It’s been a while since I’ve celebrated Easter in the the “traditional” since. As I write this, I can hear the nieces and nephews giggling around the table as they dunk their hard boiled eggs and fingers into the brightly colored dyes; color crayons and stickers scattered around the table to put the final touches on their works of art. My older niece came in to check in on me, since usually I would be out there with the rest of the “kids” getting my fingers just as dirty.
I have always wanted to see the world, but one of my biggest inspirations for actually getting out there came from reading the book “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho shortly before I started my travels. The book is a fable about a shepherd who dreams of a treasure waiting for him at the Pyramids of Egypt. Realizing he can always come back to being a shephard, he decides to leave his flock behind in pursuit of his dream. At a time when I was struggling to move my own career forward, it was the exact inspiration I needed to leave my own “flock” behind for a while. With a little planning I was on a plane to Spain a few months later.
I recently came across Mr Coelho’s blog while browsing through Facebook. Funny that I had never thought of adding him as a “friend” before considering what a profound impact his book has had on my life over the past two years. So I thought what better way to show my appreciation than by dedicating an entire blog post to him, who coincidentally was paying tribute to an even more remarkable man, Albert Einstein.
6. Live in the Moment “I never think of the future – it comes soon enough.”
The Sea of Galilee, the Mt of Jericho, even canyoneering in the French Alps are all spontaneous things that happened as the result to little or no planning. It’s great to do a certain amount of planning, but some of my greatest memories happened by being completely spontaneous. I learned that in life, it’s great to have a plan, but to not be completely rigid in that plan, and to stay open to other possibilities.
It can be a little intimidating heading to another country if you don’t fluently speak the language. I can’t tell you how many puzzled looks I gave while trying to decipher a train schedule or speak to a shopkeeper who only spoke in their native tongue. Language barriers can often deter someone from traveling to a foreign place altogether since learning a new language can be frustrating and time consuming, especially if you only plan to travel for a short time.
National Holocaust Remembrance Day is April 27, 2014. This is a repost from my adventures in Poland a few years ago, and the adventure of finding my great grandmother’s records at Auschwitz in Krakow Poland.
He never knew his grandmother. She died before he was even a twinkle in his own mothers’ eye. That was why one of the first places I had to travel on my adventures in Europe was to the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz in Krakow Poland to pay tribute to the woman I had been partially named after, and to give my dad a chance (even if it was just in seeing her name) to try to put the pieces together of what had happened in our family more than 70 years before. Continue reading