My Top Ten Values For Life – Part One

November 8, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 


Wow! Bootsn’All’s ( Indie Challenge really has me thinking, with it’s daily question sent out through November to independent travelers, worldwide. November 7th’s assignment was a real mouthful:

“Write Your Top Ten Values For Life and For Travel and Create Your Own Manifesto!”

Whoosh! As usual, when hearing a question for the first time, I wonder what in the world my answer will be? Since I’m always thinking about Life and Philosophy, you’d suppose I’d have an immediate answer. But, this took thought! Here are my first five:

  1. Spirituality – Everything about life rests upon one’s spiritual self and its nurture and growth during a life on Earth. I’m speaking about intrinsic soul awareness and wakefulness and nothing about time and money spent in surface effects or behaviors of religiosity. Not words, not forms, but a constant lovingness toward The Creator, which is often quiet, inner, gentle and happy.
  2. Communication With The Upper Realm – Speaking and Listening – Spirituality recognizes the intimate connection with conscious Beings on the Other Side. Many people call this prayer and practice varying forms and personal habits while speaking to God, expressing their love, asking for help and thanking The Creator for their existence and good fortune. All ways are valid and nourishing, though they may differ radically.
  3. Communication With The Upper Realm – Hearing and Answering – Even those who practice #2 “religiously,” rarely practice #3. We are not taught to expect a literal, verbal answer to prayer. Therefore, if something resembling that occurs, we run away and deny it, under the full instruction of formal religions to do so. My own denial lasted fifteen years until The Voice returned and I became convinced of its validity. Now, my two-way conversation can, and does, occur frequently. So, this is a Life Value that I believe the Human Race is being patiently groomed for and, in time, we on Earth will practice an ongoing conversation with God, just as Those in the Upper Spiritual Levels do now.
  4. Love For The Planet And All Of Its Occupants – Once we have established our identity with our Creator, and firmly have our head in the clouds; it’s important to find our center of gravity and identify with our bigger, physical self … the planet we now occupy. Just as we register the ground and its characteristics upon which we walk; so must we work with life as we find it unfolding in our vicinity. We, too, are creative forces! We mustn’t waste our skill and our talents to change things for the better. Love is an active force and the planet is a tangible area which can be a channel for our familiar Upper Forces to more directly impinge upon the Earthly Plane. I make regular, slow, solo trips around the world, serving as a vehicle and vessel for the Higher Realms to directly intervene in planetary affairs. This requires no ritual involvement for me. I can entertain myself in any way that I choose. It’s like being the little tractor tethering a hot air balloon to the ground while it soars far above. I live life as fully as I can.
  5. Appreciating People And Earth’s Creatures – We have so much in common with each other; and a smile and an outgoing nature is a universal, winning plan. People and canines are especially receptive. So, take advantage of your own opportunities to be friendly, especially while you travel. I find myself becoming much more vivacious in the stimulating circumstances of a hostel dining area or even when making friends with locals whom I meet in town, or who staff the shops and restaurants I enjoy. People come and go, throughout a day and a lifetime. We can’t hold onto them – not even our own family members, but we can love the people we share our moments with and enlarge our own reality of family. Each of these five categories is about LOVE; but when it enters the Plane of Tangibility, it becomes a sensory, two-way, give and take, most wonderful experience. When we can create that atmosphere in a material realm, then we can surely continue that magic after death upon our arrival into the Spiritual Realm, of which Earth is but a pale reflection.

My Top Five Travel Trips for New Travelers Before Starting A Trip

November 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

#DoYouIndie   That’s the hashtag for these quiz questions I’m answering for Bootsn’ in their independent traveler challenge. Yes, I Indie!….

…….which I interpret as traveling solo all over the world. We intrepid veterans of the road are being asked a question a day for the month of November in order to pass on our wisdom to the not-yet-initiated. Here are my answers to the November 6th question:

What are your top five travel tips for new travelers before they start a trip?

  1. Be imaginative and don’t follow the crowd! Do you really enjoy trooping behind a tour guide’s little red umbrella? Didn’t think so. You won’t be lonely, even if you travel solo, like I do. So, get familiar with an Atlas and a globe and go for it!

