Thursday, December 19, 2013

Beyond Words


Believe it or not I have been at a loss for words ever since my return from Australia...(my husband Gene can't believe it.) This unusual phenomenon was created by two interconnecting events: the response from all of you for A World Wide Walk on November 1st and my personal adventure in Tasmania celebrating my four years of walking.        

I was off the grid for 6 days as I hiked the Overland Track with Cradle Mountain Huts Walk (more on that in a future blog) so I had no idea what was going on in the rest of the world. My focus was zeroed in on putting one foot in front of the other. I kept reminding myself to be present in MY moment. I was purposeful in appreciating where I was and making sure that I took the time to stop, look, listen.and sometimes rest...
 
 
The first night I got back to "civilization" I refused to turn on any kind of computerized device. I wanted to hold on to my experience, relive it over and over and relish in my accomplishment back on the track.
 
Finally I plugged in. 
 
And there it was comment after comment, post after post, photo after photo (click here)...I started reading out loud to Gene. Suddenly I stopped. Gene concerned asked, "What's wrong?" I could hardly speak and choked out, "Im so happy...THEY WALKED!!!"           
 
Now more than ever I am both inspired and determined that next year will be even BIGGER and BETTER. I hope you will join in...

 
Come Walk With Me!         
 
and all of YOU for making this a reality
 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Walkin' In A Dream


I love being outdoors, but I don't think of myself as "outdoorsy". I am NOT a backpacker and I do NOT camp. Gene and I tried camping once in rainy upstate NY. We packed up our stuff in the middle of the night and found a dry motel.  

I have been very spoiled over my years of planning trips for the Walking Connection. The closest I get to roughing it is a luxury permanent tented camp in Africa. My experience with long multi day hikes has been where a helicopter picks you up when you get tired and brings you back to the lodge where there is a hot tub with a spectacular view! (aka: Heli-hike) 

When I first heard about hiking the 6 day iconic Overland Track in Tasmania, Australia with Cradle Mountain Huts and saw that I could hike all day, finish with a hot shower, eat a gourmet meal maybe even with a glass of fine Tasmanian wine and sleep in a comfy hut with heat, I thought "I would like to do that!" 

My other wish was that I wanted to do it for me. Not have to keep up with anyone or be assigned to bring up the rear (unless it was my own). Not take care of anyone else, only worry about whether I could make it...So I threw that dream out into the universe...

 
 
...Now here I am packing my gear wondering how I can possibly survive bringing everything I will need for 6 days in a 20 lb.backpack that I will have to carry.  Am I excited? Yes. Nervous? Yes. Do I feel totally ready? Uh...no. Am I going to do it anyway? YES...And love every minute of it!
 
So in a few days I will be making my way down under to Tasmania. Flying a zillion miles to celebrate my walking every day in a row for four years. The exciting news is that this World Wide Walk on Nov. 1st is the kick off to a year long promotion where you could win a trip for two walking with me in Tasmania next year.  WHOO HOO!  
 
I hope you will all join me this year on Nov. 1st by walking anywhere, any place YOU are. It doesn't have to be far or fast, just a walk with purpose Just A Walk For YOU! 
Tourism Tasmania, Qantas Airlines and to all of YOU for keeping me inspired

Friday, October 18, 2013

It All Started With Just One Step...


On November 1st I will celebrate having walked
every day in a row for 4 years!
Whoo Hoo!
 
It started out as a 30-day goal just to get myself back on track! Well it turns out that one day leads to another and another....More than a few times along the way I told Gene (my husband and co-founder of the Walking Connection) that I didn't feel like walking anymore. He would just respond by saying, "So tomorrow morning you are going to say Day 1, Whoo Hoo!?" Yep he always knows how to get me going, in a good way of course :)



So here I am with almost four full years of days - of walks - of hikes - of miles, sometimes only ten minutes, but an accomplishment none-the-less. WOW!  I really did this and now I want to share this milestone with everyone!  To celebrate I am inviting all of my friends from around the world to go for at least a 10-minute walk (run, bike, swim - just be active) on November 1. It can be anywhere, any place YOU are. It doesn't have to be far or fast, just walk with a purpose. Just Walk for YOU!
 
So far, friends that are joining this 10 minute World Wide Walk are located in all 50 U.S.states: AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS. KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WV, WY and WI. 
 
This will be the start of Haley's walk in Santa Cruz, California!
 
They'll be joined by my international friends in the Canadian provinces and territories of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewen, Yukon, Prince Edward Island and Northwest Territories. 


Leah will be walking (and flipping) in the Northwest Territories!
 
Thirty eight countries and counting: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Libya, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, Phillipines, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, Swden, Thailand, USA and Uruguay...

Charity will be walking in Botswana!
 
