DOES HOW OLD YOU ARE AND HOW MUCH MONEY YOU HAVE REALLY COUNT? NOT SO MUCH!
Almost a year ago, I published this blog post and it bears repeating…… especially since I have, only recently, become a huge fan of an Entity called Abraham-Hicks, through a DVD that I borrowed from The Celebration, a non-denominational worship service that I’m attending here in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Abraham channels through Esther Hicks and is certainly worth looking up on YouTube and checking out. This collective Entity on The Other Side reminds us of who we really are and what we have come to Earth to accomplish. I urge you to check out this Wisdom, as it is spot on!
Basically, Abraham’s Teachings remind us to always concentrate on The Positive aspects in our life and not to see anything in the negative. Just always being Positive, brings us into a Creational Vortex that’s always longing to reward us with what we need and ask for; but cannot do so if we complain about our current situation. Woops, after listening to this DVD, I realized that I was, in the previous blog, complaining about the beautiful sunlight and the fact that I was finally getting the long-needed eye surgery that will help me to see better. That’s sort of outside of the vortex that I need to be within. So, I’ll leave the evidence in the last post right here for all to see, and then, reprint this attitude about my life, which I think might be on the more positive side of things.
If what is really bugging me is that I am now becoming restless, and am eager to begin traveling again; well why not simply say so, and not fuss about what is currently my excuse for not sticking to business and writing more frequent blogs. Hey, it is what it is! Now, here’s the reprinted blog post. As true today as it was a year ago:
“Age Schmage,….Money Schmoney” was a book title I thought of a long time ago and never used. It doesn’t exactly explain itself, does it? And that’s the beauty of a title. Make it so intriguing that you lure the reader in and make him pick up your slim volume or keep reading on into your article. Or, increasingly in this day and age, your advertisement.
But, the reason I wanted to use that particular attitude in an autobiographical way, was that it does “Say it like it is” in justifying my particular lifestyle. And no, I’m not Jewish, but I love that succinct way of getting the point across with a dismissive flair of the hand or a telling facial expression. And the older I get….. and also, the poorer I get, if that were the case….is even more reason to carry such a happy-go-lucky attitude.
Here I am, less than a month before my 78th birthday, and I feel this truth more than ever. What does age have to do with it? Well, everything and nothing! You see, I’m weird. I’m a constant world-wanderer: always either on a long trip or planning one. I’m also weird because I talk constantly, internally, to The Holy Spirit (actually, I interview Him) and then I write books and blogs about it. See: www.insecretdiffusion.com.
Old Age has always been a universal basket to explain away odd behavior in an elderly person. Wandering away from home is another common appellation, dug up from that accusatory mindset. The thing is, I do wander away from home and then, write about my international adventures in books and blogs. There’s, obviously, no irresponsibility or Little Old Lady Leanings in any of them.
So, AGE is not causing this “Craziness!” Hence, the Age Schmage dismissal! In fact, the very act of constantly getting older, and yet, remaining the same, becomes a more and more rarified quality. I love to watch the eyebrows go up, when I mention that ever-changing factoid about myself.
And what about MONEY? Many people automatically assume that I must be rich, to be able to afford airfare and all my international expenses; to just be able to pack up and go, where and when I wish on the globe. But, that’s not so! I live on my Social Security alone and I live cheap, compared to most people. I’m a hosteller. I own only what fits inside of my two suitcases…..plus, some writing materials stored in the States.
I begin where most people hope they never wind up: HOMELESS! But, this is the true face of freedom!
You can’t have it all and these are choices I have made: No house. No car. No stuff No pets. My accumulation lies within my journal’s memories, filled with reports of adventures and friends collected along the way. I’m happy…..and my regular social security income helps me to stay that way….but is not the cause of it. I watch it carefully and don’t require too much of it…simply regular dole-outs from foreign ATMs. Plus, payments on a credit card used to charge online air purchases. Debit cards don’t work in that case.
And now, with shaky things predicted to be around the corner concerning our national economic future, I’m trying to get ahead of the curve. And, guess what? Lo and behold, I’m already practicing many recommended tactics: Such as:
“Get out of Dodge, while yet you can! Find a nice, inexpensive but beautiful, retirement land where the healthcare is good and the costs are not so high! Apply for a second passport to increase your options!”
