Browsing Tag



Be Your Own Hero

August 14, 2011 • By

For some, life is a spectator sport. These people hear about the great things happening in the lives that surround them, but have not yet embraced the fact that positive things can happen to their own. They continue to live a life where they run on automatic pilot with no significant events in their lives; only the ones relating to the sport events that they may attend. Sometimes. There’s no sense of urgency about tomorrow; no plans considered beyond today.

They merely drift and wander in and out of view that one barely notices their absence. The spotlight is meant for others. Standing out isn’t something that makes them comfortable; they are blenders in. They are the stereotypical modern day Cinderellas who are sure that nothing will change in their all too boring lives unless someone else comes to save the day.

There are so many unfulfilled dreams floating about their owners’ heads; lingering into perpetuity, homeless, aimless and desirous of being claimed and utilized but left wanting. I’ve lived that existence. I’ve wanted to experience things that I’d read about, seen on TV or had heard about in passing.

I believed that I wanted a life different from the one I’d presently been living. I could envision my new life, I just didn’t know how to create nor claim it. I think somewhere deep down inside, I thought someone would just show up and guide me to my destiny. I was waiting for my Superman.READ MORE


Never Put Off Tomorrow What You Can Do Today – Traveling On Your Own Terms

February 20, 2011 • By

Recently, I was asked to write a guest post at Baby Boomers Traveling by another travel friend, Doris Gallan.   I soon realized that it was actually a continuation of a post that I wrote last month, “How to get out of your own way and live the life you want“.  With Doris’ permission, I am posting it here.  I hope that it inspires someone to reach out and grab life with gusto:

I was raised in a household of ten kids with two parents and as you can imagine, freedom of movement was a scarce commodity. I think that is where my first yearning for wide open spaces came from. It’s difficult to live life feeling confined, so I suppose that gave rise to my desire to be unencumbered; unrestricted. I had always been interested in geography because I learned so much about places so far removed from the reality of my life. It was like a pleasant dream to politely acknowledge, but I never believed that it would or could possibly come true.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to visit Paris – the venerable city of lights. Like so many would-be nomads, I allowed the dream to sit unfettered in the deep recesses of my mind. I never allowed myself to believe that it could become a reality for me. It was safer to let the years drift by; to craft excuse after excuse as to why it was OK to not do a single thing that would get me closer to that elusive goal. Until one day, I had a ridiculously simple epiphany: “Just Do It”. Nothing was going to happen until I made it so. No travel agent was going to come knocking to see what my plans were. I believe so many of us are sitting, waiting for supernatural signs to tap us on our collective shoulders. It will not happen that way. As with anything worth having, you have to work for it, to plan for it….that is truly the only way it will come to pass. It’s about taking a leap of faith, of believing that you have as much right as anyone else to live dreams previously unfulfilled.


That is my main purpose in starting my travel blog, A View To A Thrill. It is a call to action to anyone who has the desire, but perhaps, not the knowledge to explore this vast world that we live in. It is an appeal to believe in the possibilities; to believe in your own ability to navigate through this life on your own terms. Rest assured, there will always be naysayers; those that can think of every reason on earth as to why you’ve left your senses. You will be surprised to see that their protests are usually deeply rooted in their own self-doubts. And yes, there are those who will think that you see yourself as high and mighty simply because you want to expose yourself to different cultures, different experiences, different….anything. It goes against their predictable and limited expectations and some would even ask what are you running from?

When I travel, I never put restrictions on myself. If there is something that I want to do, I do it anyway…even if some folks thinks it’s for other people. If I want to go to a country music concert, I’ll go. You’d be surprised how many people (black and white) would find it odd that I enjoy country music. Never let others define you and tell you what you should be doing, do what pleases you. I think older people are probably most guilty about towing the party-line. Sometimes, you have to risk being judged or even mocked. If you have unconventional tastes, own it! You only go around once, live it to the fullest! I’ve always said, unless you pay my mortgage, utilities and buy my groceries, you don’t get a say in how I live my life. Conformity takes the color out of rainbows, harmony out of a song and the joy out of living.


