When Steve, Lynda and I visited Dinan, an incredible French Medieval town, we got so carried away with exploring the first street, then the next, and the next etc, we suddenly realised we had no real idea of exactly where we were in relation to the van!
Well - each of us had our own opinion and, because we trusted the others, we ended up walking round and round in circles as we tested out different routes!
Eventually we decided enough was enough and I opened the photo you see above, on my phone, and walked into a bar to ask for directions!
As often happens in life, when I showed the image to the owner she told me we were just around the corner from our destination and gave us clear directions!
Learning... How many times have we found that by seeking some qualified guidance we can avoid much of the aimless 'wandering' and we can reach our goals much quicker?
A few weeks before I left New Zealand I bought what I hoped would be a 'really useful' pair of shoes. How right I was!!!
My fabulous Deuce boots turned out to be one of the best investments I could ever have bought!
I did wear some 'proper' walking shoes at times but these boots went with pretty much everything and were always my faithful companions through all temperatures.
Yes - I developed some pressure blisters due to the miles and kilometres I walked (an average of 15,000 steps each day) but, would I have swapped the things I saw and the places I visited, for the minor discomfort of my feet? Not on your life!!!
Learning... There can sometimes be the need to use 'tape and padding' in order to allow us to fully experience all aspects of life.
Grab ALL opportunities while we have them.
Address the painful feelings in life knowing that, more than likely, they aren't going to be there forever. Acknowledge the feelings but don't identify with them.
Let's make the most of all our experiences!
3. It's important to choose our travelling companions wisely
I feel blessed to be part of an amazing extended family. My wonderful family and friends are the best people to with whom to share a holiday. SO MUCH laughter and the sharing of incredible experiences with like-minded people will always win my vote!
(I have to apologise to my fabulous family and friends for only having enough space for a couple of photos - I would love to include them all!!)
Learning... Why wait for a holiday to make sure we're surrounding ourselves with people who want us to be the best we can be and to inspire us to great things?
Let's make our vocations our vacations. It IS possible to have fun and enjoy each day.
I've recently read some uplifting Facebook posts that have raised my spirits... People are realising that if we don't make a positive change and prioritise what's truly important in our life we will end up allowing others to take over our world.
One of the wonderful things I did (for the very first time) was to buy a one way ticket which allowed me to leave the return date 'open'.
As I am able to travel on both an NZ and a UK passport the freedom this created was amazing! No 'counting down' to the end of the holiday.
Learning... A woman I knew very well used to have a stock saying whenever she bought something new, "Well, this will see me out!" Unfortunately many of the things she bought, did 'see her out'... unfortunately she died at a very early 62years old.
I encourage you to look ahead and plan for even more exciting times. Please don't count down your days!
When we travel we need to allow for the changes in weather. I know we're encouraged to 'travel light' and it is wonderful if it's possible.
Because I knew I was to experience so many varied opportunities I needed to take such a range of clothing (and wore every item, at least once, as it turned out).
I left some 'Winter clothing' back in the UK when we headed to France & Spain as I really didn't expect the Summer weather to be quite as wet and cold as it had been in England.
When we arrived in Dieppe at 1pm we were sweltering in the 28deg temperature. Five hours later the temperature had dropped to a mere 6degrees, with accompanying rain, and so we had to wear all possible layers (and buy some gloves at first opportunity) in order to 'survive' the changes.
Learning... Do what we can to prepare for our life's journey and understand that we cannot cover all eventualities. Sometime we just have to suck it up and sort it out!
Ha - this always amuses me!
That yucky, stale smell that reminds me that, no matter what the 'rule' is (for very good reason) there'll always be someone who bucks the rules and makes it less pleasant for others.
Learning... Just say "How Fascinating!" and move right along.
When we return home we can often feel lost, isolated, and even withdrawn, for a time.
This is normal, and this is life. There will be those who can empathise and know what we are going through and those who just accept we've been away and now we're back!
We can all go through a period of re-settling and I, personally, assess my return to 'normal' life by how long it takes me to unpack my suitcase when I return home! This time it took a week...
Learning... When we have 'hiccups' in our life: the passing of a friend or relative, a relationship break up, a redundancy, change of residence or work... these changes will create a certain amount of turmoil in our life.
We really need to acknowledge that there is no specific time for us to regroup, to grieve, to come back into the 'real' world... take it gently!