Well, I’ve spent this past enjoying life in Uruguay, Peru and Ecuador, all of which fill that bill nicely and are on everyone’s advisory lists. Soon, I’ll check out Central American countries; also excellent candidates for living the good life without some of the homeland downsides; even concerning weather. Right now, I’m housesitting in New Mexico, which is a very win-win situation.
“Move your money into inflationary-free investments! Build a second income stream!”
I’m studying on that right now. And overseas is where the fingers point. All of a sudden, my journalistic, writerly qualities can turn investigative, because I’m on the cutting edge without even trying to be. I’m planning to attend another International Living Conference in Denver in September so that I can experience a global changing scene in a very “waterbugish” way, with Travel Writing and photography. I keep wanting to post my excellent photographs on money-making, perpetual-stream, photostock sites to generate a safety net, just in case social security gets downsized, someday. That’s been a long-term goal of mine. Maybe it will finally go beyond the talking stages.
Because nothing holds me down, it doesn’t harm me or dictate my life. I can shift on a whim and respond to the moment; just like a waterbug can, because it never breaks the surface tension. But, I’m also free to settle down with the right person, or in the right place, if I should choose to. How’s that for having choices? Shady or sunny? Mountains or Beachfront? Perpetual springtime, if I like!
Now do you see how the terms: “Age Schmage! Money Schmoney!” might just say it succinctly? And, a lot more positively than grousing about “too much light in my life!” Both terms have nothing and everything to do with me. That title was probably invented by some ancient Sage……unless, it was me, since I’ve never heard it before.
It’s not referring to your years or to your cash flow. It’s speaking of Freedom!
This photo was taken August 7, 2014, when I was one of the speakers at the monthly Writer’s In Transition public meeting. I read from my movie script for an animated children’s film called The Candlewick Question, about an alternate waxen universe, where the candle population believes that their wick is simply for making hairdos. The movie deals with the existential question: What is the purpose of the soul?
All is well in sunny Santiago, Chile! It´s full-on summer here in the latter half of February and the days are clear and perfect, though some have been Florida-hot. Naturally, my thoughts rove to Clearwater and the few days that I will blow through there to see our brand-new deck, courtesy of a barter deal with friend and neighbor, Walt Williams; repack suitcases; catch up with friends and family….and drive north for Phase II.
So, wrap-up time down here in South America is slow and lazy.
The Great Creative Human Race wrapped up with a satisfying tie. Team Maple. originally feared missing in the Andes, had simply taken a ¨creative¨ route between lakes and volcanoes somewhere near the target goal of Puerto Montt. It turned out that they were directly across the same lake I gazed upon during my cappuchino-sipping balcony days. Both teams returned to Santiago´s Hostal Forestal within days of each other and shared a hearty barbeque exchanging adventure stories. All in all, the Andes Mountains were good to them and, sunburned but intact, they now speak of Nepal next year.
Real life calls and I, too, am facing a need to sort my knapsacks and get my gear in order for returning to the States. But, for the moment, I´m still on summer vacation and the days are warm and lazy. Lots of reading, writing, park bench sitting, and umbrella table eating time. Did you think this sort of world travel was all a massive amount of work?
Next month will be full of friends and family and I really look forward to seeing them all while catching up on what I´ve missed during my many months away from home. Soon, I´ll attend the Second Annual Afterlife Awareness Conference in Virginia Beach, Virginia, which will allow me to meet the authors of a new wave of books concerning the planning that each human does in the Realms Above planning their future life back on Earth. Before I get there, I hope to re-read books such as Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls by Michael Newton, MD, and Your Soul´s Journey by Robert Schwartz.
The island of Chiloe (chill-o-way) doesn´t look all that large on the map of the base of the Andean spinal column which becomes Patagonia, the southernmost region of Chile. It´s a squarish lump of land at the top of a column of broken, rocky protuberances which litter the way down the coastline to the Cape. My Chilote friends say that this is the very spot where the Andes submerge, intact, allowing only the mountain tops to peek above the water. It´s not that far above the Antarctic Circle but the water is warm enough for summer swimming by both people and penguins.
