Category Archives: In Between Traveling

Time in Dallas, New Orleans, etc and in between time of traveling.

New Orleans, I’m Coming Home

I’ve been in New Orleans for almost two weeks now. Jazz Fest is over and tomorrow I start working back at Sobou.

Back to reality.

However, even with all the previous anticipation for this time to come, I am finding myself really happy. Maybe it’s because of the weather and smells the summer brings. Maybe it is because I’ve been living up Jazz Fest the past two weekends, or maybe because of the reunion with my family and friends in this beautiful city…I think this elation could be a mix of all those things.

This was one of the first times I returned from an adventure and realized that no matter how many places I fall in love with around the world, New Orleans will always be my home.

I mean, I guess my love for New Orleans is pretty obvious. I spend a large amount of time telling my friends from around the world just how AWESOME and SPECIAL New Orleans is. So, of course I’m happy to be back!

As many people know who live or have lived in New Orleans, this city gives the effect of an emotional rollercoaster. The highs, the lows, the in-betweens are all amplified a thousand fold. For my 10 years here, I’ve tried to understand ‘why’ but there really is no straight answer.

It’s the moon, it’s the weather, it’s the booze, it’s the swamp, it’s the bayou, it’s because the city is below sea level, it’s the ghosts, history, voodoo, food, and/or music. There are so many possible explanations.

So, even in the midst of writing this, whatever that New Orleans magic is, is giving me a twinge of longing for the people and places I spent the last two months visiting.

I think most people are used to having the typical milestones in life. Whether it is to buy a house, get married, or have a baby, to smaller life events like going to the Mardi Gras for the first time or Jazz Fest or whatever story a “New Orleans visit” provides for you to tell for the rest of your life.

However, when you LIVE here, when this is home, and story after story, event after event, even tragedy after tragedy is happening constantly, there is no respite. There is no time to process the joys and sorrows because once one epiphany or ecstatic moment or heartbreak is over; the next one has already begun and the city gets you wrapped up in ‘the moment’ AGAIN.

Right, so the ramble above comes down to THE MOMENT. It is all we have. And New Orleans can be a big reminder of that fact.

Several months ago I remember saying to my friend Erin,

“Oh I miss him so much! I miss that place and those people over there. What am I to do?!”

Erin said, “Well, enjoy the longing.”

“What?”

“Just enjoy that feeling. The longing. The pining. Try to enjoy it.”

I don’t think I have been able to really practice that until now. Until now, when the past two months I had been preparing for since last September have already come and gone. I’m back in New Orleans, again I am longing, again I am pining, but it is ok.

It is GOOD.

Joni Mitchell’s song, “California” is a great example describing what I’m feeling.  If the title and chorus were changed to New Orleans, it would be perfect.

Thanks New Orleans for always taking me as I am.

California by Joni Mitchell

Sitting in a park in Paris France
Reading the news and it sure looks bad
They won’t give peace a chance
That was just a dream some of us had
Still a lot of lands to see
But I wouldn’t want to stay here
It’s too old and cold and settled in its ways here
Oh but California
 
California I’m coming home
I’m going to see the folks I dig
I’ll even kiss a Sunset pig
California I’m coming home
 
I met a redneck on a Grecian isle
Who did the goat dance very well
He gave me back my smile
But he kept my camera to sell
Oh the rogue the red red rogue
He cooked good omelettes and stews
And I might have stayed on with him there
But my heart cried out for you California
 
Oh California I’m coming home
Oh make me feel good rock ‘n’ roll band
I’m your biggest fan
California I’m coming home
 
Oh it gets so lonely
When you’re walking
And the streets are full of strangers
All the news of home you read
Just gives you the blues
Just gives you the blues
 
So I bought me a ticket
Back on a plane to Spain
Went to a party down a red dirt road
There were lots of pretty people there
Reading Rolling Stone reading Vogue
They said “How long can you hang around?”
I said a week maybe two
Just until my skin turns brown
Then I’m going home to California
 
California I’m coming home
Oh will you take me as I am
Strung out on another man
California I’m coming home
Oh it gets so lonely
When you’re walking
And the streets are full of strangers
All the news of home you read
More about the war
And the bloody changes
Oh will you take me as I am?
Will you take me as I am?
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Filed under In Between Traveling, New Orleans

Why Not?