Our four legged friends count too: Bella, Dexter, Louie, Clarise, Koume, Sanko, Gracie Rose, Abby Rose, Zoro, Pantufla Rosie, Juliette, Charquitos, Midnight, Charlie, Bosco, Jasper, Tucker, Gracie and Sam will be walking!
 
Charlie & Karen will be walking in Illinois!
If you are "IN" let me know where you are walking:
Send an e-mail or click on the Facebook event page 
Share a piece of your world - post a picture or video of your walk!
Invite your friends to come walk with YOU. We are going to make this
A World Wide Walk and who knows, maybe it will be your "Day 1 - Whoo Hoo!" 
 
ARE YOU IN?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Rock On!

Someone once told Gene and I that one day when we are old and grey and sitting in our rockers, we would at least have so many wonderful memories to share...

  Africa safari (Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana)

 

Float down the Amazon River - Sail the Greek Islands
Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

 

Complete a half marathon - RaceWALK a 5k in under 9 minutes/mile 
Complete a marathon



Hike on a glacier (Canada, Iceland, New Zealand) -  Heli-hike (about 25 times!)
Climb the red sand dunes of Namibia
 
 

Polar Bear viewing in Churchill - Explore Alaska
 Walk among the wildlife of the Galapagos Islands



 
Write a book (Come Walk With Me)
Produce a video (Getting the Most from your Walk)
Hike around the Matterhorn in Switzerland. 

 

Kayak (Alaska, Galapagos, Cook Islands, Thailand) - Go to Tasmania
Hike on the Great Wall of China

 

 Whale Watch (Namibia, Alaska, Sea of Cortez, Hawaii, California) 
Visit the Arctic Circle (Grimsey Island) -  Pet whales (Magdalena Bay, MX)


 
Walk to the 5 villages of Cinque Terre, Italy
 View the Northern Lights (Canada & Iceland)
Stand on the Equator (Kenya & Ecuador)

 

Tiger Safari by Elephant (Didn't see a tiger, so I have to go back to India)
Hot air balloon ride (Kenya & Arizona)
Snorkel (Cook Islands, Galapagos, Thailand)
 
 
 
Stand on a reed island in Lake Titicaca - Walk Stonehenge
Canoe the Okavango Delta, Botswana

 

 Travel in luxury on an Orient Express Train (Puno to Cusco, Peru) 
Whitewater raft (Peru & Canada)



Sit on a yak (Shangri La, China)
 
 

Sky dive (albeit indoors, but someone in my life is STRONGLY opposed to me jumping out of an airplane and therefore I have no proof other than my eye witnesses Ena Nielsen and Kitty Nielsen - what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!)

Cheers and here's to making more memories... 


Rock On!






 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Motivation vs. Habit

.
When I started my daily consecutive walks (1363 days ago), I was trying to find a way to motivate myself. I had hit a slump, a bump in the road...my lazy side had snuck in. I needed something new not only to get me (re)started but to keep me going as well.
 
I had heard that it takes 30 days to form a habit. So I decided that I would set a goal of walking every day for 30 days even if I could only fit in ten minutes. (Ten Minutes Counts) At 30 days I had to get to 60, then 90 needed to be rounded up to 100. How could I just stop then? So I didn't...
 

 

"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."

Sometimes you need something to push you to get the wheels rolling again. Setting a goal can be very motivating. I knew that I always felt better physically and mentally when I was active, but I needed a little challenge. I didn't even tell anyone what I was doing for the first few weeks. I had to prove to myself that I was up to the task and could keep the dark side of laziness in check.

My goal of walking every day helped me form a healthy habit. And once something becomes a habit, good or bad, it is hard to break. I can not, NOT walk no matter how creative I have to be to try and fit it in. No longer is there a question of IF, it's only a when and where. But I will leave that for another blog. For now...

HAPPY WALKING!



.
 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Where Have I Been All My Life?

I don't usually count things or keep score, but during a recent interview a reporter had asked me how many countries I had been to. I really had no idea. I travel for a living, it's just what I do. I am not into comparing passports so normally downplay the number of places I have been.

But the question did make me wonder, so I thought I would write them down (before I forget) and keep better track of my travels.

Andorra  Australia  Bali  Botswana  Canada  China  Colombia Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Ecuador
England
Greece
Iceland
India
Ireland
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Kenya
Mexico
Namibia
Netherlands
New Zealand  
Nicaragua  
Peru
Portugal
Puerto Rico  
Scotland  
Singapore  
South Africa Spain Switzerland  Tanzania  Thailand  Turkey  Zanzibar  Zimbabwe

I don't always know where I am going, but at least for now I know where I have been...
Come Walk With Me!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Walking IS The Connection...with guest Gene Taylor

Why Walk? For us the answer is easy. In the places we visit, the people we meet and the serendipitous experiences we enjoy seem to come to us at pedestrian speed. The purpose of our travel is to experience life not as we know it, but to learn, share and connect to it, as it exists, untouched, in a place that is new to us. Walking simply is the best way to do that.


