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Life Is Always Where We Are

Archive for August 2013

- - -- by Ed Reif»
A Post Without Image

The winds of grace always blow for us
 but you have to raise your sails a
nd just go. 



Putting the He in Hero, all action/adventure films have the same moral: Perseverance pays. Of all the things I am not very content at doing,living on land is the most outstanding. I was an armchair sea dog, growing up on LAWNGUYLAND(L.I.) New York, dreaming of going places, but I never started and therefore  I never failed.

Those Who Do Not Move, Do Not Notice Their Chains

Considering how much inner "nomad" is in each of us, in adulthood I gave myself permission to LEAVE ASAP, and imaginatively re-create(d) my ID in line with my true allegiances of a place noted for second chances, Venice Beach, California.



Sea Change
How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.

Let The Orinoco Flow--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

.My universe is made of stories, not atoms: land, air and sea travel and the power of now. If I wanted to be a multinational soul, I couldn't do it in cities where I taught English like New York or Los Angeles, Paris or Tokyo alone-I needed to get consecrated by sailing on the oceans. It's a wonderful thing to get rid of everything and everybody and just go some place where you don't know anyone; where, as Melville said,"God's one and only voice is Silence."

Despite the undoubted camaraderie, the laughs, the jollies and the sense of tribalism that attends any cruising project, the profession remains a notoriously lonely one. Friendships are intense but brief; when the gig ends or the curtain runs down, you can soon find yourself back home staring at your cell phone and wondering if any of it really happened. Memories are short, time moves on, fame is transitory.

Nothing fails like excess- 6 times around the world does build confidence- It's not real life but an alibi. It is like going out of your mind everyday- in order to come to your senses.  It is a blessing:


Rule of thumb is if I am not  embarrassed enough
 by who I was and what I did  last year,
 I  probably not learning enough
!
The word “blessing” actually comes from the French blessure, which means “wound.” So, a blessing always has that other side to it, My cruising obsession (this invisible wound) is like a private religion. It’s where the bulk of my spirit is actually invested. Yet I have been divinely compensated.The wisdom of this excess is that We die to the present tense and are born again in future perfect---the heroes of our own lives.



Outdoors Is In Read more HERE.

You can teach an old DOGma new tricks.  Neurons  that wire together fire together. I am not seeking a meaning to life, but the experience of being ALIVE. I am  longer hard-wired  per se for  cruise ships. My brain is plastic. The hunt for HAPPY is repetition. I enjoy the navel gazing concussions, the  Lakota-style sweat lodge ceremonies, the power of NEW and the power of NOW. That will never change.Life Extension: The "prescription" for  my happiness. I'm not going to the doctor or the mall, I'm  going on a trip.




Fade IN:  Leaving a ritual and habit of ordinary living,  I embarked  on an unplanned trip and became The  Accidental Sailor.  

For reasons of necessity rather than a sense of innate wanderlust, I am at sea because it gives  me something to do and a place to be. Magnetized and full of charisma, I always managed to stay on course, without realizing it. Sometimes I quip---Success at sea is continued enthusiasm despite failure after failure, because there are so many variables, but in the end, you don't quit jobs, you quit people. FunEmployment  has a limited lifespan. 

Never heard of FunEmployment? It's the person who quits his job or takes advantage of being out of a "job" to have the time of their life. Instead of punching a clock, you head for the beach. In my case, the high seas. 
2012


2009


20,000 Leagues Into My Brain

Call it faith!  A passion for the possible. I am full of it, and shooting from the hip that is to say,  having an adventure is something more 

but nothing less than bad planning.

I'm beginning to think that maybe it's not just how much I love being at sea. Maybe what matters is who I am when I’m  doing it. I’m my best self.   Character is doing what’s right when no one is looking. All of ones problems come from the inability to spend time quietly alone in ones "room".

cOPENhagen
As much as I detest   the travel (sometimes) —I love the writing and the introspection—the virtuous delights of organizing a disorganized country, itinerary or culture, and comparing it to my state of mind at that moment , stripping away the inessential and the second-rate, classifying all that remains in neat, terse blog posts, building a solid foundation with the bricks that these ports of call and at sea have thrown at me.

