Dress Up for Life!

When I was little, I used to play dress up.  I would put on my mother’s high heels and would throw a scarf around my neck, select wild and crazy outfits and spend the whole day in dream land.

As I aged some, I let society message me about being more conservative, not talking out so much and to “take off that silly outfit”.  I was advised as to what successful people wear, and what to wear to fit in.

I am happy to say that my daughters have their own sense of style and have had from an early age.  They also played dress up, in the same stuff of my mother’s!!  They were supported by other girls their age, cousins who spent summer vacations and winter holidays together.  They encouraged freedom of expression and wild and crazy outfits.

So allowing myself to start to play in the artistic way, with my wardrobe, brings me back to a happier time.  A youthful freedom and fun place.  I throw on several necklaces, layered and unmatching … bling!

I have enough scarves to open a shop!  I have hats, shoes and colors galore.  I have themed clothes and color schemes.  I love to wear something new and different every day.

As I prepare for my trip to Europe with small luggage capacity, I am trying on outfits and mixing and matching accessories to accompany me on the journey.  I feel like that little girl again, smiling and laughing in the mirror at the combinations I am trying;  enjoying the idea of leaving my sweats and sneakers, my jeans and boots at home.  While I love the styles, I want to look a bit classier on this luxury vacation.

I don’t want to look like a typical North American tourist in shorts and sandals ….  Oooooops, better get those out of the bag!!  I don’t wear heels due to my height and of course, am always searching for comfort and practicality as well.  I do have some lace up, tie up and shiny choices.

I won’t wear a hat for the travel, but always enjoy visiting hat shops in foreign places.  I have several hat boxes full and many stacks of well behaved hats all over my house, in closets and on shelves.  I might stuff one fun hat in my bag, if there is room.  Just for dress up!!

A bathing suit needs a cover up, and shoulders need cover ups in many foreign places.  Scarves are such fun accessories to enjoy while traveling.  I can even wear the same formal evening outfit, with a different scarf and accessory!

OK – just thought I would share the journey with you today as I continue my travel blog.

What will you wear to town today?  What statement are you making about who you are and who you want to be?  Spruce it up a bit …  throw on a little something extra to make that artistic statement that identifies you as a person who cares about herself.  You might feel happier and you might inspire a revolution of grocery shoppers and gardeners to step it up a notch!

Happy Sunday…. With love

Advertisements

Vancouver Airport, eh Dec 1 2010

Blog entry 1 Dec, 2010. Vancouver Airport

My mother, my husband and I. Sitting in Starbucks plugged in to the wall with my lap top. Seems they have a shortage of plugs here, so the Christmas tree decorations will stay unlit till I move on.

The plane is late due to weather. Darlene and Joan are also traveling with us on the great adventure starting in Vancouver, then British Airways flight to Barcelona via London Heathrow airport. (Apparently London is having a snow storm, which is why we are not yet on our plane on the way there ). We will arrive there and pray to the luggage gods for safe transport on to the next flight direct to Barcelona. Ahhhhhh. Just the sound of Barcelona is inspiring.

I love the sound of exotic words – and exotic places. Everyone I have talked to loves Barcelona but that is not why I love it. I love how the syllables roll off the tongue. The way the “r” rolls around the roof of my mouth. And the extra “a” that all Canadians like at the end. Eh!!

Surrounded by foreign speaking folk, at the International departure area of the Vancouver airport …. Why don’t we have a fancy name for our airport?? I did a small survey with my mother and she suggested an appropriate name might be “Vancouver” or alternatively “large”. Hmmm she might have been on the committee that settled on “Vancouver International Airport”.

Interesting lighting here. Very high ceilings and long narrow light fixtures give the illusion of light but it is very subtle and soft … almost like being in the corner of an intimate living room with low lighting. Although strangely enough, every person has a spot light affect above them, allowing reading of novels and bloggers like me on computer. Perhaps if I unplug my lap top and plug back in the Christmas tree decoration and wreath that is above my station, I might enjoy yet more lighting and the festive feeling that comes with Christmas season generally.