 
Much of western life moves past us through a pane of glass. Cars, buses, trains, planes and more frequently the screen of a cell phone or tablet, and now, "60 inch HD" televisions make up a lot of our day-to-day life experiences. Taking an adventurous walk through a foreign landscape, or along a footpath that has stood for thousands of years, or to walk into a hillside village and meet an ethnic tribe of people who still live their lives as their ancestors did generations before them changes that...Forever  
 
Walking in a new and different land provides unique opportunities, a new perspective and typically, much fonder appreciation of our life at home. For a brief week or so, we can venture outside of our comfort zone. The call of a distant mountain peak, the power of a deep canyon or the solitude of an ancient burial ground stirs a form of motivation to walk a bit farther than we usually do.
 
 
 
Indeed the simple sight of a blind corner just ahead can move us to walk further just to see what is around it. More times than not it is here where the reward of our efforts payoff and it is that precise moment when we learn that the whole world is full of corners that must be explored. You have to connect to whatever is on the other side and walking is "THE" connection.
 
Gene Taylor in a village in South Africa.
 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pack It In

I am packing again. I actually feel a bit rusty since I haven't been anywhere in about 6 months. I have 2 trips coming up almost back to back, Mexico then four days later Bali. People usually think that with as much traveling as I do that it must be a no brainer. I wish it was, but I am a bit more obsessive than that. So as I pull my things together I realize that there are a few things that I would never leave home without...
Walking Shoes
(of course)



Several Scarves and Shawls
(Always have one on the airplane, usually my red wrap from Peru. It doubles as a "blankie.")



One or Two Great Necklaces
(I copied this from Bette Powell who always looks fabulous while traveling with me. Something interesting with a basic black top. BUT I only bring inexpensive pieces, things I won't be distraught about if it gets lost or stolen.)



White T's
(Thin/light weight, long and short sleeve, will layer under just about anything.)
 
Black Yoga Type Pants
(Comfy on airplane. Wear with a nice top and look "dressed" for dinner.
Wear with a T for walking in the morning.)

Fleece Vest
(Did not bring one with me to Mexico last year and I was sorry the whole time.)



Travel Journal
(Don't forget I am working! :) Have to take notes all along the way so I don't forget anything. When I am bored on the plane going I write down everything I packed. Then when I am bored on the plane coming home I go back to the list and make notes of what I used or didn't need.)
 
 
 
Now then, it's time to get back to packin'...
ciao!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Africa Is Addicting

Ask anyone that has been and you will see a smile appear and a certain far away look in their eyes as they remember their special moment in time on safari...Africa is addicting.

Here are a few of the reasons why I am addicted:
  
Dreamy...
(I can't believe I am right here, right now. Is this real?
If this is a dream please don't wake me up!)
 

 
Exciting...
(especially when you come across a hippo while on foot)
 
 
 
 
Colorful...
 
 
 
...yet some times just black and white.
 
 
 
Surprising...
(Leopards can be very hard to spot. This one walked right in front of us.)
 
 
 
Relaxing...
 
 
 
 Adrenaline pumping...
(he walked right up to our open vehicle and rubbed up against the tire. 
Gene had claw marks in his leg, but they were from me holding on!)
 
 
 
Magical...
(seemingly to appear out of nowhere)
 
 
 
And Majestic...
 
 
 
Tranquility...
 
 
 
and don't forget the sundowners with good friends...
 
 
 Cheers!

 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

You Never Know Until You Go...For A Walk!

I LOVE to explore.  Always have...hopefully always will. My explorations aren't just about going to some far off distant land as you might expect.  Sometimes they are right in my own backyard.  Setting out on a walk just to see what I can see is not only fun, but motivating.  I'll walk a little farther, go a little longer or turn one more corner.  Seeing something new that peaks my curiosity always puts a smile on my face.

Look what I found on some of my recent walks!



WALK Day 1181:  This was the second balloon I found a mile out in the desert, after a 24 hour rain storm and in the middle of thorn trees and prickly cactus! Lucky balloons! Lucky me!!!



WALK Day 1159:  Wild Burro tracks in the desert right behind my house, but where are the burros?



WALK Day 1160:  Coyote skull (we think), but still no burros.



WALK Day 1160: Came across a freshly dug hole so I stepped a little closer to check it out. Saw the face and glint in the eyes of a coyote.  I walked away BRISKLY!



WALK Day 1162:  The Burros!


You never know what you will find when you go for a walk.  You just gotta get out there and go!