Quote for today

“As women we have a natural need for community. When we gather together and support one another we have the opportunity to transform our world. Start with yourself—uplift those around you—gather and love.
Create what you crave.”
Carrie-Anne Moss

What do you do every day to protect yourself?

What do you do every day to protect yourself?

Hi folks.

I was at a workshop once and this question was posed to women and men separately, particularly around the issue of protection from violence.

The women began to make a list. The men were kind of stumped. Our gendered experience shows up here.

I know men have also been victims of violence. I know this from my thirty year work in the field of my career and from my lived experience. It is however, part of our culture for women to think about this issue daily and to make decisions and plans to protect our selves and our children from abuses.

Of course we know that people, all people, are more likely to be victims of violent interpersonal attacks than ever to be victims of terrorism. We know that women are more likely to be those victims.

So, as your ‘travelling agent’, and as a woman who has a purpose to encourage women holding hands around the world, I want to offer up this question.

What we do every moment of every day is witnessed. Either by our own selves or the people we are intimate with, friends, family …. And also someone, maybe many strangers, are watching.

The more I offer my travel consulting, the more people are watching me more closely and what I decide to do. I am in the public eye. My ethics and integrity have to be sharpened as much as I can at all times.

I make mistakes and probably can’t do everything I think I can …. Lol. I can’t be everything to everyone. I can, however, lead by example. We all can and we all do, whether we think we do or not.

How I show up in each moment is my politics and my beliefs.

What do I do on a daily basis to protect myself? I ask questions. I do risk assessments for safety …. Financial as well as my physical safety. I do what I can based on the information I have … From where I am at.

If you see me taking action and making decisions about transfers, excursions, cruises, flights, schedules, hotels, where I walk, what I say and don’t say …. You are invited to ask me how I came to that decision. Your questions assist me to evaluate, and re evaluate if it is still true for me, if my decision is still valid. Is this decision, based on what I know today, still the best course of action to ensure protection? Am I putting my own oxygen mask on first, as they say on the airplanes?

Insurance and hospitals are for when we have unexpected circumstances. Can we share with each other the information that goes into a risk assessment so that we can all, exponentially, make the choices that make life safer for all of us?

I need to know what you know. I need you to know what I know. We can and will do this ‘together’.

Thanks to mom, Janie, Deb, Anita and countless more ….. For your assistance in the last 24 hours.

Every day I am so grateful for the wonderful people in my life who show up and share my journey and invite me to share in theirs.

Ti Amo

Pamela

Recent holiday to Nova Scotia

What most impassioned me?

Time. The abundance of uninterrupted, one to one time with one of the most important people I know. My mom.

I think of my last 12 days, which of course includes flight days, so really I did not get the full number of hours in those days. I did however spend all of my days with her. Hanging out, shopping, talking about our trips to come and those we have enjoyed together in the past. We talked about my children, her grandchildren and great grandchildren. We did some sorting and decluttering from closets.

We hosted meals, we went out for coffee, lunch and dinner… The two of us, with family members, and with a few of the great people I have had the good fortune to book travel for. Three couples who live in the same condo as my mom and or very close by.

I gave my mom an iPad so I also provided her with some assistance and time to familiarize her to the tablet and what it can and will do for her. I showed her how it works together with iPhone, what apps she might like, and how to communicate with the technology.

We had a plan when I arrived about our upcoming cruise in September 2015 to Greece and Turkey. We changed the plan, although we are still cruising the same, on board beautiful Oceania Riviera, we did discuss at length what we would do before and after.

I worked some every day on my independent contractor travel consulting business, got caught up with entering ballots to my website for people to win a free cruise … Multitasking while mom and I enjoyed watching some fluff movies and the State of the Union address from a president Obama. News in the background some days, and the Zen channel playing soft beautiful music while the large screen tv displayed fantastic sights of nature.

Time with loved ones is one of my favourite things to do. This trip was the first such adventure for a visit, since my retirement from government service. No pressure to de-stress from. I thoroughly enjoyed our sweet travel discussions about Europe. I also felt at home as we stepped day to day in to the destination activities of the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia.

Ready now to return home, prepare to go on my next adventure to exotic South America and then back to the sunny Caribbean islands in March 2015.

Before that I have Meetups for the Women’s Travel Club, and Canadian Snowbirds to set up and attend. Oh, and also to meet and greet folks from the Gluten Free meetup for some amazing local food stops in and around Victoria, BC.

