What's Inside

What you'll find is a daily dose of musings, observations and inspiration of my path in seeking and living an adventurous life.

Please leave comments and feel free to share your own thoughts and musings.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

News "Blackout" By Choice - The Ultimate Vacation

I've just returned from a Spring trip to Baja, Mexico.  Myself and 5 friends rode our motorcycles to San Jose del Cabo in November of 2016 and it was time to bring them out, along with getting some much needed sun and time away from the office.

The Baja is a great place for a vacation if you like desert, cactus, sand, beautiful beaches with water to match, warm, friendly people and want to get away from the news of the world.  You see, outside of the more populated areas, there is limited connectivity to the outside world.

On this trip I made the decision to stay away from TV and chose not to look at the news from home or anywhere else for that matter when I could get online.  It was actually easier than I thought to "shut off" the news.

The 10 days in Mexico were relaxing, visiting with my friends, making new ones, eating way too much excellent food and seeing sights that were new.  I found that I wasn't missing anything by not knowing what was happening in North America politics or other news outside of what the locals were telling us about their part of the world.

Good friends!

I've been back for 3 days and I tried to watch the news my first day back and found my stress level going up so I turned it off.  I'm not burring my head in the proverbial sand, however I'm realizing more and more that much of what we're being fed is out of my control.  So, for the next few months I'm going to continue on my news blackout and focus on what's happening in my local world.

I challenge you to take your own News Blackout holiday and see what happens.  I'd be interested to hear how it goes.

Gerald Trees
Musings And Observations Of An Adventurous Life Seeker

Monday, January 9, 2017

Happy New Year - A Little Late

The first full week of 2017 is in the history books and week number 2 is in full swing.

For some, the new year is a time to start over, resolutions have been made and likely already broken.

For others, January 1st is simply another day, other than a welcomed day off.  Nothing new planned and no resolutions made.

There is a group of people, however,  who view the new year as another phase in their life.  Their 2016 was mapped out with specific goal.s  Personal goals and professional / economic goals.  The beginning of the new year is spent reflecting on the prior year.  Where they fell short of their goals and what needs to be done to get back on track.  Their successes, celebrating them, learning from them and most importantly, gaining energy from them.  These individuals live their lives with a purpose, seldom complaining about politics or outside influences.  Instead they change what they can and adapt to what they cannot change.  Constantly moving forward with purpose and with a specific goal.

Often times people in this group are viewed as "Lucky", "Smart", "Advantaged", "Privileged", in other words, they have something that the rest of society doesn't have.  In reality, members of this group have made the decision to control the direction their life will take and have set, purposeful goals they wish to achieve.  In short, they live with purpose, their purpose.

Living with purpose will be a challenge.  You'll have to be dedicated to controlling your own life and outcomes.  There will be events out of your control that will cause you to alter your course and may even block the path your on.  It will seem "unfair" when this happens and many will use a lot of energy worrying and complaining.  Someone living with purpose will choose to use their energy to take a different path.  A path that may at first look like it's moving away from their goal to those on the "outside".  The key here is CHOICE.

The hardest part of living with a purpose is deciding on what you want.  The more focused, the better.  The second hardest part is making a plan to achieve what you want and then taking action daily until your goal is achieved.  Yes, you'll likely have to make changes in your daily routine, saying NO to things you really don't want to do and realizing that a few of those people around you will be "unsettled" by the changes you'll be going through.  (See Expect Resistance From Those Around You).

To gain confidence, start with something small that you've always wanted to do.  It could be reading a book that you've wanted to read for sometime or participating in a 10k run.  Pick your goal and plan what you must do every day to reach that goal.  The final step is scheduling the time each day to work toward your goal and being very "stingy" with that time.

What destination have you chosen for 2017?

All my best in 2017 and I trust you'll reach the goals you've set for yourself.

Gerald Trees
Musings And Observations Of An Adventurous Life Seeker

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Is Almost Over So What Happens Next?

"We but mirror the world.  All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body.  If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.  As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.  This is the divine mystery supreme.  A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness.  We need not wait to see what others do." - Mahatma Gandhi

We're at the end of 2016 today and quite a lot has happened in the world in the past 364 days.  The big questions I'd like to ask is what happens next?  

The quote from Mahatma Gandhi is powerful and says that what happens next is entirely up to us as individuals.  Of course there will be circumstances and situations that come along that will have an effect on us that is out of our control.  The control that we do have is how we chose to deal with them.  In other words, we have the ability to change and adapt if we choose to do so.  

