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Travel Well And Prosper

Archive for April 2014

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

I didn't burn this bridge
There is no YES in Yesterday and the one day that nothing can be done is someday. I turned the slogan Just Do It in to Just Done It.Swish....


Here are 10 Cruises (And Destinations) I had to go on before I died:

Venice-Gondola Dreams And Acqua Alta (High Water)
Dubai- Strange But Awesome







Alaska The Great Land-Action Plan 



Santorini, Greece

Let The Orinoco Flow




Maldives, Islands

Consciousness Is Wireless

 Bora Bora

Tahiti-Stopover In Paradise

 The Fjords of Norway
 

Mother Nature and Father Time Are Effin Special


 The Fjords of New Zealand

Milford Sound-Are We There Yet?

Full World Cruise

L.A.To London in 110 Days



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

 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



This Is Your Brain On Travel

Dubai 2014
The roads of life have twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same.When I see the symbolic meaning of camels, the sacred animal and ship of the desert, I see journey(ing) and transport(ing) . Their essence is of long-distance travel. It's no secret the camel can endure days in scorching hot deserts while transporting precious cargo and whole tribes across great distances.
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


Awe Is What Moves Me Forward
Find Out What You Love. Let It Kill You So You Can be Born Again

Serendipity- You Will Be Helped By Hidden Hands

An I For An Island- There Is Life After Luau


Life at (20+32) in Fiji 


 Two Roads Appeared-I Got Lost

The cave you fear holds the  treasure you seek.

The dark night of the soul comes just before revelation. When everything is lost, and all seems darkness, then comes the new life and all that is needed.

REAL travel writing is about leading an interesting life and having a good time. It’s less about where you go and more about  who you go with or end up meeting along the way.  Being who you are and doing what you like when you like where you like.  Being There.

To live like a travel writer is better than to write about it. Travel by proxy, OPT Other People’s Thoughts, is not OPE, Other People’s Experiences. It’s not even OPM, Other People’s Money. The currency is DIY, Doing It Yourself and that is priceless. In fact Free is the radical price you pay for your own Personal travel of this sort. Sure there is the details of cost. Cost is what you pay but value is what you get. You can walk the painted line and do the Aristocratic grand tour of the world, the one in the Travel by proxy books, or you can go your own way- it’s more messy.

I went to Paris and ate a croissant and had an espresso at a cafe- What does that mean to you?  It’s not what we call something that gives it its substance.You can’t get  fed from the word croissant.  You can’t read about this stuff, you must undergo it. It’s a transitory ephemeral and capricious. Take a bite. The Mystics call this One Taste, like all the oceans, the salt has one taste. How inappropriate to call this place Planet Earth because it is surely all ocean, both literally and figuratively.

Life at (20+33)in Australia 
Everything transient has a calculus of its time within itself.  As I   pick up the pieces of the mathematical dust  created by PT (permanent travel)  and connect the dots of these “mini-retirements, the hardest arithmetic to do is counting my blessings, a  French word from blessure, which means “wound.” So, a blessing always has a dark side to it.

I am location neutral, untethered, unmoored, never dropping anchor too long;  one of an ever growing number of  the privileged homeless, where home is a feeling not a place.
Cruising hasn’t solved my problems (situations), it subsidizes them in a movable feast.

 Doing the math, from Zero to Infinity:


5-2=7. I am doing less yet   BEING   more. because the fewer  activities I  DO the  higher the value I can generate for  them. I am  one of the new rich-time affluent  geeks with beacoup bandwidth  of mobility and individualism.
The Have And The Have Yachts U.A.E. 

1+1=infinity. Motion creates an emotional algebra where environment creates mood. Tomorrow may be the busiest day of the week, but the future is already here, and evenly distributed. It can come from nowhere else but the energies of the psyche.

 2+2 = 5.  Is the fuzzy logic in the superstition of materialism, that shared hallucination that says you MUST  purchase freedom in a two week vacation.

Freedom is free. It is not for sale. The Secret is about results, flow is about process rather than achievement. The Law OF Attraction is misstated. I  don’t  attract what I  want. I attract what I am. All the  "happy" accidents, seem uncoordinated when they happen, fooled by the randomness, in reverse, seem  more orderly, plotted out by a fiction writer.

Sailing   around the world, provides   a legitimate short cut for taking things with gratitude instead of for granted. My Adventures ,which are  nothing more than bad planning, more often than not, turn  into synchronicity--- being in the right place at the right time.  Graced moments and a strong dose of magic lift the spirit and remind you that you are on the right path. The experiences at sea have  turned my can’t into cans and leveraged my dreams into Serendipity-You Will Be Helped By Hidden Hands.



RETURN Sea Change- 20,000 Leagues Inside My Brain

The meaning of life- I Got One-the meaning of life is about the experience of realizing that your dreams have come true. That your make-believe world has become REAL.