I didn’t make as much money as I expected so I’m going back to Greece, Rome, and taking a trip to Lisbon because I heard it was cool.  Then I’ll come home and work until Christmas and then make a new plan.  I don’t know what I’m doing.

“Yes you do.  You are working, saving, and traveling.”

Oh…right!

There are many people I am grateful to for the continuing support in my travels.

Dad, thank you for always keeping your door open and my room available for me to stay.  It makes me happy that we are able to spend this time together.

Sophia, thank you for being my best friend, lazy companion, and confidante extraordinaire.

Mom and Ken, thank you for everything you do for me.  Including the never-ending encouragement, acts of kindness, and emotional support.  I love you guys!

Libertine Bar (plus Bottle Shop and entire Lower Greenville Ave Crew), thank you for welcoming me home with a job!  That is a true blessing these days.   Not only do I feel so lucky for my awesome job but also the gracious, fun, and crazy group of friends that comes with it.

I’ll answer a few commonly asked questions with the most important response I learned during my time in Greece.

Why are you going back to Greece?

Why not?

Why are you going for four weeks?

Why not?

Why do you travel so much?

Why not?

When asked these questions the first time, I attempted to make some justified answers.  I think this was in hopes of warranting my decisions to myself but it wasn’t really working.  Ultimately, I was more stressed trying to give reasons for this trip and what I do in general.

So, I gave up.  I realized my whole life is full of “why nots?”  I should take advantage of those when I can.

I am going back to Greece because I want to see my neighbors, friends, and family I made this summer there.

I am going to Rome because I want to see my Italian family.

I am going to Lisbon because I want an adventure in a place I’ve never been.

As long as I live my life with respect towards others and the things I want do not hurt others, I’m going to do it.

Today, I found an old photo album of pictures from high school and a photo album from the time I lived Austin for Hurricane Katrina.  I thought about all the people who would love to see these pictures.  I thought about how nice it would be to have a home where these photos could be accessible for guests to look at, reminisce about, and enjoy.

I put the pictures away, turned around and looked at my bed.  On the mattress were my clothes and other belongings I am packing for my trip.

My thoughts went something like this…

Woah.  I’m still living my life and making these adventures happen.  I’m still choosing experience!  There will be plenty of time later for nostalgia.

So, today I am grateful to the above mentioned and to everyone who has encouraged me to keep traveling.

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Filed under In Between Traveling, Travel Inspiration

It’s Something!

Procrastinate

: to put off intentionally and habitually.

Sound familiar?

This has been a recurring word when I think about the blog.  However, now that life has a bit more stability and regularity (AND I had my first full day off of work yesterday in just over 2 weeks) I have the time to catch up on some things.

So, Greece was obviously amazing.  When I think back on the hesitations I had before going there, I laugh.  The majority of my posts from Corfu are about how loving, kind, and incredible the people there are and I want to reiterate that fact.  Of course I anticipated making friends but I don’t think I ever could have imagined the quality of these friendships.  Time was an irrelevant element; a magic I believe the island itself manifests in several ways.

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Without force, without hesitations, without skepticism, and within literally hours, I made some of the greatest friends I have ever made in my life.  All of my assumptions of time being the only factor in cogent friendships was proven wrong.

I have a strong image of the way children meet each other.  There is a curiosity and awkward dance of sharing between children who meet for the first time.  There are no conversations to get ‘to know’ the stranger, and common ground is usually found through games, toys, or fantasy.  The break in shyness is so immediate that you would think they had known each other for a long time.

Corfu was our playground, toy, and fantasy.  The commonality was the fact that we all wanted to experience everything the island had to offer.  Maybe it was this shared love for our surrounding that made us immediately respect each other.

Two months later, I am still in awe of the genuineness of these friendships!  It makes it even more justified that for the past two months since I left Corfu, there has not been one day without a message or conversation from my fellow Window Talkers.

The way of acceptance, love, and anticipation that friends of many years possess are obtainable during the duration of our lives.  What an exciting realization!  This magical and rare experience I am forever grateful for.

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Right now I am back in Dallas, working two jobs and doing my thing; work, work, work, save, save, save, travel, travel, travel, and then repeat.  I guess it is obvious this is becoming a pattern.  There are still no plans, no assumptions, no idea of what exactly I want for the future but I like it that way.  I know what I want right now and that is all I can work towards.

