iN-beTweeN


the world of books...

I’ve mentioned before how I love, love, love to read!  I can’t imagine a life without books or never having time to read books.  I’ve been a big reader since I was a little girl.  I never take for granted that we have the freedom & opportunity to read most any book created & realize that not everyone in this world has this chance.  I love libraries & am fortunate to live so near to such a wonderful one—up to date with latest technology, it’s award-winning beautiful building filled to the brim with all kinds of books & lovely space inside it’s walls to linger & browse…and free!  When I’m home, I mostly always check out books.  I love audio books when I work on a project like painting or once a month cooking & always when traveling.  I use the library to check out e-books for my Kindle when traveling & once in rare moment, purchase a Kindle book that’s unavailable from my library.  E-readers are wonderful for traveling!

Before heading out on a trip, I usually read a couple of books about the places I’m going.  Usually one is a book on the area’s history & one by a local author…it’s just another way I love to connect to a place while exploring.

I’ve also discovered that libraries are a great place to visit as I travel around the country.  An awesome place to take refuge on a rainy day, when you need a power outlet, a bathroom or internet access.  Last year I joined the Crested Butte library as was super-thrilled they gave me a ‘permanent’ card! (I’m actually there long enough to check out books & finish them.)

The long winter days between my last 2016 road trip & the first one of 2017, I read like crazy!  My taste is pretty diverse but mirrors my personality….I like changing things up—learning, laughing, understanding, being entertained & not afraid of new ideas or adventures.  I am always fascinated by authors & think it must be a wonderful but crazy world they live in…they are a talented group of artists for sure!

I love to hear suggestions of new reads…so don’t hesitate if you’ve got some…Tell me!

Here’s my list from mid-September through December 2016:

Narcomics:  Basics on How to Successfully Run a Drug Cartel by JD Rockefeller

Team Rodent: How Disney Devours the World by Carl Hiaasen

Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen

Walking the California Coast: One Hundred Adventures Along the West Coast by John McKinney

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKewon

Harry Potter & the Cursed Child by John Tiffany

Don’t Bite the Hook: Finding Freedom from Anger, Resentment & Other Destructive Emotions by Pema Chodron

Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen

Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small Town Obituary Writer by Heather Lende

Life is Good:  The Book by Bert & John Jacobs

The Pot Thief Who Studied Billy the Kid by J. Michael Orenduff

Home by Harlan Coben

And Soon I Heard A Roaring Wind: A Natural History of Moving Air by Bill Streever

The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd

Impossible to Please: How to Deal with Perfectionist Coworkers, Controlling Spouses & Other Incredibly Critical People by Neil Lavender

The Only Pirate at the Party by Lindsey Stirling

Seduced by Randy Wayne White

Turbo Twenty Three by Janet Evanovich

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Twain & Stanley Enter Paradise by Oscar Hijuelos

On our Own: A Bicycling Adventure in South East Asia by Anne & Mike Poe

Brotherhood in Death by JD Robb

Burning Man: Art on Fire by Jennifer Raiser

The Highway Kind by Patrick, Millikin

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

Still Going Strong by Talie Morrison

The Deep Blue Good-Bye by John D MacDonald

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky

Wild by Emily Hughes

The Whole Town’s Talking by Fannie Flagg

No Man’s Land by David Baldacci

The Last Mile by David Baldacci

Rejected Princesses: Tales of the History’s Boldest Heroines, Hellions & Heretics by Jason Porath

The Seed Collectors by Scarlett Thomas

Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter by Blaize Clement

The Twelve Rooms of the Nile by Enid Shomer

Designing Your Life: Build a Life that Works for You by William Burnett

Clownfish Blues by Tim Dorsey

The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp by Rick Yancey

The Seal of Soloman by Rick Yancey

The Thirteenth Skull by Rick Yancey

Rowing the Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean by Roz Savage

Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Save the Appalachian Trail by Ben Montgomery

The Highly Effective Detective by Rick Yancey

A Terrible Beauty by Tasha Alexander

The Book of Hygge by Louisa Thomsen Brits

Ice Diaries:  An Antarctic Memoir by Jean McNeil

The Highly Effective Detective Goes to the Dogs by Rick Yancey

The Highly Effective Detective Plays the Fool by Rick Yancey

The Highly Effective Detective Crosses the Line by Rick Yancey

You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein

Rigged Money:  Beating Wall Street at Its Own Game by Lee Munson

Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending by Elizabeth Dunn


new trails & website thoughts

I found some new trails to walk!! yay!  We don’t seem to have very many around here….mostly paved & then those aren’t abundant.  But I like dirt!