2. and can cover your flights and hostel reservations, even at the last minute. Overland buses and trains are best booked locally as you go.

3.  Initiate your conversations with strangers when on the road! People are friendly and interested in your story, as you will be in theirs. Start talking, often and early. Otherwise, why bother leaving home?

4.  Get comfortable with your budget. If you can live within it in the U.S, and if you can control your ongoing, at-home expenses by renting out your house, for instance; then you can probably live cheaper while you’re out on the world trail and still stay well within your budget. Hotels are expensive and boring. Hostels are four times less, have kitchens and big dining tables that encourage friendships. They also have fine rooms with double beds and ensuite bathrooms; as well as dormitory bunk  rooms with shared bathrooms down the hall. And, contrary to kneejerk conclusions, they’re not noisy or full of juveniles. I know! I stay in hostel dormitories, even the mixed dorm rooms and I sleep like a baby!

5.  Beware of that old wet-blanket Fear!  You can’t afford it and it’s not worth the attention you might give it. Confident, well-prepared travelers deflect danger that might lie in wait for the timid. The difference is the same as that between the Captain of a ship and a steerage passenger. The first has done his homework; the latter doesn’t have a clue about the sea that surrounds him and can’t even enjoy the voyage.

So, there it is! Take charge of your life! Eat alone in restaurants , as I’m doing as I write this. Don’t worry about anything. You really can’t go wrong. You may wind up “Somewhere Else” but it will expand your comfort zone, just like our Ship Captain has learned in a few stormy seas. It’s the journey that counts!

My Answers To The BootsN’All Independent Travel Manifesto

November 5, 2015 by · 4 Comments 

BootsN’All is a wonderful around-the-world backpacking site, which appeals to the younger, more rough travel, crowd. I have used them during some of my previous travels and have now received their challenge to all hardcore adventurers about the way to best solve the common lifestyle questions which this type of travel brings to the fore. They will email a question a day throughout the month of November but I have missed that list and so, have received all questions at once. I’ll keep you up on my attempts to become current. I’m supposed to also post these answers to my Facebook page, which I do have; and to Twitter and Instagram, which I don’t yet have. The hashtag “#DoYouIndie becomes the way that BootsN’All can track the circulation of our answer.



November 1 Question: – #1 -“Why did you first start traveling? #2 – Why did you continue to travel? #3 – Why do you want to travel?

Answer 1. Though I’ve always had an identification with world exploration, I scotched that with a post-university marriage and the birth of two children, early on. However, after my divorce in 1983, I began to organize grassroots group tours to the USSR, upon its opening in 1990. With another woman, we formed a company and recruited Westerners for two-week trips within Russia, Ukraine and Siberia. Together, we planned a great many trips and split the guiding duties. I spent eighteen months, feet-on-the-ground within the Soviet countries, either leading tours or awaiting the arrival of another between groups.

Four years of navigating the USSR, which had no tourist infrastructure, under the guidance of our Ukrainian counterparts, taught me that everything is possible if one approaches it with an open and happy attitude. Nothing is actually dangerous to one who understand the Other’s viewpoint and position. Again and again, I witnessed world peace taking place on a deeply personal level. For U.S. citizens to fall in love with our former “enemies,” their homestay hosts, was the ultimate in travel satisfaction and adventure.

Answer 2  That fulltime joy of professionally planning and leading group trips, orchestrated through our friends on the inside of the Soviet Union, set the bar for me. Another good experience was my working with the Soviet Embassy in Washington to acquire visas for our group members. Each trip of twenty-to-forty travelers extended my boundaries, until 1994, when the Ruble gained in value and we could no longer offer, two-week, airfare included, affordable trips.

Answer 3  Most memorable was watching U.S. citizens fall in love with their Soviet hosts in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev and various cities in Siberia. This magic became the ultimate travel satisfaction and adventure for me. Even though our office closed when the costs rose, I found a way to become a ’round-the-world, solo backpacker when I wasn’t caretaking for my Mother and my son during their final eleven years. Their deaths released me to stay on the move, though some house and petsitting stints have kept me in one place (in Brazil and Cape Town, South Africa, as well as America) while my saved expenses refilled my travel fund . A fairly-large Social Security pension provides an income which, quite naturally, stretches farther when I’m overseas.