The winds of grace always blow for us  but you have to raise your sails and just go. 
Any port in a storm won't do. You need to be content with the weather of  the day-to-day-The whole secret  is to have NO FEAR. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Written on the gates of hell is abandon all hope" Written in the heart and mind of a Buddha " reject all help"  Only then  are you freed.
The cure for anything is salt water -
 sweat, tears, or the sea....

 Sure living at sea is hours of boredom tinged with moments of hysteria- sometimes the waters are so rough you get sea sick, but I never found these as excuses to remain ashore except for biking…and it’s lonely at times, but I call that solitude. Freedom is not free but it is not for sale and can't be purchased in a 7 day cruise. Sure it's fun- all the food and drink and music and noise; but pleasure is not  happiness. Happiness is balance and following your bliss, and connecting with the divine. The  sea is the place I house  my soul and access my higher self.

There are three sorts of people; those who are alive, those who are dead, and those who are at sea.
An I For An Island
Living Well Is The Best Revenge
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).

- - -- by Ed Reif»
A Post Without Image


    Being There

    Wow What a Summer last August-Alaska is a lot like pizza. When it's good, it's really good.
    When it's bad, it's still pretty good; and like the Pizza Guy, Alaska always delivers.



    Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe videos. Nature's living mirror, however is water---whether still or in motion,The most beautiful landscapes go  better with H 2 Ooooooooh! 

    The Happy go Locals don't tan, they rust, and if they smoke, they smoke salmon.The  cruisers who inhabit this place for 6  hours a day may have come on different ships, but they are all in the same boat-Mother Nature's.





    

Here are my top 5 Videos:

    Keep close to Nature's heart...and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean-John Muir

    When you lived so little you tend to imagine you’re not going to die. But wasting your time concentrating on death is like watching  a comedy  and thinking only about the credits that are going to roll at the end. It’s a mistake of emphasis.

     I like entering THAT  magic field called “Eureka”  enjoying the sweet lightness of being when  you are the universe. My attitude creates my altitude  and that makes me longitude my gratitude. Let me 'splan: Longitude spans all seven continents and so have I. Energy flow where attention goes. Sometimes, I get an incredible ROI, return on investment by being in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. I embarked on an unplanned trip and became:

Read More @ The Accidental Sailor

Beauty is Unity in Variety

When I rowed on the Charles River (1980), the  state of flow was often triggered.  It's that place where action and awareness merge, and you feel a tremendous amount of self control and focus.  What is even more amazing is the total lack of emotion(s) in this spaciousness You can't create experiences like this, you undergo them.  

The Secret is about results, flow is about process rather than achievement. The ends  justify the means is about the outcome. Flow  is means without ends-the joy is simply doing it, but doing it optimally is, nonetheless  the consequence.


Peak Experiences  provide water/landmarks of positive experiences that  I can recall and savor throughout the rest of my life or as I have come to know it-the stopover between being and oblivion,  that blissful repose of nothingness. 

Mysticism and Exaggeration  ---"Holy Cow!" hyperbole go together 

PE's  are those moments, gone in 60 seconds to  a few minutes, where I feel my  highest levels of happiness, synchronicity and  promise.  It's real magic where my consciousness becomes storyteller. The teachable moment being: PE's  insinuate  the recognition that my own powers are far greater than I  imagined them to ever be.

I have had so many of these  PE's  while sailing. It's no stretch---Nature has a way of showing up and producing wonder, awe, or ecstasy. 

Last Summer, for instance, in the Pacific Northwest. Peak Experiences are  another way to describe the joy and elation that visit(ed) my life.
Write? Right!

    Here are my travel blog entries:

- - -- by Ed Reif»
A Post Without Image

4 years ago  today I smiled and said Cheese
I ♥ Amsterdam

Uncle Buddha with the Gouda

Cheese has a long history in Holland, so I had to take this photo opportunity.


Today I took a Canal Boat sightseeing excursion and it really was not a tourist trap; just a beautiful, scenic day in the sun.



Considering, Amsterdam is the most watery city in the world. It was worth doing.


The Flying Dutchman, according to folklore, is a ghost ship that can never go home, doomed to sail the oceans forever. At times, I thought I was on that very ship--The city's canals and harbors are ubiquitous. It's the city's essence, however, and I'm glad I got to see canal life, the barges, the bridges, the boats, and all the rows of houses.




One nice thing about Europe, they have SUUNTO Watches on tap.
 My wristband broke(again). This ranks right up there with the
mundane and useless; but it happened in Amsterdam.



