As I hit midlife, a huge discovery hit me like a ton of brick - I have changed from an ultra extrovert to a reclusive introvert. Is this what mid-life does? Turn things around and throw you on the other side of the fence?
The first day went by in a blur. I was excited to be getting on the road and covering as much distance as possible, having spent 6 months preparing for this day. We rode along the magnificent Oregon coast which lined the Pacific Ocean. I had lived in California and ridden along the Californian coast and thought the Californian coast to be beautiful - the Oregon coast somehow seemed more beautiful. Maybe because it’s way more north on the hemisphere and seemed more blue, I can’t be sure.
My first impression of San Francisco when I first visited in April 2012 - I was in the passenger seat, while my husband drove; he asked me: What did you think? to which I responded: Underwhelmed. Contrary to San Francisco’s efforts to enchant its visitors with its unique attractions, I was underwhelmed by its many lack of. Here I briefly ramble off 10 things. But of course, San Francisco is not without its charm - it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Now here's my take of this amazing place I now call home.
Never again will I look at the Grand Canyon in the same way ever again. I first set eyes on her on a road trip in December 2011, during which I exclaimed to myself, this must be the most majestic place in the United States. And now in October 2017, almost 6 years later, to be able to get right up close and personal to her, not driving, but hiking right into her bosom, feels almost unreal. It's like a dream come true; a longing that's finally fulfilled.
In 2001 I was in a desperate place in my life where I was isolated and the only relationship (an unhealthy one) I had hung on the line. I was scared of losing my only life line, and when the relationship ended, I couldn’t see how I was going to survive without it. This is my confession.
“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” -Edmund Hillary. Thrown to the elements, away from the convenience of technology, comfort of home and safety of civilization - there’s something about being vulnerable that makes one come alive.
Check your ego at the door. Don't be a martyr. Stay in a group. Stay connected. Following my previous post on How I Almost Got Lost: How To Stay Safe In The Mountains, here's an update with more safety tips and lessons learnt.
Last weekend I went on an outdoor trip which nearly landed me in a life threatening situation. I took some time to chew on it before writing it down. I’m sharing this because there are several important lessons that anyone heading into the remote outdoors could learn from my experience.
Never been on a cruise before? Neither have I. All I've heard is that it's really expensive to sail to Alaska. Busting these myths, I found a way to secure the cheapest cruise tickets to Alaska, and truly enjoyed the trip.
You notice what you love. The crease on his brow. The scowl on his lips. It doesn’t mean that you dislike that about him or that you’re negatively affected by his outward expression. It means that you care about him to notice the things that frustrate him.
I realized that my living in California is not a matter of chance or coincidence. There is a purpose for being where you are, doing what you do, meeting the people you meet. Thus I’ve taken upon myself a new mission - to speak with, discover, and deliver the voices of amazing people I meet in various cities in California. In this blog, I bring you three short stories from Bishop: a former marine turned country songwriter, a teenage fly fisherman, a group of sunburnt men hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.
Seattle... land of online giant, Amazon, Starbucks, 1980s grunge band Nirvana and tragic musician, Kurt Cobain, year-round rain and some of the nicest folks in Northwest America. In this series, I bring you the best place to stay, local food to eat, and places to visit for a day trip in Seattle, home to over 700, 000 people.
Mike Hall was there at a prominent and defining moment in my life. Mike transformed the world of ultra endurance cycling by pioneering and founding the TransContinental Bike Race across Europe in 2013, out of which many other ultra endurance races across different countries in the world have emerged. He would be the fastest man to cycle around the world in 2012 and go on to win numerous ultra endurance races between 2012 and 2016. Mike wasn't just a cyclist - he was superhuman, and he was the sweetest man to his family, friends, cyclists around the world and people who know him as an incredible human being.
That which causes the most pain is also that which etches the deepest memories. Though it be bitter at the moment we were experiencing it and we vow never to revisit that memory, sometimes we rehash that pain because we are better off for it after the storm has blown and past.
Don’t try. Because your strength is limited. Your ability is limited. Your tank is limited. Where you’re limited, you can’t give freely. On your own, by your own, you can’t do it. Instead, nurture your soul.
Everyone loves a smiling face, no matter how hardened they are. This I learn from observing my general contractors who always seem to be carrying a cheerful attitude into their work and environment, no matter how tough their work and financial situations are. I tried to apply the same principle in my marriage. It certainly isn’t easy, but I’m glad I try.
Don't be dictated by the values of the general society that deem a regular job, income, career, family and life to be of a certain mold. Rather, celebrate your difference and go confidently in the direction of your dreams.
Once in awhile you meet someone who inspires you not because of their stellar achievement but because of how down-to-earth, sincere, humble and genuine they are. One such person is Khaled, who owns and runs a falafel shop in Belmont, California. No, not just any falafel shop - it's the best, most authentic, freshest and tastiest falafel there is.
I know the power of words. Words form our beliefs, habits and destiny. We literally shape our world with our words. So I decided to take control of my emotions by writing down my daily situation and choosing joy despite the negativity that surrounds. By writing and solidifying each day’s resolve to “steal” joy, I was changing my internal circumstances which I knew would soon spill over to my external circumstances.
Every once powerful empire face an impending eventual collapse. Consider the ancient empires of old: the Persian, Roman, Turkish, Mongol and Egyptian empires - they once rose to great power and they eventually fell to horrific economic ruins and dusted glory. As empires rise and fall according to times, so do individuals rise and fall according to seasons.
Ever noticed how a vacation leaves us refreshed and ready to tackle our jobs with new drive? A change of environment - sights, sounds, faces, encounters, experiences - they offer rejuvenation and renewed perspective. Sometimes all it takes is a quick change of environment to change your inner perspective. In my case, all it took was a pool of water.
If you’re taking a train heading south while you had intended to head north, what do you do? You’ll immediately get off the train at the next stop and board the correct train heading north. You will do whatever’s necessary to get you to your destination. Isn’t it crazy then that we know to do the right thing in the case of a train ride but we don’t apply the same principle to life in general?
A young man went to film school in college. He graduated and worked in the State Treasury in Sacramento, California for six years. One day, he discovered a shoemaking workshop, was fascinated, took the class and started making shoes on night and weekends. He lived and breathed soft leather, wool, quality rubber soles and stitching. He became a master in his craft. First he would sell a pair online. Then two. Then three. Soon the orders would back up to more than he could manage.
What you want isn't shiny, expensive or showy. What you want doesn't yell for attention. What you want isn't the social commodity of cash, credit and career. What you want doesn't shout from the mountaintop. What you want is something deeper.
Kindness is not natural. What can I say? We’re born imperfect, and we have to work on our kindness. At least I do. So even when I don’t feel like it, especially when I’m in a bad spot myself, I got to remind myself daily to practice kindness. Kindness is a choice.