NOVEMBER 2 QUESTION:  Reasons for traveling – Experiences vs Possessions

A world traveler must divest! I’m not talking about tour-takers here! These are still “tourists” who an own a vast accumulation of stuff, including animals, and they can walk away for a predictable timeframe without penalty. Around the world as a group? Ships, planes, guides, nice hotels…. all it takes is money, not serious divestment. They can never escape the tourist category until travel becomes their way of life. That’s a serious step which most people simply cannot take; often because of others in their life.

I own nothing but the few possessions in my backpack and one rolling suitcase: clothes in the pack and heavy writing and photography materials in the other…things that I can afford to lose if I must. Detachment! I have no house, no car, no time payments except my ongoing credit card charges,required for this sort of travel, to keep up with. I have let go of the need for any permanent home.  Can you imagine the freedom that comes with this? No possessions are worth the heavy burden that these inflict!

Do “Things” own you? The proof is in the exercise of Letting Go!

I Have, Essentially, Moved To Mexico!

November 3, 2015 by · 2 Comments 

I’ve moved to Mexico! I’m an Expat again. For short or long, I do not know! That would be three months, or six months, as my visa allows….or even forever, if my heart is now any judge. I wonder if all countries on my four-year travel agenda will hit me so favorably as Mexico has?

Luckily, I had already decided before leaving home to travel slooooowly and to visit all of the expat-recommended spots that I could really do justice to, during this late-in-life, check-out of the planetary-turf, trip of mine. Otherwise, there might have been a twinge of guilt when I fell in love with the first city I landed in…..San Miguel de Allende.

Also, I have a new vision for ways to use the internet to share my present life learning curve in my evolution, here at the end of my Eighth Decade. Think about it! I’m in the last two years of my Seventies. When the personal rollover comes and I turn eighty, I will enter my Ninth Decade on Earth but I can’t call myself ninety until I have completed that ten-year span. One of my big themes will be to change the way we all think about old age; and words have a lot to do with  common impressions.

So, let’s call a spade a spade! I’m already old and am dedicated to documenting that from the inside out. I want to take you on this journey to La La Land, where all of us are ultimately heading. But, because I still can, I’m going to take the road less traveled and wander through all the foreign byways that this planet has to offer. Do I speak any other languages? Nope! Nada de nada! Though my Spanglish has a collection of usable vocabulary and lessons are in the offing.

As soon as my new-camera learning curve is enough accomplished to fumble some more photographs onto this blog, it will again become illustrated. That should be soon, because my new $65 Canon camera replacement battery comes this week. Also, my GoPro videos will soon debut on YouTube to round out the single offering now showing there under Linda J. Brown. That introductory one was professionally produced by my dear friends, George Burdeau and Rock Richardson, but I’ll supplement it with my own amateur attempts which will surely also improve with age.

Webcam interviews of myself and as many expats as I can recruit to sit in my grilling chair should also start to pop. All of this, I had intended to master earlier, you understand, but I’ve been distracted by the move itself.

Three whole weeks have melted away in the process of getting out of Dodge and into Mexico.

An all-night flight and then, recovery from jet lag and two plus weeks in my hostel dormitory; plus, a thrilled discovery of this quaint, colonial town, bursting with the very best restaurants in the whole, wide world. You know that takes forever when you are experiencing true Mexican food and not what passes for it in the States! This is not the sort of place that one can dismiss in a hurry. This is an A#1, linger-longer, sort of a city.

I decided to look for an apartment to rent for at least a few months and some hostel mates put me in touch with Sassha Lambert, who was seeking a roommate to share her fancy apartment in the center of San Miquel. She and I have surely known each other in previous lives and we can spend hours talking about each other’s interesting lives. You will meet her and the town and my new digs in the next few blogs and videos.

You will also be treated to deep ruminating and philosophizing about the true and evident joys of growing older, as you follow my own and other expats’ wonderful experiences with these extra decades which we are all indulging in.

Life grows ever more adventurous, if one is truly willing to live it!


