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How Travel Changes You (and makes you far more interesting)

I f you are thinking of travelling, be it around the world or on a two-week holiday, then know that not only will you need to make room in your case for a change of clothes but you’ll also have to accommodate a new set of views.

Travel changes your perspective of the world in the most incredible ways imaginable. So much so, that when you return from your vacation, you will wonder how on earth you went through life with so many worries and misconceptions.

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We decided to travel the world with our kids for a year and have now been travelling for seven months.

So far we have covered 43,000 miles, been to twelve different countries, forty-two separate states, spoken ten different languages and have spent somewhere in the region of $47,000.

One of the main reasons we embarked on such an out of the box venture was so that we could experience the world differently from that of our comfortable, safe and privileged lives in New Zealand. We were desperate, not only to have an adventure but to let the kids (and us) see the world from a different point of view.

How Travel Changes Your Perspective

So many of our opinions and views are formed on what we hear through the radio, watch on the television or read about on social media.

We listen to scaremongers who hit us hard with doom and gloom stories of travelling. As a result, we decide that maybe we won’t make that trip.

Perhaps we won’t encourage our children to travel; we tell ourselves that the world is a scary place and we are best off staying at home.

Please don’t do that. Do not miss the chance to travel or to take a much needed vacation and let the wonder of travel change things in you for the better.

Travelling brings about lots of changes. Including:

  • Travelling makes you more sociable
  • It gives you confidence.
  • It allows you to see that you don’t need to spend a vast amount of money to enjoy yourself
  • Travelling makes you tolerant. Of yourself and of others. It encourages empathy.
  • Gives you a good sense of humour
  • Brings out the optimistic in you.
  • And teaches you to think outside of the box.

The biggest thing that we have all noticed while being on this trip is just how drastically travel has changed our opinions on a whole array of things. And the perspective of my kids has changed beyond belief.

To see the world and whatever it throws at you from a different viewpoint means that you are able to cope with and tolerate a wide range of experiences and asks.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are too old to travel or you are too set in your ways to change your perspective on something. It’s simply not true.

10 Ways In Which Your Perspective will Be Changed Through Travel.

# 1: Confidence.

Old Perspective. Before we left to travel I would quiver and shake at the thought of going to a neighbour and asking to borrow some sugar. Now, I would think nothing of turning up at a strangers house and sleeping on their couch for free.

New Perspective: The world isn’t filled with horrible people waiting to rob and attack you. There are millions of kind, helpful wonderful people who would gladly give you the coat off their back. Go out and find them.

A look at how travel changes your perspective on life

Go On!! You can do it!!

#2: Different Opinions

Old Perspective. If someone had asked me my thoughts on arranged marriage seven months ago, I would have probably have answered with the same ignorant babble that a large percentage of the world share.

Fast forward to a balmy night in India, sitting underneath the stars and hearing first hand from a father who is about to enter his daughter into an arranged marriage and then speaking with the daughter herself.

New Perspective. What better way than to have an opinion on a subject than to hear the evidence from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Priceless. If there is something you would like an opinion on, seek out the source and talk to them!

A travel blog about how much it costs to travel the world

Travelling will increase your knowledge on so many subjects.

#3: Acceptance

Old Perspective: Sitting doing nothing means you are lazy.

New Perspective: You don’t always have to be doing stuff to feel worthy.

Busy doesn’t equal admirable. It doesn’t mean important; it just means choice. Take a while to sit and ponder; slow down. Travel gives you time. The best gift of all.

#4: Being told how to raise your kids

Old Perspective. That kids need to be reading and writing to learn.

New Perspective: I should have known this was rubbish. I have homeschooled (successfully) for the past nine years.

My daughter is a visual learner. She will confidently enter into a full-blown discussion on Nazi Germany and its effects on Poland because she has watched Schindler’s list three times.

My son only needs to be told something once. He teaches himself whatever it is he wants to learn online. Travel gives children different options to learn in a variety of ways.

Travel changes your perspective of life and how your kids should learn

My son spent three weeks in Sri Lanka teaching himself how to edit. Relax. When kids want to learn, they will learn.

#5: Ageing is Universal!

Old Perspective. You are the only one in your circle of friends who isn’t ageing well. You feel old and frumpy and not as young as you used to be. Along with the rest of the world.

New Perspective. Travel shows you that everyone and I mean everyone in the world is the same as you. They get old, they wrinkle, their hair becomes grey, they get bigger around the tum; it’s just so typical. So universal. And so irrelevant.

