Love on the Nile

 

 

luxor love best

Two nights ago I got married. It happened on this felucca on the Nile with the moon overhead and the lights of Luxor Temple shimmering on the water. It was the most romantic and also the most fun night of my life.

In a moment of reflection, I looked across to Farouk’s Winter Palace, remembering how as a ten year old child my family stayed there, pulling a mattress onto the balcony to escape the heat. I remember asking my dad why only Christians went to heaven while everyone else went to hell. I had met so many people of other faiths and cultures who were truly good people and didn’t deserve such a fate. My dad assured me they did (and let me say I love my dad and respect that he always stood for what he believed). However, it was then I started to question the dangerous myopic view of the zealots–of any religion. So it was especially meaningful to be on that boat thinking how fate had brought me back to this place.

I traveled for three years, from Turkey to Bolivia to Morocco to Costa Rica and beyond, not sure where to lay my head. I  have found my home. Many people might think this is a crazy decision but hey, I’m a crazy person. Life is an adventure, and I’m living it to the fullest, one moment at a time.

 

How I Packed Up and Took Off to See the World

Check out the link to my essay on how I freed myself of extra baggage and took off traveling two years ago to find inspiration for my writing. Thank you Amy Oestreicher!

“It doesn’t matter if I am in a café in Phoenix, wrapped in blankets on a freezing night in the Sahara Desert, or writing with a view of Arenal volcano, four fans on full blast to keep the sweat from landing on my computer. I could be in a penthouse suite overlooking the Bosporus, or on a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard, or maybe a train across India (a goal of mine). Each space has an atmosphere that speaks to my spirit and sparks my imagination. Each view, whether dark or light, colorful or noisy, joins together to become an added layer in my life.

The shrinking of my possessions has meant the growing of my freedom. The giving up of a static living space has opened a door to the universe. I am not bound by one location, one thought or one experience. My feet move in any direction I point them, light and free. ”

Love My Detour!

INTO THE WORLD_LI

ISLANDS & LAKES & the SKY IN-BETWEEN, Part II

10387403_10156239026520360_2458839909572742388_n[1]The little Cessna plane that took me on the last leg of my journey from San Jose to Liberia, in a thunderstorm, no less.

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I was the only passenger on that bumpy ride with two jolly pilots, who laughing and joking, plunged in and out of clouds, vision obscured, rain pummeling the panes, the plane shaking like a tin can, dropping suddenly, swerving left and right. Couldn’t we simply go around the clouds, I kept thinking, well, actually screaming in my head, not out loud, thank goodness. But, apparently, it was all no big deal, we made it safely and once on the ground I became quite brave and thought wow, now that’s really living, wasn’t that an amazing experience? And the pilots just sauntered off because they do this every day.

This, after a 1:30 am start in Los Angeles, a seven hour layover on El Salvador, before my short flight to San Jose and quick change, running to that little tin contraption for the 45 minute flight to Lyberia. Pouring rain upon my arrival. Completely empty airport, in fact, it was ten o’clock at night and they were turning off all the lights. Never had that experience before.  And never so glad to see my friendly neighbor for the next month, Henry who drove me the remaining two hours, along increasingly smaller and steeper and more pot-holed roads until we finally reached my little paradise. Friends, Barbara and Lawrence’s hideaway home.

And who kept me company on this journey and on all my journeys?

10390524_10156239027345360_7216880670691149963_n[1]Here we have my staples of travel:

  1. Indiana Jones hat, because you never know when something creepy or crawly might plop down and try to embed itself in ones hair.
  2. Leather backpack–to go with leather Indiana Jones hat. Indestructible, it holds my most important possession, my computer. And my Tablet when I want to put on headphones and shut out the world.
  3. Tumi shoulder bag. Also indestructible. Has accompanied me here, there and everywhere. Forget those ugly and often gaudy and way too noticeable designer bags. Never owned one. Well, ok, except for that one understated, black Kate Spade that I have had for years and use on rare occasions when I simply have no choice but to dress up, which I am quite capable of doing if needed.
  4. Cozy mystery. This one happens to be by Donna Leon, but my favorites right now continue to be the Inpsector Ikmen series by Barbara Nadel that take place in Istanbul. I read every one of them before my visit there last summer and they were spot on with atmosphere and fascinating characters.

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  1. Oh, and who is this, hitching a ride? Godzilla. Just found him in my bag, a pleasant surprise, he was there on Martha’s Vineyard and didn’t cause any trouble so I think I will keep him on all my journeys. He seems to enjoy the adventures  and looks at the world the same way I do; with wide-eyed wonder. Others might interpret his expression as aggressive, I choose to interpret it as wide-eyed wonder.

And that’s it, and here I am, above Lake Arenal in a place without an address. Perfect! 12106868_10156239900505360_5401131365855000888_n[1] 12088498_10156240463485360_705898822650164991_n[1]