Monday, September 23, 2013

Fantasy World

"We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find the reality."
~Iris Murdoch~

I feel like lately I've been living in a fantasy world in my mind. My life is still the same....in fact my job has been terribly slow, my ex-husband is away for three weeks so I'm a true single mom, and any number of normal stresses have me running at what feels like light speed every day.

But none of it is bothering me a bit. I'm in my fantasy world.

My happy world used to come from books. I'd devour as many as I could. Lately I've lost the mental energy or "sink your teeth in" content to excite me. My daughter, however, is a massive book worm and I'm adoring that. She loves the fantasy world as well; Hunger Games, Percy Jackson, Harry Potter....anything that pulls her into something magical or completely foreign. She makes me want to find a new book....up for suggestions.

So why so "head in the clouds?"

I'm getting married. That statement used to have me throwing up in my mouth a bit. But I'm genuinely no holds barred excited.

**Sigh**

For those who don't know I'm marrying my best friend from high school. We were together constantly for years. He knew every detail of my life. I often tried to find him after school but he disappeared to Europe. When we finally did reconnect it was like we were never apart. We were friends again for awhile but of course we realized we were perfect for each other and the rest, as they say, is history.

Four years of a long distance relationship, me flying there, him coming here or meeting at another location was exciting, exhilarating, and always an adventure. But it also became exhausting, expensive and....well...lonely. Only together for a week more or less every two to three months can take its toll.

So things are changing.

I'm getting married. He's moving here within the next 9 months (give or take). We don't have it all figured out yet but there is a path being taken and it feels completely right.

So for now let me have my fantasy world. I'm sure reality will find a way to bite me soon.

I'm going to go pet my unicorn while small bluebirds sing in my ear.

"If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities."
~Maya Angelou~


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Adventure Time

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
~Mark Twain

When you think of the word adventure what do you think of? I think of traveling to new places and trying new things. There can be nothing more terrifying and exhilarating than entering a country where you don't know the language or way around and setting out to explore.

Unfortunately travel is expensive and time consuming. I know many people who feel that money is better spent on possessions rather than experience. But what does that lead to? Would you rather say you lived your life with the best car, furniture, shoes or electronics or would you like to say you saw a part of the world?

Of course today's travel market is full of deals. We have Living Social, 50/50, Expedia, Travelocity, any number of point system cards for airlines and hotels not to mention the sites that promote things like house-swapping or working vacations. These just scratch the surface of ways to afford travel time.

Recently while in Washington DC I was taking a break from the heat by browsing in a Gap. Clearance t-shirt in hand I was in a long conversation with the clerk about which airline has the best rewards card. We agreed on Delta for their partial pay with miles ability. He said he just booked his trip to Hong Kong by using partial points and I replied I had just done the same for my next Amsterdam trip. Somehow I don't think the Gap is paying their employees the big bucks. This guy just loves to travel and knows the system to make it affordable.

Last summer I had the opportunity to send my oldest son on a People to People trip through Europe. He was able to see parts of England, France, Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands. He participated in honoring his great grandfather in Normandy, climbed the Eiffel Tower, rode the London Eye, saw the beauty of Ireland's countryside, ate Belgium chocolate and Dutch cheese. He came home with a head swimming with adventure and stories.

Yes, it took a village to get him there. The trip was split between myself, his dad, my parents and fundraisers. Will I hesitate to ever do it for my next two if they want? Absolutely not.

Kids (and adults) who get to see different parts of their world recognize what a small speck they are in the scheme of things. They get to see different cultures, hear different languages, see whole other ways of life that can open their eyes to a great big world of opportunities and explorations they never knew existed.

Do you have that one place you've always wanted to go? That bucket list or "someday" adventure? Do what a friend of mine recently did. Put a small amount away every month in a separate account. We never know how many "somedays" we have left. I suggest we make the most of them.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~Mark Twain