And in February I have some trips to Vancouver to meetup with some fellow travellers, and two weeks as Grammie, taking care of two darling grandboys in interior of BC.

My life is full, rewarding and magic. I have it all and I enjoy every day abundance.

Grazie, thank you.

Pamela

The Beach

Perhaps more than any other feature of nature, my holidays are captured at the beach.

In Kingsport Nova Scotia, the red sand stirs up history of the Bay of Fundy and the tremendous tides that rise and fall some forty feet a day. What must this call of nature do to a soul that studied it as an infant?

So much of what we are compelled to desire arises from some place deep within, that we don’t question, and we don’t understand. I have a theory and although I have not done any studies to prove or disprove the hypothesis, I want to illustrate a story of my beliefs.

Where we are born and spend the first five years of our life, combined with that history in our genetic makeup, particularly arising in the experiences of our mothers and their mothers mothers leads inevitably to the desire we feel inside.

Nature vs nurture? I have spent most of my sociological career as a probation officer and the intimate study of people, today I have made a shift. I believe how we ‘act’ is a magic combination of the five people we hang out most with. Where we “live”, now, that is another study!

Remember in the fluff movie Sabrina with Harrison Ford being posed a question by the beautiful and thoughtful Julia Ormond…. “That’s what you do. Where do you live, Linus?” He is lost. Up to this moment he did not answer that question, and barely knew it was a question. He did what his father did and likely his fathers father before him.

My soul lives on the beach, pulled to waves of change as smoothly and in frequency with one of the highest tides in the world. My mother grew up on this beach. When I was being formed and birthed, this was my world. The sound of the sea was my lullaby. The scent of the sea forever triggers a sense of love and home.

When I travel the world, I seek out that soothing sound. I strip down my pieces of wardrobe for even a quick dip in the salt waters that cover most of the earths surface. I could literally float in natures womb all day …. Buoyant and supported with the unique fishy scent, constant movement, salty texture, subtle sounds of motion and change all surround me, taking me with it.

Tide in, tide out, wave up, wave down. Never the same, even for a flash of the photograph, the sea is alive. It breathes life to me and I return the favour.

The sand, the space where the sea meets the shore. The rocky surface made smooth by crashing waves and forces of millennia. The suns reflection sparkling and dancing on the surface movement. The moon pulling against gravity and showing who is boss in the wild reality of the salt water tides.

I am one with the sea and it welcomes me. In Europe, the islands, the coastal cities and villages …. I find my desire once again stirred as if I was home again. On cruise ships I find the ultimate vessel of transportation relying on that magnificent sea to take me safely to a new shore, a distant and sometimes exotic port of call. The sea remains my constant.

Where are you from? What force of nature calls you home? Where do you live?

Thanks for staying with me today while I write this …. You will no doubt find me at the waters edge, if you are looking to connect with me.

Pamela

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The Trek Home

Good early morning my friends and family,

I am packed, at the airport in Nova Scotia, Halifax, and through security. I may go get a tea at Starbucks as I am plenty early for boarding on my flight. I am however, overdressed for indoor weather, so a tea would just make me warmer. Sigh.

Seems I have achieved emergency exit rows all the way, no additional fees. Gotta love Westjet! I booked with my Westjet card so I wonder if that gets me little extras … Like I don’t have to pay for my checked luggage. Nice.

Wandering through this airport I find lobster advertisements, maple sugar displays, and Nova Scotia tartan scarves and mittens. Kind of fun to look at. I have all I need to take home and I am looking forward to getting back. I have work to do, and assistance to give to travellers who count on me.

I had a wonderful visit. Spent all my time with my mom and as well we visited with lots of other family and friends. I ate well, lots of favorite foods and post holiday treats. I got to visit the beach at Kingsport on a bright sunny day. Watched a few movies, had a little wine. Nice.

See you soon,

Big love and stay tuned on Facebook for my check ins on the way home.
https://www.facebook.com/pmacdonaldtravel

Pamela

Nova Scotia, back “home”

Nova Scotia revisited / “where is Pam?”

I LOVE my trips, ‘home’ to Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia.

Today, my last day on this vacation, in sunny January 2015. The tide was high high in Kingsport, where I spent many a childhood day. I took some pics, I walked a bit in the cool biting wind coming off the water, which had been churned up and appeared red, mixed with sand. I fall in love every time I come here.