A couple of months ago a friend of mine had posted that he was walking a trail called Fitch Nature Trail on the University of Kansas field studies property.  It’s about a 10 mile drive from my house…about as close as you get when living in the country.  I’ve tried getting to this trail once before, but the road was closed…they were replacing a bridge & the workers told me it was a long way around.  But, yesterday, with 50 degree temps & under gray skies, I made my way to the trail.

There are actually a few trails at this site…each one fairly short, but all intersect, so I was able to hike around 5+ miles. It was quiet, & as I climbed up one rocky hill, I saw another car pull in the trailhead, but otherwise I had the place to myself.  I took the Roth trail, which climbs up high to a super long view, but a nice one, of the University & it’s iconic buildings that sit high above the town of Lawrence. I hit a short segment of paved trail, which had this ‘Bee hotel’.  I’d heard about this type of bee ‘nest’ last summer from a friend who works at the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab in Crested Butte…they had placed some of these interesting boxes around the woods & mountains in Gothic.

They look like a work of art of to me...

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I’ve been trying to get out everyday for a walk or walk/run in the woods, taking advantage of our warmer temps.  The paved trail soon ended & I was back on dirt, following the trail up hills & over rocks.  I saw an owl & 6 deer.  Nothing too exciting, but Im not taking any sightings of wildlife for granted…I always stop, look, listen & feel grateful.  (The day before I saw 5 redbirds in one tree!)

I found my way down a short road & back to the trailhead.  Today is freezing-ass cold, but hopefully tomorrow will be warmer & I’ll be back on the trails.

There is a new idea that’s been bouncing around my brain…both good & bad.  I considering letting go of this website. The number one reason NOT to, is how much I enjoy looking back on all my trips.  I have the photos printed off, but I love to read back over the text…to see what I was feeling; the names of places & people; etc.  That’s a pretty big reason for me keep it up.  But the cons are out weighing the pros.  It takes a long time to create each page; there are always issues with the site that keep me busier than I want to be fixing problems; it’s not expensive, but there is definitely a cost; & I’m pretty sure there are only about 3 people-other than me-that read it.  It’s not my wish to try to commercialize it, so that’s not a reason to keep it.  I’m thinking of how I can retain all the same information, in a different & simpler format, but one that wouldn’t take as much time but so I’d have my memories documented…for me.

But letting it go seems hard…maybe more than it should be.  It’s 10+ years of my life across many, many miles & places…each trip seems precious to me.

These are some of my random thoughts…we’ll see what happens.

house project done!

The last piece of flooring was actually laid January 1, 2017!  It was the next to last day of Danny’s time off over the holidays & we’d both worked hard to finish up.  The it’s-not-time-to-cheer-yet delay came because the old toilet was giving him trouble when he went to re-install it.  And, happily, iN-beTweeN the 1st & last Sunday, we took a trip to Florida to celebrate Claire’s birthday.  But last Sunday, the 22nd, he wrangled out the old parts, installed new ones & no leaks!  We were done!  It feels like it’s been a long haul & a big dent in our bank account, but we’re both happy with the way it all turned out!  

No more house projects for me!  Danny always seems to have a lot to do between our house & his Mom’s place at the lake, but at least he can do it on his own time, his own way, & without his lovely assistant (that’s my term…he might have something very different he’d like to call my work-ways!! ha ha ha!)

I’ve been applying for jobs…all seasonal or temp jobs.  I haven’t planned my big spring/summer trip yet…I’m thinking I might skip the spring part & shoot for a  long summertime trip.  I keep running into a bunch of snow when I leave in April/May.  But, the planning & dreaming & figuring it all out begins!


travel-addict

I started to name this post ‘inspiration’, but then realized I don’t REALLY need to be “inspired” to travel…it’s always at the forefront of my heart, soul, & thoughts.  But, it’s fun, enjoyable, & awesome to read about others' adventures, look at their beautiful photographs, check out places online to travel to & listen to podcasts…all ways to ‘virtual’ travel when I can’t make the real thing happen.  There are thousands of options…but here are some of my favorites!

