BLOG 54—Zion on my mind . . .

Deep in Utah . . .

And yet another post from Kit, every time I start this I wonder what to write and where to go with the words. Then things just develop in our travels and in my mind. So, have you ever had a blank sheet of paper and had to get something down? It really is not difficult to write, things develop and come together—but you just have to start—How about this, create your book(s) now! I know you can do it.

As I am enjoying writing these words to you, I hope you are getting inspired by what I script. Let me know and I will send you any of the books I have written attached to an email. And, please let me know what you think of these words I am jotting down for you, send me an email at kitsummers@gmail.com

Hoping these blogs I am writing will be one day turned into a book one day, to inspire others, along with you.

Speaking of “book”, at the end of my blog is another chapter from one of my books from the series, “Beyond Your Potential.” By including sections from my books I am hoping to inspire you to find more in life and add to your success. And, I do hope the words I write in my blog inspire you, as well. And, our recent outings in Utah could be a book in itself.

Driving into Utah, many more splendors for our eyes awaited us. As I had written about Colorado in a past blog, I thought you could not get any better than what we saw there, but then there’s Utah.

The state of Utah holds so many stunning and elegant places. I have been through here a number of times, and, of course, there will be return visits. When I went through before I did not take the time to really see the lands, “just passing through”, as they say. Glad Tina and I are doing that now. What a perfect season to drive through here, as well.

Because the time is fall, it’s an ideal time to be in this area. The colors on the leaves are ever changing now, as well the temperature and weather. The temperature is getting colder, about time to head south, which we are planning.

So nice not to have to face the cold and snow, to be able to go where we want–when we want—makes life quite comfortable.

Vincent Van Gogh once wrote:

“It is not the language of painters, 

but the language of nature, 

which one should listen to . . .”

Sunday, September 25, 2016—As we are driving out of Canyonlands Park into Capital Reef National Park, we are seeing more spender of American Wilderness. The road goes through somewhat of a desert land, with cliffs and buttes on both sides of the road. There are hardly any homes along these 100 miles; although we did see a motel—in the middle of nowhere—how do they stay in business?

All along the route, we are meeting people from other countries, almost more than we are seeing (hearing) Americans, I’d say more than half are foreign peoples. This is America’s backyard, why aren’t there more Americanish here to see these wondrous sites? Seems that many from this country like to vacation in foreign lands, when, right here, it is incredible! (have you been to this area yet?)

As we are driving along Tina looked to our left and we saw eight mountain goats having lunch along the side of the road. We pulled over for a time to watch them. There must have been 15 cars that passed by and did not even see this astonishing site. Then, they got spooked by a vehicle and they climbed almost straight up the face of a rock cliff—it was amazing to see.

We just took a path and came upon petroglyphs on the side of the canyon walls from thousands of years ago. These ancient carvings in the rock were simple but so very old.

Petroglyphs are rock carvings (rock paintings are called pictographs) made by pecking directly on the rock surface using a stone chisel and a hammerstone. When the desert varnish (or patina) on the surface of the rock is chipped off, the lighter rock underneath was exposed, creating the petroglyph.

Archaeologists have estimated there may be over 25,000 petroglyph images along the 17 miles of escarpment within this area.

It is estimated 90% of the areas petroglyphs were created by the ancestors of today’s Pueblo people. Puebloans have lived in the Rio Grande Valley since before 500 A.D., but a population increase around 1300 A.D. resulted in numerous new settlements. It is believed that the majority of the petroglyphs were carved from about 1300 through the late 1680s.

So good to see this ancient drawing and carving in the rock, and, great to see the animals in the area, such as deer.

Next up, a herd of Mule Deer eating grass, a pleasure for my eyes, seeing them with their big ears; out for the evening, they were as lawnmowers. These guys and gals are quite used to humans, I almost was able to go up, climb on and ride one, they wouldn’t have been bothered, it seemed.