We are all the same – we all suffer from the same daft insecurities. Life is too short to worry about cellulite. Get out there and enjoy yourself.

World Travel

#6: Health

Old Perspective: It’s too easy to get caught up in this or that new food fad or the latest diet. It is all very boring and, if you’re not careful, it consumes your life.

New Perspective: Travel lets you experiment with a variety of foods. At the end of the day, it is all very, very straightforward. I’ll use myself as an example; travel has taught me this very simple lesson: Alcohol + Cheeses + Salami = Tighter trousers. Sushi + Rice + Green tea = Looser trousers. Easy, peasy.

A change of attitude towards food when you travel

Travel lets you escape from the boring diets of everyday life. experiment with different foods and see what word for you!

#7: Sense of Humour

Old Perspective. It’s hard to laugh at yourself. To join in when the kids are wetting themselves at your expense. Life is serious. Exams are serious. Getting a job is serious.

New Perspective: It is good to laugh and travel will almost certainly give you a sense of humour. Life is too short to worry about being serious all of the time, there is a lot of fun to be had out there! Let travel reveal that to you.

A travel blog on the changing perspective of the world

Laughing is good for you! Let travel show you that there is more to laugh about in the world than to cry about.

#8: Money

Old Perspective: You have to have stacks of money to be able to travel. You will be miserable if you can’t buy hundreds of souvenirs, stay in fancy places and eat at the best restaurants.

New Perspective: This has been the biggest game-changer of the trip for us. Travel shows you that money doesn’t make for fabulous travel, experience does.

I know it sounds a little cliched but it is true. We have made such brilliant memories by doing the things that cost us very little or nothing. Every time. Travel will change your outlook on money, I promise you.

Changing your perspective on money

Travel will show you that you can survive on a lot less than you think you can.

#9. Health

A woman having dental work done in Thailand.

Having emergency dental work done in Thailand. All of my insurance paid for it. Don’t let the thought of getting sick put you off travelling.

Old Perspective: We couldn’t possibly travel. We will get sick or break our legs and end up in the hospital. It’s too scary. Not at our age.

New Perspective: My daughter needed stitches in Las Vegas; she got them. My husband needed antibiotics in India; he got them. I needed a root canal filling in Thailand; I got one. No big deal.

Exactly the same as back home. Get good insurance. The only insurance company for overseas travel we would ever recommend is this one. In the past year, I have made three claims and each time they were handled quickly and professionally. This brilliant travel insurance company is the best you will find (and I know because my husband is a research freak)

#10: Age

Old Perspective: Travel is for the younger folk. There is no way I can spend two weeks with a backpack on going around India. I’ve missed the boat, I will live out my travel fantasies through my kids.

New Perspective: You are NEVER too old to travel. We have met people while travelling around the world who were in their late eighties, and still soaking up the sun on a beach in Vietnam or trekking in Nepal. And you will too. You will no longer see age as a barrier once you step out of the door and onto that plane, I promise you.

travel will change your perspective for the better!

Travel makes you believe in yourself! No matter what age you are!

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Changing your perspective through travel and adventure

So that’s it! The 10 ways in which travel will change your perspective – for the better!

Now, stop putting off that next holiday or the dream that you have always had of seeing Asia or Italy or Ireland.

Plan to do it, NOW.

Travel invites you to be a different person, somebody with a wide range of wonderful ideas and opinions. It makes you happy, strong and confident. It makes you an interesting person to invite around for dinner. Now go. And make sure you send me an invitation to your going away party.


Where’s my passport.
Another great post!xx

In the drawer next to the bureau x

Totally agree with all that. Most people sit at home glued to the little square box in the corner of their room listening to the clap trap from the news and politicians brain washing the masses. I have friends of all races and religions and gender spectrums all over the place and I would much rather listen to their stories than be force fed lies. The turning point for me was in Thailand when we were invited by some lovely locals to join in their Loi Katrong festival of light. I was asking if this was a main Buddhist festival and our friends explained that they love the time of year with all their friends. This week Loi Katrong next week Hanukkah with their Jewish friend then Diwali with their Indian friends Eid with their Muslim friends and Christmas with us. I may have those in the wrong order as I had imbibed in some local moonshine. But I thought what a wonderful place the world would be if we all had that attitude and just accepted everyone for who they were instead of being told how evil anyone is who doesn’t share your way of life, religion etc. My best times have been sitting down and sharing whatever we have with those that have nothing but would give you anything they could..
My philosophy is you learn very little from talking to people you learn a hundred times more by listening.
Keep the reports coming you’re doing a great job xx