I plan to do some writing about what makes this journey and this time of year, this particular year so noteworthy for me. For my family and very close friends the reasons will be more obvious. Ahhhhhhhh, yes. An important year indeed and important to reflect on the past 12 months and 52 years of my life. The significant changes and one very substantial loss.

Group Travel

Welcome to the Women’s Travel Club!!  Born of an idea from two good friends who worked together in a small town  in BC, Canada.  A cruise to the Mexican Riviera on a Carnival cruise was selected based on price, destination and the expectation of first time cruisers.  Originally we planned for inside cabins … “let’s keep the cost down”.  Wiser experienced heads prevailed and suggested we would enjoy balcony staterooms in a row … with adjoining verandas …. perfect for pajama parties and early morning chats over coffee while watching dolphins, whales and flying fish.  A little extra $$ on the travel investment proved to be the BEST decision.  Some staterooms had 2, 3 and 4 passengers and good friends became even closer!  We all went our separate ways for organizing shore excursions, ordering room service, and planning day time activities such as time on the pool deck, shopping, playing games, exercising in the gym, walking for the cure for breast cancer and watching movies.  Evening dining selection of two tables for 8 gave us the best seats in the house, plenty of choice of whom to sit beside, no shortage of tall tales from the day, and great opportunities to get to know “new” friends and reconnect as a group.  Laughter and tears were heartfelt, as our lives were woven together in a new way.  Two wonderful friends of mine became engaged on that trip – I shared a stateroom with my mom – and we all have a fine photo and special memories of the night we danced on the top deck under the moon.  One woman brought her husband – everyone was welcome and all had an unforgettable journey.

Group travel can be a wonderful and soul enriching experience.  Whether it is a group of friends, a family reunion, spiritual, art or music appreciation group or colleagues from work.  Whether your travel  is to taste wine or discover a historic landmark. The enjoyment of each other’s company and the enriching of relationships is a wonderful and rare gift of time and commitment to be together.

SOLO Travel, meeting myself

 

Solo Travel

I have begun to discover travel, alone in the recent 10 years. Starting with camping trips, on my own to popular camp sites, with clean washrooms and running water. I pitched a small tent, had store bought sushi, and then listened to the sounds of the night as I was snuggled in my very warm down sleeping bag. Awakened by the early morning sounds, I sat by a creek, watched ants busy at work, and learned to sit with my own thoughts and dreams.

As the years move through my life, I invest more and more time with my self. I have begun to practice mindfulness. I have gone on short retreats with my own sensations and random thoughts to entertain me and make me wiser.

The more I enter into solo travel, the more I enjoy my own company and the air around me. I begin to see history and people, time and space, in a very different light. No longer responding to the teachings from my younger years, now searching for truth and experience from my own life.

Last year I arranged a long flight from Vancouver to Nuremburg Germany, I stayed alone in a 5 star hotel, and shopped in a foreign city. I lived for 7 days aboard a fabulous river cruise ship and made the trek, the culmination of some 50 years of my life, to the destination of my dreams. I arrived in Paris. Although surrounded by others also on their own adventures, I arrived alone. I found myself among the millions who have ventured before me to this historic and world popular city.

Because I have started to write of my experiences, I can be back in that moment, in that space and time in history, whenever my soul wants to travel again. My sensations are aroused to the smell of the air and sweet sounds of foreign accents and birdsong.

Join me, won’t you?? Solo travel is not about meeting others, it is about meeting your self.

Pamela MacDonald, travel writer and Cruise & Vacation Specialist. Read more adventures at   https://pamelatravelblog.wordpress.com

visit my website at www.PamelaMacDonald.cruiseshipcenters.ca or email me at pmacdonald@cruiseshipcenters.com

THE TRAVEL QUILT

 

The Travel Quilt

A newsletter about travel experiences by Pamela MacDonald

Edition 1, 15 May 2010

Every place I visit leaves an undeniable change……. in ME.  “We never touch others so lightly as to not leave a trace.” 

I forget where I learned these tidbits about travel — but I have taken notes and now offer them to you.  I am sharing a collective wisdom … words shared by other ‘world travelers’. I carry a note book in my purse and record the collection of words.   