This park has only one road going through it, east/west, and no other way through. For that reason, there is no fee to drive the distance. And, such a nice drive it is.

I had asked a ranger about the name of the park, Capital Reef National Park, he said it is called this because there is a white dome of rock that, as early explorers thought, looked like the capital building in Washington, DC. Then, because it was so hard to negotiate through in the old days, the cliffs are like a barrier reef.

Sep 26—We stayed in a Broken Spur Inn last night, well, we were parked in a motel parking lot and slept in the van. Motel lots are good to park in overnight, being quiet, no one with bother you and quite still most often; we sleep well.

The drive today is so majestic. Going by way of route 12 down to Escalante, we are seeing more amazing canyons and lands of the earth.

We just passed a guy, working for the township, who was mowing the shoulder of the road, a little grass sticking up. To me, this is such a waste of time and money. So what if the grass grows a few centimeters more. I am seeing about three meters wide on each side of the road that would need mowing, There are so many better things a person can do with their time.

And, we just passed another cemetery, there are so many. To me, this is another big waste–of land this time–sorry if you don’t think the same. For me, after death, I want to be planted in the ground, naked and in a National Park, so that my leftovers will go to bugs and back to the earth and my available energies will not be wasted.

We’ve moved into the Grand Staircase National Park region, looking forward to seeing more magnificence of the earth. This was named “Grand Staircase” because of the more than 6,000 vertical feet of cliffs, terraces, and plateaus that make up the area.

I am finding different and superior landscapes as we go.

Now into Bryce Canyon National Park, this being a Monday, I would not think many people would be here—this place is packed.

What’s strange, as I wrote before, seems that more than half of the people are from out of this country. So many languages, so many accents, so many looks–so good to see.

Sep 27—As we were on our drive to see more of Bryce Canyon we were driving down the top of a windy road and came upon a heard of Elk crossing in front of us. One we saw was a huge buck with a big rack of antlers. So very close they were.

Being that there is so much see here, it is hard take it all in. We just saw a huge lake that was down below us, with pine trees and aspen trees all around us. All these natural wonders, then you have the people and the cars, that’s another thing.

We found the Bryce Canyon Lodge, with room in the lot, so we parked for the night. There is a place to shower and a place to wash clothes, so we did both. At the lodge, there is free wifi with no password, so I have been. The lodge is open all night, so I was also there while Tina was finishing up on her sleep in the morning.

On our drive out we saw that there is a bike path following the road all the way out—such a good thing–I wish there were more bike paths all over America.

We just passed this huge motorhome, towing a car, with a bike on the back of the car. Very nice, but way too big for our tastes, we are more comfortable with smaller and only necessary things.

As you have seen, every week I send you photos of our journey. You have to know, what you are seeing is just a brief glimpse of what is coming before our eyes. For that reason, I am seeing that you will have to take this drive yourself, to really witness this wonderland.

Looking for somewhere to park the van and sleep, then we found one in the national park. This is a beautiful and clean campsite way out in the wilderness.

Big fire last night, and also this morning, warm and cozy it was. 

Although it was more difficult in this area to find dead/dry wood for the fire, we did, and it kept us warm.

Sep 30—Last night we parked right next to a lake and slept well; nice to wake up to see a big stunning lake out your front door.

Yesterday we moved into Zion National Park, where took a short drive in on Kolob Canyon Road. On this five-mile scenic drive we went past the spectacular canyons and red rocks of the Kolob Canyons area and ended up at the Kolob Canyons Viewpoint before we drove on to the main Zion Park.

Zion is full of steep cliffs, narrow canyons, and unpredictable weather to add challenge and adventure to our visit.

We found Lava Point Campground, where we spent the night. This free campsite is incredible!  Plenty of wood for the fire, not many people, and” free”,  we want to live here all next summer.

One strange thing we are finding, a high percentage of cars in this area are colored white, a bizarre occurrence. Our van is white, so we feel part of the party.