Thanks so much for such a detailed comment. That is just what I am talking about Pam. When would you EVER have had that experience? And yes, as I was reading the other day, talk less, listen more. That’s why you have two ears and only one mouth! Here’s to travel my friend! x

OMG Liz, this is ALL so true.
How easy it is to get swept into a micro web of social-politics by contently living for that ‘dream 1/4 acre block of land’. Travel to me, creates objectivity, inner-balance and becoming wiser through life’s experiences.
The prospect of my next and every travel-venture, helps keep me motivated and focused on the ‘bigger picture’.

So glad it struck a chord. I can’t imagine life without having somewhere to go next…And yes, you are right, it is the key to motivation. x

I will happily argue till I’m blue in the face that travel has not changed me one bit. I fully believe that and I’ve thought about it a lot. What it has done, is allowed me to figure myself out a bit more. Yes, I ” found myself” just a bit.
I’m dropping this link here not for the backlink, but because I want you to read it.
I delete comments when people drop backlinks, it’s spammy and rude, but you’re my mate so I hope you won’t.
And I can’t believe he edited video on Sri Lankan internet!!

While I agree that no, travel doesn’t change your life, it certainly puts things into perspective. Without travel, you are not exposed to such an array of experiences that show you what is important and what isn’t. I haven’t changed and neither have my kids, we were always kind, compassionate and adventurous. But we all worried about pointless things; and thought that to be happy we needed this and that, and it just isn’t true. Travel exposes you to situations that make you think; make you reassess. Put things into perspective.
I read your post and as always, loved it. I like the way you now know that you need a small house! That is such a valid point to what we are talking about. I have a big house too back in New Zealand and right now, all I want is to sell it and buy a smaller place. Travel has changed the way I feel about our living conditions.Put the big mortgage thing into perspective.
It has shown me that we like sleeping four in a bed in our sleeping bags like caterpillars. Just kidding.
Oh, Alysun. We are more similar than you know…

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I’m Liz, and this is my family.

I do Travel. I do Wine. I do being a mum to big kids. Sometimes I do all three at the same time.

I don’t do hormones. Or looking perfect for Instagram. Or dieting.

Read more about who I am and why we should be friends on our about us page.

How Traveling Changes Your Brain?

Milda is a content writer with a particular interest in philosophy and nature. She is passionate about wildlife and all the nitty-gritty details of travel.

Traveling abroad is a great way to recharge, escape, and start anew. But did you know that travel actually makes your brain healthier? Read on to find out how traveling changes your brain, according to science.

Dr. Marian Diamond, a professor of neuroscience who studied Einstein’s brain, helped us to understand the positive effects of traveling on the brain. She argued that new experiences boost our cognitive powers. But what does this mean exactly?

Let’s start with a little story.

In the year of 1964, Dr. Diamond made a groundbreaking experiment that completely changed our understanding of the brain. Her experiments with curious laboratory rats have produced the first hard evidence of brain plasticity – that is, the brain’s ability to grow and change over time.

“It was thrilling,” Dr. Diamond said in the documentary My Love Affair the Brain . “Nobody else had made such measurements and found these results. We were terribly excited about it.”

How Do New Experiences Benefit Your Brain?

Masters Of Our Own Mind

What if we said you can change your brain?

Not so long ago, the idea that life experiences could affect the brain was considered radical. Scientists believed that genes determined intellect, meaning the brain’s potential was inherited rather than developed. You were either born lucky or not, end of story.

But now, thanks to groundbreaking findings in neuroscience, we understand that the outside world can enhance cognitive performance. The scientific term for this is neuroplasticity.

So what does this mean for us as people? In the words of Dr. Diamond, it means we’re capable of making our brains better and healthier.

But how can you improve your brain function?

The secret lies in your environment.

Dr. Diamond discovered that rats raised in enriched environments (with plenty of toys and other rats to interact with) had a thicker cerebral cortex than those raised in impoverished environments (with no other rats and objects to play with).

The same principles apply to the human brain.

Travel Girl Happy Place Beach Mindfulness

Enrich your environment whenever you can

Every enrichment to your environment — from challenging yourself intellectually to gaining new experiences — propels the brain’s activity, leading to growth and reorganization.

