Shawn’s Top Five Travel destinations (from previous experience)

So I get asked a lot, what was your favorite country? And, the truth is, that is tough to say because each country has its own uniqueness and beauty to it. And each travel experience has its own significance to the traveler at that given time. So, instead of posting favorite countries, I would rather post some places I have visited that have been special experiences for me.

These are places where there isn’t a whole lot of tourism, the culture is great and its a little off the beaten path. Enjoy~

#5. Galway, Ireland

I first went to Galway, Ireland in March of 2003 (Yes, for St. Pattys day) and it was a wonderful little town. The Irish are some of the most genuine fun people you can be friends with on this planet, and many a pint (The Guinness is amazing) was shared with the elderly Irish who spoke words of wisdom and cracked a few jokes in the pub. I had some great conversations, made some friends and enjoyed the spirit. On the Western side of Ireland, you can fly into Shannon Airport, or catch a bus from Dublin.

#4 Siem Reap, Cambodia

So Siem Reap is in Cambodia, and it does get it’s share of tourism due to the majestic Angkor Temples, but it wasn’t so bad in my opinion.

The Angkor Temples are absolutely a must to see in one’s lifetime. See it now before more tourists go to visit. When I visited the Pyramids, the Taj and the Great Wall (the 2nd time), there were all sorts of people trekking around. While it would be nice to see it when no one’s there, you’d probably have to put some “palm oil” in some security guards hands (say $100) to get a personal showing…But the Angkor temples were not that crowded surprisingly and I felt like I was in another world.

Picture massive stone temples spread across miles with all sorts of jungle and nature intermixed with it. It was stunning.

There are plenty of guesthouses to stay at. If you decide to go because of my account, go talk to Mr. Kunn at Jasmine Lodge, tell him you are friends with me and he’ll hook you up.

#3 Big Sur, California

Okay, so Big Sur is only 2 hours away from where I grew up, but it is one of my favorite places in the world. Why? Because it is absolutely beautiful there!

Picture big trees and high cliffs with awesome Pacific ocean crashing into the shore. A peaceful place to relax, reflect, drink a glass of wine, soak in a hot spring, enjoy some local exploration.

Many a good memory made in Big Sur. You can camp, rent a cabin or a house (Check Airbnb.com) or even stay at a monastery if you are looking for some reflection. Contemplation.com

#2 Dahab, Egypt

Dahab, Egypt. On the Red Sea coast in the Sinai peninsula, it takes about 12-14 hours by bus to get there from Cairo. I had taken a different route (van in the western desert, bus to the coast, Ferry to Sharm Al Sheik and bus to Dahab. šŸ™‚

It is a small divers town, and it is one the best reefs I have been to in my life. I went diving 150 feet deep here and was amazed on how intact the reef really was. Since it lies between two deserts, the reef doesn’t suffer too much damage from storms.

Chill guesthouses to stay at, great seafood and other cuisine as you relax by the water. Read a book, go snorkel, dive during the day. Relax, dance, have a drink at night. Make some friends with the expats that have chosen to live there long term. It’s one of those places you don’t really want to leave. And if you get antsy, then go bus up to Israel only 4 hours away. Or hop a ferry to Saudi Arabia if you feel so bold.

#1 Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

So I was recommended to go to Cesky Krumlov by two of my good traveler friends, and when the opportunity presented itself when I was living in Europe, I took advantage of it. It was a wonderful three days.

Many towns and cities in Europe got destroyed during WWII. But when the Germans came to Cesky Krumlov, the citizens ran to surrender pleading that they wouldn’t bomb the city. And it wasn’t bombed. It still is the same city that has existed for hundreds of years. And it is very very beautiful.

One doesn’t need a car or a bus to get around. You take a three-hour train ride from Prague and here you are in Cesky Krumlov. Cobblestone hilly streets, small shops, good food, great beer (and cheap), secret tea houses, castles, cathedrals and surrounding forest and rivers.

If you go, stay at the Krumlov house. Or if you want some more action, stay at Hostel 99. Good places. Enjoy.

if you find this room, you have found a great secret spot....(hint: Monks)

That’s it folks. There are many places to go and many more places I love, but these stood out for me over the years. Happy Traveling!

