Traveling By Land, Sea and Air Hotel @nyware: February 2012

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Archive for February 2012

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A Post Without Image

I think of my job as Art Director  as leading people to those moments of awe – ecstasy that overtakes you when you encounter a new idea, or place.  After all, the definition of ecstasy is that you are not doing your ordinary everyday routine....essentially stepping into an alternative reality.

There is an I in Team Ed 

I feel that way about living and working on a cruise ship- hours of boredom tinged with moments of hysteria, and those moments are provided by Team Ed, fun informative and entertaining  special events.

With the energy and vision of an internet self-starter,  I create, manage and delegate, throwing it all up against the wall and seeing what gets to stick. It's always fresh, always new, some trial and error, but some things remain the same-Provide  Customer Service and  Drive Revenue.(I lifted those terms from my Linked In profile).

At  the beginning of the day,  I have a guy named Tim Gunn, (The Hotel Director)looking over my shoulder saying, 

"Make it Work"
Next, Rod Tidwell   (Fleet Operations) phones  from Shore side,  and   makes me shout out in my best Jerry Maguire,

Show Me the Money 2, Short
"Show me the money"

At the end of the day, after guests  feelings get hurt because I ran out of champagne or tuna fish sandwiches, or ran into overtime messing with the start of BINGO (That is an absolute no no-a double negative),  
Bob Sugar Jerry's agent (The Revenue Manager) reminding me

N "It's not show friends, it's show business."
Rod Tidwell  sends Jerry ( Me) a voice mail  after I barely  hit my sales target:

You are hanging on by a very thin thread.
"You are hanging on by a very thin thread and I dig that about you!"

Sure enough,  Dorothy Boyd (Jerry's Girl Friend)   An Assistant Cruise Director, (in my case,Sarah, the ships Nurse) who likes  the show that we did, will smile, pat me on the back and say,

You had me at hello.
"You had me at hello"

I respond as Jerry would,

You complete me
"You complete me."

The Cruise Director reminds us, 

"Who cares what the crew thinks, they're not paying for the voyage, the guests are".

In some way or another it always does work! When it doesn't, we get to do it all over again. 

Then there is the travelling- the ports of call

There is no doubt about it, the exhilarating state of mind that travel can evoke, when everything seems suddenly fresh, vivid, intensely interesting, and memorable.

On An Island With the Two G's-Gandi and Gaugain

When I titled this "An I for an Island", I thought of getting even ( in terms of money lost playing poker) and the  famous Gandi quotes,

 Hate the sin not the sinner.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind 

I mashed it up  up to say 

Hate the Win, not the Winner, because bad beats are overhead, chips, the cost of doing business.

I wrote on my poker blog years ago. H8 the game, not the player, and my lessons of loss(es) learned from playing high stakes poker, winning and losing the American Dream on a Weekend.

Paul Gaugain, who was a mess physically and mentally is quoted as saying, 

 "Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge."
 I, however, wanted to get revenge on my own thoughts- the idea that my personal freedom was for sale, something I had to purchase, and that travelling took a lot of money. 

Every behavior has a positive intention, unfortunately,  playing poker is an "ify" proposition to finance world travel....although I did go to Macau.
I wrote this post: 

The United States of Unconscious Gambling

Poker without money is an opinion; and opinions about poker are just shovels we use to dig our own graves: because if you are not playing poker but thinking about playing poker you are already dead.

I still had "Juice" and "Skin" in the game, and didn't want to leave- You can only quit once and the science of happiness that Ken Keyes talks about  in The 12 Pathways To the Higher Consciousness Planes of Unconditional Love and Oneness, poker was messing with my Serenity. Going on the ships would be a forced exile, and recharge away from the roller coaster.

Impossible Is Nothing

Going out to sea is  the infinity of hope, the preview of life's coming attractions where you have final cut in your own movie.  You can lose yourself in the ocean's food for thought. Its  menu is the meal,  and itineraries are full of promises. It gives you a  sense of destination and the energy to get started again.

The weather is here wish you were beautiful
Call it faith!  A passion for the possible. I am full of it, and shooting from the hip that is to say,   as I stated, having an adventure is something more but nothing less than bad planning.  When I cold-called for my first ship job, and got it after a 12 minute elevator pitch, I began to trust myself, and my elevator pitch, and only when you trust yourself can you truly begin to live it up.


