My travels, adventures and challenges as a widow this year continue to keep me active and bring happiness. Last year I posted my top 10 travels and lessons I learned. I continue to pursue new lessons by engaging in travel adventures and putting myself out there. It’s been a good year:
10. On a visit – Florida. BE WARM
I learned that it is much warmer in February in Florida than in New York. It is definitely a consideration for future living possibilities. There are so many fun places to explore all year long in Florida. Plus I have a mom and sister already living there. I like Florida.
9. On a mission – Italy. BE FAITHFUL
Mike was Catholic and I felt his ashes needed to be blessed in a Catholic Church. I could have asked a local parish, but I felt that going to see the pope during one of his blessings would be worth the pilgrimage. I didn’t spend long in Rome. It really is a beautiful city and I am glad I went. I learned that my faith is deep and that I could visit Italy many times and never grow tired of that place.
8. On a retreat – Costa Rica. BE BALANCED
Mike had wanted to retire to Costa Rica so I went to honor him. The yoga and writing retreat at a spa on the Pacific Coast was just what I needed. I got in touch with my soul through writing on this trip. I learned that yoga can be very strenuous and that I tend to be stiff and have poor balance. With focus, concentration and practice I can improve. I even applied my practice and learned how to surf.
7. On a reunion – Colorado. BE ACTIVE
I learned that I loved Colorado when I lived there in the 80’s and that the state is even better than I remembered. The people there are so relaxed. That could be because of the Marijuana shops but still… Hiking and even driving around the state is amazing. The majestic mountains, blue sky and purple columbine flowers delight the senses. People stay in good physical and mental health by enjoying the outdoors with hiking and biking. The adrenaline rush from physical exertion is maybe the best Rocky Mountain high.
6. On a tradition – Montauk. BE CALM
I learned that I never will get bored of Montauk. New adventures await. I went fishing and biking as well as eating and swimming. But the best thing to do in Montauk is watch the waves, sit and be still. The ocean is hypnotic and a dose of the sea is the best anti-anxiety therapy I know.
5. On a celebration – Woodstock. BE SAFE
Woodstock is such a quaint little town upstate with cute shops and decent restaurants. I celebrated my birthday at a spa nearby. Hiking the half mile to nearby Katterskill falls is dangerous and strenuous as there is not a well defined path. I learned you should be aware of the danger signs and STAY ON THE TRAIL to be safe. In life that is true too.
6. On a discovery -Ithaca. BE CURIOUS
Visiting family in a familiar setting is comforting, but it is possible to make the most common visits interesting by being curious. Ask questions. Learn more about people you know. Everyone has a story. I have taken to searching Pinterest and Google for things to do in places I visit. I learned that thinking about my visits as possible Blog entries encourages me to go out and discover new adventures and then do them!
7. On a day trip – Philadelphia. BE STRONG
Fourth of July weekend was a great time to visit this historic city. I learned that the Mason-Dixon line goes through Philadelphia and that Philly steak sandwiches are better with melted butter on the roll at Ginos. Our country was founded by people who felt there was an injustice. They fought. It wasn’t easy. But they did what they felt was important for justice to prevail. I am engaged in my own battles. I have learned to be strong by standing up to the powers that be. It’s not easy and I don’t like it. When you feel strongly about something you can sit back and lament or push forward. Regarding the homicide of my husband, I am still pressing forward for answers and justice.
8. On the boat – Long Island. BE HAPPY
I learned that I love the water and should spend as much time as I can enjoying it. In it. On it. Near it. Life is short. Be happy.
9. On the road – Tennessee. BE GRATEFUL
Nashville is lively and reminds me of Key West and New Orleans. The barrage of country melodies streaming from the tightly packed bars makes you want to stomp and skip your way down the strip. Along the sides of the street, in the cold, are the homeless men and women. Some singing a tune or playing instruments. Maybe one day they’ll get a gig in a local bar. How can it be so hard for some and easy for others? I learned to remember to count my blessings and be grateful for all I have and have had in my life.
10. On a date – New York City. BE BRAVE.
I learned that you have to be willing to put yourself out there and meet someone if you would like to date. It doesn’t happen by sitting home and scrolling through Facebook. It didn’t happen in my bereavement group, it was all women. I went on a date. It was definitely the biggest and scariest challenge in my life as a widow. Luckily I met someone really nice on my first and only date and I now have a special someone in my life. I enjoy having someone to eat meals with, plan weekend or vacation adventures and just text funny things that happen during the day. I was happy with my late husband. We enjoyed each other’s company and being together made our lives better. I liked having someone special in my life so why shouldn’t I want to spend time with someone who makes me smile again.
Thanks for reading my blog and for all your comments and words of encouragement. Wishing everyone a Happy New Year filled with love, adventures and growth.
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