 Greenhouse Effect + Amsterdam's User-friendly Windows

Tune In. Turn On. Drop Out.

Greetings from The User Friendly Universe of Amsterdam. Mapquest is OUT. Cosmic Cartography is IN.


I'm testing/ tracking / false positive for "hanging loose" in the present tense. as I perform a life hack on my comfort zones and live in Hotel @ nyware--- I started drinking beer again, after a 15 year break (wow). It started with Guinness, in Dublin. I lowered my standards with Holland's brew.
Dreaming with eyes wide open, As I twitter, pulp-free on my G1 Goggle phone, My buddy Mike and I stopped off for an authentic Amstel, second only to Heineken.
If Amsterdam INC. is a business, it isn't Wal-Mart — it isn't trying to be the lowest-priced product in the market. It's a high-end product, maybe even a luxury product. Playing down and out in the Majik kingdom gets you short-listed for a double helping of cool, but don't expect a family friendly Dutch discount.
There's chill and creativity everywhere you turn; a whole mellow-frigging world out there, clarified and codified and grounded in inner slacker and range free-lactose intolerance.
You feel the the black market wheeler deal vibe here . It's a language that rolls up its sleeves, and speaks a slang that spits in the street and says, “I want something new everyday.” and “I want to be surprised”.

Free boarding Passes for the GGG, "Good, Giving, and Game," Sex and Drugs and Amsterdam


Growing old isn't optional, growing up is in the Netherlands is. The science of being mellow for free costs a lot. It's a full-time occupation. Burn rates in Amsterdam vary, but one thing for sure: In Holland it is as reliable and predictable as an episode of Seinfeld; the canals, the drugs and the whores.

Old Dog. New Tricks. Reminds me of Soi Cowboy in Bangkok,Thailand, and The North Shore of Hawaii

The Greenhouse Effect is in full splendor--as the Cannabis Coffee houses reek of Marijuana. Trustafarians, all locked up, squander their allowances. Harry Pothead locals act like ski bums who don't have to wash dishes or watch CNN - All are not making some amazing sacrifice just because they have two gears—let’s party and let’s get laid. Avoiding the boredom of excess is no miraculous feat.
It's Reefer Madness. Add a little retail sex, aka, Windows 2009, the Red Light District, and your Euros go up to Money Heaven if you cast a vote for Team Estrogen.
Even though there's nothing really ethical about the work ethic, Sex and Drugs is entrepreneurial, and Adam Smith would be proud of One Market Under God.
Cyclists are everywhere--and you are more likely to get hit by one than a car as everybody has a bicycle.

- - -- by Ed Reif»
A Post Without Image


 On The British Isles Cruise 8/20/09
Got Kilt?

Scotland the Brand verses Scotland The Brave
Auld Lang Syne ...Fields Of Gold...Better Days...

Just got back from The Scotch Whiskey Experience in Edinburgh. I believe I now possess Christ-like healing powers, thanks to the Angus Dundee Distillers and their Tomintoul 1976 Vintage.
The irrevocably Scottish kilts, the green landscapes. the whiskey, the Bagpipes, the Porridge, and guys like Malcom, Duncan and Macbeth, all were on tap AM; as the Fest and Furious get ready for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo tonight.
The Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth
Sejuiced

Did not see a single red haired, surly, penny-pinching Highlander who speak a language I am not familiar with.
Homage to the most instantly recognisable Scot in the world ---BEAM ME UP SCOTTY, James Doohan, from Star Trek. P.B.U.H. I was channelling The Chief Engineer...

"The engine imbalance is what caused the worm-hole in the first place. It'll happen again if we don't fix it." Man that malt reeked. It was woopass! "I notice you're still working with polymers."
The Raw Feed---Alcoholic and pugilistic, Ah, the Scots! their favorite colour may be plaid, but I find them to be a happy lot. I'll sample the night life and see if they live up to and represent the PM---ill educated, drunk, foulmouthed and belligerent.

video

video

- - -- by Ed Reif»
A Post Without Image

Travel can alter perceptions and may even rewire your brain. Novelty and unique one-of-a-kind experiences raise dopamine levels, the chemical in your head that gives you optimism, curiosity and creativity.

This gift of pure attention is harder to achieve when your brain is ON French Fries--the default American mode, when your "chi" or energy is Velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones.




State It Then Create It 

Before you can take your path you must live it in thought.