My goal is to reach out to those who want to travel on a budget without sacrificing comfort and also to provide guidance to those who want to travel, but never have. To that end, my blog focuses on the reality that most people are living paycheck to paycheck. In these economic times, it is even more important to share ways of traveling on a budget. It’s about making adjustments, even sacrifices to your current lifestyle. There are lots of tricks to save money without even trying to or learning how to deny yourself when you see that pair of jeans that cost more than a fancy winter coat. It’s not going to be a piece of cake, but the reward will be worth it. Just as important, is the person who wants to travel, but has no idea of how to get started. My desire is to share some of the things that I wish others had told me about when I was just starting out.


How To Get Out Of Your Own Way And Live The Life You Want

January 23, 2011 • By

Excuses. We’ve all got a million of them. We find every reason under the sun to justify our inaction. We insist that the time isn’t right. The weather is too cold. We’re too fat, too poor, too indecisive, too finicky,  too (insert your own excuse here).  I’m not trying to alarm anyone, but unless you believe in reincarnation, this is the one life that you get.  Are you using it to its full potential?  Or are you just burning daylight?  At some point,  you have to take stock of your life.  Have you accomplished the goals that you’ve set for yourself or are you just leaving everything to chance?

If  I could be frank for a minute, there are people who are living like they are literally waiting to die.  They have very little ambition, no drive, no sense of purpose.  Somehow, they have allowed life’s circumstances to beat them down, to kill their spirits.  They have bought into the lie that their dreams don’t matter.  If plans don’t pan out the way that they’d hoped, they take it as a sign that they are being unrealistic; that they are reaching for the unreachable.  They become easily discouraged, not realizing that the race really isn’t given to the swift but to the one who endures.


“The reason why your windshield is larger than your rear view mirror is because where you’re going, is greater than where you’ve been. Go. ” – Kirk Franklin

Sometimes, these things do not happen in a vacuum.  If you find yourself always discounting the things that you really want to do, the places that you want to see, then it’s time to get out of your own way.  You’ve heard the old saying that sometimes we’re our own worst enemy.  There’s a lot of truth to that.  Once we allow fear to permeate our thoughts it takes on a life of its own.  The writer, Fulton Oursler, once said “Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves – regret for the past and fear of the future”.

While you can’t change what has been,  you certainly can make new choices that will be more life affirming.  Besides, if we aren’t at the ready to shoot down our own dreams, there are always others who are all too happy to take up the slack.  I call them “emotional vampires”.

These people will find seven ways to Sunday to convince you that you are being stupid for thinking that you have the right to create your own destiny.  They seem to take pleasure in making you doubtful and miserable because that’s the path that they’ve chosen and like crabs in a barrel, they will do whatever it takes to pull you down with them.  I mean, who do you think you are?


Your attitude determines your altitude

Surrounding yourself with people who look at life in a more positive way can become infectious.  They can show you all of the possibilities that life has to offer.  You will begin to get a new sense of yourself and notice that things can become less cloudy, less uncertain.  You will find that things actually get easier when you believe in yourself.

Like attracts like, so if you are around negativity, you will become more negative and vice versa.  Try to seek out the good things that life has to offer but know that not everyone is happy to see you prosper.  Some people rejoice in another’s misery, but you can’t let that stop you from trying to attain your goals.

So start doing whatever it is that you’ve always wanted to do.  Whether it’s changing careers, moving to another state or country for that matter,  taking a round the world trip, do it.  A little careful planning is the key, not the obstacle.  If it’s big enough to dream about it’s realistic enough to go after it.  For me, personally, that is the one common thread that I have found in the travel blogging community.

There is a positivity amongst its members who come from every corner of the world, every faith, every religion but they share a commonality: A love of the world and the people who inhabit it.  They seek to learn something new every day about their global community and nothing makes them happier than a full immersion in the experience. Moreover, they are all too happy to help you to achieve your own dreams.  Sometimes, you have to let go of friends you’ve outgrown and find other like-minded kindred who share a love of the same things that motivate and inspire you.


Photo credit: gwennypics on Flickr

What obstacle have you personally overcome that allowed you to accomplish a lifelong dream?  In what way has that changed your life?

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