2015 is over and 2016 is here, the year of the Monkey..Oooo oooo ahhh ahhh!
I hope it was an alright year for everyone, with learning and growth I hope..
I’ve posted highlights of 2011,12,13 & 14 on this blog before..So here are a few for 15! I’ll start from the beginning of the year and work my way to the end….
Ecstatic Dance at Kalani in Hawaii Over on the East side of the Big Island in Hawaii is a retreat center called Kalani. It is a special place that has existed there for 30 years and provides a communal sanctuary full of spirit. Each Sunday is Ecstatic dance, and here in this particular community it really was a special experience because it was here that the idea of Ecstatic Dance began. I recommend everyone to go to an Ecstatic dance in your local area, or create one if your area does not have one! It’s super liberating and sometimes we just need to let it out in dance, with no one judging how we move.
Experiencing Sydney, Austalia
This year marked my first time to the land down under and I spent about 3 months in Sydney, Australia.
Sydney has a high standard of life, with superb coffee, bakeries, and an ample choice of restaurants to choose from. I lived in the district of Potts Point, right across from the offices of George Miller, the creator of Mad Max.
While there, I got to preview the Mad Max vehicles before the film was released internationally. They were quite the setup and was fun to see. I had actually never watched any of the Mad Max films before, and a local theatre was playing the old ones, so I did the trilogy marathon before seeing Fury Road. Good film and good fun.
Really enjoyed the sourdough bread and sailboats of Sydney as well. And made some friends too, but I also was happy to part after 3 months… Need a little more ‘flavor’ in cities for long term living..I think I will check out Melbourne and Byron Bay next.
Taking a trip to Joshua Tree and Camping under the stars
A full moon, a secret location between massive boulders, and one of your best friends to share a memorable summer night camping. It was enlightening and fun and I recommend everyone to do a little summer camping trip over there at the national park.
Anyone can ‘wilderness camp’ if you are at least one mile from the road. So go on google maps, check out where there may be a good place and blaze your own trail. But remember, bring enough water :)
That Thing In The Desert 2015 “Carnival of Mirrors”
If you have been reading my personal blog for some years, you know I go to “that thing in the desert” and it makes this list every year.
Again, it was a wonderful year and this year especially was nice for two reasons:
One, I gifted a ticket to one of my best friends who I had been trying to convince to come for many years. He finally did and we were able to connect and make some wonderful memories out there. This year, we hope to make more.
Two, I got to participate and gift my energy to the CouchBurners Camp, which is the couchsurfing camp. I love couchsurfing as many know, and together we had a stellar crew where lots of fun was had. So many good friendships forged out there. Sending love to anyone reading this who was part of that experience this past summer :*
(Jaybol and I making coffee for those looking for a hot cup)
(Art crew for Compound (i) this year, I took a break from the team, but she shined lovely as always this year!)
Quality Time with a Good ‘Homie’ known as BENNY D
You know, sometimes you need some good time with a friend, and it was due for my good friend Ben Davis and I.
Some believe in universal connections and for some reason, this guy and I always seem to run into each other around the planet. I’m talking like, on the same flight from Beijing to Tokyo, highway driving, large gatherings type of connections.
And a couple years ago, we traveled together for 2 months. No conflicts at all, in fact, I’ve never got in an argument ever with this dude. And that’s saying something when you travel and live with someone for a bit. Benny and I hung out for a couple weeks at his place and we caught up after not hanging for 2 years. Good times. Go see your good friends and connect with them if they can. Then when you are 70 or 80, you can laugh about the memories you shared when you were in your younger years .
My led South East Asia Trip (Thailand, Bali, Cambodia)
Over the years, I have prepared and led trips for non-profit organizations, and I decided it may be time to go into business myself with all the travel mojo I have accumulated over the years.
Thus, a trip was prepared for South East Asia, and it was a blast. I took a group of friends to Thailand, Cambodia and Bali, and we experienced everything from Palaces, Angkor Wat, villages, fire dances, rice fields, temples, and a variety of cuisines. All in all, it was a successful trip and I look forward to doing another one later in 2016.
My first Indian Wedding in Pune
My friend Priyank was getting married and he invited me. Of course I had to come!
Even though I had been to India multiple times, and spent almost a year there, I had not participated in a proper Indian wedding. Let me tell you, everyone should experience at least one in your life!
Lots of eating, lots of dancing, and lots of love. I had a wonderful time there and congratulations again to Priyank and Prapti.
As a traveler, eventually you always hear about Goa, about it being the end of the famous ‘Hippie trail’ from the 60’s/70’s and the evolution of it’s nostalgia and magic.
But in recent years, you hear it’s been overrun by Russians and it’s played out.
So, I never really pursued it as a destination to go to, yet, since I was attending Priyank’s wedding 12 hours away by bus, it seemed like a good idea to go and check it out. AND, I had a partner in crime to join me in this adventure, a fellow traveler, couchsurfer and sailor known as Miss Cristina Limon!
And I have to say…I was surprised on how much I enjoyed being there.
Yes, there were a lot of Russians, and yes, it was a little played out commercially like many of the best places are unfortunately these years.
But in the midst of the saturation, there still remains a spirit and culture to the area. There are still many old timers who came decades ago and still come back. Honestly, I don’t run across too many places like that.
And there were open mic nights, and drum circles, bonfires, and endless meals with fellow travelers there on the beach.
I had a wonderful place on a hilltop close to an early place where travelers congregated to in the 70’s and the place still retained a sanctuary feel as I looked out watching dolphins jump in the distant ocean as the sun set vibrantly. Absolutely magical.
So, if you get to India, and you happen to be there from November to April, check out the northern beaches of Goa and you may just find yourself there for a while. You may find other special things too.
Kona Town for the Holidays
It’s the 3rd year in a row I am in Hawaii for new years. It’s always nice to be with family at this time and to reflect on the year past.
Now onto 2016! Hope everyone has a wonderful year ahead and make the most of life!
and Mahalo for Reading!