I'm writing to you from the past, a place that often times we wish we could go. In the present we don't have a time machine not matter, so that leaves now.... but it also leaves us a future. Our decisions today have a direct effect on the shape of our lives tomorrow and into the years ahead. In some future outcomes we possess a fair amount of control, and others are yet to be discovered. Quite a few emotions come along prior to taking the first steps. I can feel hesitation, indecisiveness, fear and doubt. At the same time and mixed in with those feelings are excitement, curiosity, wonder, eagerness, joy and happiness. It's the latter that wins the day. Always, and I don't use that word often.
As I write these words, I've just finished packing the van. With each passage through the front door and out towards the vehicle I wonder how it's all going to work out. Some of the questions I have are: Will I arrive safely? Will I learn about myself and others along the way? Will I be given opportunities to help others? Will I end up at my planned destination or is there something that could alter my course forever? What beauty lies ahead? What new relationships will be formed? Will Florida be a place I can thrive in or will it be a destination desert? All of those questions will be answered in a relatively short period of time. I do know that throughout my feelings and questions one thing is true. It's going to be ok. It's the way things are since I've applied faith in my life.
I've been incredibly blessed in this journey to have met friends in the Black Hills. I learned, and grew, and laughed. I've been invited back, and I accepted graciously. I look forward to seeing the Black Hills again.
Helen Keller was quoted as saying "A bend in the road is not the end of the road... unless you fail to make the turn." There's quite a few bends in the road ahead for me, and for all of us. I encourage you and take to heart this.... When your mind and emotions are being pulled in a direction that is not of your own making, you're likely being pulled off course. Stop, breath, remember your friends and family. Look around at the things you've been given in this life. Perhaps quite literally stop and breath the air, use your eyes and ears to acclimate yourself to the abundance and beauty that surrounds you. Look at what has been provided freely for us all to enjoy. One another, the outdoors, and the power of knowing we are all in this together, and never truly alone.
These words I'll be repeating to myself as I set off on the new leg of a journey that started in April of 2020. Five months... Five months of what used to be the unknown manifested into this very moment as my fingers type the words. I am grateful. I am blessed. I have had and incredible journey. I love what I do. I will carry on. I will make plans. I hope that you will too. Thank you for reading my thoughts before I set sail. I look forward to seeing your comments along the way. Have a great day, and a great night. I'll be thinking of you, and maybe sometime our paths will cross.
I'm feeling a little bit of angst at the moment, but it's a familiar feeling. It's been a challenging year. One of letting go, being stretched to the limits, one that required change of perspective and one that brought growth. I thought at times about giving up, but it seems in those moments come the boldest ideas. I feel most uncomfortable when I don't have a solution to a problem. It eats at me, and keeps me up at nights, until I come to a realization that I just need to breath and maybe do nothing at all.
When I set out to travel back in April on Adventures Across America, I had a lot of self-doubt that came to me about 500 miles or so into the drive. I never shared that; I just didn't write about it until now. Many of you may be feeling the same thing. Each time I had to confront the fear, overcome it and then move to the next step. It brought me as far as I am now, which is on the precipice of another journey. I mean this sincerely when I say, had I not been out in nature for most of those 3 months I would have broken down, given up and thrown it the towel. Being out in some of the most beautiful places provided me time to connect and reflect. It gave me time to better understand who I am and how I fit into this world.
I miss travel the way it was, and I'm eagerly anticipating the time when it returns. In the meantime, there is a big back yard that you and I share called the U.S.A. Get out in it! You may have noticed recently friends on Facebook posting their road trips and I find it heartwarming to see people beginning to go out and have fun. Many of them are visiting National or State parks and breathing in the wide-open spaces that offer exposure and safety at the same time. There are a lot of people out there in the travel world affected by all the instability that’s going on right now, but we still have the ground under our feet. (knock on wood)
If you follow my Facebook page www.facebook.com/myxoadventures then you know I like to have fun on all my travels and can be a bit of a goofball in the process. I assure you I am a true professional but a kid at heart too! If you have any questions related on how to travel or where, please reach out. Whether it's with me, on your own or even with another company I'm happy to help with what I know. As I leave Rapid City on the 29th of September and head to Florida, I'll be stopping at approximately 68 places along the way. My newsletter timing may be a little off, so I apologize in advance. Please take care, and come along with me virtually through Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana!
Yes, there is a butt facing you in this image, but isn't there always? Let's go there.
For sure It's been a long year, for all of us. We look forward to the days beyond election time, maybe beyond the end of the year, certainly beyond a pandemic, and to happier times ahead. When you think about it, so many of those things I just listed are BIG BUTTS in our decision-making process, but they don't have to be.