According to science, one of the best ways to enrich our environment is travel.

How does traveling change your brain (and your life)?

People tend to get stuck in their daily routines. However, the mind quickly gets bored of doing the same thing over and over again. Luckily, we live in a world with ample opportunity to shake up that routine by getting out and exploring.

Every new destination introduces novelty to your mind, activating the cognitive networks that keep your brain healthy.

“When you expose your brain to an environment that’s novel and complex or new and difficult, the brain literally reacts,” says Dr. Paul Nussbaum, a clinical neuropsychologist from the University of Pittsburgh.

From the moment you set foot in an unfamiliar place, you’re flooded with new experiences. In order to process all these stimuli, you start to train your brain as if it were a muscle. Instead of dumbbells, however, you train with new sights, activities, flavors, people, languages, and more.

Travel Changes Your Brain

When you’re traveling, what’s going on in your brain?

All the novelty that comes with traveling stimulates new connections between nerve cells, which in turn revitalizes your mind. Have you ever come back from a trip abroad and felt like you were born anew? That’s your brain growing.

Traveling is Good for Your Mental Health

You may be tempted to believe that you can maintain your cognitive powers by taking a few vitamins. However, according to Harvard Health Publishing , there is little evidence to suggest that supplements actually work. In contrast, travel engages our minds in ways pills never could.

Each year, more and more experiments prove that new experiences support your brain’s health. People who are open to new experiences tend to perform better on memory and other cognitive tests, and also have better mental health.

Travel Girl Sand Dunes Mindfulness Independent Meditation

It’s always a good idea to look after your gray matter

“A person high in openness to experience is intellectually curious, independent, and imaginative; they prefer variety over routine and enjoy learning and trying new things,” writes Dr. David Hambrick from Michigan State University in Scientific American .

In addition, trying new things can boost your creativity — the mind’s ability to connect things in unexpected ways.

Dr. Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School and the author of numerous studies on the connection between travel and creativity, notes, “Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms.”

So how does travel change your ideas and views?

Traveling to new places has three major benefits:

  1. More curiosity to learn new things
  2. Creative ideas occur more naturally
  3. A greater sense of independence

With so many advantages to traveling, you have more reason than ever to start planning your next trip.

“A person high in openness to experience is intellectually curious, independent, and imaginative; they prefer variety over routine and enjoy learning and trying new things.”

How to Get the Most Value Out of Your Trip

Travel won’t bring the desired results if you don’t challenge yourself along the way. It’s important to get out of your comfort zone and do something you’ve never done before.

Raft down a river, ride a horse, dive underwater, or go snowmobiling across a glacier! Activities like these stimulate new connections between nerve cells and help the brain to generate new cells.

Travel Snowmobiling Winter Fun Outdoors Activity

The more you challenge your mind, the more it will reward you

“Those new and challenging situations cause the brain to sprout dendrites,” explains Dr. Nussbaum. And dendrites (extensions of neurons that transmit information between different parts of the brain) are responsible for how well your brain performs.

Isn’t it amazing? This three-pound mass, which sent humans to the moon, improves while exploring new environments.

So what about the aging brain?

Health Benefits of Traveling Later in Life

Plasticity continues to adapt throughout your life. This means that we’re able to make our brains healthier at any age. Improving our cognitive health is our greatest “gift and responsibility,” according to Dr. Diamond.

Let’s look at three rules for keeping your brain sharp later in life:

Travel Old Couple Exploring

Healthy aging is perhaps one of the best gifts you can get in your life

#1 Rule: Don’t Take Your Brain Power for Granted

The brain is not immune to aging. Like the rest of our body, the brain changes as we grow older. Once we hit our late 20s, we start to lose neurons — the cells that make up the brain.

While this might sound scary, it’s a natural process. Besides, there are many steps you can take to improve your brain health, travel being one of them.

#2 Rule: Attend the Mental Gym Regularly

Everyone knows that exercise reduces stress, as well as the risk of heart disease. We also know that in order to achieve the desired results, exercise needs to be regular.

The same is true for brain plasticity. It’s not enough to do something new or challenging only once. To keep the mind sharp as we age, we need to attend the mental gym regularly.

Travel activates your brain much like doing a Sudoku or learning a new language. Don’t like crossword puzzles? Take a trip instead!

#3 Rule: Don’t Stop Traveling Later in Life

Activities commonly associated with travel, such as meeting new people or hiking through national parks, help prevent cognitive decline.