 In fact, the only thing you need if you work on a ship to finance your world travelling is a love  and passion for travelling and for what you do---- the time and opportunity is onboard the ship, and the money flows based on your commitment, focus and determination(if you are commissioned).  You get there. Your attitude will reflect your altitude. Instant gratification takes to long. You get there slowly. 

Jean Paul Sartre, the French existentialist said, 

Freedom is what you do to what has been done to you
 I would value-add that by saying ,

Freedom is what you do to what has been done to you by your own thoughts, words and actions (See my blog post As Seen On TV).

You Do What On A Cruise Ship?

Malcom Gladwell's 10,000 Rule  of  practice is required to achieve a level of mastery and being a SME, Subject Matter Expert, I put in the time. His   book is about outliers, about men and women who do things that are out of the ordinary. I would have to say, living  and working on a cruise ship, is somewhat extraordinary, and definitely unusual. 

Everyone has a photographic memory, but not everyone has film

 Thanks to digital, and my trusted camera, who cares. Just point and shoot, and you capture snapshots of moments. I'm an extremely talkative  person.  Yet photos speak volumes. I may not be a Master like Ansel Adams, but I agree with what he said---Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs. 
To take a photograph of yourself is to participate in your own  mortality, vulnerability, and mutability

Wish Fulfillment  and The  Law Of Attraction

My definition of Thinking is when your  mind is separate from your  body: Some call it dreaming. I call it using your imagination. It is the preview of life's coming attractions. That's when you can leap long distances,  go forward and backward  in time, walk  through solid brick walls and never age, 

My definition of Magical Thinking,  or MT, is when we can manufacture experiences in our mind, and then later, attract these situations into our life.  The mind IS, after all, what the brain DOES. Put simply, you  attract into your  life whatever you consistently think about.  

I always go back to the importance of being Ernest (Hemingway) 

That is what we are supposed to do when we are at our best --make it all up --but make it up so truly that later it will happen that way. 

2009 World Tour Cruises

Hawaii 2007-2008

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A Post Without Image

Rudyard Kipling once said Milford Sound is the eighth wonder of the world.  National Geographic Traveler Magazine  selected Norway as  the top natural tourist attraction in the world. After visiting Norway in 2010, and the Milford and Dusky Sound in 2011--it's Same Same--- only different. All that remains is- The Persistence Of Norway.

A  good blog post should includes a waterfall. So Norway's fjords are blogasms. The Flords are Norway's Ecstasy. The definition of ecstasy is that you are not doing your ordinary everyday routine....essentially stepping into an alternative reality.This is the second time I have sailed in these fjords. It's like opening a door in the middle of nowhere and all you have to do is go and turn the handle and open it and let yourself sink into it, and just float..

“All the pathos and irony of leaving one’s youth behind is thus implicit in every joyous moment of travel: one knows that the first joy can never be recovered, and the wise traveler learns not to repeat successes but tries new places all the time.” – Paul Fussell
The ZEAL in New Zealand

A View From the Not-So-Cheap Seats in NZ
Norway 5 New Zealand 3.5

The Geirangerfjord-Mother Nature and Father Time Are Effing Special...
Narrow Road To The Interior
4 season in one day
Mother Narture laughs out loud
Life is forever

I'm past the point of no return. I'll just concern myself with the best way of moving forward.
Mindless Purity
Putting the ODD back in God
Before, Norway, Earth Goddess was just a yuppie  salad dressing you could buy at Whole  Foods. I never thought  that people died. They just went to organic health food stores... and  that Japanese guy who always wins the hot dog eating contest is the anti-christ.

Today as I kayak in the fjords and observe the sun, the water,  the green and everything in flow, I say to myself  "Yes indeed, all this belongs to me!". and, more than that,I play a role in its appearance.

As I get a glimpse of the deeper, random, chance  encounters of my 3 pound  universe (brain), with Mother Nature and Father Time being demoted from actual reality, to my mere subjective experience of my consciousness, I feel immortal.

 The ephipany being:  Old school selfishness sez, I am  the center of the world, New World Order sez, I create the world. Space and time aren’t objects — they’re my brain`s tools for putting everything together. Without "me", they don't exist.

  Father Time Simply Reboots
 Reminds me of the joke, if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound.....
We carry space and time around with us like turtles with shells..Without mind, matter doesn´t "matter". It hovers  in   waves  of probability. Thus, there is no absolute grid we live in where things occur independent of our own thinking about it.