Another drive through Wolfville, looking at beautiful old homes,with fabulous front porches adorned with chairs for watching….. Sitting still and staying present to the sights and sounds, smells and textures of the day and surroundings.

Another stop at a fave pub overlooking the tide at a Port Williams, the Port Pub … My second stop there this visit, just shy of two weeks. Then another last drive past Acadia University. When I arrived last week it was magic, dusted with white fresh snow and sparkling reflection of lights. Today green grass, a different view of the same view; the same beautiful campus. Young people bundled up and walking briskly to and fro, crossing streets, on a mission of education. What a great place to go to school and learn!

As a senior person you can pay a small annual fee and use the campus for self learning, fitness and feel the energy that exudes from this fantastic location in Eastern Canada.

Pulled to a sense of home that is the only one I have ever known in all my years and all my places of residence. For certain, I love Victoria above all places I have lived, however, I still feel the call of my youth and happy memories … And time spent with my mom and brother, and childhood friends.

I prepare to head home, boarding pass at the ready … A last supper, some packing, and away I go.

Thanks for joining me on this leg of my journey home.

With love,

Pamela

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Calendar 1,000 Places to See Before You Die

My new 2015 Calendar: a Year of Travel, 1,000 places to See Before You Die

1 January, Tokyo Japan. Tokyo’s oldest temple, Sensö-ji, is the heart of a complex that attracts upward of 2 million visitors during the first three days of January for hatsumöde, the first shrine and temple visits of the New Year. Crowds return in May for Sanja Matsuri, the biggest, most boisterous party in town.

5 January Aitutaki, Cook Islands. The H.M.S. Bounty and its Captain William Bligh “discovered” Aitutaki in 1789; travelers today discover its flawless white sand and gin-clear waters anew on day trips from the Cook Islands’ largest city, Rarotonga. Ringing the shallow lagoon is a 30-mile necklace of tiny, palm-studded islands perfect for strolling, swimming, and snorkeling

6 January Madrid Spain “Nobody goes to bed in Madrid until they have killed the night.” ERNEST HEMINGWAY

7 January Monteverde Cloud Forest. Monteverde is one of Costa Rica’s most visually arresting natural attractions, a cool highland forest 4,600 feet above sea level, rich in biodiversity, and perennially cloaked in clouds. To mix thrills with exotic scenery, try a zip-line canopy tour, a high-adrenaline attraction invented nearby in the 1970s.

8 January ** Belize. With more than 450 offshore islets and cays and 500 species of fish, the 185-mile Belize Barrier Reef is one of the world’s ultimate dive sites. Endangered hawksbill turtles swim freely in its protected waters, one of the few places in the world where you can share the sea with the enormous, elusive whale shark.

9 January Phnom Penh. One of the few parts of Phnom Penh’s sprawling Royal Palace that is open to visitors is its magnificent Silver Pagoda, a rare showcase for the brilliance of Khmer art and civilization. Much of the complex’s art was destroyed under Pol Pot, but not the life-size gold Buddha, weighing close to 200 pounds and adorned with more than 9,500 diamonds.

10 / 11 January * Dead Sea. Is the lowest land point on earth and is 9 times saltier than ocean!

12 January RedSquare, Moscow, Russia. Built under Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century and nearly destroyed by Napoleon, St. Basil’s Cathedral is a unique architectural wonder and a much-photographed Moscow icon. Across Red Square from its candy-colored onion domes stands the huge, handsome State Historical Museum, which houses more than 4 million items covering the entire vast sweep of Russian history.

13 January Exmoor National Park, Devon and Somerset, England. In a beautiful corner of the West Country, where Somerset meets Devon, lies the dramatic, romantic landscape of Exmoor National Park. From the Bristol Channel, myriad footpaths make the perfect starting point for inland forays onto the sweeping moors; the coastal path takes you to the sheer face of Countisbury Cliffs, which, at 1,200 feet, are the highest in England.

14 January Pantanal, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Largest freshwater wetland in world

15 January Cradle Mountain Natl Park, Tasmania, Australia

16 January Hoi An, Vietnam a vibrant river port

17/18 January * Miami South Beach

* I have been here, Awesome
** I will be going here in 2015

I am not going to Jinx looking any further ahead …. You can probably access this on line or in calendar shops at half price! Have fun…

Ti amo

Pamela