That choice and the belief that we can change is difficult, especially at first.  The reward is a feeling of piece and empowerment that will power your actions.  That I can guarantee.

Heading into 2017, please read and reread the words of Gandhi and put them to use.  It will help make 2017 a great year.

Gerald Trees
Musings And Observations Of An Adventurous Life Seeker

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Tonight is Christmas Eve and for many it's a time that's being spent with family or friends or preparing for Christmas Day, also with family or friends.

For others it's a time of sadness, remembering love ones lost or spending time alone, having no one to share the holidays with.

Still others do not celebrate this time of year and life continues on, leading to the end of the year and preparing for 2017.

For me, this time of year is one where my children and grandchild will be home, extra time will be spent with good friends and greetings and reminiscing will be done with friends and family who live far away.  Indeed there will be thoughts and feelings for those who are no longer here, knowing that they will be a part of me for the rest of my life.

For those who celebrate Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas!

For those who don't, I wish you all the best in the remaining days of 2016!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Baby!

Gerald Trees
Musings And Observations Of An Adventurous Life Seeker

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Small Town Life

In November of 2016 I had the pleasure of visiting a small west coast town on the Baja peninsula which included spending the night in one of the two motels in the town.

The town itself looked old, with small houses, small yards and mostly dirt streets.  There was a small chapel down one of the side streets and small fishing boats in various states of repair on the sides of the road.  The centre piece of the town was the public park.  It was clean, had all the facilities that a small town would need, including a skate park, and it was full of kids and their families enjoying their evening.

The evening was filled with good food from the motel restaurant, which stayed open later than usual to accommodate our group of 7 and we were entertained by the family who managed the motel as they had already invited friends over to play guitars and sing.  Even though we were strangers, we became part of their "family" for the evening.

Super moon rising.  It's amazing how the stars and moon look without any light pollution.

The next morning, I took a walk through the town.  I saw people getting ready for their day, tidying up house fronts, kids heading out the door for school and adults heading out to work.  The locals were warm and it became a game to see who would say "good morning" first.

I walked by a local elementary school where kids were laughing and playing in the school yard under the supervision and participation of their teacher.  Some kids were still walking to school under the supervision of a parent and a few were on bicycles.  I even saw a couple of kids on skateboards, even though there were only a few cement sidewalks to cruise down.

This small town reminds me of what many people are looking for in my home country of the United States and in my adopted country of Canada and yet this small town is in Mexico.

The people of San Juanico, on the west coast of the Baja peninsula have very little in material goods compared to most north american towns.  They're isolated for the most part and their electricity comes from solar, gas / diesel generators and a small wind farm.  The town is without power for several hours during the day and at night in order to conserve what they generate.  Gas is trucked in from the closest large town, which is about 2 hours away,  and sold by the jug at twice the amount as the average gas station.  In other words the people of San Juanico have much to complain about and yet for the most part they don't.

Sure the people want better economics for their town and options for their children, like the rest of the us want for our towns.  In that we're the same.  The one resource San Juanico has that has put the town "on the map" is waves.  The bay generates some spectacular surfing waves that have caught the attention of the surfing community.  The challenge for the community, according to a number of people we met, is to balance growth with maintaining their sense of community.

San Juanico is one of the most peaceful places I've stayed and it's amazing how quiet it is when there is no electricity.  The sound of the waves crashing on the shore through the open windows of my room along with a light breeze was relaxing.

"Home" for the night

For all my north american friends who would like to see what quality small town life is like, cross the border into Mexico and visit a small town.  You'll find warm, friendly people who are very proud of their community and with a smile you'll be welcomed.

Gerald Trees
Musings And Observations Of An Adventurous Life Seeker

Monday, November 7, 2016

November 8, 2016

Tomorrow it begins.

After more than 18 months of campaigning, "mud slinging", name calling and generally childish behaviour, my home country of the United States will choose a new president.  The sad part is, both candidates have said very little on what their plan is for the next 4 years and spent more time trying to convince the undecided voters why the other person is a poor choice for president.  Perhaps substance isn't important in this "Reality TV" age...

Anyway, what started out as an entertaining process into how the Republican and Democratic parties work, including watching the "best" the Republican party could muster be taken down by a loudmouth in the form of Donald Trump and a highly skewed Democratic party process that favoured Hillary Clinton almost be derailed by Bernie Sanders, has drug on far too long.

