Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

Teach your children well…

Posted in beginnings, explore, family, home, journey, love, memory, notice, secret suffering, time, travel1 Comment

There was a time in my corporate career when I traveled extensively, both here and abroad. I suppose it was primarily why I endured the commercial art world as long as I did. Plus, it was a great paycheck and I was more than happy to be employed at least in an arts related field. I learned so much about how much I did not know, as well as how much I did not particularly want to know. As they say, it’s all good. I put in my time and have no regrets.
Back to travel and the here and now. My son, his wife and my granddaughter recently moved to Ecuador where they are in the process of immigrating. So I fired up my traveling engines and found a good deal to go see what their new life was going to entail. Like I said, I have traveled extensively, so I’m not particularly scared of international travel, but there is no denying the fact that travel has become a bit of a drag. And I’m not nervous about traveling alone, as that was my previous experience, and I decided long ago that I would travel as often and as much as I could till health or finances dictated otherwise.
Ecuador has a growing expat community of a combination of retirees from many countries looking to stretch their retirement income out and young people who are floating around the globe looking for experience and adventure. The vibe is so reminiscent of what we were doing in the 60’s. Living off the land. Heath food. Living simply. The contrast between the two types of newcomers in Ecuador is worth noting. You have the idealism of youth and the retired baby boomers taking advantage of their years of working and knowledge of how to keep the party going where it is affordable and simple. The young people consider us sell outs to our 60’s values. They can hold that view because they have not been through their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s yet and traveled the roads we have been on. Life is challenging, and meant to be so I believe. Decades of life can wear away at idealistic thinking and beliefs. The world is very, very black and white when we are young. Right and wrong seem clear. Experience, age, and life has a way of putting a thousand shades of grey (as well as some beautiful colors) in between as we march towards later years. I would have gladly taken off on their adventure given the opportunity, and in fact almost did once. Our family almost moved to Haiti had not Baby Doc become deposed leaving the country unsafe for travel. So I am in no position to challenge, criticize or impede their dream.
I often relate one of my pieces of art work from this body of work specifically to what I am blogging about, but as it turns out, almost every piece relates to this. But if I had to choose only one, it must be BUFFALO SUN. Because there is a little pioneer in all of us. We need to give ourselves time and space to play, and space in which the unpredictable can happen. And to reference others; they are expanding their world through travel, finding their happy place, determining what they are willing to give up, seeing the wonder around them, embracing the horror, and in the end…looking for what we all have in common.
Still, I miss them horribly. I regret being at such a distance to not be a fixture in my granddaughter’s life . But in the end, I admire and respect the adventure, after all, I was the role model.


On To Better Things…

Posted in 7 deadlies, beginnings, explore, friends, journey, love, notice, ponder, religion, technology, time, travel, UncategorizedComments Off on On To Better Things…

Are you a book reader?  For me it’s both adventure and wonder on paper.

I just finished reading Philip Caputo’s , The Longest Road – Overland in Search of America, from Key West to the Arctic Ocean. I was drawn to the book  not only because is it a travel adventure in a vintage Airstream trailer, but it’s also  a quest to discover how the United States stays united. From Key West, Florida to Deadhorse, Alaska the author poses this question to travelers along the 6000 plus mile journey ; how does our country stay united?

Willa Cather, another fine writer said in her marvelous novel, Death Comes For the Archbishop,

               ” Men travel faster now, but I do not know if they go to better things.

It’s not news that our country seems increasingly more divided, at least on the political front of late. But there was a time we worked and played together as a country to move it forward. Right now we seem unquestionably mired down in the muck of not agreeing how to move forward together again. Extremes have illustrated how deeply we feel about what and who should take us to a better future. People are finding the discord very unsettling and while some jump into the mix, others run for shelter and avoid the whole mess. I think these times are important. How will we know the proper way forward unless we dig deep and uncover the important truths? I don’t mind the mess or the fight. I am eager to hear all sides and remain very HOPEFUL that through the fog of confusion we currently reside in, we will find a clear path out and move forward again. 

I won’t do a book review, but I will leave you with a little spoiler that left me feeling , well, hopeful.

It ends on an observation that HOPE has been not just what keeps us together, but what brought us together. And maybe we can start moving again by agreeing to be hopeful.

At Christmas time, the followers of Christ are called to be “in” the world, but not “of ” it. Being “in” the world means that we have a calling to support, celebrate, and participate in those things which are good and positive, while simultaneously avoiding the bad. So let’s move at the speed of light towards the good and see how quickly we can come out of the fog.