Corfu has also been an easy excuse for me to procrastinate in other ways.  I long for my life in Corfu.  However, if I cannot be happy where I am, how could I be living in the wisdom Corfu gave me?  I have to constantly be ‘living,’ no matter where I am.  I have to constantly be curious of strangers, I have to constantly be in search of new adventures, I have to constantly be learning.  I have been pleasantly surprised to find that Dallas is filled with adventures and fun! IE Boatapolousa, Mexican night clubs, Bingo Halls, concerts, cocktail-y things, family nights, and late night/early morning amazing conversations.

This weekend I took my Corfu wisdom to full effect.  Yesterday was the wedding shower for my cousin Alex and his fiance, Becky, in Arkansas at Lake Ouachita.  Another treasured family haunt.  I had resigned to the fact I wouldn’t be able to take off work.  The usual excuses ran through my mind; I can’t afford it, I can’t take off work, and if I tried to take off work, it would be a long hassle getting my shifts covered.  However, Friday morning something came over me and I had an overwhelming desire to be with my family.  I scrambled, pulled strings, bribed people, and luckily worked everything out to be able to go.

It is important for me to maintain a balance of my priorities.  Absolutely I can work towards my goal and initiate a substantial life at the same time!  Right?!  Taking two days off to be able to come to this beautiful, heavenly place to be with my wild and crazy family, who I love more than anything, should be a given.

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The hard part is already over.  It’s not like this is the first time I’ve had to save money to travel.  Maybe I won’t be able to leave when I want to, maybe my destination will change.

Who knows?

I like staying open.  If something comes along and grabs me, I’m going to take it.  That is how I’ve always done it.  That is why it works for me.  That is why I always seem to find myself surrounded by exceptional people.

All I have is right now.  This moment.  And I’m going to make the most of it.

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NolaVie

Check out my article in NolaVie-a section from NOLA.com-about traveling the world while keeping the New Orleans soul.

http://nolavie.com/finding-the-new-orleans-love-on-a-global-trek-19881/

 

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Filed under In Between Traveling, Interesting Things, New Orleans

Do Whatcha Wanna

A LOT of questions lately.  I am hoping I can clear some things up today.

Why haven’t I hit the road again?

I felt a strong desire to spend the holidays with my family.  The most efficient way to do that was to continue working and saving at The Libertine Bar.

The three months I intended on staying in Dallas became 5.  I’ll admit that there were other reasons besides money and family as to why I stuck around.  I never expected to make the wonderful friends I did this summer but because of them my time there was very fulfilling.

Why did I leave Dallas?

I still plan to travel!  I still am keeping this life style going.  I am being more present and making choices that only postpone far away traveling however, I am still living the indefinite adventure.

Why am I in New Orleans?

I wanted to have quality time with my family and friends who live here.  I’ve been traveling off and on for the past 3 years now.  Within that time I have only been able to briefly visit New Orleans.  I spent a significant part of my life here and have been eager to rekindled my relationship with the magical city.  Everyone who comes to New Orleans knows what I mean.  It is magical and magical things happen here.  So why not continue my goal of ‘have fun, make money’ where I can live rent free, continue saving, and spend time with people I love.

Yes, I have to get a new job and I have to make new friends.  I have to get used to the changes that have happened in this place and deal with the unending flow of tourists.  However, I have some old friends who were in New Orleans with me years ago and their support and willingness to reminisce as well as show me a ‘new’ New Orleans is a huge jump start.

Within the week, I will have my PediCab license and will be working with Bike Taxi Unlimited.  I will be toting around tourists and locals alike through the French Quarter, Marigny, and the rest of New Orleans.

One of the most difficult things about the way I travel is how much I miss my family.  With all of us being scattered over the country, the holidays are the only time everyone commits to getting together.  Since I missed last year, I made the choice that I would stay this year.

Not to say that the last holidays were bad.  For Thanksgiving last year, I was on Olkhon island on Lake Baikal in Russia.  Our Thanksgiving consisted of cured fish, potatoes, meatballs, and 3 in 1 coffee.  We were in a beautiful place with some of the most generous people.  A lot to be thankful for.

When I was in New York, I realized the importance of quality time with the people you love.  That is why I came down here.  One thing that keeps me confident about continuing to travel and do what I do is that no matter how much time goes by without seeing these people our friendship never falters.  In Dallas, there were people I had not seen in years and once we reunited it seemed as if only a few days had gone by since we last saw each other.  This is what I am ultimately grateful for.  The love between friends reminiscent of the love within family for it never diminishes.