As the season winds down here In South Dakota, I'm planning my route back home to Sarasota. It's the planning that's the exciting part. Hmmmm, well I haven't been to New Mexico yet, and it's been a while since my eyes have been graced by the striking colors of autumn. Colorado? Tennessee? Yup, for sure I'll be backpacking through those areas when I depart near the end of September because I'd like to make the most of my journey. In reaching Louisiana, I have a few friends that I'll visit, but also study and seek out the secrets of Zydeco, Creole, Jazz, Gumbo and the rich African American history that runs through it all. My GOD, the excitement and planning I need to do!
In that there can be anxiety, but it's the excitement that gets me off my BUTTS and on the road. Planning can be one of the best and most exiting parts of an adventure, and I hope you feel the similarly. Like Adventures Across America this month-long road trip has a few reasons. I'm educating myself, rekindling old friendships, making new friendships, and finding out ways to get you off your BUTTS in the process! This October ended up being a little too soon for many of you to travel, and I understand, BUTT I have a few new ideas in the works and a couple out now that you can explore.
First, for my Florida friends In particular there is the Key West Kerfuffle. It's caused a stir, so I think the name fits. To check out why it would be very cool to come along and stay on a luxury yacht, click here. Next is something I've always wanted to do, and thats the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta! It bases out of Albuquerque at the Hyatt Regency and not only witnesses the Mass Ascension, but I also take you on day trips to intriguing places throughout New Mexico. On my way home, I'll be meeting with vendors and exploring the route myself.
I hope your BUTT feels lighter, and more apt to start the exciting path towards planning. Next up is the Louisiana Purchase, and I can't wait to tell you all about it. In the meantime, stay safe and thank you for taking time to read the newsletter!
Where can Americans Travel and should they?
It's a question a lot of people want to know, and the answer can change daily. There's no doubt a lot of pent up desire to travel, but the decision process can be complicated without some guidance. Fortunately, you've made it here and I hope to bring some clarity to the question.
The first and most obvious answer is anywhere in the US, and I have to say from recent travel experience, it's much appreciated. All states are open, but ordinances can and do vary. Generally speaking, the western part of the country has seen a big uptick in domestic travel, with most arrivals by RV or air. Taking a back seat are the large 50 passenger busses that once roamed the parks like the buffalo of years past. They still operate, just not in large numbers.
Likely, your one of the many people looking to visit wide open spaces and avoid a lot of crowds, but the question is where and how? For starters try in your own backyard. Likely there are many places you haven't explored, or it's been a long time. Take a second look at what is in a 100 mile radius of your own home. If you're looking a little further, nothing beats the State and National Parks. For a list of National Parks by state visit the National Park Service website by clicking here.
My advice on National Parks Is two fold. 1.) Find out where you can get the best bang for your buck. (Utah has five that are famous) and 2.) Look for parks that are less visited, like the Badlands of South Dakota or Acadia National Park in Maine. I've fallen in love with the Southwest, so Arizona and New Mexico would be great places to visit during the winter, and are packed with parks for all kinds of sightseeing and activities. Last on the State and National Parks.... give hiking consideration and plan for it. Most of us haven't been out in nature and staying inside the car most of the time can sterilize the experience.
Now on to International trips. At the moment this is the trickiest of options, but it's not stopping some from exploring. For a list of countries that are currently open, click here. My advice is if you're desire is to travel internationally, or begin to plan for future international trips, consult with a travel professional. It won't cost you a penny more. The advice you get can be invaluable. At the moment there are so many requirements, whether it be a negative COVID test within the past 3 days, or a self quarantine upon arrival you'll need to know what each requirement entails.
What would I do If I were you? Well, travel is going to open, and I believe it's actually going to be a better experience moving ahead. Companies, like mine, have had to innovate, implement protocols and rethink travel in a brand new way. This has required, and at times forced creativity and for the well being of the traveler. What I'm seeing most is what I call "bubble groups", which are friends or family that travel together on a private trip. These trips tend to be more costly to operate, and therefore more expensive to the consumer, but they provide not only a better experience but also give peace of mind. Who really wants to do the 50 passenger bus tour now anyway? Not me.
If you'd like to see the tours we offer that can be customized and private check out our USA and Day Trips on our web page: www.myxoadventures.com . What you'll find here might surprise you. You'll see private trips with quite a few inclusions at about half the price of the big boys. Remember, the outdoors provides places and experiences that feed the soul, and heal the mind. It's ok to travel right now, just be responsible and use common sense!