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Sometimes you have a moment. A connection not easily described by logic or reason. You really just feel alive, in tune with everything. One. Whole.

I tend to find these majestic moments watching the sunset. In those moments, I take the time to appreciate the day.  I listen.

But such moments occur to all of us at different times. Mostly, I find, at times when we pause. When we take a needed breathe and appreciate our surroundings.

One such moment happened as I watched the fall foliage in northeastern Pennsylvania. On a walk to the lake I planned to take in the view, but received much more.

The view of the Beaver Lake

As I approached the dock, I started to notice a silence. The day changed. Snow flurries began to fall. The cool moisture in the air almost warmed the scene.

snow flurries began to fall....

I decided to continue to the edge of the dock where I eventually would sit on the bench. I sat in complete bliss. The pureness of the day, the snow, the scene overtook me. An hour passed.

the bench

Then, I left. I returned reenergized with a deeper sense of meaning. Priorities shifted. A new day began. A better day.

stay adventurous, Craig

This post is part of a three-part series on fall colors that will include Vermont, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Hope you enjoyed it, now go and enjoy the changing leaves.

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Ok, this January I posted some lofty goals for the year and my career as a travel writer / travel blogger. I wanted to check in at the half-way point, but I am three months late. So, now with the year more than three-quarters complete, I decided finally review my goals. Here goes:

  • Start my new personal travel blog and website titled  – stayadventurous

The blog (this blog) has grown bigger than I imagined and with more posts than I envisioned.

From my recent 20 day Mexico tribute to the weekly Sunset Sunday. I am glad to see it grow each week and I appreciate the readership.

And as for the website. It’s still a 2010 goal. Stay tuned.

  • Continue to freelance write for travel related blogs

I wrote guess posts on other travel blogs titled Experiencing the World CupTravel to Puerto Escondido and I continue to write for Cheapflights.com with a focus South of Border. I just published Destination Spotlight on Playa Del Carmen and also remain  contributor to Suite 101. So I am on target here.

  • Travel to 1 new continent; 2 new countries; and at least 1 new US state

New continent. Yes. Africa.

Actually I dedicated the entire month of August to stories about Africa. All Africa – All August. I traveled through five countries on the journey; South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, and Namibia.

Surprisingly, I did not hit a new state, well not yet. I am still on 41. But overall, this goal was to travel to new places. I did accomplish that including new places in States I already visited in America’s Southeast.

  • Get published in print for a major travel magazine (before they all disappear)

Not  yet. I need to pitch smarter and continue to build my credentials. I know I am ready, I just need to make them know the same. And I inched closer with being published in print a few times.

You can read one story thru a link on my blog: The Shanghai Surprise.

  • Publish a novel I write or ghost write

I realize I don’t have complete control as a ghost writer to ensure the work is published. I helped a few writers this year, but if I want to be part of a published novel project, I may need to stick to a novel I write. So, that might be a 2011 goal or maybe even 2012.

  • Expand my photography portfolio and publish a photo for $ (not just credit)

I expanded my photography portfolio. I upgraded my equipment and deepened my study for the fine art. Plus, I take many more pictures. I believe all those actions helped improve my skills  and confidence.

But even with some of photos classified as award-winning (such as: The Man from Malpica) I am still looking for more than photo credit. The (photo) payday is still in the future. I sense the near future.

 

i am becoming addicted to taking waterfall photos...

 

  • 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.

This didn’t become as large of piece of the pie as I expected, but it’s growing. And the pie now includes work in Social Media along with improvement consulting strategy work. After a slow start, it’s gaining much (needed) momentum.

  • And of course…Encourage others to ’stay adventurous’ in mind, body and spirit. To inspire them to take and make adventure in their life

Yes. I believe I have continued to encourage. I receive emails, comments on my stories, or even tweets to that effect on @stayadvenutrous. And, I just received further confirmation.

I keep a post card collection and a traveling friend sent a post card. Her sign off says it all… stay adventurous. Yes, it’s working.