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My Last Day In Pisac, Peru
Having Achieved Ecuador….
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There’s Much To Like In Cuenca, Ecuador! I Might Stay Here Longer!
Meeting Some of My Fellow Expats in Cuenca, Ecuador
Excursions And Discoveries Ecuadorian!
Age Schmage…………. Money Schmoney
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New Life, New Friends, New Mexico!
I Drove The Dog And The Dog Won!
Leaving Lovely Santa Fe, N.M. And Heading for Golden, Colorado
Taking A Vacation From My Vacation
This Promises To Be A Very Strange Experiment – A New Trick For An Old Dog
How To Make Yourself At Home Within Ten Minutes Anywhere In The World
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Posthumous Exhibit Of My Son’s (Randy Brown) Art
The Timely Conjunction of “Journey Of Souls” With A New Stage Of My Life
Finding Fabulous Friends In Santa Fe, New Mexico
I Lost My Way In Eldorado…….
Life Is Like A Doggie Bath!
March, 2015 – A Month Of Lost & Found!
I Have Run Six Marathons in Forty-Eight Days
An Explosive Writing Experience!
My Newest Book, “Millennial Springtime: Love In The Vast Lane”
My Mission Statement: “To Write Large Upon The World!” While Traveling Solo
Luxury Home In Santa Fe, N.M. Comes With a Yurt!
This Is A Long, Hard Marathon…. But, I’m Winning!
A Persecution Of Sunshine For A Rabbit Like Me!
Age Schmage…….Money Schmoney! An Excellent Philosophy!
An Introduction Video To My Future Traveling Life: “AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 YEARS!”
An Extreme Example Of Life In A Hostel Dormitory
A Good Description of A New Breed of Senior Travelers – Just Like Me!
My 78th Birthday is Here At Last!!!
Here I Go Again – Around The World For Four Years This Time!
Glorious Colorado In The Fall Brings Out School Field Trips
Patricia, The Greatest Hurricane Show That (N)Ever was! Or, Stalking The Elusive Not-Yeti In Central Mexico!
I Have, Essentially, Moved To Mexico!
My Answers To The BootsN’All Independent Travel Manifesto
My Top Five Travel Trips for New Travelers Before Starting A Trip
My Top Ten Values For Life – Part One
Elder Over-Achievers! My New Heroes!
My Top Ten Values For Life – Part Two
My Dream Journey And Practicing Travel Caution Without Paranoia
Managing Money While I Travel
What Can You NOT Travel Without?
Some Favorite Photos of Me On The Road, Solo, At Age Sixty-Seven
Friends in India & Egypt
What Small Things Do I Enjoy While Traveling?
I’m Organizing The First Chapter of Hearing Voices Network In Mexico
Secrets To My Around-The-World Traveling Life
At Home Or Abroad, Gringos Will Be Gringos
Mexico Will Soon Be In My Rear-View Mirror!
Belize Used To Be Called British Honduras But I Call It Beautiful!
Over And Under The Water In Ambergris Caye, Belize
You’d Better Belize It! Life In The Jungles Of Belize!
MEXICO – My Hostel In Tulum!
Cancun Can’t!
I’m Sleeping in The Queen’s Head While Her Majesty Turns 90!
“Moving Through Life @ Eighty Years Per Hour” or “I Need a Luggage Daddy….er, Caddy!”
I Blew Into The UK On Arctic Blast Winds! And Still, I’ve Traveled North To Edinburgh, Scotland
Lovely, Gracious London At The Best Time of The Year
Memories Of Bygone Days ….. Two Months Ago In Belize!
My Normal Life in London Town These Days
Was I On Another Planet… Or In London, England?
I’m Transitioning To Another Region of Europe – The Baltic States
Lots Of Rainbows Over London Today!
I Love Tallin, Estonia!
Glorious Estonia – Pagan Roots, Soaring Steeples And Soviet Museums!
Happy Hostel Life In Estonia….. And Worldwide!
What Do Dead Dogs & At-Risk Elephants Have To Do With Each Other?
“We’re Not In St. Pete Anymore, Toto!” We’re In Russia!
Traveling Into Russia Is Filled With Happy Discovery!
My Little Sister, Ann, Makes Me Proud For My 79th Birthday!
I Spent My Birthday With The Archangel Michael, Near The White Sea In Russia
