice. Some will contemplate and possibly attempt to do so. Sometimes we have no idea how to help or what to do. Hopefully we can help in some way if we reach out…even if we think no one is listening. Hopefully that one thing we question as the thing that could’ve made a difference, will. 

Today and every day, I choose Love. It is what drives and carries me through each day I am ever so grateful for. I often savor my dark and sad moments. Without them, I wouldn’t truly appreciate the depth of my purpose or the powerful force of this life and our connections.

Much Love.

Rest in Peace, Robin Williams.

“So if I asked you about art, you’d probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life’s work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I’ll bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you’d probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can’t tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You’re a tough kid. And I’d ask you about war, you’d probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, “once more unto the breach dear friends.” But you’ve never been near one. You’ve never held your best friend’s head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I’d ask you about love, you’d probably quote me a sonnet. But you’ve never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn’t know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms “visiting hours” don’t apply to you. You don’t know about real loss, ’cause it only occurs when you’ve loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you… I don’t see an intelligent, confident man… I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you’re a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my fucking life apart. You’re an orphan right? … You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally… I don’t give a shit about all that, because you know what, I can’t learn anything about you that I can read in some fuckin’ book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I’m fascinated. I’m in. But you don’t want to do that do you sport? You’re terrified of what you might say. Your move, Chief.”

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