Inyo National Park; Sierra Nevada Mountain ranges.
A friend reminded me not so long ago, that when I laugh, the world laughs with me, when I cry, I cry alone: sad isn't it? But how so true. I have cried with someone . . . well I have, many times. But as time steals away the laughter, the smiles, the spirit, the energy and the vision that turns our hopes and dreams into realities, I find I have laughed with the world many times over. I have so much to be thankful for. The years have been gracious, the hand of providence generous and love abounding through the many who have loved and befriended me, those who have brought laughter into my life even if it was for just a brief moment. The strangers, o, the strangers! God in his wisdom sent many strangers my way just to help make my dreams realities.
Everyone in this life is born with some special talent, and I discovered early on that I had more than one talent: a good sense of intuition and the ability to relate to strangers. I have used the first to make a living and stay out of trouble (not so successfully of course) and the second to get my way around the world. I have always believed that the things we forget may as well never have happened, but I have many memories, all real and true which feels like I have lived more than once.
My girlfriend Maria from Puerto Rico, she was a highlight in my life in July of 2008. We had a laughter filled 3 day tour to Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and Las Vegas.
The dream has always been to see the world and so far I have seen more of the world than many will. There is still so much to see and I feel like I have barely started when I look at the red push pins (places I want to go), vs. the Green ones (places I have been to) on my world map: don't get me wrong I'm not complaining.
I still dream of those far away places and hope my dreams will come true. Look how the years have gone by . . . At the beginning of it all was a little girl’s dream - my dream to see more than what I saw in my dreams: even as a little girl, my dreams were always in strange places, places I could not describe, places I never knew and strangers I did know I would meet. There was a time when I had to read a history book and use a geography map to relate and build a vivid imagination of what the places looked like, my earliest recollections were the Rhine lands in the Netherlands (Holland). I studied about land reclamation and farming, the Dutchman's triumph over nature in my history class back in primary three, which is the equivalent of third grade here in the United States. In my day we did not have cameras, a photographer had to come by and take the photos at a price, then take another three weeks to develop them and bring them back and have you pay three times the amount for two copies of each.
Niagara Falls, Canada
As the years went by, I learned to collect photos and assemble them in an album that I got when I went to senior one, an equivalent of eighth grade in the US. I was in a catholic (girls only) boarding school known as Trinity College Nabbingo. During visiting days in school, I proudly took out the album and shared with my friends as we waited to be visited. At home, the albums became forms of entertainment. Through the years my collections grew for friends, family and random strangers that brought a smile on my face, I never forgot those who made me laugh.
My charming friend Toon from Den Bosch in Holland, never ceases to make me laugh with his articulate way with the English language
With the travels came the Visas: The visas are so many and the application processes never cease to amaze me: the British make it so painful and unrealistic, it's not like their country is the best to live in, but then there are many who seek refuge there.
I have had 4 passports in 16 years and as I go through the visas in them, I find I have travelled a lot more on the continents of Europe and greater Africa. Living in the United States, I have not needed my passport to travel the great many states whose individual land masses represent countries of their own: my vision is still to visit all 50 states and I'm getting there. I should love to travel within South America to continents that share a familiar tradition and culture. I love cultural education.
Yosemite; Tioga pass
I have learned the cultures and languages of people from far away lands, taking faith with me each time I leave and believing in the power of safety to get me there. I must say in the last two years, the power of joining hands with people who share the same passion for travel (Travbuddies) and for adventure (Southern Arizona Adventure Company - SAAC) has been inspiring beyond words.
The Travbuddy meet ups are a testimony to the free human spirit and passion, would not you agree? I even developed a passion for hiking, well I didn't know it was an activity on it's own until I started walking with a bunch of people and calling it hiking he-he!. A collection of the most sentimental, memorable and adventurous photos are included in this blog: random I might add in no particular order. Special gratitude to all those who have left footprints along my path, family, friends, strangers, angels, my daughter and above all God almighty who has guided my every way: the hand of providence has been generous to me. This is me on my journey through time . . . great journey so far. Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile. Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
My Canadian friend Mike and I toured Tombstone and had a fun filled day, his Canadian sense of humour not failing all the while
Happiness never decreases by being shared . . . So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure.
Bridal Falls, Yosemite National Park
I love from a distance and wait for my heart to calm. I try to always remember to smell the roses, see all the love around me. Life is but a collection of all those moments that take your breath away. The rest is unwritten . . . start writing yours! Make your tapestry of life colourful.
The categories of photos I have included here are family, friends, strangers along my way, people who have made me laugh or smile even for just a moment, and places I went (adventures). The strangers I met along the way that left footprints on my path and the most powerful of them all is the love of my life Desire (my daughter) whose life I document in photographs. The so called strangers I refer to are those people I met along the way, some for the briefest of moments and others have defied time and friendship and still walk with me, even from across the miles. Those strangers would be nothing but the passing wind if I had not captured that smile in a photograph, and so they say, "a photograph is worth a thousand words". They have encouraged me, reminded me, and changed my attitude and outlook on many things. Some of my adventures have included unplanned trips across the world, visiting wonders of the world, taking a chance with a stranger who turned out to be the giver of the gift of all times - my daughter.
AMSTERDAM (2008/2009). My best friend Agnes, words can not describe the amount of laughter, fun, adventure and feelings we have shared together, fun is her middle name :)
Never regret anything/ anyone that made you laugh! Like my Mum always says, laughter is a cure for most everything. Kindness on the otherhand can get you killed.
Berlin - GERMANY (2003): Attending the ITB travel convention
"When our careers are over and money's spent, when we are old and failing and feel life fading... What will we remember? Our loves and passions will fire our memories beyond the passing of all else".
In honour of those that I may not see again, I extend my unfailling gratitude: for making me smile, for lending me a hand, for writing to me, for calling me, for showing me around, for hosting me in your home, but most of all for the loving care in that moment in time.
If I have not included you here, please know that in my heart you are a memory so dear and sweet. Thank you and may your kindess be rewarded ten fold. Do not leave for tomorrow, what you can do today! Regrets are not the best of feelings.
With my husaband on a leisurely trip up mount Lemmon, we ended up hiking in Summerhaven.
PS: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that 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.