As evening is dropping I built a big fire. We ate a delicious meal of fettuccine, a good sauce on angel hair pasta. We are eating well, at low cost.

And, that evening, we played cards. I taught Tina to play cribbage, a game I learned when I was a youth. She has gotten good, we are about 50/50 on wins—we have fun with this game. Do you play?

The morning of October 1—As usual, I was up before the sun. The gentle rain came down now and then; I stayed under a tree to avoid the drops. Jennifer and Alyssa were passing by the campsite and stopped by for a chat. They live fairly close and come to the campground often. I told them how Tina and I travel around the country and of this blog I write. They wanted to get on the list to receive my postings, so welcome, Jennifer and Alyssa.

For breakfast it was potatoes and onions, cooked directly over the fire, we both ate well once again. Last night there was a gentle rain, so everything looks shiny and clean.

The air feels so clean here to breathe, I love it.

On the morning drive, we went back into a different part of Zion Park. As we go back on the same road we came out on, we are seeing a totally different view, a new perspective. Two deer were passing on the road in front of us, reminding us that we are out in the wilderness, the place I like to be.

Here is about Zion:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fci4ylynQwI&spfreload=10

So excellent to traveling through this majestic park again, although we are noticing whole hillsides with dead trees, must have been a deadly beetle bug that took them out.

As we were driving along, Tina suddenly said, “Look, a bighorn sheep!” Up on the hillside, he was standing proud. We pulled over, stopped for a time, and let others know what we were seeing. So many people would have simply driven by and missed this astonishing site of the sheep on the hill. Zion has so much to offer.

We found out that the name “Zion” has a religious background, meaning “Quiet Sanctuary”. Much of the park has religious overtones, in that the Mormon’s discovered much here.

Someone at the visitor’s center said that there will be a large population of Chinese coming to the park soon. They are heavily advertising Zion, and, because many Chinese have gobs of money now, they will be here in force. Just today there are so many people here (and, you know how I don’t like a lot of tourists), I can’t imagine how it will be after the Chinese invasion.

We drove up and took the bus that goes through Zion; this is the only way, besides walking or biking, that you can see the body of Zion Park. Around every turn was more out of this world scenery. The cliffs, the foliage, the incredible views, it was hard to take it all in. I am hoping the photos are going to come great so you can see the splendor of Zion.

While riding the tour bus people noticed climbers way up on the walls of the canyon free climbing. I’ve done some climbing, but nothing like this. We saw at least eight climbers on the wall of the canyon, way up there. It looked quite scary to be up like that.

The time is 5pm now, and what an incredible day!

So much more to see, I am sad we are leaving this majestic area of the earth, and can’t wait to return to see more in the future.

Oct 2—We stayed at a Walmart last night, comfortable, but I would so rather wake-up in a park somewhere in the wilderness. Last night Tina took me to dinner at a place she ate at before. Her son Mark lived in this area and she loved to visit. We ate at Xetava Gardens Café, a superb eatery.

The night before we left the temperature was  c, about 35F. Last night it Was about  c, 63f. A big change coming down

I must say, I am surprised more people are not taking advantage of the internet and travel. You, yes, you, could be out here traveling and having the time of your life. We purchased the van for only $3,000 and then I put in about $1,000 to turn the van into our home.

YOU COULD DO THE SAME! 

There are numerous ways to earn money while on the road, too, check out YouTube for ideas.

Down to Vegas soon, you will hear more . . .

You will find my book below the attachments.

Here is another chapter from the series of books I am writing:

Beyond Your Potential

The Comeback Kit, From Coma to Comedy

BOOK FOUR—LIFE CHANGING

A Series of Books to Change Your Life

By Kit Summers

Chapter 28–Joyful Experiences of Travel, and Tina Comes into My Life

“The World is a Book,

and those who don’t travel,

only read a page.” 

Saint Augustine

Once I had been home for a bit and was able to breathe again, I decided I had had enough. I was hit by a truck, twice, I had been put in jail on a false charge, where I had to spend a month, and my love life was going nowhere. I had to get away!

