Tag Archives: Lessons Learned

Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Things

Michael and I love seafood. However, Michael’s palette is a bit more adventurous and sophisticated than mine. I mean, the man has not met any kind of seafood he doesn’t like – squid, octopus, scallops, sushi, etc. You name it, he’s tried it. I, on the other hand, am a cooked fish and shellfish kind-of-girl!

When in Lima, Peru we dined at a highly recommended restaurant. We both ordered fish. Mine, a tender fillet. His, with eyeballs and skeleton still in tact! His reasoning “I’ve always wanted to try it!”


It hit me then that I wanted (needed) to try something new too! Traveling is, after all, about new adventures! I was a bit apprehensive (What if what I ordered was disgusting?), but I did it by placing an order for ceviche – a dish of raw, marinated seafood – as an appetizer. Some describe the seafood as “cooked” due to the change in texture the seafood undergoes while marinating, but they can’t fool me! As I stated above – I don’t do raw fish! But, I gave it a shot. (When in Rome ….) I was pleasantly surprised that despite the different texture, I liked it enough to have a few bites. Stunned by my new-found courage, I was happy I sampled the delicacy!


 Travel Lesson Learned: Try local cuisine, even if it is new to you.

Life Application: Don’t be afraid to try new things!

Even though ceviche is not my all time favorite dish, and I absolutely still want my fish cooked well done, I was proud of myself for trying something new. Is there something in your life you’ve been curious about trying? Maybe it’s not food. Maybe, you’ve been dying to take guitar lessons or learn how to speak a new language. Maybe you want to try to exercise more or complain less. Walt Disney once said “We keep moving forward, opening doors and doing new things because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

It is scary to try anything new, but learning you love something is so much better than fearing the unknown.

P.S. Michael LOVED his entrée choice and has ordered many more similar dishes like this since! 🙂


Pack Lightly and Live Modestly

I like to feel prepared when we travel. Try as I might, packing lightly is a tough thing to do! I do not go too overboard (at least that is what I tell myself), I just always seem to bring one or two extra shirts, pants, etc. too many. In reality, packing too much becomes burdensome because it literally weighs me down. Mike even has to carry my backpack at times (which I feel horrible about). Plus, packing too much can empty your wallet with all of those hefty fees the airlines charge for heavy baggage.

For one of our trips I tried something new. I downsized before we left. My process was simple. I packed everything I thought I would need and then removed 3 items. At first, I was No matter upset about what I had to leave behind, but that feeling faded when I zipped up the bag and realized it was not heavy. Packing lightly makes travel easier, and less stressful and even less expensive.

How to Pack Lightly for a Trip

Travel Lesson Learned: Pack Lightly

Real Life Application: Don’t let your possessions weigh you down; Live modestly.

Traveling lightly through life can also make your everyday easier, less stressful and certainly less expensive. Author Josh Becker puts it like this “Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.” What do you value? Are your possessions getting in the way of those people or activities? If so, downsize.

I cannot deny that new stuff doesn’t bring me satisfaction. But, the feeling is fleeting and pails in comparison to the memory of laying on the beach in Thailand or hiking to remote waterfalls in Costa Rica.

Costa Rican Waterfalls

Figure out what you value and then get rid of everything else. Do not let your possessions weigh you down and cost you extra money. I’ll never forget a man from church telling me this truth. “We buy a house and fill it up with stuff. Then, we buy a bigger house to accommodate all of our stuff, just to fill that bigger house with more stuff.” I was 14 when he told me that. I understand it now. It is so easy to accumulate junk and random possessions. Fight the urge!

Recharge your camera battery – and yourself!

My better half surprised me with a weekend in Islamorada, Florida last winter. He gave me less than 48 hours notice to organize my absence at work, cancel dinner plans with a friend, pack a bag and research things to do, places to eat and sights to see. Does it sound like I am complaining? Hope not because I love good surprises and need no prior notice when it comes to travel. Barring a funeral or wedding, I will drop almost anything to take a trip. I am telling you about the 48 hours notice because in the rush and excitement we (OK, I) forgot to pack the camera’s charger. I bet you already know where this is going…

Yes, the battery of our beautiful Nikon camera – you know the one we bought for travel – died within hours of arriving in Islamorada. Was our weekend ruined? No. Do we still have memories? Yes. Nonetheless, I treasure our travel photos and hated to rely on my 2-year-old cell phone for pictures that weekend. You can see the difference in photo quality in the pictures below.

One of the only shots taken with our camera before the battery died. Casa Morada Pool Area

One of the “great” cell phone shots we captured during our trip.Casa Moradas Kayaks

Travel Lesson Learned: Don’t forget to charge your camera.

Life Application: Don’t forget to re-charge yourself.

I want to have a full battery. I want to produce great works, offer clear answers and give my best to those I love the most. Quite honestly, we are all lousy cell phone cameras at times – fuzzy, out of focus and not our best. Who wants to live like that?

Recharging ones mind, body and soul looks different to everyone. My recharge involves lots of sleep, yoga pants and a good book. Mike, however, is the exact opposite. A long run and dinner out with friends is his way of getting centered and relaxed. Maybe your recharge is a weekend getaway, a massage or long phone conversation with a good friend. Figure out what helps you and then do it. Just like our cameras, Mike and I are better, sharper even, with a full charge.

Just like travel, re-charging takes time. But, also like travel, it is so. worth. it!