Although our body may self destruct, the 20-watt  fountain of energy operating in the brain. doesn’t go away at death. Father Time simply reboots. The universe is in our head,and not out there seperate from us. What the bleep?

Grass Roots

The grass was greener where you watered it, now I have reconsidered: It IS greener in Norway.In fact, this infinite landscape has such lush and hearty grass, it is good enough to eat.The sod and grass turf roofs symbolize the Norsk love of nature; sustainable and  energy efficient, the old has become the new.

“When we get out of the glass bottle of our ego and when we escape like the squirrels in the cage of our personality and get into the forest again, we shall shiver with cold and fright. But things will happen to us so that we don’t know ourselves. Cool, unlying life will rush in.” – D. H. Lawrence

High on this mountain,the clouds down below, Im feeling so strong and alive. From this rocky perch Im beginning to search for the wind and the snow and the sky-Dan Fogelberg Nether Lands

Flåm- Enriched by a Wonderful Osmosis

Free For All-H2O
In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria. Unless of course you are in  Norway-- where meltwater  is useful,  humble, precious, and pure.The best wine may be the oldest, the best water, however, is  the newest. With cupped hands, drinking  melted glacier. It's pure inspiration. We're all downstream from here!  For those at home, may I suggest VOSS.

Narrow Road To The Interior... Frozen water once, Now melts into my heart. Joy comes dancing lightly

Stavanger-I´m Not (all) There

Jumping The Shark In Norway 
Why Climb a mountain? because it is there.What I would really like to do is  Bungee jump--- dive off the top  of this cliff because I am not all there, This would be my version of Happy Days, when Fonzie jumped the shark. That defining moment when you know your favorite TV program has reached its peak.

If Hollywood is loneliness beside the swimming pool, then Norway is solitude by the fjords.What\s on Norway? Ed TV... Time to change the channel.

Here are my top posts from this awesome place.

Oslo-You Know Where It's @

As Allan Watts said, Everyday, you have to go out of your mind in order to come to your senses. A fool, afterall, who persists in his folly, becomes wise. I haven\t been everywhere, but it is on my list. After all, when you come to a fork in the road, take it.

Back to Norway...

Why Pay less?
Oslo, Today, Beta World City Plus. The most expensive city on the planet. The Norse saga continues. I think I'm in Minnesota, AKA New Norway.
Norwegians-- healthy, enlightened, effective people or too much alcohol? Make the call.
They eat lutefisk, are passive-agressive, pronounce their W's as V's, look as though they were soaked in bleach and the ones from the old country listen to death metal. Born with skis on, they like their Viking past.

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A Post Without Image

People say that what we are all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think this is what we're really seeking. I think what we're seeking is an experience of being alive.~ The Power of Myth - Joseph Campbell

This world cruise has been one  of the most rewarding forms of introspection. It is one stage of my “re-entry” in Hotel @nyware, continuing my extended break from Normal Life again to travel the world on board another cruise ship. I’m living my dream of PT-Permanent Travel, also known as "Mini Retirements". I haven’t been everywhere, but it is on my list.

As I document this adventure, this  a round-the-world travelogue, I say to myself "Roam Sweet Roam". Home is not where my heart is but where my computer is- I remain a digital nomad, where  Anywhere becomes @nyware, location neutral, as there is no such thing as a bad piece of real estate when you use technology and social media. As I make my way to Sri Lanka, in the middle of nowhere, but the center of everything, thanks to a reliable high speed Internet connection.  I am doing pretty much everything I would do in the USA, only with the economies of scale, at a less greater cost.

Consequently, I call home a feeling not a place-I’ve never confused  a street address for where I  actually lived. My destinations have  never been  places , but  new way of seeing things:  the journeys themselves have been the destinations.

It has never been about resources, but more about resourcefulness.We're never  too poor to buy our freedom.In fact,  we are  all “time millionaires ”and when we  who choose to use this commodity, the less  we put a cash value on travel, and  the less  we think that money is what we need to have an adventure  and live, and the less we associate money with life in general.

The elephant  represents good luck, longevity and peace and  strength;  and mostly here in SE Asia, joy. A laughing Buddha riding an elephant with children on his lap is an excellent symbol for happiness and prosperity in the family.

Surely it is the right wish that draws us to the right places. Nothing of importance happens accidentally in our life.

