Time Wonderfully Spent | Texas Glamour-Boudoir-Wedding-Photo

October 21, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

  The past five weeks have been many things. Filled with excitement, adventure, grandeur, emotion, learning, and even a little fatigue.  Ok...at times, a lot of fatigue but also completely wonderful!  Life is worth living fully and this past month has been very full.  

  September started off with a flight to England to catch the Crown Princess bound for Norway.  We returned home 12 days later, allowing me time to instruct a NAUI Rescue diver course before repacking and making another transatlantic flight to Germany four days later.  

  For thirteen days I returned to many of my beloved locations in Bavaria, Austria and along the Rhine River in Germany.  I also ventured into the incredibly beautiful Tyrollean Dolomites of Italy which are truly a gem of unique beauty.  Never having seen them in person, I have longed for a chance ever since

  Sadly even though I lived in the Bavarian town of Bad Toelz for 6 years, I only drove past the vistas of the Dolomites, always unseen from the Autostrada, while heading to the favorite cities of Italy and Sicily.   

  When I was a newer member of "Group" (Special Forces Group) in the mid eighties, I was introduced to the concept of how travel will "make you a better American" by the Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in Cairo. My five months there gave me my first extended mission out of country and the chance to see, learn and grow in so many ways.  Upon my return the growth and learning continued and I began to understand what the LTC shared with me.  

  Travel to be a better person, a better (fill in your nationality). If you do so with an open mind and heart, you will never see your world the same again, and you will feel more alive then you could have imagined.   

Austin PhotographerSan Antonio Photographer.  

  The secret...no the absolute key to seeing what wonders you have in your world is to venture out of it, and into someone else's.  At this point you have likely made the jump to the conclusion that what I'm about to say is, "to appreciate what cool, wonderful, and unique aspects exist at home and how much we have".  No way!  That is exactly what most of us do so easily.  I feel that this can lead to and support the ugly (fill in your nationality) that can be seen in too many people traveling abroad.

  Fight against it with all you have.  Instead, travel with an open heart and mind but with selfish intent.  Because if you choose to do so, you will receive more enlightenment than you may have ever imagined.  I have long understood the meaning of how travel has made me a better American.  I have confirmed countless times over what I like and love about my country.  That which I deeply or only somewhat miss while traveling abroad.  Most importantly I have on countless occasions, seen, experienced, lived, enjoyed and loved what we do not have in America.  The marvels of the vistas, smells, tastes, textures, color of light, feeling of the air, architecture, fashion, life-styles, attitudes of the locals to list only some.

  I have fallen in love with something in each country I have ventured to, in most cases many things.  When one opens up to see that which they don't have at home, and can appreciate or even love what can be found in another person's country, then we are enriched by the beauty of the world.  We have at that point the chance to grow and change how we live our short time on earth.  Because once we find something so special in another land that moves us so deeply, we can never again feel the comfort of believing that we need not venture beyond our neighborhood.        

  It can be a bittersweet feeling indeed if the means or opportunity to travel were never again available.  One could easily feel as if they have lost something and are now missing an important aspect to their life.  When in fact they have actually added something incredibly important to it.  

  A disturbing clarity may even be felt by the traveler.  The realization that if I can feel this enriched by something I experienced when traveling abroad, what else am I missing out on?   What else have I not yet discovered?  How much more might I be able to find that is extraordinary and moving, in the world and in myself? 

  At some point it can be possible to feel a melancholy, like that of a lost love, when we think of what it was like to feel so differently and be so deeply affected be our travels which are in now just in our past.  Eventually, however, it is possible to reach a point of acceptance and enlightenment when we can value what we have experienced and add it into our treasure chest of memories.

  If nothing else be a collector of memories.  Create as many different kinds as possible.  Value every one of them for they are what we have made of our life.

   When your time on earth is at its end, spare yourself any thoughts of..."could have, should have".  Know that you lived fully, and loved completely.    


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