Digital narcissism and singing my praises-me,me,me,me,me are over.  No self/no enemy. When you get out of the way, you get more sublime.  But you have to be a SOMEbody before you can be this NObody. Slaying the inner dragons of monoculture is easy compared to slaying the dragon of ones own holding on to the self.

It’s time to give credit where and when credit is due. The most extraordinary aspects of my being didn't come from me. The spark(s) of epiphanies that I occasionally get are less about being a genius  and more about having a genie---Making  Wishes.

My Sea Life as an Accidental Sailor , based on a true story is downright paranormal. How the hell did I get here? Whatever talent I possess(ed)  is  most def on loan from some deity, some unimaginable source and force for some exquisite portion of  time, to be passed on when I am finished.

Showing Up. Being T/Here is 99%. But that other 1% is the difference between   lightening and a lightening bug  If you build it, you will leave- Fear is for folks who don't get out very much. Outdoors Is In!

"When you define me, you negate me'--so let me tell my own idiosyncratic story. My autobiography gives dignity and meaning to me and the universe.

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".
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. Every blog post is an act of love and contribution. There is freedom to live in the wisdom and power to serve others and share the ecstasy of stepping into another world and not just do the ordinary day-to-day things but being a magical helper, continuing The Souls High Adventure - An I For An Island- There Is  Life After Luau


All the time. It is miraculous. I even have a superstition that has grown on me as a result of invisible hands coming all the time - namely, that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be. Joseph Campbell (1904 - 1987)
Thanks to Bill Moyers, and  Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the Doubleday editor, whose interest in the ideas of Joseph Campbell was the prime mover in the publication of The Power of Myth.

RELATED FEATURES

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



Tree Calendars in New Zealand
 like pages in a diary.
We live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and we think this to be normal? Happy Earth Day 4/23.
Why do they call it Planet Earth when it is clearly ALL ocean. Well, come to think of  it, it's the trees, and Nature: I Shrink Therefore I am - I feel so small, when these mega waterfalls, glaciers and forests come in my view:
I posted on these happy spots: Alaska,  Norway, South Pacific, New Zealand, but Hawaii has an Über special  place in my heart.  Read More at

 It's Called The Big Island Not The Tiny Island


This is a conversation between Sarah Kennedy And when the sky was painted with stars, and she was spotting landmarks out like the  southern cross- in another hemisphere- in a  land down under.


KENNEDY: I was born in Zambia. We lived in a kind of Garden of Eden in Chingola, Picking fruit off the vines. Throw a seed down and a day later you’d have a plant growing wild in the fertile soil. I would look up at the stars and see thousands of them because there was no power grid around, (We made our own electricity) and I stayed up on a hill in our “back yard” with my brothers Liam, Dermot and Jonathan and camped there until night fell, feeling a sense of the presence of all creation -- sensing underneath that night sky, in that vast place, that I belonged to something ancient, something very much still alive. The whole jungle was charged like that. the "way of the animal powers," the "way of the seeded earth," the "way of the celestial lights," and later when we moved to Capetown, the "way of man." And the city.

REIF: I know that feeling going into a forest. As a Boy Scout we camped at Cathedral Pines on Long Island, (appropriately named). The  feeling that the gods are there the divine and divinity is present. It  becomes known to you're in your sleeping bag, no tent,  ‘under the stars”. There are these “Cathedral Pines” everywhere. 

I can remember in the 1990’s Hilo Hawaii, there are sacred Banyan Groves everywhere, and when you go into a grove the presence of the HUNA becomes known to you, and the BIG KaHuna isn’t far behind. I can remember being a true tree hugger-worshipping a great big old tree, thinking “OMGosh what you have known and been”. I was actually brought to spontaneous tears because it reminded me of being a kid and now having the wisdom to”Get It” 




We're on the Big Island, the west side, at the local Starbucks,
 for some Kona Joe, sitting with our friends cream and sugar.

American coffee is "dirty water" and
 Instant coffee takes too long. Kona, however, is "Ono". Tastes good.

Oh, that's your god, Pele's mine






Shoveling Sunshine-My First Extended Stay In Paradise




  A Sophie's Choice meltdown over which island or for that matter, which town on the Big Island gets to check into Hotel @nyware--- my memoirs-- I'm  feeling like the Oskar Schindler of travel bloggers-Kona and Hilo , you were nice to me. You get to live in digital heaven-because we all know information on the web never dies.

Hello Hilo


Hilo is so cool to sail to because, overnight, with a moon lit backdrop, we steam past  Kilauea,the  active volcano lava rivers  spark and spill into the sea, and leave its aftermath of molten rock at the waters edge.  Only the view from Maui's Haleakala offers such a once in a life time view of something you probably never have seen before.


Hilo is artistically bohemian, and in terms of authenticity, is the real deal-papayas, homemade jams, roasted macadamia nuts and koa wood carvings. The Banyan trees are worthy of a hug. It's the type of tree that moved me to tears of joy (For Real).   I've often biked to Rainbow Falls too. That whole area-the nature, the land, the people speak, and it's easy to listen. They seem more resigned to the way they have to live than New Yorkers like me do.

