Dream travel: What if this was my normal?

A morning dog walk, Point Cartwright Lighthouse, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Whenever I visit a new place, particularly someplace as beautiful as Australia’s Sunshine Coast, I always imagine, “what if this was my normal everyday experience?” Ahh….to be a dog walker at sunrise on a beautiful beach. Sublime!

Travel can take us out of our everyday and into new and different experiences. We can choose to embrace the new and different, or be disgruntled that the coffee isn’t like coffee at home or the driving is difficult on the other side of the road. It makes me think, we can travel the world over, but we still meet ourselves where we are.

I hope I can continually open myself to new experiences. I hope the same for you.

Sometimes the new will be something we experience and are glad to return home. But other times, it will give us a feeling of longing and inspiration to dream, “what if this was my new normal?”

I love having that feeling. It wakes me up and inspires me to bring more of that joy and peace into my life.

Crossing the Southern Alps at Lewis Pass

Tarn at Lewis Pass, South Island, New Zealand

This photo is one of the first I took after meeting my photography guide in Christchurch, New Zealand. It’s of the tarn at Lewis Pass., which is the northernmost pass over the Southern Alps in New Zealand. Looking at this shot now, it really appeals to me.

However, remembering back to that moment–I was standing in a bog while it was raining thinking at the time: what have I gotten myself into?! Am I going to have to endure ten days of cold, rain and wet feet on this photo tour? Having left Phoenix only a couple days before where it was 100+ deg Fahrenheit, this weather was a big of a shock.

On top of that, I’m a girl who likes taking pictures of bright colors and flowers. So I was also thinking, the mountains in the background are all clouded over…everything is all brown and dark green. He can’t be serious. Really?

And yet, there is a natural beauty to the environment even given the less than ideal weather that day. The trees do make a nice reflection on the surface of the tarn.

My advice to you — if you sign up for a photography tour, be prepared for all types of weather. Jump at the chance to walk through a bog, stand in the rain and snap photo after photo anyway. It will make for great memories, and you’ll be back behind your desk at work before you know it.

Sabbatical Dreams

I’m ready to go and see new people, places, and things. Drink some wine. Relax. Recharge. Talk with people about what excites them. I’m ready to jump into different cultures. Experience the unknown. To see what there is to see and report back.

I’ve been saving for this trip for seven years. It’s my sabbatical dream trip. I have 8 weeks off plus 1 week of vacation for 9 weeks time away from work.

I’ve wanted to go to Australia and New Zealand for awhile, but I reserved them for this trip so I had more time to explore. And then a little bit more dreaming happened, and I tacked on some island hopping in French Polynesia–Papeete, Mo’orea, and Bora Bora–to the end of the trip.

On the way home I’ll stop in Kauai for a few days to break up the long flight home. Then I’m back in Phoenix with a little time to relax at home and prepare to re-enter work life again.