I had to get my mind away from the mess:

  1. 2009–Going through a divorce, after a 23 year marriage.
  2. 2010–Being hit by a truck, the second time, much of my body broken.
  3. 2011–Spending a month in jail on a false charge. 

In the past, I had traveled across the United States to present my juggling workshop to help other jugglers advance their skills and performances. I had been able to set up workshops in various parts of Europe on three different occasions, and I also traveled to Japan three different times to present workshops.

Even though I can’t juggle like I used to prior to my first accident in Atlantic City, my experience and knowledge of juggling and performing are deep and extensive and I have been able to use that to help others improve.

As I debated on where I wanted to go, I pondered that I had never been to Australia or New Zealand. I knew there had to be jugglers in those countries.

I HAD TO GO! 

This was my new goal, what a lofty goal it was. I wanted to run away from all the pain I had been in during the recent years of my life and start creating some new memories and experiences helping people.

I started contacting juggling groups and circus schools in Australia and New Zealand to set up workshops. I knew that our winter was their summer since they are south of the equator so I scheduled to be there in their spring and summer time while it was cold back home. The warmth and light of the sun make for a more enjoyable vacation.

Beyond this book, you can read about details of my trip in my blog atwww.kitsummers.com/blog.

Things came together well, and I was able to set up four workshops in New Zealand and four in Australia. I found it was much less expensive to fly out of San Diego, my home town, so that was my plan. Before flying to the down under, I had to drive across the country.

I left my home on August 10, 2011 for the five month trip. I decided to make the most out of my cross-country drive by presenting workshops to jugglers in the United States in several cities between Philadelphia and San Diego.

I was able to set up workshops in Chicago, Kansas City, and in Boulder, Colorado.

The workshop at Boulder Circus Center was excellent. I felt accomplished as the participants learned lots of new juggling skills and performance tips. I made quite a few friends at that workshop.

In combination with the workshops and getting to know some new people, I also decided it would be good therapy for me to enjoy some of the beautiful scenery across the states, so I visited quite a few national parks and wilderness areas. My mind felt free and light. At times, I camped in my van, away from the world in quite, scenic areas with not a person around for miles. Getting back to nature was an incredibly healing and uplifting experience.

While reviewing the map for my journey and deciding which route to take, the road from Boulder to Salida, Colorado looked somewhat barren and boring, but it turned out to be a fantastic drive. There were mountains, forests, streams, small quaint villages, all of which reminded me of scenes from trip to Southern Germany.

I thoroughly love to drink fresh clean water from mountain creeks, something I have not been able to do in years because of where I was living. The taste of the water in the streams in Colorado was so refreshing. I was also able to drink fresh water from streams in New Zealand which was absolutely delightful.

As I continued my drive through Colorado, I had seen a dirt road with a sign declaring that a National Forest was just ahead. After driving a distance down the dirt road, I wound up in a scenic area and decided to park my car under some trees. I saw no other people for two days, I had no cell phone reception, and I couldn’t get any clear radio stations in my van. I enjoyed the solitude. I hiked, read, and just rested. I was truly pleasant.

After the excellent and therapeutic drive across the country, I was able to spend three weeks with my mom in San Diego before my flight. It was quite a treat to visit the city where I spent my youth. I rode a bike around Ocean Beach, the place where I grew up. Everything there was different, but so was I. I cruised down streets where I used to play, passing a recreation center where I used to practice unicycling and juggling. Then I got to Newport Street, the main street where I grew up.

When I got to Newport Street, the main street where I grew up, fond memories flashed through my mind of when I would ride my seven foot unicycle up and down the street. It was hard to envision myself doing that now. I took some time to talk to some of the shop owners on the street who remembered me and my unicycles, especially the fourteen foot one that I had built in high school metal shop and rode in the area.