According to the Global Coalition on Aging , there’s adequate research to suggest that regular participation in social or leisure activities, including travel, has the potential to reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Do you ever feel older than your years? Travel can provide a solution. According to the latest findings by Dr. Hambrick, openness to experiences can soften people’s experience of growing older. In other words, travel makes us feel young again.

Traveling later in life is not only important, but highly recommended. Go ahead and explore the world — your brain will thank you.

So, Where to Next, Brain?

Now that you know how traveling changes your brain, it’s time to choose your next destination. Will you go somewhere you’ve never been before? Or to a familiar haunt but with new activities?

How Traveling Changes Your Perspective

How Traveling Changes Your Perspective

Wanderlust—the strong desire to travel. As soon as you step foot out of your house and travel to a new place, you begin to change. Whether you travel across the world or just a couple hours away, it can open your eyes.

In the past few years, I have been blessed to travel to several different countries and states. There is something so incredibly special about visiting a new place and experiencing a new culture. There are so many people that you can meet for a small amount of time that can shape the way you continue to live your life. Whether it be the way they treat complete strangers or how they love and respect their country, it can really make you think differently about how you are living.

During my trips to Ireland and France it was so incredible to see the love for their country and how welcoming strangers can be to each other. When I was in France the love they have for their language and culture was everywhere. It gave me a new sense of love for my own country. The time spent in Ireland showed me how it is much easier to show love to strangers than you think. Meeting locals and hearing about their life along with Ireland’s history from a native truly changed my perspective. The idea that some much beauty and pride can come from struggle is incredibly powerful. It could impact anybody.

The moment you leave your comfort zone, incredible things can happen; you learn more about yourself than you ever thought you could. This is why it is so important to travel and live a life passionately and to accept other cultures. We connect and can learn so much about each other.

This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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A Silent Killer

What you should know about Lyme Disease

A Silent Killer

Many of you have been following my journey in child life, but most of you don’t know my story other than my grandparents battling cancer.

When I was 6 my dad was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease is something that is becoming more common, but many people don’t know the effects that Lyme can play on a person’s life. Many people don’t know that it can be deadly. In my dad’s case, it almost was. For our sake, he is still here 15 years later. The tole that his journey has played in my life has not only shaped me into who I am, but the way that I see so many people.

Lyme Disease can be a silent killer if it goes untreated. My dad was always an active person (he still is), but when he was first infected, we didn’t know what was wrong with him. I don’t remember most of the beginning stages (mainly because my parents tried to keep our lives as normal as possible), but he began placing things milk in the pantry or bread in the fridge. Obviously, something cognitively wasn’t right. My mom took him to my uncle who is a doctor for blood testing and something came back wrong.

They moved him to an infectious disease doctor that diagnosed him with Lyme Disease and so our journey began. My dad started treatment with rosphen. This form of treatment isn’t what they use today and for good reason. The medication began to deteriorate his joints. So, his journey with surgeries began. During this time, my parents tried to make this as normal as possible for my sister and I. We obviously knew something was wrong because they were gone to the doctors visits and hospital a lot, but they always brought gifts back. I’ll never forget those gifts. They made things a little bit easier.

But it got worse, a whole lot worse before it got better.

My dad was moved home and had a pic-line put in so that he could do treatments outside of the hospital. There was one specific day that I will never forget and that was the day I thought he was going to die. We had a home healthcare nurse for him, but she wasn’t able to be there everyday so my mom was the one who had to administer his medication. This day, was a day that made her. If she administered the medication too quickly it could stop his heart and kill him. By the grade of God, somehow my mom did this everyday and never once slipped. Mommy, I love you and this is as much of your story as it is any of ours. Thank you for saving him. Thank you for being brave enough to do this. No one will ever know what this did to you, but i do.

My dad had a lot of cognitive and physical disabilities from this. He was put on anti-depressants which ultimately changed him, until one day he quit. Which as many of you know, could have killed him. This was when our story took a turn. My dad had fight again. He continued to fight this battle until he overcame. His pic-line was removed, he was off all medication and his surgeries were over. I had my dad back.

There will never be enough time to explain the effect this had on me, but I do know I view people differently. People can’t look at someone and tell they have a chronic illness or disability or even parents with these things, but I know it’s possible. We are ALL fighting battles and demons. The way I live my life has a lot to do with my dad. I struggled for years finding the peace I needed with this journey and I still am. I watched my dad suffer in some of the worst ways, but I also saw him overcome. He lives with this disease still and always will. He battles it everyday. His joints are weak, his immune system isn’t the best and his body isn’t always capable to do things he should, but he keeps fighting.

