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Archive for January, 2010

The Sunset.

That word alone makes us smile. We are warmed by a memory; we recall a time, a place, a moment. Perhaps, it reminds you of the last time you watched the sun dip on holiday, the time you spent it with that someone special or when you completed our quest to witness the ‘green flash.’

The daily descent delights differently, but is universally positive. The sunset remains one of the most celebrated moments of the day.

For me, it surprises, seduces, and slows.

The sunset surprises….it surprises with beauty each and every time. It’s magic. Majestic magenta streaks light the sky, a powerful pinkish hue brightens the clouds, or a golden glaze warms the ocean. All perfect. All beautiful. Always a surprise.

The sunset seduces…..It seduces each of us with the transformation of day to night. The raw romance allows us the ability to inch closer to someone sitting next to us or to step closer to greater universal understanding. We become captivated; we become seduced.

The sunset slows…..it slows down time and more noticeably slows down us. It allows us to pause, to take a deep breath, and to let go of our false sense of control. We disconnect from today’s fast paced world and hold on to a new measurement of time. A tad slower.

(pause)

As someone who seeks sunset moments, and someone with a collection of photos I decided to post a photograph on Sundays to my blog. So welcome to Sunset Sunday.

But we all hold our memories. In addition to sharing my moments, I want to encourage you to share yours. Post your picture on twitter with the #SunsetSunday in your message. Or if you want contact me with your top photographs and perhaps I’ll post your photograph on my blog. Just include the location and time. I look forward to learning about your treasured sunset moments.

And to start, I’ll leave you with one of my favorites. Just fresh from a surf session and enjoying the local Singha beer, I watched this masterful moment on the sands of Kata Beach, Phuket, Thailand in June of 2006.

Kata Beach, Thailand June 2006

Stay adventurous,
Craig

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Click. I hung up the phone with Delta. Thirty-five thousand sky miles all earned as a management consultant exchanged for a round trip ticket to San Jose, Costa Rica. This time – no assignment. My travel was personal and with purpose.

typical view of the coast...

Turning back no longer existed as an option. The travel sabbatical I talked about for years was set in motion. All I needed to do now – tell my boss, girl friend, friends, and family.  Easy. Yes, all simple after I told myself.

At the time, autumn 2004, the idea was not new. When people asked me what I wanted to do with my life? I told them, “Travel.” Even my laptop login password always referenced my next adventure.  And a full year off, well I dreamed of the trip for years.

I dreamed of touching the soil and sand of new countries and continents, dreamed of surfing distant oceans, and dreamed of all the new colorful cultures I was set to explore on the road.  I dreamed. But then just over five years ago, that dream became reality. A cool November morning with Bush celebrating a second term, I left the country.

For nearly seven weeks I traveled Costa Rica. I learned enough Spanish to secure a position in Mexico City years later; I surfed enough sessions to retire my long board and carve waves on a 6’8’’.  I witnessed lava flow down Mount Arenal, soaked in natural hot springs, zip-lined thru the jungle, understood (and enjoyed) eco-tourism, paddled a kayak to a remote waterfall, took on class 5 river rapids and toasted my Imperial (local beer) to amazing sunsets. I truly began to understand the ‘pura vida!’ mantra. Yes sir, I lived.

Costa Rica catapulted me into an extended sabbatical that covered three continents, fifteen countries and nearly a year of my life. Plus, I recently learned I am not alone with that origin. Nomadic Matt started his life changing journey with a trip to the same Central American country.  And when I read he started a contest to give away a trip to Costa Rica I thought; enter.

the sands of Manuel Antonio...

the sands of Manuel Antonio...

So why return to Costa Rica?

Did you just read how Costa Rica kicked off one of the best years of my life? Did you take note of the potential adventures that await a return visit? Don’t you think I’d want to return? Answer: Yes

Ok, why else?

I recently discovered Gap Adventures. Yes, we share ‘adventure’ in our brand, but as I learn more about the company’s mission, tours, and its employees (New York Office), I’d welcome the opportunity to travel with them.  And if you win, your tour is through Gap Adventures.

Any other reason?

Yes, many. But perhaps most importantly – I’d like to spread the word.  Many people, including many of my readers desire change in their life. And for those that seek adventure, this is a great contest to enter and a great country to visit. A trip such as this might just push you forward to making bigger changes in your life. It did for me and apparently it did for Matt too. Buen Suerte. (That’s good luck in Spanish – you’ll learn)

Stay Advenutrous,

Craig

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Today, I’d like to toast to the year that was and the year that will be. Please join me for a sip of that bubbly.

...a toast to the new life.

Last Year

One year ago this very day, (Jan 5th) my freelance writing career took center stage.  No more moonlighting. I wish I could tell you it happened solely by choice, or that I was completely ready, prepared or that I properly planned, but I cannot. In fact, sometimes we need to be pushed.

My troubled consulting firm downsized its ‘Wall Street’ consultants and after ten years of service (minus my yearlong travel sabbatical) I was let go.  Released.

It became time to write a new chapter in my life and take on a new role. No more corporate chains or corporate comfort. Opportunity knocked. It became the time to fully realize my dream –  travel writing.

And I did. The last year I traveled, wrote and focused on expanding my network. In the end I met loads of amazing fellow travelers and bloggers, I published stories from my travels in the US, Mexico, South America and Asia and in all created a new me. A better me; the real me.

Here is a small sample of some of those stories:

Mazatlan, Mexico

Los Angeles, CA

Bogota, Colombia

Cancun, Mexico

Hocking Hills, OH

New York, NY

Bali, Indonesia

The new year.

Now that I tasted this once thought to be forbidden fruit, I must continue forward. Mystic teaching reminds us that once you reach enlightenment you can’t go back and in fact you feel a need to take action.  I am not sure I reached any such nirvana, but I am passionate about my new career and ready to take more action in my second year fulltime. And with my anniversary so close to the new year it seemed appropriate to make my travel writing goals along my New Year resolutions.

So I expressed much delight when Briefcase to Backpack asked me to post my travel resolutions along with fellow travel bloggers. As a fellow “career breaker” (I took off nearly a year in 2004-05 to travel) it seemed a perfect place.

My goals remain posted on briefcase to backpack with other travelers and summarized below.

  • Start my new personal travel blog (done) and website titled  – stayadventurous
  • Continue to freelance write for travel related blogs
  • Travel to 1 new continent; 2 new countries; and at least 1 new US state
  • Get published in print for a major travel magazine (before they all disappear)
  • Publish a novel I write or ghost write
  • Expand my photography portfolio and publish a photo for $ (not just credit)
  • Secure other revenue sources related to travel such as: assisting Indie travel magazines, overseas freelance consulting projects, or even some tour guide – teaching travel related work.
  • And of course…Encourage others to ’stay adventurous’ in mind, body and spirit. To inspire them to take and make adventure in their life

Tonight I toast and taste the cava; tomorrow I start year two. Travel. Writing. And Adventure all await.

Stay Adventurous,

Craig

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