Posts Tagged With: travel

Think BIGGER


Dear Self,

I get that your desire is to locate a second job for supplemental income. However, I need for you to think BIGGER. Maybe you’re not able to find the job you seek because it has yet to be created. Use this time to tap into your passion inorder to create a purposeful yet lucrative second income for yourself. Think bigger! Be bolder! And do NOT let money cloud your judgment. If you settle for less than you deserve, you’ll get even less than what you settled for. Hard was never easy and easy will never be hard. Hiya! So exercise your creative juices and believe that this to shall come. And so it freakin is! This is myTRUTHmyCLARITY. 

From,

Self 

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All Good Things…….

  
Must come to an end? Hell no! Man oh man my time is just about up in Costa Rica. I’m here at Gold’s Gym working off the abundance of rice, beans and plantains. Its become a regular part of my everyday diet since my arrival. 

I’m leaving this beautiful country in a few hours and felt the need to take one final walk. I happened to bump into the gym and took it as a sign. Lol. This moment is magical because I’ve got my tunes, a cool breeze and my favorite elliptical machine. I’m good. It’s the small things mi amigos! 

Day 4 was filled with lots to see and talk about. The problem is I don’t feel like typing it up in an eloquent fashion. Needless to say, I’ll list my most precious memories below.

– Took a bus tour to see Irazu Volcano 

– 13 passengers on the tour / No comment other than I didn’t come here to be surrounded by fellow Americans

– Met a couple from California (Bay Area) which was exciting because I’m planning to move there in a few months 

– My inappropriate attire (gym shorts and a t-shirt sigh…. Let’s just say it was a bit chilly atop the volcano. I wasn’t thinking lol)

– Fog and lots of it 

– Walking along the volcano crater but unable to see it due to the fog

– Rainy day but oddly it added to the beauty of the farms and botanical garden 

– The Costa Rican meal was delicious

– The actual bus ride through the town of Cartago 

– Visiting a Catholic Church 

– Visiting the ‘Ruins’

– Dinner with Keitsa 

– Hotel Kekoldi 

– Shopping at the supermarket 

As this vacation comes to an end, I challenge myself to find joy in the daily routine of life. Don’t slip back into the coma of habitual behavior. Actually, find a way to deter from the routine as often as possible. Be present and most importantly live daringly! 

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The Surreal Life

  

Yesterday was filled with surreal experiences. It reminded me of the moments you watch in movies and wish you could experience for yourself. Breathtaking moments filled the day. I don’t even know where to begin. I’ll just make a list of these precious moments. 

– Blogging and swimming in the hotel pool area 

– Riding the bus with the locals 

– Hanging out at the Playa de Manuel Antonio

– Swimming in El Pacifico 

– Playing in the waves 

– ‘Dranking’ my margarita on the beach

– Writing my name in the sand 

– ATV riding through water channels, the jungle, dirt roads, and countryside for about a good hour and a half (magnificent views)

– Home cooked Costa Rican meal

– Seafood meal at El Gran Escape

– Ice cream shop 

– Relaxing at the hotel 

– Hangong out with the beau throughout it all 

My time in Quepos and Manuel Antonio has been well spent. It truly has felt like a vacation. I need daily life to feel like this. Maybe it’s time to go back overseas to live and work. Hmmm?? :0) 

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Human BEING vs. Human DOING

  

To be or not to be? To do or not to do? Those are the questions that should be pondered anytime you find yourself on a vacation from the daily routine. 

It’s Day 3 in Costa Rica and I find myself constantly wanting to DO. Why is that? Why is it so hard to just BE. It’s such a simple concept yet as I plan my days there’s this urge to fill it up with things to DO. 

In the midst of planning my to DO list, Costa Rica has a ‘power cut’. I imagine this happens city wide because no one seems to be phased by the fact that everything has just turned off. What’s even more interesting is I just got my answer: To BE or To DO? I guess I shall just BE. Hence the reason why I am now sitting poolside and writing this blog entry. 

Nothing beats a bit of stillness mixed with some physical adventure. I live in such a stimulating city which speaks to my desire to DO. It’s so annoying because I love that there are places in the world that celebrate the small things. In NYC it’s difficult to notice the small things when the big things are constantly stealing your attention. So here I am luxuriating by the pool, taking in the environment and just BEING. My physical adventure will include some ATV time at a farm mixed with views of a waterfall. Nothing like a bit of balance. 

Precious moments to remember Day 2:

– Working out with a view of the Pacific

– The heat!