Daddy, I am so glad you made it. I am who I am today because of you.

Mama, I have no idea how you have lived the life you have and overcome the things you have, but you are one true angel. You have dedicated your life to saving everyone else’s that we love. You deserve everything this world has to give.

Jennifer, thank you for distracting me, raising me and helping me become my best self. I couldn’t have overcome this without you.

My family has so many stories, but this one has shaped me from the time I was 6 until now. I pray you all can take this and change the way you may look at certain things. Everyone is fighting a battle you can’t see.

Tests Of God And Acts Of Faith

The story of how a blown tire taught me a lesson.

Tests Of God And Acts Of Faith

My church participates annually with Habitat for Humanity in what has come to be known as “The Mission Trip.”

It started around 15 years ago with numbers of around 10-15 people and now it has grown to the point where we expect at least 40, and excess applicants are turned away on a first come first serve basis with a little bias swung in favor of those who are returning. Most people on the trip are high school age and the last time many of us are able to participate is the summer after our senior year. We are not allowed to come back until we graduate from college.

Perhaps, at its conception, the Mission Trip was simply business. That is, those who went on went with the sole purpose to build. I can imagine that bonds were formed between participants, but those may have been shuffled to the passenger seat with the main focus still on building.

Presently, however, that is not the case.

There is a candlelight service on the last day of the trip where a light is passed around the room and each person shares their thoughts about the trip. This is always a special time for the seniors (not old people) on the trip, since this is the culmination of not just the present trip but also all of their other trips combined. It is a culmination of previous culminations. It is as if all of one’s emotions surrounding these trips are put inside of a bottle for preserving and the individual which it belongs to is forced to put the cork on it.

At that point, sharing is pretty frickin’ hard.

This year however, the candlelight ceremony was different. It held a lot of grief and despair, rather than celebration of what we had accomplished, how we grew, how we learned and perhaps even how we had healed. That night there was a sense of doom that there was going to be a diaspora at the trip’s conclusion and that everybody’s bonds with each other were going to be severed by the inevitable barrier of time.

So to teach us all a lesson for completely ignoring all the good in our trip and only focusing on our own desires, God blew up a tire in my van while we were driving down the highway.

We skidded across the road. We nearly tipped. We may have been due for a truly tragic event.

This was an act of God. As a Christian, I am sure of it. There were too many conveniences for this to be a coincidence. The van was driven by an EMT who owned a van of a similar model. There was no surrounding traffic when the event occurred. The police showed up very quickly. There was an exit just up the road let alone, a hotel. We only lost $200 as a result of all of the sudden hotel cancellations and re-bookings. In fact, the van was fixed just a few hours after we left with a replacement van. It was amazingly smooth. A miracle.

I’m not sure if anybody else felt this way about what had happened but what I truly believe from the bottom of my heart is that God wanted us to wake up from our illusion. What we had gone through together was too special and carried too much weight for it to be carelessly thrown to the side. We romanticized it and pretended that we were about to be exiled to the corners of the earth, destined to never see each other again. We forgot to think about the great week that we had just gone through because we were being blinded by a miserable future.

The thing about the future, which makes humans human, is that we can control it to a degree with our actions. We have the strength and ability to dictate how we pass the time. This series of events was a wakeup call. This was the grand finale, and it made the trip unforgettable, but for me at least, it purged the ideas of separation. If we could make it through this obstacle together then we could definitely see each other again in the future. There’s no doubt about it.

And He Said ‘is Thanksgiving a Holiday?’

and I said “is it?”

I know that, well around the holidays, we all somehow seem to forget the history of most of our favorite holiday more, in particular, this time of the year, regarding Thanksgiving. Did we all forget about Christopher Columbus? I hope not, but just in case here is a small teaser/a good chunk of his whole story of Thanksgiving. Since 1937, when Thanksgiving was set a traditional holiday, which is over 80 years ago, we have all been gathering around the table, passing plates and covering left overs. The holiday to those who know this story, know it as it based on enslavement, theft and a genocide, Columbus literally claimed he “discovered America”, when in reality over a million North Americans were already living here? Not to mention how natives were forced into his personal slavery and had either their limbs cut off or were killed if they did not find enough gold. Oh and if the enslavement, theft or genocide weren’t enough to wrap our mind around this holiday season, in the midst of all the turmoil of an entire community, the natives were stricken were incredible diseases brought over by Columbus and his sailor team.