After my time in San Diego, I flew to Melbourne, Australia. I was so excited that I didn’t sleep a wink during the sixteen hour overnight flight. When I left the states, winter was beginning, so naturally summer was just beginning in Australia and New Zealand. Spring was in the air. Melbourne was a great city to land in first. I presented a workshop to a large group and then attended the Melbourne Juggling Convention the following week.

 It was quite a joy!

The workshops I had scheduled were set up and planned prior to me leaving Philadelphia, but I had no idea where I would be staying in Australia and New Zealand, what I would eat, or how I would be getting around.

I usually don’t concern myself with these things when I go somewhere.

I have found that these matters will always fall into place, and when they don’t, it just makes the experience that much more exciting and memorable. In both countries, I met friendly and caring people who allowed me to stay with them. I also spent some nights in hostels which are very cheap, and I found other people willing to allow travelers to stay in their homes on a website called Cough Surfing (www.couchsurging.org).

I was even able to haggle with one of the hostels for a cheaper rate. I offered to perform a juggling show and to provide some juggling lessons to other people staying at the hostel if I were allowed to stay there for ten dollars a night. The owner agreed.

After Melbourne, I went to Brisbane. This stunning city was one of the cleanest and nicest places I have ever seen. The workshop at Flipside Circus School was a lot of fun, again I met some really great people.

On to Sydney, and what a lovely city it is. It still strikes me as amazing that both Australia and New Zealand were such clean and tidy places and that all the roads and parks were well maintained. I never saw litter or trash all over the place and I didn’t see any graffiti.

The public parks and even the private yards were well kept and contained beautiful scenery. In my mind, the landscape was in stark contrast to the dilapidated and crumbling infrastructure of Philadelphia with its litter laden streets and alleys.

I spent quite a bit of time in Sydney. I found it to be a friendly and beautiful city. While I was there, I tried the Australian delicacy of kangaroo meat. Although I was mostly vegetarian at the time, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity.

I had the experience of eating horse in Japan which is almost taboo in the states so I knew this opportunity too would probably be my last. I like to try things native to the culture I’m experiencing. It makes the experience much more authentic and memorable.

After my enjoyable time in Australia, I was off to Wellington, New Zealand for the next portion of my trip. Once I arrived in New Zealand, which was only a short trip from Australia, I quickly realized that even though the two countries are so close together, they are quite different. The people even spoke with slightly different accents. Every day of my trip was a new adventure with new insights and experience – I loved it!

In Wellington, I presented another workshop to help jugglers perform better in their art. There was a woman in Wellington named Alice who helped me set up the workshop. She allowed me to stay in her home for a week while I was in the city. She and I are still great friends.

Wellington is on the north island of New Zealand, and from there I took a boat ride to the south island. There is a big ship that takes people regularly from one island to the other. The huge ship holds about sixteen hundred people and three hundred and sixty cars. It’s a beautiful three and a half hour trip on the warm sea.

Before taking the boat ride, I had contacted the management of the ship company to ask if I could do a juggling show during the ride. They liked the idea and allowed me to take the trip at no charge. There was a group of school-aged children on the boat that day that loved it and I got to spend some time with them teaching them how to juggle. I even got to teach some of the employees on the ship to juggle and, to their surprise, by the time we landed, they too could juggle!

After my arrival on the south island, I made my way to a facility called Jugglers Rest Backpackers in Picton. Picton is a small town with a wonderful character. Jugglers Rest is a small hostel owned by a woman named Nikki. It was squeaky clean, well organized, and very comfortable. Nikki was a wonderful woman, and I must admit, I fell in love with her during my short stay.

Nikki originally lived in a town in the middle of England. She at one time had taken a trip to Picton herself and she had stayed at the hostel she now manages. She liked the hostel so much and her experience there that she returned to Picton to work for the hostel and after some time, decided to purchase it.

The historic villa has wonderful plants and gardens surrounding it and the interior is quite beautiful. Aside from its aesthetic appeal, the hostel’s theme is that of juggling. You can find juggling toys scattered all around and you can take juggling lessons during your stay. When in New Zealand, you must stay at the Jugglers Rest hostel.