Books (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE to read?):

Anything & Everything by John Muir

Still Going Strong by Talie Morrison
     Talie is a friend of mine & she is so awesome to be around.  This woman covers all the bases…she’s a year round solo hiker & backpacker; has tackled some amazing long distance trails; she’s had such an interesting work life; she gives back in wonderful ways; she’s fun, smart, soooo energetic, positive & thoughtful.  This book is about her solo adventures from age 60 to 70…I couldn’t put it down & am getting ready to read it for the second time.  

Take Big Bites:  Adventures Around the World & Across the Table by Linda Ellerbee  Love, Love, Love this book!

East Towards Dawn:  A Woman’s Solo Journey Around the World by Nan Watkins

A Journey North: One Woman’s Story of Hiking the Appalachian Trail by Adrienne Hall

Traveling With Pomegranates:  A Mother-Daughter Story by Sue Monk Kidd

Sprited Waters: Soloing South Through the Inside Passage by Jennifer Hahn

Honeymoon with my Brother by Franz Wisner

The River of Doubt:  Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard

The Magnificent Mountain Women:  Adventures in the Colorado Rockies by Janet Robertson

How to Shit in the Woods by Kathleen Meyer

Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbeck

I Married Adventure:  The Lives of Martin & Osa Johnson by Osa Johnson

We’re in the Mountains, Not Over the Hill by Susan Alcorn (tales & tips from seasoned women backpackers)

Other great travel writers:  Bruce Chatwin, Henry David Thoreau, Frances Mayes (I really love listening to her read her books…her voice is like melted chocolate!), Edward Abbey…and many, many more!

A note on travel & literature:  I love to read a book that takes place in the area I’m traveling to or by a local author.  A lot of authors will refer to real places…fun to visit when you’re actually there or know something about the history of the place. Check out where you’re favorite authors live…sometimes you can visit their ‘home’ book store or go to one of their signings if it coincides with your trip.  I’ve done both these things & it’s been really fun.

Social Media sites

Facebook:
Atlas Obscura
Earth Porn
Otts World Travel & Life Experiences
Carrot Quinn Hikes
Overland Bound
She Explores
Cool Works (don’t know why I keep this page…they never have any jobs listed in Kansas!) 
Hektic Travels
The Road Chose Me
Just A Colorado Girl
Overland Expo
Overseas Adventure Travel
EarthRoamer
Hiker Adventure
MoJo Coastwalk
Women Who Hike
Hiking Biking Adventures
Think Colorado
Wilderness Scotland
The Real Hiking Viking
Anish Hikes
Van Camping (friends of mine!)
Hike Like a Woman
The Happier Camper
Modern Hiker
Iceland Naturally
A Little Adrift
Camping Road Trip
Outside GO
Great Outdoors Colorado
Colorado Trail Foundation
Travel
Every National Park has it’s own FB page 

Instagram:
@permanentroadtrip
@madalynncarson
@cleverdever
@hereuntilthere
@jannikobenhoff
@vanderlost_
@vanventures
@sprintervandiaries
@homesweetvan
@themegansullivan
@bbcearth
@jimmy_chin
@jonathan_irish
@14erskiers
@nellysmagicmoments
@visitcrestedbutte
@kansasgaltravels
@travelcrestedbutte
@pctassociation
@findmeoutside
@anndriggers
@dirtbagdarling
@natgeotravel
@visitgcb
@joeyschusler

Podcast:
She Explores

Blogs:
I do read a bunch of blogs, but I get to them all by links through their social media pages.

Leaving you with some poster happiness!

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and finally….

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Wishing you many fantastic travels!

creative madness!

It’s been a month of crazy making stuff…getting ready for Christmas & going down the rabbit-hole of crafting armed with a glue gun, needle, thread, & a boat load of glittery sparkly stuff!  And, I’ve really liked the end results.  I know when I’m not reading much, I must be into creating stuff.  

It’s hard to know what to buy Claire…she has a ton of toys, books & clothes…a wonderful life!  I  bought her a cute little Christmas outfit & sent it down early so she could start wearing it.  Knowing she was coming to visit the weekend before Christmas, was the best kind of anticipation.  I put the up the ‘wood tree’ (this is one I made a couple of years ago from sticks found in our pasture.  I made it to have in the years none of the kids come home for Christmas & it stays up all winter—you just plug it in--…love the twinkling lights.  It’s kind of whacky & only has lights, a dozen or so felt redbirds I made, pine cones & a few other natural things to decorate it.  I can’t seem to put up a real tree when the kids aren’t going to be here…just touching all their little ornaments brings back good memories but is a definite ‘trigger’ for my ‘eye leakage’ disorder).  But this year, we put up a real tree & added all the lights & decorations!