Of course we change and people change but love and memory stay constant.  So, I am once again choosing to be present and unafraid of change.  I’ll never forget The Libertine and the wonderful people there.  I’ll never forget the amazing times I had in Dallas.  Just as I haven’t forgotten about New Orleans and have come back knowing that there are new adventures to be had here.  I’m only lucky enough that my family lives here too.

I still plan to travel far away and as of now that time looks like after Mardi Gras.  New Orleans is a catapult for the next big adventure and more than that it holds all new discoveries in itself.    I’m still not certain about any details after my time here but that’s how I like it.  I am available and up for anything.

Down here they say, “Do whatcha wanna.”

I plan to do just that.

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Ditmas

At the moment, and for the next two weeks, I am visiting with my family in New York City.  So far we’ve eaten some amazing food, cuddled with the affectionate Van Gogh (Charlotte’s one-eared dachshund), and lazed around talking about life, books, and other interesting things.  When I am able to spend time with my cousins, and family in general, I feel it helps me achieve a clear perspective of my full potential.

And I mean look at this guy!

How could they not provide important incite on my life choices after everything we’ve been through together?  I mean we were once The Beatles!  I was Paul and we even had a secret place that we deemed John’s grave.  To fully describe the extent of our imaginations I have to explain that we were not only JUST The Beatles, but we were Beatles who had the ultimate power of transforming into raptors!  So, obvious references to our childhood obsessions with The Beatles and Jurassic Park.  I guess those two interests surfaced around the same time and what else could we do but combine them.

So yeah, I love my family and that is what this time in New York is about.  Right now Charlotte is working on her computer in the next room and I am on mine.  Van Gogh is nestled on the couch in the room between us bridging the gap.  Many people are always curious about this interaction between us all.  We never have to be ‘doing’ anything but enjoying the presence of each other.  With every once and a while commenting on a joke or something that we heard about a mutual friend or something we want to cook or eat or a movie we want to watch or maybe start a sing-a-long of some kind.  That’s it.  That is all we need to make us happy.

We have ruled and conquered many worlds.  We have defeated the most menacing of all evil characters (one being the guy with the black eyes in The X-files), made blockbuster movies, traveled through various foreign countries some real and some imaginary, roamed endless cobble streets in search of the best chocolate shop in all of southern France, drunk wine on the steps of the Duomo, played music on the streets, slept in the brig of a Thai ship, AND SO MUCH MORE!

We were taught to take pleasure in the small things and therefore are generally happy people…even though Little Mack looks like he wants to die in the majority of this video, he smiles in the end 🙂

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The possibilities are endless…If you want them to be

Where are you going?  What are your plans?  What are you going to do next?

These questions have been directed at me on a daily basis since I came back to Dallas in May.  In the beginning I didn’t worry too much about it.  I had a simple answer; I was completely broke and needed to make money.  After a couple of months working two jobs and my bank account looking less dismal, I started thinking about what I wanted to do next and what were my goals.  I began responding to these questions by going over all the possibilities and options I had.

Well, I found this job in Myanmar and I want to get my Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate and I want to go back to South East Asia but my friend is trying to get me to go to South America although I would love to go back to Morocco and Italy or I could go to Australia on the way to South East Asia on the way to India and then swing by Europe when I run out of money again…..

These rants and uncertainties did not seem well received.  So I took a breath and spoke the simple truth.

I don’t know.

Phew!  That felt good!

I’ve had to remind myself yet again, to allow the unknown and unexpected to present what it will.  It really is very simple.  I’m working hard, doing what I have to do, to be able to have the freedom to do whatever I want to do!  Even though there are a million things I want to do, I feel confident that whatever is supposed to happen will happen.

I have to remind myself all the time, that when I decided to go on the Trans-Siberian I had absolutely no clue the other adventures that would come from it.  Nothing was ever planned more than a few days in advance.

This is my acceptance speech of my choice to live an extraordinary life.  Where I allow myself to do what I want.  I want to travel.  I want to live in optimistic uncertainty about the future.  I want to be of service to the world.  Thank God for this clarity of some things I actually want!  That alone is a blessing.

