Eudaimonia


Eudaimonia (noun) Origin: Greek | U·de·‘mOn·E·a  The contented happy state you feel when you travel.

“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”
― Dale Carnegie

When I travel, I am able to stop thinking about myself. I am able to remove myself from the daily grind.  All thoughts of work, stress, anxiety, irritations, etc. fly out the window.

I feel happy walking anonymously through cities and the countryside.  Watching people, talking to strangers, viewing normal folks doing normal things. 

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” –Mark Twain

I love imagining what they are thinking and how they got to where they are.  I love even more the realization that no matter where I am, I am no different than the people I meet are in regards to the basics of life.  

My to-do list for today:
– Count my blessings
– Practice kindness
– Let go of what I can’t control
– Listen to my heart
– Be productive yet calm
– Just breathe

These things make me happy.  These things put everything in my world back into perspective and help me balance myself. I let go of my expectations on others, but even more importantly, I let go of the expectations I have put upon myself.  Traveling is how I learn to breathe again.

“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain

contented travelers: tgeriatrix; salwa; aletta; sustainabilitea; sue; chris; rarasaur; nancy; woollymuses; david; coreen; cauldrons

Sturmfrei


Sturmfrei (noun) Origin: German | shtUrm·frI  The freedom of being alone and having the ability to do what you want.

“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.”
― Norton Juster

I have never been bothered with being alone.  I have always been able to entertain myself. I’m very seldom lonely.  I traveled by myself through Cambodia for 6 weeks.  I hit Peru by myself and did a tour through Machu Picchu. I often start and end vacations alone.  Aloneness gives me time to regroup from the world of chaos that I often find myself in.

The traveling has been stupendous.  I was able to spend time taking photos, meet people outside of my normal group, and break out of my comfort zone.  Everything I did was the result of the choices I made. It was fun and I wasn’t bored.

However, the older I get, the more I like to travel and do things with others.  I look back on some pictures of my travels and I do not negate the fun I had on those trips.  I did have fun.  I met wonderful people along the way and even made some life-long friends through my solo journeys.

Sometimes though, after the travels and excitement ended, it was far less interesting going through some of the photos alone.  Me alone. Someone taking a picture of me by myself.  Me taking photos of scenery and people that were interesting in the moment.  Many of those stories still live on. I just cannot explain them adequately to others. Or no matter how deeply these times were explained, others simply did not care about them as they had no relevance to the situation, place, smell, culture.  I had no one to laugh or reminisce with about the wacky ways of the world.

“Never be in thrall to anyone but your own wants and desires, because only you can make yourself happy. Fly your own flag, and be true to it. Your soul is the true captain.”
― Billy Idol

I will always love my time alone. However, the shared memories I have with my family and with my friends are often more rich for the sharing.  The joined memories that pop up in my head, often pop up in the heads of the individuals or groups who shared the events.  Shared memories make you feel like you are still with that person or group.

“Humans, not places, make memories.”
― Ama Ata Aidoo

“The things we do outlast our mortality. The things we do are like monuments that people build to honor heroes after they’ve died. They’re like the pyramids that the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs. Only instead of being made of stone, they’re made out of the memories people have of you.”
― R.J. Palacio

“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and—in spite of True Romance magazines—we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

pratya; cherie; jeena; Mitch; joseyphina; MJreflect; isadora; rad; anita; aviana; muse; Montanaclarks; lostmum

Selcouth


Selcouth (adj.) – Origin: English – Definition: Unfamiliar, rare, strange, and yet marvelous.

Catatumbo, Venezuela

2010-2012 I worked in Venezuela. It was my first posting and my experiences there, changed my life.  In fairness, every place that I have lived outside of the U.S. has changed my life.  However, Venezuela has left a selcouth impression on my soul.  The people and their love of their country.  The beauty and the rare opportunities that were made available to me during my time there.  I took a short trip to the Catatumbo river near Lake Maracaibo.

What causes Catatumbo Lightning in Venezuela?

Image result for catatumbo venezuela

Catatumbo lightning is an atmospheric phenomenon in Venezuela. It occurs only over the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it empties into Lake Maracaibo. It originates from a mass of storm clouds over nearby mountains, and occurs during 140 to 160 nights a year, 10 hours per day and up to 280 times per hour.

I did not have a good enough camera to capture the lightning show.  So the above picture is a stock photo on Catatumbo. Even that does not capture how amazing and cool that was.

Even more amazing was the floating houses near where we stayed.  Like my own children rode bikes in our neighborhood, these kids had tubs, boat/cars and would paddle to their friend’s houses.  The people were amazing and friendly. I was amazed at the color, the beauty, the smiles of the children and adults.  It was truly my favorite place to work and live in my current job.

It’s a place I will never forget.  I hope that one day Venezuela will be returned to the people who love and miss their country.  I frequently think of Venezuela and my time there and I usually have a bittersweet feeling of happiness that I could have been there when I was mixed with sadness that it does not appear to be a place I will be able to revisit any time soon.

Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering. ~Paulo Coelho

Venezuela: Lea; Barbara; Austin; Owens; Max; mic; Tom; Cole; Sara; Eli; Liam; Isaiah

Ecophobia


Ecophobia (noun) Origin: English/Ancient Greek | A fear or dislike of one’s home.

— and so you leave, to find where home is for you. *wink*

This word is based from Ancient Greek in whick ‘eco’ is derived from oîkos or “house”, and then of course ‘phobia’ from phóbos or “fear”.

I do not fear or dislike my home.  I have loved every home I have ever lived in.  My fear is that I may not ever find just one home I prefer over another.

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.” – Anais Nin

My dislike is related to not being content to reside in just one place.  One place forever scares me.

“The gladdest moment in human life, methinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” – Sir Richard Burton

Every time I look out my window I see possibilities.  Every time I walk down new streets, I feel reborn.  Even when I am homesick and I go back to my home town, I end up missing .. the feeling of missing my home.

“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain

“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

The world: Salwa; Debbie; Ben; Isaac; Jackson; Peopletrip; bereaved; tgeriatrix; woollymuses; Amy; Tina; restlessJo; Kritika

Sehnsucht


Sehnsucht: (noun) Origin: German |An intense yearning for something far-off and indefinable.

ETYMOLOGY: From German words sehnen (to long) and Sucht (anxiety; sickness; addiction).

“There is a German word, Sehnsucht, which has no English equivalent; it means ‘the longing for something’. It has Romantic and mystical connotations; C.S. Lewis defined it as the ‘inconsolable longing’ in the human heart for ‘we know not what’. It seems rather German to be able to specify the unspecifiable. The longing for something – or, in our case, for someone.”
― Julian Barnes

“The greatest forces lie in the region of the uncomprehended.”
― George MacDonald

“Who then is to judge what is good, true, and beautiful? You are. Plato says it is the soul: the proper dimensions and proportions are already stored in our minds, and when we recognize the good, true, and beautiful– how is it that we do it? It is by anamnesis, the act of recalling what we have seen somewhere before. You must have received an impression of what is right somewhere else, because you recognize it instantly; you don’t have to have it analyzed; you don’t have to say, “That is beautiful,” or “That is ugly”; you welcome it as an old acquaintance. We recognize what is lovely because we have seen it somewhere else, and as we walk through the world, we are constantly on the watch for it with a kind of nostalgia, so that when we see an object or a person that pleases us, it is like recognizing an old friend.”
― Hugh Nibley

Amazing imagery:  Liz; Rotherbaron; Pawlo; woowee; soylani; olwen; johanna; schrati; Luwian; Jamiet