So, besides a book, a photo memory game & a backpack with tons of colorful buckles (she’s really into buckles) I made her a rag quilt (with no batting…she does live in Florida after all) & a little red cape with a fabric basket (they did have to put everything into a suitcase to fly home).   I also bought three small stuffed animals for her…a gray cat, a black one, & a german shepherd dog (she always wants to see Sammy, Bob & Six when she Face times with us.)  I made them little collars with name tags…her own little version of pets…she loved it all!

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My family is also used to having to figure out a puzzle, or play a game or go on a treasure hunt before opening each gift.  I think they all think it’s kind of annoying, but I love making these things up.  Claire got the treasure hunt this year!

In between getting Claire’s gifts ready, I did a few of my own projects.  I’d seen a flannel shirt that had the lower part dipped in bleach for a funky look.  I bought a flannel shirt (I didn’t own one) at Goodwill & tried it…three times!  It eventually worked, but not fantastically.  I’ll definitely wear the shirt though…who can’t use ‘warm’ in this freezing cold weather?  I also made a snowman costume (had a pub crawl to go to) & an ugly Christmas sweater (a Bike & Beer Wednesday party), a snowman scarf & some ‘dancing ribbons’ for Claire’s upcoming birthday in January.

If I could get my Harry Potter magic wand to work, I’d have my studio back & spend my time at home making my quirky funky artsy stuff….the the other 70% time be traveling our lovely, magnificent, wonderful & colorful wOrLD!

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I still have a few things left on my list I want to make out of things I already have (some sea glass & rocks for jewelry)…but since essentially, Danny & my Christmas is over for this year, I’m planning on doing these things over the real holiday & in-between finishing the project on the house while he’s home until after New Years.

The BeSt thing I’ll be doing over the Christmas?  Planning my next trip…which starts January 7th!  Yippee Yay!!!!

house project…phase 2 complete!

Yay!  I’m going to make this short & sweet…unlike the project itself.  Danny did a fantastic job of laying the floors in the kitchen, entry way & my bathroom….there’s no way I could have done it.  I know my place in this type of project…the "lovely assistant".  I keep track of the tools, hold the long pieces while he saws, pour beer & clean up afterwards.  We’re taking a break for a couple of weekends over the holidays, then (I think) the plan is to finish up phase 3….which is….a BIG plumbing fix in Danny’s bathroom, replacing the shower door & toilet seat & then putting in the floor.  He’s got some time off between Christmas & New Years, so unless he changes his mind, that’s the type of fun he’ll be having to welcome in the new year (ugh!).  But phase 3 is it!  With as old as everything is in this house, we could technically advance all the way up the list to phase 475.5; but that’s not what we’re going to do.  I’m happy with all the new flooring & can live with everything else.  Danny has his hands full just fixing stuff around here that breaks…I’m not going to add any new projects…& besides, I’d rather go traveling than spend more time & money on the house.  I love the way it all turned out though!

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making stuff...

Since I’m not out exploring this magnificent world of ours, I’m at home exploring my own creativity.  In between the house projects, I’ve had a couple colorful creative projects going on.  I know I’m not talented in the arts, but that’s never stopped me…I simply love the ideas that come with making things.  And, it’s truly the idea first & foremost.  The thinking of it, planning, colors, textures, designs…all that goes in to making something.  The process part doesn’t always rock my boat, I usually take the ‘go fast, go hard & get to the finish line” approach, but, most of the time, I’m happy-enough with the finished product.

What’s has been stifling my creativity mostly over the past 8 or 9 years, are two facts: 1) I don’t need more stuff & 2) I don’t want to spend money to make stuff I don’t need.  But these two projects happen to fit within those self-inflicted parameters & that makes me happy!  

If you read about my trip to Asheville, NC in September, you know I wanted to a buy a Kantha quilt while I was there.  After multiple trips to ‘visit’ & talk myself out of the quilt—which I did—I came up with the idea of making my own version of a Kantha quilt using as much of the fabric I already have…some of which is 20 year old batik pieces I’ve been saving.  Kantha quilts are made in India using old sari’s & a unique type of stitch.  They are colorful & thin…typically not much batting is used.   The day after I got home from Asheville, I started cutting & sewing…very randomly.  I used bright colors for the front & dark colors for the back.  I used all 6-strands of embroidery floss (which made it stinking hard) to quilt the rows.  The thin batting & floss were my only purchases. It’s definitely not perfect, but quirky & funky & I love it!  While I didn’t need a quilt for the house, I wanted to have one for camping.  It will be bright & light & the perfect size for my car camping trips!  Project 1…done!