Can I achieve all these desires without putting in some hard work?  Hell no!  My time here in Dallas has been extended almost two months compared to the original 3 month plan (original PLAN…Ha!)  Now that I have finally accepted my life choices and these aspirations, I can relax and be more present.  I can enjoy my time here with the people I love and make the most out of Dallas because I know I will be leaving at some point in time.

Nope, I don’t know where…yet.  Nope, I don’t know with who….yet.  I sort of know when but there is no exact date.  Aren’t you excited to find out?  I am!

If there are still any questions, please refer to the quote at the top of this page on the right.  That pretty much sums it all up for me.

Opportunities are already popping up.  For example,  I received a response from the International Buddhist Education Center in Sagaing, Myanmar (Burma) in regards to a teaching job.  This is one of those chances I feel cannot be missed.  The affirmations of this place seem to be endless.  Beginning with the coincidence that the teacher who contacted me is named Kyaw Min, the same name of my dear friend on Koh Tao.  Yes, yes maybe it’s a common name but of course I’m going to believe it’s a sign.  Also, this picture gets me all excited inside….

Absolutely stunning.

 

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To Do Lists

I read an interesting article today about making lists.  I wanted to write something about list-making because I actually did that today.  Not only did I make a list but I have almost completed everything on it.  Granted a few of the “to do’s” were simple things like, swim, pack, laundry, cook, and watch the movie The Lady.  However, it felt important to have those written out.

I was thinking about how there have been innumerable times where I’ve written about something that I want to happen.  Whether it be about a person I want to see or meet, or a place I want to go, the majority of these desires have become reality and I feel comfortable accrediting it all to the fact that I wrote it down.  I envisioned the scenario and it came to be!

This past week has been a long one and my first world problems were weighing a little on me.  Of course, there were good friends who endured listening to a few of my complaints and helped me in ways of distraction (i.e. picking locks and rooftop adventures!)

So, today I feel back to myself.  An eternal optimist!  I’ve been anticipating seeing my family in Pensacola and having some time off.  I leave tomorrow for New Orleans and will be lucky again to participate in the Running of the Bulls Saturday morning.  Then to the beach…..

Here is a great list Stephanie and I made when we were living on the island of Koh Tao in Thailand.  We were writing out the pros and cons of our living situation to make the decision whether we should move or not….

What’s on your list?

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Boatapalooza

“We’re going to set up karaoke and everything.  I’ve got two wireless mics, a speaker, and a karaoke app on my iPhone.  It’s going to be awesome.”

“On the boat?”

“Yep.”

Like most of my friend John Neel’s ideas, this one was close to pure epic-ness.  His plan was to take his and his friends sailboat to Joe Pool Lake with a few other people and have a boat/karaoke party.  I arranged to have the day off from work and waited with anticipation for the weekend.

In all the years I lived in Dallas I had never been to Joe Pool Lake.  This new discovery in itself was wonderful.  On the drive there, Stephanie and I reached the top of a hill that overlooked the lake.  The trees were green, the lake was blue and it was stunning.  A beautiful place in Dallas?  Yes.  An amazing swimmable retreat from this horrible heat?  Yes.

Stephanie and I parked the car and unloaded our homemade sangria that we prepared in the cooler.  John said they would pick us up from the dock once they got the boat in the water.  After 15 minutes or so and no sailboat in sight, I called him back and discovered we were at the wrong park.  Everyone was getting ready on the other side of the lake, about a 15 minute drive away.

Instantly, Stephanie asked a man if he would mind taking us to the other side of the lake in his motor boat.  Both of us had been so accustomed to the way of living on Koh Tao (the island in Thailand where we lived for 2 months) where it is normal to ask a stranger for a favor.  In this instance, we had absolutely no qualms about asking someone for a ride across the lake.

An example:

While I was living on Koh Tao I was playing keyboard with my friend Mark who plays guitar.  One night, Stephanie and I were driving the motorbike home from a gig and we ran out of gas.  We had also run out of cell phone credit and therefore could not call The Lost Boys to help us out.  So we started walking with my keyboard in tow.  

A little ways down the road we saw a man sitting in a chair, smoking a cigarette next to what appeared to be a banana stand (quickly deciphered due to the painting of bananas on the front.)  I went up to him and explained that we had run out of gas.  His english was almost non-existent but somehow I was able to communicate what had happened.  I’m sure the word “petrol” made it obvious.  

