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Join me in welcoming our first guest blogger to the Simple Pleasures stage, my well-traveled friend & SPEL reader – Brenda Viola.
Inspired by the wanderlust aspect of the Road Trippin’ (How to Release your Inner Nomad) post, Brenda not only gives us a peek into her globe-trotting exploits, but also reminds us that we can be unapologetic about our deepest desires and live a life of our dreams. This simple little post has transformative potential hidden beneath its comic charm.
(And a little about freedom to live life on your own terms)
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
I'm happiest when planning an adventure. As my closest friends know, these escapades never involve mountain-climbing, bungee jumping or zip lining (though I was coerced into zipping once and screamed through the entire ride while spinning wildly in the air like a rotisserie chicken.)
No, my adventures involve packing a large and stuffed suitcase and taking off to - anywhere. Whether the destination is exotic or mundane, I love getting out of Dodge.
My soldier of a suitcase stands at the ready. Thank God for wheels, because it usually weighs in right at the 50 lb. limit.
True story: My first fight with my husband occurred on our honeymoon when airport security confiscated my $15 Sebastian Shaper Hair Spray.
He was appalled that I would get feisty with an armed guard in Mexico; I was appalled that he didn’t understand how important my Shaper was to me. I have matured since then.
Much of the fun is scouring the Internet for tips related to my happiest three things: shopping, lodging and dining. (What about culture, you ask? I unashamedly admit that when visiting France my husband and I saw the line for the Louvre and instead decided to watch its exterior while sopping up escargot juice at a nearby café.)
Research is fun! That Fodor's "Top Romantic Bed and Breakfast in Venice" can also be the one with a big, bold bed bug warning on Trip Advisor. The pre-trip investigation fuels my imagination. I can almost taste the sweet, creamy gelato...smell the tartness of the lemon trees and see my toes dipping in the peacock blue-green Mediterranean. Long before I get there, I live there.
How to Stop Saying Yes When You Mean No
The Dalai Palma
When Nature Pulls a Fast One
A Mulligan (Life's Second Chances)
The Kindness of a Stranger
Making Uncertainty an Ally
Lovin' the Town You're With
Being Part of Someone's First
This is Suite Roccia (“The Rock Suite”) at the Bellevue Syrene in Sorrento Italy, where in May my husband and I will celebrate the 10th anniversary of surviving that first fight. Yes, the room is in an ancient cave and we have our own grotto. No, I may never want to come home.
Every time I would see this photo on www.bellevue.it my inner Liz Lemon (30 Rock) would murmur “I want to go to there.” And so we shall!
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The other delight is the unknown. Airports are full of possibilities.
I enjoy looking for eligible bachelors for my single friends (it's so much more fun when you're not looking for yourself.) There's usually time to catch up on your reading when your flight is delayed or simply to people watch. I love those people who stand out in a crowd - the remarkably well behaved child; the oddly-matched couple whose back story is fun to guess - or that moment spent recognizing the good taste of that woman with the cool boots you certainly would have bought if you found them first.
Pretty much before I arrive back home, I'm already planning my next getaway. And when Cindy asked me to guest-blog (quite an honor and with metaphorically big – but stylish - shoes to fill), I asked myself, "Why is it that going gets you....going?"
It occurred to me that the joy is in the answer, "Because I can!" It's my life, my shots to call, my reservations to make and restaurants to choose. I got a life! Yay! And it's all mine!
Perhaps this glorious juncture of almost-50 has crystallized what I frittered away in my 20's and 30's (I call these the "lost years"). Instead of waiting for things to happen or hoping someday they might, or if anyone else will approve, I now just do it. (Not necessarily what Nike had in mind, but it works for me.)
At the Feast at LeLe luau in Maui on New Year’s Eve, 2012.
We all know the real star of this photo is the hunk mugging in the background...the guy who makes every journey – even coming home – an adventure. (Here’s to the next ten, babycakes!)
I admire those who have had this awakening earlier in life or the lucky ones who just always lived this way. But there is a special sweetness to waking from a fog and suddenly realizing “Why not?” as if finally realizing any day presents a banquet of possibilities just waiting to be tasted.
What a realization; that the only person’s permission I needed to finally start living was my own.
Brenda lives in Aston. PA & loves her working life as the Public Relations Team Leader at Medical Solutions Supplier, a company that was recently named to “Top Workplaces” list by Philly.com.
Previous Post: Road Trippin' (How to release Your Inner Nomad)
It's Happy in Here (TM) (Series) | How to Be Happy: 22 Tips to Everyday Bliss by Cindy O'Krepki
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