While on the south island of New Zealand, I went to the wilderness as much as I could. There was one day where I decided a nice hike on a mountain sounded like a wonderful idea. I asked around and learned of a great hiking trail through the woods near Jugglers Rest.

The trail climbed back and forth up a mountain through trees and bushes on both sides. It felt like what I thought being in a rainforest would feel like. The mountain is only accessible by foot which I thought sounded adventurous. The sun was bright, the temperature was cool, the view was fabulous, and the setting was perfect.

Up and up I climbed. I passed by a couple of people who were on their way down the mountain and laughed as the trail was barely wide enough to allow more than two or three people to pass at a time. Once I reached the top of the mountain, I was glad to see a bench where I could take a break. After taking in some of the beautiful scenery and basking in the cool air, I started making my way back down the mountain.

The trail was narrow, and the hill on my right side was quite steep. On the left side, the landscape just dropped off. My balance and my eyesight are far from perfect, and my knee at times was still wobbly and weak even with the pins in it.

I took an accidental step too close to the left edge of the path and down the slope I slipped. I must have fallen at least five meters – laughing at myself the whole way down.

At that point in my life, I had endured so much physical pain already that injuring myself didn’t faze me. As long as I don’t die, my body will mend and my life will go on. When my body had finally come to a stop, I just sat there for a time wondering what to do.

I turned and looked up the hill to assess where I needed to go. The hill looked very steep. I attempted to climb back up, but down I slide again. Even further down the hill this time.

I just sat there and thought for a time. I thought to myself, “I could just stay here and eat the plants, or any bugs and animals that might wander by. This could be my new life.” Then I said to myself, “Nope, I like ice cream way too much. I have to find a way out of here.”

I got up again and started hiking parallel to the trail for a few meters and eventually saw another way up the hill. I grabbed any trees or shrubs I could to help maintain my balance and made my way back to the trail chasing an imaginary bowel of ice cream. I was much more careful during the rest of the hike. I finally made my way back to the hostel.

After Picton, I made my way to Dunedin which was a special pleasure. I traveled by bus and by foot exploring the fine city.

Dunedin has a rich history and enjoyed learning about it. It just so happened that near to Dunedin was a festival called Circulation. This festival is an annual event that occurs from Friday through Tuesday with nonstop juggling and fun for the hundreds of people who join. I had to attend!

The setting of the place was stunning. Beautiful green landscapes with lush trees all around and a few nice buildings hidden away in the background. I was in a paradise. There is no internet connection there which was quite strange. It felt like the old days. I was running a number of classes and workshops and so the festival coordinators provided me with a bed and meals. The building I stayed in was all wood. It was quite different, but nice.

The meals were all vegan, meaning they contained no animal derived ingredients. They were delicious. I ate a curry vegetable mix on rice one of the nights – it was amazing. One morning it was an organic seed and oat cereal along with an excellent bread and tea. The meals alone were worth the visit.

The Circulation event felt kind of like the hippy gatherings I used to see in California when I was growing up. There were lots of people with long hair, piercings, and tattoos, and many of the events and workshops occurred outside in big tents.

One of the classes during the event was a hula hoop class which many people participated in. I saw one woman swirling the hula hoop around her waist while she had a baby strapped to her chest. She even had enough talent to breast feed while hula hooping. I saw a lot of hooping in Australia and New Zealand.

After the first night, I woke up to the sound of birds in the trees and the sight of a mist over the valley through the vegetation. It was a beautiful and memorable morning. As usual, I was up with the sun, and slowly and quietly slipped out of the room so I would not wake my two bunkmates.

After I ate lunch that day, I noticed someone eating alone at a table. I could tell that he was having trouble getting food to his mouth. I went over to his table and introduced myself, asking if I could sit with him and help him.

