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Winner Of The Epic World-Wide Travel Adventure

Archive for February 2015

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Cruisers, talk to each other, and  influences each other.  So progress gets amplified through WOM, Word of Mouth..  The more people who have ocean cruised, the more who will tell others, the more who will want to take an ocean cruise too. I am doing my part by blogging about my travels.
Here are my TOP 9 SWEET SPOTS-



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


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





- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Great stopover on My 50 Shades of Blue Tour.Grand Cayman, like The Postman, always delivers.
Partly cloudy with a chance of Paradise. 

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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5K Run Just Done It...Swish


Time Machine

Age 40 is the old age of youth--had 8% body fat and a six pack,  I ran the Los Angeles Marathon, Now A Decade+ is the youth of old age---when I traveled 45 countries, by land, sea, air, foot and bicycle. It's like the unplugged version of Eric Clapton's Layla. I jog!


- - -- by Ed Reif»
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The Delaware of the Pacific, A trillion+ US dollars are parked here, most of it in trust and hedge funds. Over 19,000 entities doing business here (well-on paper).

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Anytime IS Key West Time

Procrastinate Now

Key West (KW) Has A Crush On Me


 Key West has an  idea on how to spend  time: Do nothing. This is the "personality"  and PACE of KW. Once you make the conscious choice to  tune into it, the ocean awaits---it's the space between things.

Music is the space between the notes. What is the space between MY notes? My souls rhythm. It leaves room for surprise and anticipation. Being at sea for a few days, I went on a digital diet-no internet. Spaces were created by holding back information-It works.

The Japanese concept of Ma,(negative space, pause, The Gap) is in full bloom.  Essentially, what is NOT going to happen today! Taking it easy, allowing things to happen rather than Being Busy.

When I lived in Tokyo, nobody ever said no. One of the ways Nihon Jins said no, was the time they took between saying YES. That long pause is the space between things. Yes I Don't--

I didn't get it (The Joy of "wasting" time) because every second in Tokyo was like calorie counting: a  commute to the 7/Eleven  became  a Japanese lesson on my Walkman (iPod) while writing kanji characters, scanning the subway car loaded with Salaryman (サラリーマン,   " time layering" and multi tasking  on the lookout for new information instead of what I already found.


The Narrative

KW challenges how we think about clock TIME. No self presentation, no one telling you "I am so busy" No voices saying  "How stressed I am" like some  medal of honor. The stories which we tell ourselves  generally define time-- Yet, as long as  we  believe they  we are  busy, getting involved in projects,  we will keep telling our storyline   to anyone who wants to hear it, to validate us. It seems so real but actually so illusionary.

Even a small dose of KW awe gives me a momentary boost in life satisfaction and seemingly expands my future.



A  7 nights Bahamian Cruise, it's a mostly the Sunshine state-Florida Keys and  Disney World via Port Canaveral.

 For me, it's a celebration of  the good life and a bygone era
 I soon discovered that life in remote Key West was like living in a foreign country while still perched on the southernmost tip of AmericaHave fun up North doing battle with The Snows of Kilimanjaro,

 "It’s the best place I’ve ever been anytime, anywhere, flowers, tamarind trees, guava trees, coconut palms...Got tight last night on absinthe and did knife tricks." Ernest Hemingway.

Key West  was considered the  "Gibraltar of the West" because it is only 90 miles from Cuba. Which reminds me- the last time I was in Gib, at the rock was 2009, another pretty cool place every sailor should go.



Hemingway Quotes:

"Never go on trips with anyone you do not love"

"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"


- - -- by Ed Reif»
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2Day

5K Run 
This private island in the Bahamas, is a Disney Cruise Line port of call. In answer to the question: "When Is The Copy Better Than The Original?" This would be it.

 I am not talking about staged authenticity, like my visit to Papette Tahiti. Most designers spend their time creating shopping malls. Re-creating the island paradise, however, is admirable. Once used as a stop for drug smugglers.Think “Snow White” or “White Snow” .