– Meeting a black female Philadelphian who lives in Costa Rica 

– Horseback riding in the forest 

– Swimming in the waterfall springs

– Costa Rican meal (fish, rice, beans, veggies)

– Imperial Beer 

– The boring Grammy’s on TV 

– The dirt road and small towns on the way to horseback riding

– Discovering the supermarket 

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Costa Rican Realness

Damn…..how did I get here? Just 2 years ago I was practicing daily habits to ensure I remained present in the moment. These moments are where life happens! Yet and still I fell for it (forward and backward thinking). You know the rat race of life has a way of sucking you in and providing a sense of comfort that is undeniably addictive. Before you know it so much time has passed on by due to falling asleep behind the wheel of life. You wake up and find autopilot has been activated and you’ve been cruising at a sustainable altitude. However, due to a bit of turbulence (in the good sense) the plane plunges and dips into a new direction. You’re suddenly shaken out of your comfort zone yet curious and intrigued to know what lies ahead along this new path. The hunger and thirst for the journey is reigniting and now noticeable. It’s been there the entire time yet ignored due to life’s many distractions. You wonder how just how…. Heck when….did the rat race show itself into your life. Trust and believe…. It wasn’t invited! You take a sigh of relief and just thank GOD for waking you ON to a more present life experience. 

Costa Rica Realness is what snapped me out of life’s trance. Specifically, the culture, nature, food, drinks, and activities. They are truly maintaining my attention. I just now need to lean off of the extrinsic motivators and onto the intrinsic desire to walk confidently into the direction of the unknown. This is something I practiced everyday while living and teaching overseas. I still have yet to practice this on a regular basis in my American Life. It’s hard! It’s so hard finding a way to keep things fresh, new and exciting when your essentially following the same ole routine everyday. More importantly, after moving through the routine….being to exhausted to exude any effort towards the the idea of DOING anything else. Hence, BEING often associated with LAZINESS yet also understood as STILLNESS because it’s simply what you do when you’re not LIVING to WORK. I guess this is where and why one should ensure their job speaks to their passion. My field does, but my actual job location doesn’t. :0/ But I have a plan I’ve already set into motion. Stay tuned!

Precious moments to remember from DAY 1:

– Arrive into Costa Rica with an eye infection 

– Visit local pharmacy and have to hold complete conversation in Spanish to get appropriate antibiotic for my eyes

– My taxi friend Sergio 

– I’ve literally met 5 Sergio’s

– Rice and Beans for breakfast…Yummy!

– Hiking through the National Forest with my recovering foot and no water 

– Sloths and Monkeys! 

– Becky and her extended family 

– Parasailing in Manuel Antonio over the National Forest during sunset

– Rode the local city bus 

– Saying a prayer while traveling through the windy and hilly roads 

– Tibulia Treehouse Hotel 

– Swimming in the warm Pacific Ocean at National Park 

– Leaving the hotel in pants and returning to the hotel in swimming trunks, hat and tank top

– Cold shower 

– Invisible bird in the hotel room 

– Baby leans over bus seat attempting to grab a random mans French fries. Man gives baby a french fry and baby smiles. Mom notices French fry in babies hand and smiles. Mom and man begin chatting as if they are old friends from a past life
Sometimes it’s the small things that bring a smile to ones face. Those moments are often the ones that slip away. Write them down! 

This is mytruthmyclarity!  

 

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My GREATEST Challenge

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I’ve been faced with a number of challenges since I’ve returned back to the United Staes of America. However, my GREATEST challenge has been staying connected with my SOURCE and truly being PRESENT in the moment. WALKING my TALK was so much easier to do overseas in the eastern part of the world. Work/Life balance was afforded to me by default because it was so engrained in the culture. Heck, my work day was over by 1:30pm. Furthermore, living in the United Arab Emirates made abundantly clear how committed Muslims are to praying five times each day and staying connected to ALLAH. Therefore, I would often be reminded to stay connected to my SOURCE. I had lots of time, silence, and stillness to ensure my EGO remained in check. Now that I’m back in the hustle and bustle of the western world, it’s so easy to lose sight of the things that truly matter. My EGO has had a ball since our return to the USA. And now it’s not only time to reclaim my AWARENESS but it’s also time to get back to Living on Purpose. This…….my friends…….is….My Truth My Clarity.

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Overcoming Anxiety

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It’s June and I go home in three weeks. I have been living and teaching in a foreign country for just about two years. There have been many days where I have pondered this very moment. I miss my family and friends beyond words. I miss normalcy. I miss home. I just want to go home. Sigh….

Although I am grateful for this experience, my patience, flexibility and tolerance is reaching empty. When one exists is a foreign space that goes way beyond their comfort zone they become vulnerable. It’s been a very difficult few weeks because the anticipation of going home is so close…….yet…….so…….far……a.w.a.y!

I have enough knowledge to know that my EGO is taking over. As I Edge God Out (EGO) I feel even more lost. I have been doing my affirmations, and attempting to meditate. However, meditation has always been a challenge. I still catch myself thinking about not thinking. Lol. And then I’m thinking about not thinking about what to think about. It’s a mess! Thank goodness for YouTube! I’ve been doing better with guided meditations. Don’t mind me……..and my human ways.

I’ve been doing my best to manage my anxiety in healthy ways. I’m spending more time in the gym, learning from my spiritual teachers, writing, eating healthy foods, and embracing each present moment. However, I ain’t gonna lie…….sometimes a nice glass of wine takes the edge off! Ok maybe two glasses.

I know this to be true: There’s much to take away from this experience. However, the lessons may not be revealed right now. It may not make any sense, until I’ve walked away from the experience. And that’s okay. :8)

I must stay connected to my source because then all things are possible. My anxiety is real and I must sit with it……be with it…..allow myself to feel it…….surrender to it……and then let it go.