The man said his name was Dunkin. He explained that the he had been involved in an accident sixteen years ago that had put him in a coma for two and a half months. Since the accident, he hasn’t regained very good control of his muscles and limbs. His left arm didn’t work so well and his speech had been affected. I told Dunkin about my similar experience and showed him my book, Juggling with Finesse. After spending time with Dunkin, who had a brain injury very similar to mine, I still feel fortunate to be able to do all the things I can do.

For the last night of Circulation, there was a traditional Maori dinner. The ritual took place in the woods among the trees. Food was prepared underground on hot rocks where a fire had been extinguished earlier.

First a hole is dug in the ground and then rocks are put into the hole. A big fire is built and hot coals are allowed to build under the fire. Food is wrapped in foil and then put on the fire, and the whole thing is covered in dirt again. The meal and gathering was called Hangi. The food was so delicious I ate way too much.

To celebrate the last night of the festival, there was a huge fire, about three meters across. The flames kept everyone very warm after the sun went down. After dinner, there was a performance of belly dancing – some of the best I have ever seen. Five percussionists on bongo type drums made a wonderful beat and the three dancers synchronized their body movements precisely to the beat. It was fabulous.

The night was a magnificent end to the five day even. I’m hopeful to return some day and do it all again.

The next morning when it was time to leave, there wasn’t a cloud in the bright blue sky. After the sun was fully up, I looked through the trees – the area is truly magnificent. I made many new friends there and it felt like a big family get-together.

After Circulation, I went to see Milford Sound – the loveliest part of my trip. It was paradise on Earth. I had met a juggler named Clinton at Circulation and him and I rented a car to travel through the Sound. One moment we were juggling snowballs in the mountains, next we were at the warm sea. After that we were in a forest drinking from a stream. The land had so much to offer.

We were traveling together for five glorious days. New Zealand was truly a wondrous place – I’m looking forward to returning as soon as possible.

While traveling between workshops and cities, I had time to see a lot of landscape. What a breathtaking place these countries are. The mountains of New Zealand are especially spectacular.

When my time abroad was up, I flew back to San Diego. I immediately drove to Portland, Oregon to visit friends and family. I was born in Portland, but had not been there in about forty-five years. I was surprised at how much of the city I remembered.

I traveled east from Oregon, visiting more friends and family and also was able to hold several more workshops across the country until I arrived back home in Philadelphia on January 17, 2012.

I learned a great deal while traveling. I can’t stress how important it is to learn from everything you go through in your life, good and bad. At times, it is tempting to think that if we could hit the fast forward button, everything we go through is a lesson to be used for later in order to manifest our dreams and turn them into reality. We must live through the hard lessons and embrace them and keep moving ahead, knowing that good times will meet us.

Always keep in mind that in a special way, the journey is as important as the destination. This was definitely the case on my trip to Australia and New Zealand. Without the wisdom you gain on the journey, you may not be ready to fully embrace and enjoy your end result—the destination.

So keep enduring, my friend. Your destination is on the way in perfect timing. Until you finally arrive, please know that even while you are still traveling, you have really already arrived.

What a magnificent time I had away for five months. The journey I took healed me in many ways. In fact, I can’t wait to return to New Zealand and Australia, and this time, I would be taking the love of my life with me.

TINA

As rewarding as my trip had been, it didn’t take long for me to feel quite lonely again once I got home. I had spent so much time with other people during my travels; I don’t think I had felt lonely even once while I was away. Now that I was home, I had to reach out and meet that special someone. I met a few women on a dating website, but nothing developed into anything special.

Eventually, the website introduced me to Tina. The relationship was slow building at first, but we hit it off quite well. Tina told me when we were started seeing each other that she thought we were both old enough to know what we truly want in life. We have both found just that. It’s like we were meant for each other.

We talk about our future together with wonderful hope. Our love is always just beginning. It feels new every day. Such a love doesn’t just happen though – we make it happen that way. You see, in a good relationship you both have control of where things are going.

For Tina and I, the sky’s the limit.

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