“This moment, this place, this scent, this view, and I am forever changed. As the moments slip by, my person is renewed and recreated with the experiences and sensations from this and every place.”  “Travel writing …. my new frontier. My journey in life. Never the destination, always a learning experience.” 

I am a sum of my parts and your influence. How we interact, the interplay …. the ‘quilt’ we weave together.

 This is my Travel Quilt. This is my quilted travel journal. The textured fabric and strong seams all matter. The finished product is only the depiction of how the roads intersected. A summary. A snapshot of a moment in time.

 Come join me in my journey.

 Share your words of wisdom learned along the way ………… let us create this quilt together.

*************

In no particular order or significance, let the language of travel shift your perspective.

 ”Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends. It is played over and over in the mind. Stories can be accessed and experiences re-lived.”

“As a first time traveler, the biggest issue you will encounter is your own state of mind.” Pre departure preparation and post vacation slump. Keep busy and keep planning the next one. Let no moss grow on the moments between travel memories and travel planning. The anticipation of travel is sweet indeed and deepens the experience.

 ”Whatever your experience, be a first time traveler at heart.”  See the world with new eyes and breathe in deeply the new scents of places and times.

 One of the greatest pleasures of any trip is talking to people. Trips can be made by the people you encounter.

 Be as mindful as you can.  Meditate.  Be in the moment as many moments as possible.

 Don’t plan too much, prepare to be flexible. Be open to that which you had not anticipated. Delight in the details of the unexpected.  Be patient, polite and persistent.

 Enjoy and appreciate. Keep a gratitude travel journal. Review the highlights. Daily reflection will reinforce the memories.

 If you are anything like me, you have a destination in mind. You woke up once to the idea of that special place. The smells, the sounds, the sights, the satisfaction of knowing there is a special place that you will rejoice in the travel to. A destination where, when you hear the name of this sacred place, your heart quickens, your mind goes to the awakened senses and you realize a longing in your soul. A place, like Paris, or the Great Barrier Reef, or Moscow, Venice, Rome, the beaches of Kauai, Glacier Bay or Denali National Park in Alaska or Long Beach California.

 When you read a book or see a show you recognize this place as a part of your self and the longing awakens once again. You notice and make a mental list of “to do” activities that are “must do’s” in this location. The list includes, the best place to taste crème brulee, the best ice cream shop, chocolaterie, country and western or jazz / blues lounge, where to snorkel to encounter the widest variety of colorful tropical fish, what is the food unique to this location, what wine pairings can you expect, is there a Starbucks? Is there a quilt shop nearby so you can pick up some fabric with depictions of this fabulous place and its history? What are the local museums or historic landmarks that simply must be seen and form part of the scrapbook memories? Are you seeking adventure, art, romance, history through architecture, spiritual retreat, enlightenment, education or sheer delight and relaxation? If only for an unforgettable moment, what place, sound, scent, sight are you wanting to be close to? We all want to tell tales of time spent in a most fascinating place. 

We sometimes get lost in lists of items to take, packing anxiety, making reservations, choosing shore excursions, comparing prices and quality, investigating travel protection, security procedures and payment policies (when is the non refundable period?).

Take a breath, take another one …..

There is nothing to fear … jump in with all your senses and “don’t miss the boat”.  Cruising and travel, experience and write about your adventures.  Your life will be changed and your experiences captured and memories stirred by the reading of the journey in the future.

I welcome your thoughts, your story and the quilt we weave together as we share.

SAFETY in TRAVEL

Just a few notes, I will keep you “posted” and welcome the comments you have and tips to share with others.

In particular, I want to offer Safety Tips for women travelers, for solo travelers, for women traveling alone and or in groups. 

 If women can travel safely, then everyone (men, women and children) can enjoy travel.

  Keep safety in mind.