In fact, I  often  took my bike (that I stored on the ship-You could have a surf board or a bike-cool!) I soon realized  the terrain on the Big Island  is  a bit like the moon with all that  razor-sharp geo-volcanic rock. 

 I never asked myself "Am I there yet" on a bike, except for Kona and Maui--It only took  one time to  catch  a sliver of black volcanic rock and flat tire or  in Maui, it's these prickly seeds mixed in with the red clay sugar cane dust that get you.

I upgraded to flat-resistent tires and was good to go for the season and I was back to living happily every after in King  Kamehameha's Kingdom-Don't worry Be Maui...and in the tune of Happy Birth Day to you I sing ...Happy Kona to you,Happy Kona to you,Happy Kona to you,Happy Kona to you,


The Tour

The glamor of being a sailor had me concerned. "Repaint your entire house every month" Buy a Dumpster and live in it for 6 months" But this was going to be a cruise ship- It  was on America Hawaii Cruises. I just wanted a different experience, and I took the first job I could get, which was a deck hand. We sailed for seven  days and each day we had a port of call.

Starting off with an embarkation day at Aloha Towers in Honolulu, then a sea day, and we hit Kauai, Maui(Lahina and Kahalui) Hilo and Kona. It was the best! 

The weather was always temperate and I had the most energizing and spirtually uplifting time, enjoying the weather, the people, the food, the culture and the OHANA-family atmosphere of Hawaii. I have been hooked ever since on these beautiful islands.
The definition of ecstasy is that you are not doing your ordinary everyday ho-hum existence. Shoveling sunshine in Hawaii beats a day at the office.



 Travel by proxy is a surrogate achievement, like feeling athletic and going to a sports bar for a few drinks. Then taking a victory lap. A legend in your own mind. The unpardonable sin is not greed, Gekko says,”greed is good”. The unpardonable sin of inadventure-a life sentence of other people’s ideas and thoughts, traditions and faith-That’s bad. An adventure is nothing more than bad planning. The holy grail is what we attain by living out our dreams and our own authentic life. If at some point you don’t ask yourself, ‘What have I gotten myself into?’ then you’re not doing it right.

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

Project Go Blue
 When you sail on a cruise ship  around the world for over a year, as I did in 2011, you start to borrow happiness from tomorrow; not because there is anything wrong with it, but because you will never have had such experiences like this, and the nostalgia-the suffering of remembering the past-will always be part of your future thoughts.

You can only recognize what you already know, and nobody can do it for you-you have to undergo this kind of traveling, where time is measured in moments rather than hours, the eternal present and just now; and days of the week are ports of call- Monday is Copenhagen, Wednesday, Amsterdam, and the longest day of the week is someday: because if you are a permanent traveler, there is always one more place to go.

There is an economics law of diminishing returns where less is more, but in fact, more is more-more life, more switch, more yes. 1+1= Infinity and traveling together is better than eating alone, but if you want to travel fast, you have to do it alone, and no one can do it for you.

I miss standing in line listening to the most entitled coffee drinkers
 and obnoxious Starbucks orders!
Quad, Nonfat, One-Pump, No-Whip, Mocha
Chai Tea Latte, 3 Pump, Skim Milk, Lite Water, No Foam,
 Extra Hot Tall Nonfat Latte, 2 Percent Foam...2%?
ced, Half Caff, Ristretto, Venti, 4-Pump, Sugar Free, Cinnamon, Dolce Soy Skinny






An I for an Island, losing my self is the best revenge and living well is too. The definitions that teachers, tests, family and friends place upon me were scripted. I was not going to get anywhere by being a good example-In fact, no one ever has. I tore up my contract of reality-Home would be a feeling not a place.

 And  some simple rules: 1. Do what you want 2. If it doesn't serve you get rid of it-that means no longer living in “debt both material stuff and psychological thoughts. 3.  Be kind and show love to everyone. After all, it is all cultural, there is no right or wrong regarding food choices, language, and social mores-it just is.

Today in Cozumel
A change brought about by the sea---I haven’t known what day of the week it is for 6 months. Before that, the daze of the week become countries .Let me slip into something more comfortable, like a comma, No I am on a ship. Here are some other strange innuendos of meaning that are contained within "cruise club" culture: Arriving at a new country usually consists of finding the free wifi and taking a bath is considered a luxury You talk about how to spend your "hours off" not "days off". You have to turn on the tv to see the weather outside. When you’re in the real world you stop yourself from saying hello to random people walking past you. Living on a ship however, might be summed up as monotony tinged with hysteria, but you can get drunk for $5. Working less than 10 hours is considered to be "an easy day"You’ve just spent a 13-hour day with the same people, so you go to dinner and happily spend the rest of the night with them.

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