After weeks of hostel dormatories and days of highly-populated buses, I sought solitude in the treat of a private room in a hostel in Ancud, which I secured on the internet. Instead, I walked into the welcoming arms of the youthful Gigi, her boyfriend, Andress, sister, Valentina and their friend, Maria Josef. They had converted their modern family home into a hostel after the sudden death of their mother after a brief illness. Valentina´s eyes still reflect the unfathomable loss but she designs her future to include chef school and a job on a cruise ship.
If I had wanted cloistered inactivity, I should not have come on the eve of a popular island Costumbre Festival in Castro and an accordian-playing music fest in another island town. Ten minutes after my arrival, as welcomed as any family matriarch, I found myself accepting their kind invitation to come along on tomorrow´s festivities. Sure, how can I miss the chance? And I again became a tourist, though that was the very role I was hiding from. Actually, I was sort of becoming a local as I didn´t see many tourists the next day when homefolks celebrated the life of the community as they have for many years, cooking the bountiful catch of King Crabs, Salmon, fish, mussels and clams, according to special island recipes. Yum!
Julio filled in at the hostel during this one-day festival vacation and had the place full by the time we returned. He has dived in these cold waters for shellfish since he was sixteen. Because of the extreme depths, his legs were paralyzed when air was forced into the bloodstream but instead of following the doctor´s advice and getting bariatric pressure treatments, he chose the cure of generations of Chilote divers…to be dropped back into the ocean to swim to even greater depths to equalize the oxygen. It worked and today he has some pain but walks and works normally.
On the festival morning, five of us set out to drive over many kilometers in Andress´twenty-year-old Toyota Corolla. I had thought that this was a small island but the distances felt far indeed. Imagine a crazy quilt with images of farm, wheat fields, cow pastures, mountains, seasides with bays and estuaries. Fill it with weathered towns, forests, hills, rivers and bridges. Then curl many roads throughout with fully half of them rocky and unpaved. Now, take this highly-decorated blanket and crumple it up. Seriously crumple the thing so that mountainous lumps lead to concave valleys and any possible road has to wind and twist so that all cars have slow going.
Except for Andress´Toyota! It sped along, though our travel time was still considerable. Whack! Wham! went the rocks on the underbelly and I wondered what sort of an island custom Gigi was observing when she pressed her fist against the upper corner of the windshield every time an approaching car passed by. Later, I learned that she was mimicing her mother and probably every other shotgun-riding woman in a local car. Apparently, the pressure on the glass prevents shattering if a stone should be flung into the windshield.
Our first festival was an eating affair. We selected the booth of some local fishermen, snagged a table in an outdoor shelter and ordered gluttons of seafood. Grilled salmon, oh yes! Then, we roamed the artisanal crafts booths where I fell for a loose-knit, handmade wool sweater. and Gigi secretly bought me a knit doll, which she presented to me as a memento when we said goodbye at the bus station.
During all the driving, we visited quite a few of the famous, restored wooden churches of the island. They are national treasures and remind me of the lyrical wooden churches I had seen in Russia. This whole island and much of the mountainous farmland of lower Chile, was populated by Germans early in the Twentieth Century, long before the war. In a very savvy move, Chile invited German farmers to populate that geologically-similar countryside, granting them generous farm plots. Consequently, houses are sturdy and filled with lace curtains. This explains the polka dancing and accordians, as well.
It was dusk when we headed home, speeding over the stone-strewn logging road. Ka-Pow! went the tire directly beneath my derriere! Flump, flump, flump…we ground to a halt. That tire was toast. Nay, it was lace, rubber lace, worthy of an artisan. Ouch! Luckily, a farm driveway presented itself and we pulled in, hopefully enlisting the aid of a woman peering out between her curtains. For we certainly did need help, as an examination of Andress’ trunk soon revealed. He had a spare, he had a jack, but no lever to operate the jack and no lug wrench to release the tire. The woman shook her head and retired within.