After a few nods, he ran around the the corner and came back with a cell phone.  Some words were spoken and after he hung up the phone he motioned for us to sit down.  Again he ran around the corner and disappeared.  Stephanie, who was holding the keyboard, looked at me and we laughed.  We agreed that we were uncertain about what was going to happen but that we would stay long enough to find out.  The man returned and offered us some bananas he had procured.  We gratefully took the bananas and said “kob kun kaa.”  

“Musican?” he asked looking at the keyboard.  

“Her,” Stephanie replied pointing at me.

Then a motorbike wheeled around the corner and parked in front of us.  As the driver got off the bike he said something to our new friend, who replied with a nod and then got on the bike himself.  We realized that he had called his friend to borrow a motorbike.

“Petrol,” he said and motioned me to get on the bike.

I got on the back of the bike and we drove down the road to the gas station.  Once we arrived, my friend asked for the gas and a man began filling up a plastic water bottle.  I suddenly remembered that I had forgotten all my money in the guitar case that was back with Stephanie at the banana stand.  Again, this was quickly communicated and understood by my new friend and he proceeded to pay for the gas.  He then drove me to my bike where he helped me fill the tank.  I started the engine and we both returned to the banana stand to pick up Stephanie.  

When we arrived, I got the money I owed him and attempted to give him a little extra for his time and effort.  This was completely unacceptable and he refused to take any extra money.  With numerous “thank you’s” Stephanie and I got situated on our bike with the keyboard.  Then right before we drove away, our new friend handed us a bundle of bananas.  After this, every time we passed by him on the road we would honk, wave, and shout hello to our new friend, the Banana Man.

Stephanie and I rode across Joe Pool Lake in the speed boat and were grateful for the breeze.  They dropped us off at the Marina which was still far from where our party was.  I called John and confirmed his whereabouts while Stephanie asked around for other ride possibilities.  We found a really nice couple, with a really fancy boat.

Once we were joined with our sailboat crew, our new friends from our ride towed us out of the cove and into the lake.  As there wasn’t much wind, we didn’t get very far after that.  But it didn’t matter.

There were drinks, there was food, there were amazing people, and there was karaoke.

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Checking In

So, here I am….in Dallas that is.  I have been working at the Libertine for a month and a half now.  Has it really been that long?!  I have to admit I was afraid of things being the same as last summer, where all I did was work and never had time to build new friendships.   However, like always, my expectations were disproved.  Is that the theme of my life?  To always remind myself never to have expectations?

Not only are some of my oldest and dearest friends back in Dallas but I have also finally found a real genuine community.  And where else would I meet these amazing people other than the Libertine.  I wrote last year about how The Libertine was my one saving grace while living in Dallas.  How I felt a sense of home every time I walked through the door.  This is one thing that has not changed.  In truth, the majority of this group was around last year but because of my focus I was unable to give any time to hang out with new people.

I think one of the most profound things I learned on the Epic Adventure was to be more present.  I never planned anything more than 3 days in advance and this process resulted in life changing skills.  I live more in the moment, am more productive, do not take things too seriously, and most importantly, can appreciate wherever I am.

There is no longer this anxiety or longing to be with certain people or in a certain place.  Granted, of course I miss The Lost Boys, all the wonderful people on Koh Tao, all of the wonderful people in all of the places I went to, and undoubtedly, my Companion but I know I will see them all again and the reunion will be incredible.  All I can say is thank God for Skype.

So, in much anticipation, I will begin a recollection of the stories that I was unable to tell from the journey.  There are so many and they have to be documented.  Also, I’m going to plan to include some sort of ‘travel tips’ section due to the numerous calls and messages I get with questions like,

“How did you do it?  Where did you go?  How much was it?”

All I can reiterate now is that we never planned anything besides Russia.  I mean really, the only fact was that we were going to Russia and we were going to ride on the Trans-Siberian.  Everything else, before and after that, was spontaneous and this is something I want to really encourage people to do.

This is it guys.  This is the only life we’ve got.  Might as well make it an interesting one!

And for REALLY amazing news!  Aung San Suu Kyi’s accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo a few days ago.  She truly is an inspiration.

One other theme that has seemed to follow me throughout my entire life is the kindnesses I have found in the most unexpected places.  Aung San Suu Kyi reminded me of this with her quote,

“Every kindness I received, small or big, convinced me that there could never be enough of it in the world.”  Kindness, she said, “can change the lives of people.”

Aung San Suu Kyi

And this is for you Stephanie…


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