My thought makes me travel and create archives of experience and expectation where I incinerate negativity and have a mindfulness of pure attention, without advice, without judgments-When I'm traveling, I am what I am right there and like some Starfleet Commander- I endorse Captain Kirk's recommended policy of non-interference with the internal development of alien civilizations. I must say, some of these places I visit, at least on the surface, look a bit like Mars. 



Freedom is what you do to what has been done to you-even if what has been done is being born in America, the cultural equivalent of the geographically-desirable-places-to-live-on-the-planet lottery. So why squander your inheritance and live in The United States of Unconsciousness.



Wired Verses Tired-Grey Matters


The Earth was made round so that we would not see too far down the road but Neurons That Wire Together Fire Together and the best way to predict the future is to INVENT it. There is no absolute grid  I  live in where things occur independent of my  own thinking about them. In the 70's The ME Generation was Old school selfishness--- I am the center of the world. That's tired. My New Wor(l)d Order says, I create the world...and more importantly my thoughts do too. Change your thoughts, change your world. That's Wired Thinking. 


The 3 P's-Practice.Practice. Practice. 

The hardest arithmetic I've had to master is the one which enables me to count my blessings. It requires a long apprenticeship (Think Gladwell's 10,000 Hours of practice rule or 10 years) Cruising around the world, provides a legitimate short cut for taking things with gratitude instead of for granted.

Despite the spectacular sceneries and itineraries. The universe is in our head,and not out there separate from us. In actuality, a world of our own making. We are co-creators of our world, and we can effect that world and the world of others, even at a distance.What the bleep? Read more HERE
The Persistence Of Norway

As the brain changes the mind changes, in practical terms  each time you repeat a particular thought or action, and "use your marbles", you strengthen the connection between a set of brain cells or neurons. 

Consequently, neurons that wire apart fire apart, and different thoughts create different pathways-.It has been over 60 days "vacation"  from blue ocean cruising and the urge to sail  remains.   How do I explain this  habit: Use it or lose it.
Traveling = f(dopamine flow); Money= happiness


"Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy travel and new experiences, which is kinda the same thing" 


The need to break free and sail away is ancient, enduring and incessant. Voyages  trigger a concept called   psychological distance: Something about the experience of leaving your place  creates a shock and awe, a pathway  into a new perspective that floods the brain with ideas. For me, this shift in perspective starts as soon as I'm on  a cruise ship . Ships are weirdly the most lucid part of my life. Every cruise I take somehow changes my life in some way.

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea."-Karen Blixen (Out of Africa)


The actual cruise  might be four days or a week, the anticipation of   Norwegian Fjords cruise, for instance was months  and the memory will probably  last for years or forever. So, while I   focus  on the joy of the doing the cruise  there is  joy or anticipation and the joy of  THE memory of it all the time.

Rudyard Kipling wrote "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 both, Norway in 2010, and New Zealand in 2011, I didn't need a second chance for 2012 SE Alaska Fjords to make a first impression--It has brought me back  again to a  place I have never been before...



I used to think working on cruise ships was bad, but I stopped thinking- I guess I have ship for brains!

You are HERE. Travel with ME...

The experiences at sea turned my can’t into cans and leveraged my Adventures (which was nothing more than bad planning) into serendipity a thousand unseen helping hands of  allies, synchronicity, and the Michelangelo effect


#8



#9 I am adding:Alaska The Great Land-Action Plan to the list







1. Santorini, Greece

Let The Orinoco Flow




2.Maldives, Islands

Consciousness Is Wireless

3. Bora Bora

Tahiti-Stopover In Paradise

4. The Fjords of Norway
 

Mother Nature and Father Time Are Effin Special


5. The Fjords of New Zealand

Milford Sound-Are We There Yet?

6.Full World Cruise

L.A.To London in 110 Days



7. The Oasis Of The Seas

Game Changer- The Ship IS the destination. Remarkable. This  225,282-ton, 5,400-passenger colossus that cost Royal Caribbean $1.4 billion. 


 It only ends once-anything before that is just progress
Too much cruise ship? Quantity is its own kind of quality.

Go BIG or Go HOME

8. Honorable Mention-The Hawaiian Islands
1994-My First Ship -
A Rust Bucket- SS Constitution(a glorified ferry) with a lot of heart
known  as "American Hawaii Cruises"

The Hawaiian Islands



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