We four girls took to dancing in the street, trying to stop the occasional bits of flying traffic. The trouble was that we looked suspiciously like the many backpackers trying for a lift for packs and pals, times ten. We, too, had flown right on past their desperately appealing faces. But by evening, we were just as tired, shabby and desperate as they had been. Amazingly, our crudely flapping hands did lure-in at least six cars but none had the requisite parts. These were all newer, smaller cars. Everyone was very sympathetic but couldn`t even call for help since no one`s cell phone worked in that spot.
As the sun went down, I wondered if the nearby pigpen would be my dreamed-of private room for the night. Then a red station wagon came along, only to become our last and greatest failed hope. That driver saved the day though, by backing out of the drive and blocking the road until another car simply had to stop. Voila! We suddenly had the winning combination. Not only did the new car have the right sized tool, but the farm woman`s son arrived and hauled a wooden beam from behind a fence, propped it on a rock and levered the car`s side into the air by kneeling on the beam.
Before he delivered that solution, I was sertiously trying to remember a metaphysical demonstration I`d witnessed once, where a cluster of people inserted their index fingers under the body of a large person; took a deep breath and with intense concentration, lifted him way off the ground. Possibly that would work on a car. Watching those big men get the tire off the conventional way, I was so glad I didn`t have to make a fool of myself convincing the others to stick their finger under the car and levitate. Instead, I found myself kissing the ruddy cheeks of these dear Chilote men who had finally delivered us from a night in the pig pen.
We got home at 1:00 a.m. The next day, I just hung around the hostal, getting that elusive rest I had come so far to find.
Tomorrow morning I will leave the capital of Chile, where I have hung out for three weeks, and travel south to many small towns in the Lake District of this country. It is gorgeous down there, with Andes mountains, Pacific coastline, and so much natural beauty. This is a sportsman´s paradise and I hope to describe it from the many quaint towns along the way. Hopefully, I´ll have more computer access than I have here and can keep these blog posts more up-to-date.
My transportation will be by private backpacker´s bus – www.Pachamamabybus.com and it comes to me in the morning, eliminating a trip to the bus station. Instead of following the usual commercial bus route, this special traveler´s bus goes to all the cool places that backpackers have on their lists. If one is in a hurry, they can do an entire loop in seven days, going as far down as Puerto Montt and Chiloe Island and returning to Santiago. Bus fare for the whole route comes to $250, which is only slightly more than a commercial bus ticket would cost. Two buses a week leave the capital, several days apart, so it is possible to hop on and hop off – with advance planning to assure a seat – and stay in the towns as long as you want.
I´m going to spend about five days in each town and absorb the whole month of February covering southern Chile. Three years ago, I flew from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, Argentina, so I have already been all the way to the bottom of this long spine of the Andes and don´t feel a need to return as it is not easy to travel overland there from Chile.
I know that I am going to be wowed during the whole scenic drive between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains. I can tell that because I have been so pleased to stay in this clean and exciting city. Just this evening, walking back from a lovely dinner in the BellaVista Plaza, I realized that if I had to chose a favorite foreign capital, it would be this one. And that´s saying something because I generally just don´t like cities.
This one has a gajillion university campuses, although not too long ago, Chilean students led riots and protests about the costs of their education – about $60,000 US dollars equivalent per year. It´s peaceful now but the cost question has not been solved yet, so we may hear more. My hostel is close to a portion of a university so there´s a youthful feeling in the air. One reason we get the impression of so many places of higher education is that the many colleges and universities that are here, don´t have clearly defined campuses but have buildings all over town. So, there´s always an engineering or a business or a medical training facility. Pretty brainy place.
My hostel is a nice quiet one and I have had plenty of deep sleep, even in an 8-bed dorm with constantly changing male and female roommates. Hope I have the same luck for the rest of the month.
Okay, the next post will be written from the road!