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The second project I finished is only slightly bizarre.  When our kids were little, we had a basketball goal in the driveway which was great.  They used it alot & 15 years ago I loved it.  But over the years the backboard fell apart (but not before I painted it as an unsuccessful “Sticks” look alike, which it did not look anything like, but no matter,  I liked it!) & we finally took it down & got rid of it (yay!).  But sadly, the black pole, cemented into the ground, was unmovable.  Not really, but Danny’s decision to keep it was unmovable.  (He pulled the ‘Claire card’…maybe one day she’d play ball??)  As most spouses do, I choose my battles wisely.  So, everytime I’d pull into the driveway, there was a tall black pole just sticking up out of the ground…no purpose, no color, no point.  Grrr…

So, with a ladder, paint, brushes & some doodles, I went to work. Now when I  pull into the driveway, I smile & look up at my version of a totem pole!

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My creations are always kind of off kilter, slightly whacky, but always add some bit of color to my life & are a good outlet for all the sparkles & fairy dust that continuously floats in my head when I’m home.  But even when I’m looking at other’s artwork & creations, my tastes still lean to the weird, strange & unrefined.  Art, music & nature…what would I do without them?

I’ll end with a quote from my very favorite book on creativity:

“Your own reasons to make art are reason enough.  Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart”.  

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert


house project…phase 1 complete!

It was a bit of a beast, but a couple of weeks ago all the carpet was installed!  The day before the installers came, the saleswoman called me & said they would like to install the carpet in ONE day rather than two.  Since we were doing all of our own furniture moving, this was going to be a crazy challenge.  Where to put all that furniture?  They’d offered to move two rooms for free if we’d let them do it in one day…UGH!  Within a few hours, we had all but one room of furniture moved & all the rooms except the kitchen & bathrooms were empty.   This was the scene by late Sunday night…the only place in the house to sit.  It was weird to see the house mostly empty…I kept thinking…the next time I see it this empty, maybe we’ll be moving???  One can only hope.

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The next day was super crazy…installers did not start this job until mid afternoon.  At 8:30pm, Danny’s bedroom furniture was still outside in the backyard.  The installers finished up around 9pm & we started the late night drudgery of moving the furniture back inside.  We did the heaviest pieces & around midnight we hit the sack.  Early the next morning I was up moving the rest of the furniture, unpacking boxes, putting everything back away & dusting, dusting, dusting every little nook & cranny, every framed photo, everything!  Living on the concrete had layered a fine coat of white dust all over & I was determined to get the house back in order asap!  It really took all that day & 1/2 of the next, but Phase 1 was done!  I love the feel & look of the new carpet!

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Other than ‘out with that old crappy shitty carpet & in with the new’ the most enjoyment I got out of the project was late at the end of the second day.  Prior to moving all the furniture back, I had decided to re-arrange the ‘red room’ (our living room/dining room…which is painted a bright red).  It’s the room I refer to as filled with “dead people’s furniture’ (my Mom’s & Grandparents) & way too much of it (I’ve unsuccessfully tried to get rid of some of it over the years, but Danny can’t part with any of this old stuff.)  But once rearranged, I decided to blow up new photographs for the walls.  I already had the frames, so it was a matter of choosing which photos to enlarge…which is something I LOVE doing!  I take thousands of photos on my trips & a gazillion of Claire too.  In my living room, I have more than 50 ‘scenic’ photos I’ve taken from all my travels.  In my bedroom, I have the walls lined with 'action’ shots of the kids, Danny & me playing in the outdoors…snowboarding, soccer, hiking, water skiing, parasailing, etc.  Claire now even has her very own wall of her adventures…(all before turning 2!).  Danny’s bedroom has older photos, but they are all of the two of us hiking & backpacking etc.  For the red room I chose more ‘artsy & quirky’ photos I’ve taken & I love how they turned out!  Taking photos for me is such an enjoyable hobby.  Like most everything else I do, I don’t have (& sort of shun) formal training & just learn as I go (I learn best by doing; not book-learning & it’s so very, very helpful that I’m NOT a perfectonist)….but I take so many photographs, & the subject matter is so awesome, I always have a lot that turn out great!   But the wonderful & truly lovely gift I get from my photos is how I feel whenever I look at them.  I remember where it was taken & have a moment of re-living that place & experience.  That always makes me smile & feel so grateful for all my adventures.  And adding those new photographs to the project, was the cherry on top for Phase 1!  And, now on to Phase 2….

