The Universe Conspires

The Universe has conspired to lead me in the direction of my heart.  I’ve been juggling travel decisions; hemming and hawing; researching and juggling; trying to figure out one trip over another.  Trying to clarify a vision for my future.  Reading all these positive affirmations for indulging in one’s dreams on Facebook and emails.  (I get personalized letters in my email every week day from The Universe

  • Pretending is the fastest way to believing, Linda, and believing is the
    fastest way to receiving.
  • Whoohoooooo, Linda! Guess what?
    Everything, absolutely everything you’ve ever wanted, now lies within reach!
    Of course… you still have to reach.
  • Thoughts become things… choose the good ones! ®

© ®

You see what I mean.  So I have been bathing myself in messages from The Universe. I have talked about my hopes and dreams with friends and felt that when things were right I would know.  I now know .

At the end of January I entered a Facebook contest promoted by Down Under Answers in conjunction with Tourism Western Australia and Virgin Australia to win a selected bucket list adventure.  I had chosen Swimming With the Whale Sharks  somewhere off Exmouth.  Tuesday I came to work to an email from Down Under Answers ( – I won my bucket list trip.  To say I was stunned and shocked is an understatement.  The trip itself is for two from Los Angeles to Perth via Virgin Australia; airfare to Exmouth; two nights Terrace Hotel Perth; three nights Novotel Ningaloo, Exmouth and three nights aboard Shore Thing, Sail Ningaloo on a Whale Shark Wildlife Discovery Tour.   I have to do this between April 1 and July 31, 2013.    Ask me if I’m excited!

Whale Shark

Whale Shark

I think this is the sign and message I have waited for.  I think it is time to make a drastic change in my life and start my travels with this trip.  I don’t believe I will take that return flight.   I really think this is it.  I have a couple of months to get this organized and then I am just going to leave.  Take a 6 month unpaid leave of absence and see where I get to.

Whoo hoo Universe.  Thanks for the sign.  I finally get it!

Next stop Mazatlan


Deserted Tulum Beach

Deserted Tulum Beach

I love Mexico.

I really, really do. The people are friendly and warm and generous; there is lots of history from ancient Maya ruins through to the incredible Spanish colonial towns; and the beaches are sublime. I have probably spent 65% of my travel dollars in this county.

I love the beaches of Tulum on the Caribbean the best. I once put on a pair of headphones and set off down the beach in the direction of The Sian Ka’an Biosphere and saw less than two dozen people all afternoon. The beach was so deserted I could dance with my sarong in and out of the waves and not feel the least bit self-conscious. And I did. And I wasn’t. And it was divine – Jesse Cook’s world music thrumming in my ears and the beautiful white and blue colours all around me.

Travel Decisions

Escaping from the frustration of flailing through WordPress, I have decided to move forward and worry about looking backward at another time!  I have so many trips I would like to catch up here and I’m torn over how to organize and present them.  In the meantime I have new travel plans looming and decisions to make.

The Giving Lens has some wonderful workshops coming up in 2013 and I am torn between Tanzania and Thailand.  Tanzania entails working with Art in Tanzania and includes time spent with the Masai documenting their elders and photographing a day in the life.  There is also a three and a half day safari.  There are two trips, back to back, to choose from – one in early July and the second one July to August.  I am very tempted by this.  I think the experience would be life altering.  There is the opportunity to learn a great deal about portrait photography from the team leaders which is something I would really like to polish up on.  The Thailand trip is in early November and entails working with an elephant rehabilitation centre and finishes in Chang Mai for the Lantern Festival.  I think the photo ops on this trip are great also.  It would be thrilling to spend time near elephants.  They are fascinating creatures.

Decisions, decisions.  I wasn’t planning on leaving my home in July and August since this is some of the best weather on the Coast.  This line of reasoning leads me to the Thailand trip as November is usually very rainy on the coast.  I could then defer Tanzania to 2014 as I am sure it they will offer it again.  However, since life has no guarantees, who knows if I will be healthy enough to travel to Tanzania a year and a half from now?  Perhaps it’s a case of carpe diem and since this opportunity has presented itself I should just grab it now.

It would be great if I could figure out a way to do both!  Logistically I would want to take the latter Tanzania trip and then just travel around for the three months before Thailand.  Hmmm.  Could I really do this?  I know that I really enjoyed my Jordan trip with The Giving Lens  in November.  It was a great experience travelling with a focus and doubly stimulating – travel and learning.  I also have this dream of travelling the world for a year which I am trying to balance against earning an income.  Decisions, decisions.

What should I choose?

Why now?

You might be wondering why I finally started this blog.  It’s an idea that has been percolating in my brain for quite some time.  I wanted to be able to share my enthusiasm for the places I see and the things I experience with a wider audience.  I wanted to have a spot to post pictures and impressions for my friends, family and anyone else who might be interested.  And as I have a new trip just around the corner, I thought I had better get started.

I am excited to be heading off to Jordan and Turkey in the latter part of November.  I am joining The Giving Lens for a photography workshop in Jordan.  We will be working with The Iraq Al-Amir Women’s Co-operative for a couple of days and travelling to Petra, the Dead Sea and Wadi Rum.  This workshop is led by two professional photographers, Ken Kaminesky and Colby Brown.  I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be a part of this.

We also have a corporate sponsor, the Jordanian Tourism Board, who will be providing all transportation, guides and interpreters.  This is good as the time I’ve been able to devote to learning Arabic is slim – I can say my name and thank someone in a couple of different phrases.  I need to master “May I take your picture?” and be able to understand when they answer yes or no. I will be sticking close to the interpreters.

I will also be sticking close to the photographers.  I hope to learn a great deal from this experience and be able to get much more creative and have more control of my photos.  I think I have a good eye but I’ve been limited with just a point and shoot camera.  At the very least, I will stretch my brain.  Sooo much to absorb!

I plan to update this if I can from Jordan and Istanbul.  I also want to catch up all my recent trips as a resource for anyone interested in my travels and past itineraries.  So here it is.  Post one of many more to come. 🙂