Hotel @nyware is  about choosing experiences and travel adventures over working away your life for material things.
It   is different from being a tourist- different from  buying  a package vacation to find a simpler life is kind of like using a mirror to see what you look like when you aren't looking into the mirror. Staging Authenticity and Encounters,The march of stupidity and the routines of tourism are even more monotonous than those of daily life.When you have taken enough of these tours, however,each additional one you may ever take again, is both unbearable and trifling. 
But beyond travel, Hotel @nyware is an outlook on life.  Hotel @nyware is not a lifestyle, It's just an uncommon way of looking at life — a value adjustment from which action naturally follows. And, as much as anything, Long term travel is about being deliberate. It has nothing to do with demographics — how old you are , what is your belief system, how much money  you make — and everything to do with attitude...and attitude affects altitude.

 If I do nothing unexpected,   nothing unexpected happens. Yet I’m not  simply seeking  interesting surroundings, but I am  continually interested in whatever surrounds me.

"I'm not really choosing between experiences,I am choosing  between memories of experiences. Even when I think about  future vacations, I don’t think of my future ports of call normally as experiences. I think of  my future vacations as anticipated memories."

Hotel @nyware- Rooms Available

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A Post Without Image

When I landed in Paris, things started to take off. I was on a different plane.  7 days made one weak/week. Avi-Navi-gation seems as natural to me as  sending an e mail or going to  Starbucks.  I fold up my self and carry "me"around as if I were a gym bag. CDG-Charles De Gaulle Airport is no exception.
 Unchecked Baggage- My Airport My Self

If you want to be a multinational soul, you cannot do it in New York or Los Angeles, London or Tokyo alone-you need to get consecrated in Paris. Yet photographing this with my Android is not PC, so I took this photo on my MAC iPhone  because there are more iPhones sold per day (402k) than people born in the World per day (300k). And that is cool! 
Reprint from 11/10

I meet therefore I am- a multinational soul. I shrink therefore  I am part of — and apart from  American, European and Asian culture. and the  countries I visit(ed) and live(d) in  are as eclectic and restless as airports I "inhabit". Along with the displacement, and the associated jet lag, I  am simply a fairly glib product of a movable feast, living and working in a world that is itself increasingly small and increasingly hybrid---a transit lounger, forever heading to the departure gate where life changes in an instant with a paper cup filled with Starbucks coffee.

People  come to airports and never leave

I Know I'm Not A Hopeless Case

Airports used to be fun or dramatic -Remember the movies, like "Airplane" and "Air Force One ". Yet, getting hit over the head by the recent TSA pat downs in LAX and post 9 11 angst worldwide, we are spending more time in airports for better or worse-They are not just visited by we as  tourists, but inhabited by us  for a few hours. I  travel(ed) a lot but also can appreciate what it feels like to be Other. What I mean by that is, not having an internet connection! Technology is not the nameless Other. To embrace technology is to embrace, and face, ourselves.
The cult of the amateur  wanderers is growing; global souls who haven't been everywhere but it is on their list; for whom home is a feeling,  not a place in the soil but inside yourself. I am one of the privileged homeless. Is there a  new kind of person being created by a new kind of life?

According to the promotional material for the song, It's A Beautiful Day is about a guy who has lost everything and couldn't be happier... it IS indeed a beautiful day.

You love this town even if that doesnt ring true
Youve been all over and its been all over you
It's a beautiful day
"Every day is a journey," wrote Basho, "and the journey itself is home." If the Zen poet hadn't said that more than 300 years ago, I would have. I am Basho on a frequent flyer pass, with complimentary mojo on take off.

Former Paris Trips
Trusting My Hunches

Free Man In Paris 

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A Post Without Image

You know, addiction isn't the problem - it's the solution- 
When all you care about is here, this is a good
  place to be
On Devil's Island

How come you ended up in a place like this?

Reprint 2011 WC-Welcome to the penal colony at Devil's Island, whose prisoners you are, and from which there is no escape."  This was the greeting that awaited prisoners to the penal colonies. Now Devil's Island IS the escape.

I always talk in Bumper Stickers-Instant gratification takes too long

Tender Boating

Escape to Reality

Ile des Pins, New Caledonia-Papillon
“Addicted to traveling”  or for that matter “Addicted to all-non working activities” shouldn’t be  a new reason for self-hatred or a diagnosis, rather a pursuit like the arts and entertainment, that permit self-exploration and satisfy your psycho-social needs.  You see, in general, if a pastime is not classy, those who love it are labeled with the Dr Phil-Drew-Oprah Psycho Babble rhetoric of “addict.” Opera and Symphony  aficionados, on the other hand  are “passionate” and "driven".