Merry Christmas people.

Maps & Dreamers

Posted in explore, friends, journey, time, travel, UncategorizedComments Off on Maps & Dreamers

Do you have a map somewhere on your wall? A world map? A map of the country you live in?
I have both, and I look at them often, both to see where I’ve been, and where I’m going next. Maps are for dreamers I think. After all, they are nothing but an abstract creation of a concrete world, and when I am looking at my maps, I’m dreaming about where the next visit, adventure or experience might take me. My map is covered with pushpins and strings that connect and crisscross across the country in a crazy nonsensical pattern that somehow illustrate my love of travel and a certain wanderlust. It illustrates my wide and varied friendships and those I never want out of my life for too long, while it also shows all those I miss and want to see in person again and again. There never seems to be enough time or money to get to all those people and places, but that does not stop me from traveling on.

Maps remind us there is a big world out there that’s ours for the taking. Everyone loves a map, but what good is a map if you don’t go somewhere new, and turn that abstract flat world into a 3 dimensional life experience? Maps are flat, but your life does not have to be that way – take a trip, big or small and give your life some dimension.

(featured image canvas collage SEE AMERICA 1ST by Catherine Massaro)

coming and GO!ing

Posted in beginnings, explore, family, journey, love, memory, secret suffering, time, travelComments Off on coming and GO!ing

Well, my ex-pat son and his little family are off again. This time to settle in as full time citizens of Ecuador.

I was 16 years old before I ever took my first airplane ride. My little grandaughter, Grace, has been flying since she was 10 months old. Not that I’m happy to see her leave mind you, I hate not being a part of her life where I can scoop her up in my arms and hug her the way a grandmother is supposed to. But that’s just the way it is in our modern world I suppose. I will surely go visit them there in Cuenca, Ecuador, and have a fabulous new adventure myself when I do. I guess they are simply doing what I always loved, traveling and experiencing life with an eye towards adventure.

So, my goodbye to them sounds like this:


GO! often

GO! without reservations

GO! and don’t look back

GO! to escape

GO! to find something new

GO! when you are not supposed to

GO! to lead an interesting life

GO! again, and again and again

I’ll catch up with you Grace, further on down the road. Love Gramma C.

moving your brain around…

Posted in explore, journey, memory, ponder, time, travel, UncategorizedComments Off on moving your brain around…

Wow… I just read the most disturbing talking point article. It was about cars and the car industry.

Posing the lead – in question,” Has America passed peak driving?” Why has driving and car ownership declined so drastically for 16 – 34 year olds? The article contends that cars no longer have the magic aura of freedom and power, and that they are unnecessary in urban areas as well as too expensive. They apparently associate driving with “brain numbing ” commutes across smoggy, congested highways. Brian Merchant, in says this is not a temporary economic downturn, but rather a social revolution. He says drivers 55 and over, rooted in the  American car culture hungered to get away from their families, towns and neighborhoods. It meant getting to go where you wanted, when you wanted and meeting whom-so-ever you wanted. ( To which I said, damn straight!!)

BUT… and it’s a BIG BUT

He goes on to say, “…now you can do all that on the Internet, and for FREE! Hang out with your friends, play games, share music and photos! A new generation has found a faster and more convenient way to…

                                                                     (get ready, here it comes)

move their brains around.”

I’m still reeling from this ridiculous conclusion and observation. Seriously?! They are ‘moving their brains around’? Oh my… I weep for the future. There is nothing that replaces first hand experience. Especially when it comes to travel. The Internet, Facebook, and other social media, while they are fun and immediate, are nothing more than the illusion of moving your brain around. If we were to believe this conclusion, why ever bother getting up to do anything other than bodily functions. ( and don’t even tell me you take your phone in there…eewwww )

This was such a sad and stupid article. I pray young people have not become so lazy, uninspired and out of touch with adventure and travel that the world will extend only as far as the text at the tips of their fingers.

I refuse to accept this viewpoint of a ‘social revolution’ to come. And if it is coming, I hope to influence as many young people as I can to see beyond this limited, brain numbing, illusion of what life has to offer them.

Suitcase Heart

Posted in beginnings, explore, journey, time, travelComments Off on Suitcase Heart

“They should tell you when you’re born: have a suitcase heart, be ready to travel.”

                                                               Gabrielle Zevin

(photo by Catherine Massaro)