PS:  In between the carpet being laid & this blog post, I made a quick trip to Florida to see Claire!  It was so spectacular to see her!  

flying cheap

It’s not that I haven’t flown Frontier Airlines previously…but it was way back when they were a competitor with Southwest airlines…low cost for sure, but not skin & bones.  So, it was with a tiny bit of apprehension that I booked a round trip flight to Orlando a week or so ago when Frontier had a one day ‘flash’ sale & I scored a RT ticket for $76!  How bad could it be?  Here’s the rules:  No refunds & no changing your itinerary. Extra money for—carry on bags; checked bags; reserved seating; & anything but water during the flight.  You get one ‘personal’ item that has to fit under the seat.  Safety does prevail & included in your ticket is your seat belt, oxygen mask & floatation device.  

I was assigned a seat at check in (lucked out & got a window seat—my favorite place to sit anyway) & managed to easily pack for 5 days in a Timbuktu bag….essentially a computer bag.  I’m a pretty light packer as it is, but I’ve never tried to go this small.  It wasn’t hard; I don’t need many clothes for a few days.  I also brought my computer & Kindle; a fold up sling bag; a KU t-shirt, book & CD for Claire; 1/2 a PB&J sammy & managed to pack a small basic Halloween costume too! 

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Everything went really well!  And so far, with ONE flight under my belt, I’m happy!  I’d definitely book with them again for another chance to see Claire…or for that matter, to go anywhere!  It’s probably not any cheaper when you need to start bringing more bags with you…& the fee for carry on or checked bag once at the airport is ridiculous.  But for me, traveling alone, I can make it work.  I’m not as sure when it comes to the other two super cheap super bad customer service airlines—Spirit (rated the most hated airline) & Alligiant (which Sara tells me their planes are always getting grounded for safety violations), but I’ll be keeping my eye out for those Frontier sales!  If any of you hear of any great flight sales, please let me know…I’m always ready to leave town & have a long, long list of places I want to experience!

PS: I guess Frontier figures most people are not going to buy their snacks or drinks, so it’s okay to have the world’s smallest seat back tray…tiny, tiny, tiny.  It seems only slightly bigger than my luggage tag!

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searching for my ‘tribe'

I am super fortunate to have some wonderful & dear friends…we go back a long away.  When I’m home, I love spending time walking, talking, eating out & meeting them for drinks.  We still have things in common…more than just the past…& I treasure the time spent with them.

So it’s interesting to have my happy heart skip some beats, to feel a belonging in my soul & notice a big smile on my face when talking with new friends I’ve met on my travels & reading about all their experiences across the world, listening to podcasts about women on the road, reading books & poetry about women’s travels & adventures…this is my tribe.

Here’s what we have in common:
We’re always planning another trip…even before the current one ends;
We love meeting people along the way…stranger danger is not in our vocabulary;
We don’t care about make up or hairstyles;
We’ve learned the value of water & don’t waste it;
We shower way less than most people;
We can happily live in small spaces;
We love to talk to other travelers…love is an understatement;
We aren’t impressed by job titles;
We don’t pay attention to television or movie stars;
We want to spend our money & time traveling;
We dress for comfort—a ‘good outfit’ is one we can wear for several days, wash in a sink & have it dry overnight;
We like to look at the night sky;
We are often sporting bruises or cuts & our skin is way more than sun kissed;
We eat a little weirdly;
We don’t mind smelling smoky because we love sitting around a campfire;
We have learned to pack super efficiently;
We love spontaneity & change plans (what plan?) easily;
We have learned we don’t need as much as we own;
We’re never that excited to be "going back home” (some of my friends don’t have traditional homes.  They’re on the road always & their homes are what they drive & they love the lifestyle!);
We embrace the wonderful fact that there are so many people that make up this world with different beliefs & unique traditions & we’re eager to learn, see, communicate & understand their ways.

I’m grateful for all my friends…old & new.  I love that our lives & hearts are big enough to embrace others with such different lifestyles.  There was a time in the past it felt hard to make new friends as I got older, but my passion for travel has opened a door ---as big as the sky-- to meet others who are lovingly addicted to seeing the world.


 vikhill@gmail.com                                                                                                                                                    © Vicki Hill 2017