What shall we write about today?

Dreams, how about that…..

song for your listening pleasure ~

So,

I had a dream the other night….

It was one I had not had before…but one I welcomed!

I was at the base of a temple. A big stone temple that had levels to it, sort of like a Mayan pyramid of sorts. It was made of grey stone and had plants and greenery on its top surfaces…

sort of like this

Then my arms extended out and I began to float up in front of the temple while I was looking at it. As I was floating up, I kept looking forward because my thoughts told me if I looked down I would go down Instead of up.

Then I landed on a level of the Temple….

And I as I landed there, Ā a three-legged Kitten came jumping down from a higher level and came to me and in a slightly playful and aggressive way clawed my hand with its available arm. The claws stuck in, and as it was in it attempted to eat me sort of. It was hungry and its head was bobbing back and forth though its mouth never touched my hand. I gently tried to shake it off, but didn’t want to hurt it and I desired to feed it something, but I couldn’t communicate that desire to it…

Then I woke up.

.

I have felt like I have been going through a spiritual “awakening” of sorts for the past three months and so I am not totally surprised at this dream, but I do like to consult what dream interpretation says about it. While I don’t hold true everything dream interpretation describes…I find it interesting and I take the perspective into account. Dreams are significant to me and when I have a dream that seems it could not have been created from my own consciousĀ or sub conscious, I usually write them down and think about them. I don’t try to figure them out always. Sometimes right after I ask myself, what was that dream about for me? And I acknowledge my initial response, then I write it down, check dream interpretation and may even consult some psychologist friends of mine. Sometimes meanings of dreams aren’t always to be known right away, but they may reveal their meaning to you at another time. The right time.

So..

Here is the interpretation…

TempleĀ 

To see a temple in your dream represents inspiration, spiritual thinking, meditation and growth. It is also symbolic of your physical body and the attention you give it. Perhaps you need to pamper yourself. Alternatively, the dream suggests that you are looking for a place of refuge and a place to keep things that are dear to you.

FloatingĀ 

To dream that you are floating on air indicates satisfaction, contentment and acceptance of some situation. You are letting go of your problems and rising above obstacles. You are experiencing new-found freedom and gaining a new perspective on things. Nothing seems overwhelming or too difficult to handle. Alternatively, floating in your dream suggests that you are wandering through life aimlessly with no goals. You are just going with the flow.

Kitten

To see a kitten in your dream represents a transitional phase toward independence. Alternatively, the dream symbolizes innocence and purity.

cool. I’ll continue to live life and welcome the growth~

Some inspired thoughts on friendship

Friends.

They’re good to have. Always there, always loving. That’s what a friend should be.

In years past, many friends have been had. many have passed and many are yet to be made.

Just watched the last episodes of Entourage. one of the few tv shows I have watched all the seasons of and attracted to. While it is funny to hear the banter and the impressions of LA Hollywood, from where I spent a few years of my life, I really just enjoy the brotherhood that exists between the 4 guys, Vinnie, Turtle, Johnny and E. Guys that stick to each other through the downs and celebrate and live the up’s. In the last episode, one of the guys is going to become a Father, and for these guys they tell the expecting Mother they are looking forward to seeing “their” baby. All the dudes there for support of the baby and new family member.

Friendship.

Many different types of friendship out there. There are friends who enjoy being in your presence, friends who you only share a few memories with, though they may be significant. Friends who support you in the best way they can, friends who see you grow through the years. Friends who see you fall.

Friends should always be loving. A wise coach once said this about friendship:

“Friendship is a two-way street, go more than halfway.”

Friendship is a two-way street. I try to go more than halfway and take these words to heart. I try to send greetings in any form to my friends. I try to support them how I best know how. If I am invited to one’s wedding, I will be there.

Some friends will fade, some will leave, and some will continue to grow the plant of friendship. One friend is soil, one is water, and together the growth continues.

I love my friends. I am thankful, thankful for all of them. Friends from all walks of life, cultures, ages, genders.

so much to learn, so much to enjoy, so much to laugh, smile and taste.

I am learning. And I look forward to growing in the paths of friendship.

Lord, help me to be a good friend.

Ciao