Preparing to get up early to witness the Super Blue Blood Moon made me wonder why I was interested in viewing the lunar event. I’m not particularly interested in this type of science or in getting up early for anything...Read More
While January is associated with resolutions, clean slates and fresh starts, it is also known for the January Blues. For those who are still experiencing a beginning of the year slump, here are a few tips to elevate your levels of enthusiasm and optimism.Read More
Growing up on the Florida Gulf Coast, Hurricanes have always been part of my life. Most people think of the year as having four seasons. Along with Gulf Coast we have three -- pre, post and Hurricane season.
Hurricane Camille in 1969 was my first experience with this type of natural disaster. Camille is still one of the most powerful category 5’s to hit the U.S. My family just happened to be visiting relatives right in the Mississippi Coast strike zone. Our evacuation in the driving rain and wind is still a vivid memory over 45 years later.
The storms themselves do not last very long, but the consequences live on for years or even generations. As an adult, my experiences have been more about Hurricane aftermath; finding ways to reach devastated Pensacola, Florida to help my family and friends recover.
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have left many in the dire circumstances. The recovery effort will be a major transition for individuals, families, cities and nations. I thought it would be appropriate to share some tips for navigating this transition.
Lend a Hand – when devastation is all around, it is natural to focus on what is lost. One way to access positive energy is to help others. Simple kindness and assistance to others will lift spirits immediately and have a pro-longed effect.
Take Care of Physical Needs – lasting resilience and strength is enhanced with good physical conditioning. When overwhelmed, it can be tempting to push through without enough food, water or sleep. An adrenaline rush can be helpful in devastating situations, but it is not sustainable. Maintaining your health provides needed energy for the long term.
Express Emotions – traumatic events cause unexpected emotional responses. It is important to let these emotions out to help retain a sense of balance and ability to focus.
· Take time to talk to those in the trenches around you
· Share your feelings with loved ones farther away
· Keep a journal of your experience
· Laugh or cry out loud or on social media
· Stop and focus on something that makes you happy
Ask for Help – asking for help provides someone else the gift of giving. Many people want to help those effected by Hurricane aftermath, but don’t know exactly how.
One Step at a Time – we are often trained to look at the big picture, but in the aftermath of Hurricane devastation it can be too overwhelming. Focusing on what needs to happen first and taking progressive steps can be calming. Establishing a basic routine can also increase feelings of security and progress.
What tips can you add to help others? When the media interest moves on, how will you continue to provide support to those in need?
If The Scenic Route to Happiness concept had a birthplace it would be the Road to Hana in Maui. I had the opportunity to experience this drive for the second time last weekend in Hawaii. The journey was magical in a completely new way.
Maui’s Road to Hana stretches 52 miles including 59 bridges, 46 of them only one lane wide, and boasts approximately 620 serious curves. The sunny coastline is often in view, but a rainforest atmosphere prevails along the picturesque route.
The last time I took the journey I was alone, grieving the loss of my parents and looking for solace in nature. The dangerous hairpin turns, breathtaking vistas and climbs to waterfalls made me feel alive again.
This trip on the Road to Hana was totally different. I was a passenger with my fabulous friend Elizabeth behind the wheel. I was able to really focus on the magnificent scenery and not on my driving skills. The mood was so cheerful, despite the passing showers and Thelma and Louise references. I am filled with gratitude for this new journey along the historic Hana Highway.
The Scenic Route always delivers perspective. Nature’s gifts can soothe, inspire, excite or terrify depending on our personal view.
What’s your view of adventure? How do you get off the beaten path? Where does nature affect you the most?
This week my friendship worlds collide. East meets West -- youthful enthusiasm meets soulful reflection, all with a backdrop of stunning mountains, rivers, wildlife and cowboys. There are not many things I value more than travel and friendship. I am indeed on my scenic route to happiness.
I traveled to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to see friends visiting from Singapore. Well we met in Singapore, but they are from Australia and Taiwan originally. This adorable couple in their late 20’s shares my passion for travel. The last time we met on the scenic road was taking in the natural beauty of Myanmar. This visit included a Wild West Rodeo and a sunrise eco-wildlife tour. Seeing the American West through the eyes of my friends from Asia made The Grand Tetons seem even more majestic.
By the greatest of coincidences, one of my dearest childhood friends was also passing through Jackson with her husband on their RV Trip of a Lifetime. What are the odds? I hit the jackpot on spending quality time with inspirational friends in a glorious natural setting. Taking in magnificent scenery with a friend you’ve shared 45 years of experiences with is like coming home.
This brief trip was all about perspective, and great meals. While we experience things differently through stages in life, the beauty of nature transcends time. For me a trip to Jackson Hole is an easy five-hour drive. For my friends from Singapore it is the chance to rough it in the wilderness (limited internet) during their US tour. For my childhood friend, it is a special stop on the retirement adventure with her beloved husband. For all of us, Jackson Hole is awe-inspiring.