A Funny Story About A New Dress Purchased The Night Before My Aeroflot Flight To Moscow….With Its Anti-Theft Device Still Firmly Attached!!!
Moscow & Me! I Like It Just As Well As I Did At Perestroika Time!
So Many New Moscow Friends…… But I Had To Travel On To Riga, Latvia
Where, Oh Where, Is The White Sea? Near The Arctic Circle….In Russia!
I’ve Been in Four Countries….. Five Cities, All In The Past Month!
After Europe, I’m in Israel For A Month
I Have A Big Family, So Our Jerusalem Thanksgiving Dinner Was Spaghetti Casserole Bake
Exploring Antiquity In Jerusalem This December!
My First Impressions Of Old Jerusalem
Make Friends! Not Art!
Leaving A Legacy Of Jitterbug In Tel Aviv, Israel
Back to Europe From The Holy Land. I’ve Landed in Barcelona, Spain!
I Will Be Reddit’s Solo Travel Site’s “Ask Me Anything!” Guest Interviewer On Sunday Afternoon, January 29!
My Exciting New Life In Casablanca, Morocco
No, I Have Not Died And Gone To Heaven! Just Zanzibar!
The Search For Meaning In Life Is Probably The Same All Over The World
Life In And Around Lake Victoria, Africa. I Have Achieved My Destination!
Christmas Day On An Island In Thailand
Bangkok, Here I Come! Money Stuff Notwithstanding!
Beautiful Bangkok Is A Peaceful and Varied Place
I Am Deep In The Lovely Land of Laos In South East Asia While My sweet Granddaughter, Molly, Turns 18!
Total Trust, Safety, And Honesty Is Here In Luang Prabang, Laos, Southeast Asia!
Fellow Americans! I’ve Discovered A Terrible Secret, Out Here On The RTW Trail! Help Me, Please!
How To Get To The Root Of Any Matter? Try Wordsmithing! Try Punning!
Open Letter To My Dearest Friend, Fawn Germer, And All Woman’s Leadership Groups Who Work Together to Change The World and Their Own Lives!
Wet Hens Unite! America’s Secret War In Laos!
America’s Birthday Drumroll Coming Up! Time To Clean House!
I’m Breaking Some Habits And Following Others In My Not Always Solo Around The World Trip
With Liberty and Justice For ALL! That’s What America Stands For!
Who Can Jitterbug? You’d Be In The Minority! I Can Teach You!
What Does It Do To The Body, Mind And Soul To Travel To New Places?
Happy Noisy Buddhist New Year In Laos Has Me Ready To Travel Again
Manila, Philippines, Is A Very Modern New Beginning Point
Discovering New Dimensions in Cebu City, Philippines
The Treasure of Health, Wealth, Wholeness And Friendship Is Here In The Philippines!
I’m On A Small Philippine Island Named Siquijor (Sigi-hor)
Living High In Lazi On Siquijor Island, Philippines
What Do George Cloony And I Have I Common?
What Does Traveling Backwards Feel Like?
Exploring The Hawaian Islands Is A Lot Like Traveling Around The World
Completing My 3rd RTW, I Already Am Making Plans For Creating An International Conference In Mexico Next April!
Golden Hours In Golden, Colorado!
Do You Know What An Expat Is? I’m Planning To Become One. Again!
Absolutely Freezing In Santa Fe, New Mexico!
Still Chilly In Beautiful Mexico…San Miguel de Allende!
Merry Christmas From San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
If You Love Bright Primary Colors, Come To Mexico!
Can I Settle Down In One City For A Long Time?
My Amazing Family Legacy Here In Mexico
Teaching About The Birds & The Bees In Southeast Asia
Dancing Towards The Future….Costa Rica!
Almost Launched Into My New Solo Travels I Attend The Phamaly Theater
An Excellent Travel Option Is Petsitting And Housesitting! Try It! You’ll Like It!
A Good Description Of The International Hosteling Life For Road Warriors!
Deep In A Costa Rican Petsit
High Class Fauna Luxury Hostal In San Jose, Costa Rica
My Mindbogglingly Beautiful Hostel In Costa Rica
So Many New Friends Here In San Jose, Costa Rica!
I’m in Medellin, Colombia, at the Garden of The Blues Hostel
There’s So Much Life, Color And Style In Medellin!
More From Medellin, Colombia