 There is an airstrip on the island, but it is no longer in regular use nor maintained (I shot some video below) .It's unusual isolation becomes, in its own way, a paradise-somewhere in the Bahamas.. It is not Gilligan's Island but it has also been used for filming; the beach where Tom Hanks first encounters Daryl Hannah in Splash is on the island

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Leaving Port today
You think of Reggae, and then Bob ...I'll tell you what Marley realized. If you go off into the quiet parts of Jamaica, and get very quiet, you'll come to understand that you're connected with everything...and no, you don't have to do drugs to feel this ---you are drugs!

Nuh in local patois mean don't- so No Woman DON'T Cry...he assures me, Every thing's Gonna be alright, Yet if Vegas is where neon goes to die, then this is certainly the resting place of "Legend" and "One Love" Bob Marley Nostalgia. The music still stands the test of time, and Bob Marley is an American Idol, but the country needs an extreme makeover.

4 years ago, @The GR8 Barrier Reef

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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Coo coo for coconuts
Coco Vita is tired, Caymania au natural is wired. Loved by health nuts and Hollywood royalty, coconut water is the "new" health drink. It's almost as good as a blood transfusion, It slows down ageing, smooths your skin; regulates blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol; and it's good for digestive health. Every port of call, I make a habit of drinking some.

Today, I bought a whole quart.

Coconut water is the purest liquid on earth, second only to H20. It's anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. This is one of those rare super foods. I am taking The Cure. 

 Coconut's Magic Puts an Infinite Smile on my face It is full of electrolytes, calcium and magnesium. An average size coconut has more potassium (at about 294 mg) than most sports drinks (117 mg). It stimulates metabolism. Coconut Water has more food value than whole milk; is a Natural Isotonic Beverage - The same level we have in our blood; and, it contains lauric acid, which is present in human mother's milk. Ma Ma Mia!

Around The World in 80 Coconuts

San Juan del Sur- Nicaragua-Coconut Quest Redux


Dominica-When you're born into this world, you're given
 a ticket to the freak show. If you're born in America you
get a front row seat. Island life is Project Manana
 Bananas  Over Coconuts!


Thailand-Coconut Magic-'m coo coo for Coconuts--- They are anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-microbial. I'm up to six a day.The water is the purest liquid second only to water itself. It is full of electrolytes, calcium and magnesium. An average size coconut has more potassium (at about 294 mg) than most sports drinks (117 mg). More @ All Thai'd Up

If St Maarten is the Mitt Romney of vacation destinations---self restraint in an age of rage,
 then Barbados is the Keith Richards of the Caribbean--it's over the hill,
showing signs of age but can still belt out the kareoke hits of Paradise it once sang. Read More @ Barbados

Costa Rica
Funchal,Madeira
Generation RX---The Doctor delivers some more coconut magic water!

Jamaica
Honduras
Somewhere in  Central America??



- - -- by Ed Reif»
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I didn't invent the hypothetical situation, but let's just suppose for a second that I did, that I was sailing on  a ship, and had an "existential" moment, a little flash of sunlight on a cobalt blue sea. 

Nothing really happens in the past, Everything that’s ever happened /for/to me happened in the present moment. That’s all there ever is. So my relationship to life isn’t my  relationship to my past, it’s my relationship to the present moment.
Who would I be without my story (past)? If you don't have one, you don't have to live up to it. What's left then--Just Now. That's the value proposition of travel: It's a come as you are affair.


"I have crossed the seas, I have left cities behind me, and I have followed the source of rivers towards their source or plunged into forests, always making for other cities. I have had women, I have fought with men; and I could never turn back any more than a record can spin in reverse. And all that was leading me where? To this very moment" - JP Sartre

- - -- by Ed Reif»
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There are three sorts of people; those who 
are alive, those who are dead, and those who are at sea.



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 stepped foot even in a motor boat, never started and therefore  I never failed.


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




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.

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).