Who ever wins tomorrow has their work cut out for them as my home country is as divided as I've ever seen it.  The "Melting Pot" has turned into regions of division, special interest groups who feel that there way is the only way and if you disagree then you're not "American" and are part of the problem.

I see "religion" shunning people who live a lifestyle they disagree with even though the bible says to do otherwise.

I see hate escalating when it comes to race.  I find this unsettling, scary and I don't see how this will be "fixed" any time soon.  Politics won't fix any of this and only a miraculous change of heart will.

I see differences being a source of division instead of a source of strength.

I see fear being spread as a way to control peoples thoughts and actions as it's more effective and faster than education and coming up with a solid plan for the future.

Mostly, I see people unwilling to work together for a common good.

In 1858 Abraham Lincoln delivered a speech after being selected by the Illinois Republican Party to be their candidate for the US Senate.  In that speech he spoke of a House Divided, which was in reference to the states being a mix of free and slave states.  His contention, which was considered radical at that time, was that at some point this division would end because a "house divided against itself cannot stand".  Mr. Lincoln, in this speech, did not feel the house (Union) would fall but rather the division would end somehow.

The United States is once again a House Divided and I believe that the division will end one way or another.  The question is, what will the House look like.  That will depend greatly on the will of the people and to some degree the person chosen to lead the country.

May God bless who ever is chosen and give them wisdom that has yet to be seen to bring the House together.

Gerald Trees
Musings And Observations Of An Adventurous Life Seeker

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Gasoline, Water and Food

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I'm heading to Baja California, Mexico in a few days with friends and we'll be spending 12 days riding our motorcycles from the California border to Cabo San Lucas.  Most of the places well be riding has gasoline, food and water available.  However we will be riding in some off road sections where gas will be in short supply and if something goes wrong, having food and water will be important.  We've planned for this by packing protein bars and other snack foods.  Each of us will carry 2.5 litres of water in a hydropack and we'll also carry more on the motorcycles.  We'll also carry extra gasoline for those long sections where gas may or may not be available.  Along with the necessary items already mentioned, we'll be carrying spare parts and tools, just in case...

Gas from a roadside vender is common in some countries and not always available

Gasoline, Water and Food are three physical and consumable items that a large number of the world's population take for granted on a daily basis.  Sure, we'll complain about the price of these necessities but we know they're readily available at the local store.

What happens when Gasoline, Water and Food are not readily available?

If you think this couldn't happen to you, take a look at what's happening in Italy today following the countries 2nd large earthquake this year.  Italy is a developed country and yet it will take days or weeks before supplies to the effected area will be restored.

I'm sure many will read this and think "I'm OK".  Please think again!

If you live on or near an earthquake zone, you could be without these three items for days, even if your area isn't directly effected.  Unlike a hurricane, earthquakes come without prior warning so quickly preparing or evacuating isn't an option.

Hurricanes can be monitored and tracked, giving people time to prepare and evacuate.  Usually.  Often it's those who are not near the full impact of the storm who will suffer.  Heavy rain, power outages and impassible roads could happen, cutting off supplies.

I'm not trying to scare anyone, however I am asking that you think about what you'd do if you didn't have access to Gasoline, Water and Food.

Now that you've done that, make a plan that will supply yourself and your family in the event something goes wrong.  It's quite easy to do.
  • Make sure your car is full of gasoline (diesel if that's what your car takes).
  • Store enough food to keep you and your family fed for at least a week.  Non-perishable foods are the best.  Store food for your pets, if you have them.
  • Buy 2 or 3 large water cooler jugs of water to store with the food.
  • Buy water purification tablets and put them in your kit.  They're available at most camping and outdoor gear stores.
  • Have flashlights and candles in your kit, along with fresh batteries.  Make sure the batteries are stored separately and not in the flashlights, they will corrode if you keep them in the devices.
  • Along with the battery powered flashlights, have a couple of rechargeable flashlights and keep them charged.  If all else fails, you'll be able to charge the flashlights and other electronic devices with your car.  
  • Buy an AM / FM band radio that runs on batteries.  This is "old school" but it works and it will help give you information if you're cut off from the rest of civilization.
  • Extra clothes and blankets.
  • A well stocked first aid kit, which can be purchased at Walmart and most outdoor / camping supply stores.
  • Check your kit regularly and change out anything that's close to expiring and refresh the batteries.
Planning for the unexpected makes living in the present more enjoyable.

Gerald Trees
Musings And Observations Of An Adventurous Life Seeker