Santiago, Chile, January 15, 2012 ‘ This blog continues the story of my being caught ¨smuggling in¨one little green apple on my flight between Paraguay and ChileÑ
We Busted Ones, myself and several mad German tourists, waited our turn to go before the authorities to have our individual cases adjudicated. There was a possible $200 fine. Wow, that would be my classical Golden Apple, all right. I thought of all of the $100 bills I had recently spent…. including $132 for my Chilean reciprocity fee…which I hadn´t yet been asked for. By now, time was running out since I´d come through most of the gates by this time. Ooops! I decided to ask an agricultural, SAG, agent about that, but couldn´t find one who spoke English.
Daniel did! He´s a SAG agent whom I immediately recognized as an Intergalactic Friend, an IGF, someone whom I´ve known in another lifetime. We always instantly recognize each other. Daniel seemed impressed that I was, essentially, turning myself in about another costly airport matter and he said he would help me solve that problem as soon as this one was resolved. I was now safely under Daniel´s wing. He explained that he must ask me a series of questions and then the decision would be to either forgive the crime or to fine me.
In the process, I heard him mutter to himself, `Öh, Linda, Linda, Linda!` as if he were saying, `How are we going to get you out of this_ .. I smiled happily to myself, knowing that my judge and jury was now my new best friend and advocate. His questions simply allowed me to explain how I had fallen into this criminal act and I told of the exhausting day of hot exploration of Asuncion when I had bought two apples in case I missed the dinner at the hotel, or slept through it once collapsed on the bed. As it turned out, I could only eat one apple and the leftover stayed in the pouch of my big daypack, forgotten until seized by Chile´s vigilant protector of agricultural purity. This is a concept which I understand and applaud because Florida´s borders are also seriously guarded against foreign plant and animal invasion. My mind flashed back decades to the day when our extended family was returning from a Bermuda vacation and one of us was caught with two pink grapefruit copped from our last breakfast.
For this reason, there was no anger or resentment in me as Daniel and I worked our way through this paper-generating legal affair. Meanwhile, the Europeans looked as if they were being fined right and left, chiefly due to their total lack of cooperation and a stubborn denial of guilt in the matter. Soon, Daniel explained in his broken English, that I had been absolved of my crime, since it was committed, essentially, without my knowledge. I then signed several papers allowing them to destruct the offending apple by injecting it with germ-killing blue dye and then burning it completely. Goodness yes, blow that baby up until dead and harmless to Chile´s agriculture.
Now we turned to the reciprocity question and this dear friend left his department to escort me back to the customs officials, checking first with the head of that department. Sure enough, my passport number did not appear on the list of Americans processed that day. So, Daniel accompanied me to a totally new-to-me area where I should have been sent. I was able to fork over my money and receive the page in my passport which would allow me to leave the country without repercussions.
Instead of shaking hands with Daniel to thank him for everything, I touched him affectionately on the shoulder. This was because I had noticed that his right arm and hand were not very usable and that his right leg was also affected in a limp, as if by a slight stroke, though he is a young man. By now, we were such buddies that he was pushing my heavy baggage cart and excorting me to the taxi area. For my part, all through that long hike together through the airport I had been calling forth the Healing Entities from the John of God Healing Casa to come and heal my dear Daniel, Guardian of Chilean crops and American women in need of defending. What a dear man he is and what a propitious introduction to this fabulous, fabulous, fabulous country!
I love this feeling of excitement and discovery so much! The exhilaration at every turn in a new place, which keeps on delivering. Even if my ardor cools eventually as it has in some other countries, I´m hugely grateful for this marvelous love affair I´m having with Chile just now. I can´t even imagine it letting me down….but sometimes that´s the way with New Love. Stay tuned, time will tell!
STARTING A NEW BUSINESS AS A SENIOR CITIZEN – BLOGGING ABOUT SOLO WORLD TRAVEL
This is Takeoff Day and, as always, I’m a little nervous and am filled with wonder and suspense as to how the trip will turn out. Though this blog is to be, primarily, about around the world travel, I’m speaking right now about launching out into the Blogosphere and learning to fly right here in public. One good thing is that I didn’t need shots; I have no luggage; and no costly airline tickets leading to long waits in lines, crying babies and carry-on snacks. Plus, this blog flies me everywhere at once, while I sit here at home. Neat! Your living room is my parallel universe. So are your thoughts. Let’s explore each other’s lives!