 Loading the cultural dice in favor of “reality” over fantasy, we get the sense of   adventure beaten out of us when we ask ourselves the most irritating of the question words, “Why?”  Why do I have to live in the New York suburbs,where the weather sucks and the people are rude, and there is nothing to do? Then we just tune in turn  on the TV, and  drop out, watching one of the 1000 channels in a shared hallucination called the superstition of materialism, and fall asleep.

Then you get "The Call" and if you  wake up and answer it,  and you begin the Hero's Journey that Joseph Cambell talks about  in The Power Of Myth, with Bill Moyers, that PBS  video series that's a must for all seekers, and you follow your bliss-in most  cases your bliss follows you.

 I started to travel, as a pastime, on a shoe-string budget, labeled as a drifter, a bum, held in contempt by the  uninformed, and over educated who find themselves   sinking into the everydayness of their lives. And I didn’t care. I just did it anyway. The Calvinists say work is prayer, so is permanent traveling.
In the old days, habits of cultural consumption like listening to jazz music all day and night were considered passions, or forever going to the movies or “The Theatre”, allowing   us to create new personalities and use them to fulfill unmet psychological needs. Come to think of it, I think I have an internet addiction too! Awesome.

Seagull Management

We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.” Anais Nin

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Travels In Hyper Reality-Tahitian Choreo-Musical Performances

Moorea in the distance

One thing for sure, they all came by boat. So did I!
Reprint from World Cruise 2011 With less than 24 hours in port, the locals and locale  are living up to their sterotypes---the Tiki style roofs, the tropical gardens and swaying palm trees, and more than that, there is still the visual sovenier that, like the Postman, always delivers: The   beautiful  exotic Tahitian Princess with their down-to-the knees long raven hair ---hand-weaving leis  effortless, while wraping themselves  in water-colored flowered sarongs, in the post colonial suburb of Paris, known as modern day Papeete. As the  ukulele soundtrack in the background  is playing , I feel like I am on safari-- Polynesia cannot escape being a human zoo seeking to contain the lives of its star attraction--its 'first'and native  people.

It's A Small World After All
Marketing the definitive view of paradise

Playing the game of staged authenticity in the tourist themed spaces of Tahiti, while it is not the Mcdonald-ization of the South Pacific, it is playing more like a Disney animated feature film----Staged Authenticity! I feel even weird participating in the rituals of sightseeing and taking pictures--Even at the Gaugain Musuem, the pictures are fakes (They can't afford to preserve and curate the orginals). I have seen most of them around the world, mostly at the Hermitage in St Petersburg Russia of all places. But anyway the copies are better than the ABOrgininals!
The hyperreal world is the world of ‘the Absolute Fake’ where imitations do not only reproduce reality, but try improving it. The French artist Gauguin's  obsession with French Polynesia is still  working!!

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A Post Without Image

"Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you." Jean-Paul Sartre
2009  Season: OMG! WTF?    Roll Video

The future is full of possibilities that I must constantly shoot in the head, because if you want something GR8, you must be able to limit yourself.

#1 BUI: Embracing The Life Forced Upon Me--OMG! WTF? I have nothing in common with myself anymore

#2: Insulin Shock and Awe, eating the Celebrity Solstice

#3.Ed Reif and James Hopkins; making the world safe for ..I mean Democracy in the cradle of Western civilization---Athens, Greece

#4 Buddha Boy Ed Reif ---From Monk to Millionaire--- in Sint Maarteen--It ain't much if it ain't Dutch

Success is continued enthusiasm despite failure after failure

#5.Never go on trips with anyone you do not love

#6 You(th) are as young as your spine is flexible.

#7 What color is your Parachute Money?

#8 I am at one with the chainsaw. British Virgin islands

#9 And did we tell you the name of the game, boy We call it Riding the Gravy Train.

#10 Ed Reif, former NYU classmate of Alec, and Starter for Team Baldwin, votes for Starbucks today, where life changes instantly, as he drinks from a paper cup.

Honorable Mention
#1   Regular-- Kissing a stingray while being filmed in Grand Cayman Islands Extra Crispy- Going out old school Steve Irwin Style-Being fatally pierced in the chest by a stingray barb while filming in GB Reef

#2 Eminem has 8 Mile, Bob Marley, the small village of 9 mile... Bob,just sMILE.

#3 Container Cargo Cult Madness

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