I think the main reason, we all seem to forget, is due to the utter lack of information provided in your “high school textbooks”, which in fact are told to NOT print that information. This seems kinda odd doesn’t it? Providing the youth, with no supporting evidence to this national tragedy, and for out “so called hero”. But what if this whole day, comes down to just absolutely loving Thanksgiving food. What do we do then? Do we make a special day, and I mean special day, dedicated to the infamous fall food? I’d be down for that, but what I, and others should as well, have to remind myself is not many people will be willing to give up a holiday they have been celebrating since before they can remember. But, what I think is half of the importance, is raising awareness to those who are unsure about this tragic history, and for textbooks to start publishing the truth behind these two famous holidays, Columbus Day and Thanksgiving. We need the truth of our country, and sadly without the literal publishing and teaching of this sort of history so young, we will never be able to grasp the next generation and we will just keep covering and covering the secrets our country, keeps private.

But don’t get me wrong, I love a good pumpkin pie, brussel sprouts, and stuffing. But as a grow older and more aware, the guilt and shame attached to this holiday makes it almost impossible to have the same excitement I did as a kid. The only thing wrong with this holiday, is that as Americans, we tolerate this sort of thing. and we seem to be okay with turning a blind eye.

But, hey! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Glaze that turkey, bake those pies and well, just try and remind Uncle Paul about the importance and of celebrating this “holiday”.

Dear you,

I am writing this a week or two before our six month mark.

Dear you,

i wasn’t supposed to like you and i most certainly wasn’t supposed to love you. i told myself when i agreed to go on this deployment that it was be me, myself, and i. nothing less, nothing more. man was i wrong.

in the beginning, i was skeptical. so many thoughts racing through my mind. deployment fling? another lesson? bored? all of these and more came to mind, but i liked you. we never stopped talking. only saw each other in passing for weeks, but i was so content. you were bringing light back into my life. it didn’t make sense. still doesn’t honestly.

every time i looked at you, i noticed something new that i liked. it began with the most obvious features. your nose and your eyes. your lovely skin and numerous freckles. these are things everyone could see. i would do this daily and you would always giggle and ask me what i was looking at. i never would respond. just smiled and continued watching supernatural with you. days turned into nights and those turned into weeks. week after week of nonstop laughs, hugs, kisses, and adventures. suddenly, something changed. i couldn’t exactly tell you when, but it was the most comforting feeling. almost like a wave of tranquility. such an intense feeling. when i looked at you, i saw more than to what meets the eye. i no longer liked you. i loved you. i love you. the way you squint your eyes when you laugh exposing my favorite feature of yours – the crows feet on either side of your eyes. the way the color of your eyes vary day by day either a sage green with a sweet mixture of honey in the middle or a dash of blue peaking through. i love the way your lips fit effortlessly with mine. the way you “mmm” when i climb into bed and you squeeze me tight. the way your fingers trace mine and leave a lasting imprint. i could go on and on, but you know. i hope you know.

september 5th. we rode scooters all over the city in the middle of the night. it felt endless. it’s been my favorite night. i know there’s many more to come, but i cherish this one. i hadn’t felt that much emotion in my life. i was overwhelmed with love and happiness. above all, peaceful and safe. we rode over to the most beautiful place and sat on that bench. not a single word. just holding each other and admiring the sight. it was time to go and you whipped me around and told me. you told me you loved me. you loved me back. genuinely. i didn’t know what to say. my heart burst. i love you. oh how i love you.

i am truly grateful for everything you’ve done and continue to do. you have reinvented the way i view love. you inspire me to become the best version of myself day in and day out. there aren’t words strong enough to describe how intensely i feel towards you. i just hope i can continue to make known how appreciative of you i am and how loved you are.

the future holds so much for the two of us. we’ll have it all, but i’ll let that unravel by itself. i can tell you one thing about it. this probably isn’t the most special way to say something like this, but i was thinking about us today. it hit me. i don’t just love you anymore dustin. i’m in love with you. i’m honestly not sure if there’s a distinction between the two, but there might be. i think it’s what i’m feeling towards you now. you’re almost home now, so i better wrap this up so you can pick at me to show you this little messy letter. i might let you read it after you ask 4 times, we’ll see.




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