Dear EGO: I give you permission to get off this ride. You do not meet the height requirements. I (awareness) stand tall enough for the both of us. Your services are no longer needed. Oh….and do me a favor…..stay in your lane. This is myTRUHmyCLARITY!

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Present Day Post

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Man oh man! Quite a task I took on….which was to transfer many of my private journal entries onto a public forum.

I also took on this project as a way to reflect on my two-year experience here in Abu Dhabi while also taking the risk of sharing my innermost thoughts on life with a public audience.

Furthermore, since I live in a middle eastern country I had to review my posts and make sure I was not breaking any laws. While living here it is important that I do not shed this country in a negative light. Why? Well it’s against the law and I could be put in jail. So I must exercise discretion when posting about my teaching and living experiences here in Abu Dhabi.

Now that I’ve edited and transferred a bulk of my old journal entries, I can get back to writing present day posts. I am very excited about this opportunity because those of you who have been following my blog can now experience the life lessons that show face on a daily basis WITH me.

Full circle moments indeed! Trust and believe, it’s been an insightful two-year experience. One filled with many ups and downs yet no regrets. I’m so thankful that I found the courage to step outside of my comfort zone because I have grown so much. I’ve traveled extensively, saved a little money, paid off my debts, and gained memories that shall last a lifetime.

With my move back to New York City in July, my departure is more sweet than bitter. Quite frankly, I’m more than ready to head back home. Lol, I miss my friends and family beyond words. I miss NORMALCY. I miss my old life. :0)

Although, I have a desire to continue teaching overseas my middle eastern curiosity has been killed. I’ve been here and done that. Fortunately, I’ve been offered a great opportunity back home that will move me into an administrative position and out of the classroom. I welcome the new challenge with open arms. Beyond that, I have a newfound appreciation for all the small things that do not exist within this foreign country. Starting with the many freedoms I’ve had to give up as a results of living in a Muslim country. No easy task!

I encourage you all to continue following my blog. It is my pledge to continue reflecting on my life experiences, sharing them with you and hopefully inspiring you to live your TRUTH with much CLARITY.

Consider these thoughts organized! ;8)

 

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Tourists vs. Adventurers (Travelers)

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I have come to notice that there are two types of travelers. The first traveler is the one who simply needs to see and do EVERYTHING. Also known as the TOURIST. They are content with being able to simply say, “I’ve been there and I did that!” They are all about the destination. They have their map, guide-book and long list of things to DO and SEE.

 

The second kind of traveler is the one who is seeking an experience that is different from what they are used to in their normal lives. They want to meet the locals, go to a local grocery store, people watch, hit up the local gym, go to a local pub, and visit sites off the beaten track. These travelers want to challenge their own thinking, values and beliefs. I often refer to these travelers as adventurers because getting lost in the experience is the best part.

 

When you travel alone, you are afforded a lot of time to reflect. I am no tourist. I do not enjoy running around a city, town, and/or country checking things off of my must see/do list. I want to be in the space and allow myself to experience local life, culture and entertainment. I find it to be so much more meaningful and memorable. During my three-week stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand I noticed many tourists zipping through the city and leaving after 1 or 2 days having NO idea how much they did not truly see.

 

Chiang Mai, Thailand was such a wonderful experience.  At one point in time, I played with the idea of living there for a year. However, the pay isn’t very good in the local/private schools. You have to get into an international school in order to get paid the higher salaries. Therefore, I was headed back to Abu Dhabi. Honestly, I was not excited about returning to the Middle East and/or dealing with Muslim rules/laws after spending so much time in Thailand. It reminded me of how much I missed my freedoms! Lol. But a second year in Abu Dhabi allowed me to build up the savings account. For that I am thankful. Thailand, you are such a wonderful place. I still miss you and will be back again one day soon.

 

Message to Tourists: SLOW DOWN and allow yourself the time to take in the experience. Oh….and if you’re going to take a million pictures……move outa my way! Lol. :0)

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Living outside of the box……

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There’s something that begins to happen to a person who has been living overseas for an extended period of time. Putting it into words can be hard because it isn’t a good or a bad feeling. The best way to explain it is a feeling of ‘offness’ or ‘indifference’.

 
I have noticed this particular feeling has manifested over the past few weeks. If there’s one thing I will say about living in a different country and experiencing a new culture is that over time you begin to see things as they REALLY are. You no longer are looking at the country through a tourist lens. You begin viewing the country through the lens of a resident. In a future post I will share a few of these very real distinctions.

 
Each day I experience something that challenges my own thinking, I am thankful. I am thankful for these experiences because my FLEXIBILITY and TOLERANCE continues to evolve. There’s something to be said about leaving your home country and living/working overseas. Something that can’t be put into words but an understanding that is definitely shared between fellow expats. No matter how hard I try to explain it to my friends and family, I will never be able to put into words all the good and the array of challenges that have come from this experience. This is my TRUTH and my CLARITY!

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