So let me know how you are doing on your New Year’s goals? Do you even remember them? Either way, I hope after you read this, you take a chance to refocus on what is important as we all head ‘down the stretch’ of 2010.

Stay adventurous, Craig

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As fall descends on the northeast in the states, I find myself dreaming of the beaches of the Riviera Maya. Below is a photo I snapped when touring the luxury property Rosewood at Mayakoba. An amazing place and amazing views.

Jump in. Enjoy.

 

bliss on the Riviera Maya

 

Stay luxurious, Craig

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Last year I traveled to Bogotá, Colombia. A short trip. I only spent four nights in the city. Yet in four nights I learned so much about the place and its people.

looking sideways from behind the church

I learned of its beauty. I learned of its nightlife. I learned I needed to return to the city and to the country.

One day on discovery,  I decided to take the teleferico (cable car) up to the top of Monserrate. I wanted to take in the view.  To stand above it all and look down. Wow.

The adventure belongs on the “must-do” list for city and as a “must-do” for those who enjoy vast views.  And yes, the views will certainly impress.

the view on top...

All the views. From either enjoying what was built on the top of the mountain or looking down on Bogotá, on top of Monserrate it is all about the view. The “buen vista.”

the view of the city below...

stay adventurous, Craig

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The view from the hotel suite where I spent many of my nights when I called Mexico City home faced the “Paseo de la Reforma,” the main artery of the city.  And although the traffic caused headaches and at time heartaches to the me along with the other 20+ million that call DF home, in the center of the street stood an angel.

the angel of independence....

The Angel of Independence. A statue rising to the sky representing the independence of nation. Mexico. So on today (not “Cinco de Mayo“), the first day after the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s independence – I decided to share that view. Enjoy.

Stay adventurous, Craig

Day 13 of 20 day Mexico Bicentennial Tribute.

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On a special “MexMonday,” (it’s Mexico bicentennial celebration week) I wanted to post a photo special to me. Not solely because of the substance, but because it enabled me to meet a great community of people who promote Mexico. People I now call my friends.

a man takes a moment outside Malpica bakery

On an excursion to visit some of the charming pueblos with in a short distance of Mazatlan, the tour stopped in Malpica. With a population of less than 1,000 and basically untouched by time, the town houses a seemingly simple bakery. In a small oven, some of the finest pastries in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico are created.  And we arrived for a taste. Breakfast. And Delicious.

Outside, in between bites, I snapped this image. A memory, a moment. A man and his best friend.

Shortly afterwards, I submitted the picture for the weekly MexMonday photo contest. (~Oct ’09-Feb ’10). This photo, along with a few others I submitted over time claimed honors – It won. It’s award winning.

So, this monday I take off my sombrero (my hat) off the creator of the weekly MexMonday, my friend Stephanie, and everyone else who promotes Mexico on Mondays. I love the photos, stories, and specials.  A Feliz (Happy) MexMonday mis amigos.

stay adventurous, Craig

Day 9 of 20 day Mexico Bicentennial Tribute

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A visit to Cape Town or South Africa that matter is not complete without a trip to the country’s wineries. On the Blue Train you pass straight through the heart of the countryside dedicated to producing some of the best wines I ever tasted. But you need to get up close and visit the towns. You need to walk the quaint streets, take in the incredible views, enjoy the delicious foods, and of course taste the wine.

And although I spent most of my time touring, Stellenbosh visiting Mooiplaas and Amani. (article coming). I also enjoyed the views and from Dieu Donne Vineyards (translates – a gift from God) in Franschhoek. And the tasting with this view was just that. A gift.

the views from Dieu Donne were truly God's Gift...

Not to mention, I was also very fond the peace and quiet I found spending 5 RND to visit the Huguenots memorial in town. Sometimes it is important to get away from the herd and just reflect.

peace and quiet at the memorial....

stay adventurous, Craig

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