  • Respect local customs and dress conservatively.
  • Women may experience sexual harassment and should be prepared to trust their instincts.
  • Plan to arrive during daylight hours.
  • Be aware of surroundings, and safe routes.
  • Travel with phone numbers and ask for help in public.
  • Always lock your room and be careful not to divulge too many details about where you are staying and who you are traveling with.
  •  If bothered in public, draw attention to the situation, and be loud.
  •  Befriend local women.
  •  Try not to turn a scary situation into a dangerous one.
  • Use strong show of resistance not aggression.
  • If looking for holiday romance, carry western manufactured condoms in your handbag.

Travel Writing tips

 Every place I visit leaves an undeniable change……. in ME.

 “We never touch others so lightly as to not leave a trace.” 

I forget where I learned these tidbits about travel — but I have taken notes and now offer them to you.  I am sharing a collective wisdom …  words shared by other travelers from their writing ….  I don’t take credit for their words.   

“This moment, this place, this scent, this view, and I am forever changed. As the moments slip by, my person is renewed and recreated with the experiences and sensations from this and every place.” 

“Travel writing …. my new frontier. My journey in life. Never the destination, always a learning experience.” 

Thanks so much for each of you and your participating in my life. You have mattered a great deal. Your presence has been noted and I am a sum of my parts and your influence. How we interact, the interplay …. the quilt we weave together.

 This is my Travel Quilt. This is my quilted travel journey and the seams all matter. The finished product is only the depiction of how the roads intersected.

 Come join me in my journey.

 Some words of wisdom learned along the way ………… 

In no particular order or significance, let the language of travel shift your perspective.

 “Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends. It is played over and over in the mind. Stories can be accessed and experiences re-lived.”

“As a first time traveler, the biggest issue you will encounter is your own state of mind. ” Pre departure preparation and post vacation slump. Keep busy and keep planning the next one. Let no moss grow on the moments between travel memories and travel planning. The anticipation of travel is sweet indeed.

 “Whatever your experience, be a first time traveler at heart.”  See the world with new eyes and breathe deeply in the new scents of places and times.

 “One of the greatest pleasures of any trip is talking to people. Trips can be made (or destroyed) by the people on it.”

 Be as mindful as you can.  Meditate.  Be in the moment as many moments as possible.

 Don’t plan too much, prepare to be flexible.

 Be patient, polite and persistent. Be open to that which you had not anticipated.

Delight in the details of the unexpected.

 Enjoy and appreciate. Keep a gratitude travel journal. Review the highlights. Daily reflection will reinforce the memories.

 If you are anything like me, you have a destination in mind. You woke up once to the idea of that special place. The smells, the sounds, the sights, the satisfaction of knowing there is a special place that you will rejoice in the travel to. A destination where, when you hear the name of this sacred place, your heart quickens, your mind goes to the awakened senses and you realize a longing in your soul. A place, like Paris, or the Great Barrier Reef, or Moscow, Venice, Rome, the beaches of Kauai, Glacier Bay (Alaska) or even Long Beach California.

 When you read a book or see a show you recognize this place as a part of your self and the longing awakens once again. You notice and make a mental list of “to do” activities that are “must do’s” in this location. The list includes, the best place to taste crème brulee, the best ice cream shop, chocolaterie, country and western or jazz / blues lounge, where to snorkel to get the widest variety of colorful tropical fish, what is the food unique to this location, what wine pairings can you expect, is there a Starbucks? Is there a quilt shop nearby so you can pick up some fabrics with depictions of this fabulous place and its history? What are the local museums or historic landmarks that simply must be seen and form part of the scrapbook memories? Are you seeking adventure, art, romance, history through architecture, spiritual retreat, enlightenment, education or sheer delight and relaxation? If only for an unforgettable moment, what place, sound, scent, sight are you wanting to be close to? We all want to tell tales of time spent in a most fascinating place. 

We sometimes get lost in lists of items to take, packing anxiety, making reservations, choosing shore excursions, comparing prices and quality, investigating travel protection, security procedures and payment policies (when is the non refundable period?).

Take a breath, take another one …..

There is nothing to fear … jump in with all your senses and “don’t miss the boat”.  Cruising and travel, experience and write about your adventures.  Your life will be changed and your experiences captured and memories stirred by the reading of the journey in the future.

I welcome your thoughts, your story and the quilt we weave together as we share.

All the best to you,

with love

Pam