Travel Thought Thursday :- Unexpected Discoveries

Unbeknownst to me, my life really took a turn for the better after my live-in boyfriend of 5-years walked out on our relationship. Until it ended, I did not know I was co-dependent. I did not know it was in an unhealthy relationship, that it was a ticking time-bomb.

That was 10 years ago. After hitting what I thought at that time as rock bottom, I met a series of strong, level-minded women and men who helped me to understand, to acknowledge, to shift and to evolve to the newer me – the current Karen.

Throughout all this, alongside the smattering of boyfriends and flings – was the travels I experienced. Some days, actually there are many days, I can say I felt more comfortable traveling solo, surrounded by strangers, in a strange land.

What an oddity – you must think. Continue reading

Travel Tuesday :- Hotel Bookings, Forget about it!

The Day I showed up at a hotel without a booking was Liberating. Who woulda thunk!

After visiting 46 countries in the world, meeting plenty of people who just stroll up to hotels and hostels without a booking… I am finally brave enough to follow their footsteps. I mean considering I only had a return flight for this current 6-month journey with no set itinerary and not know where I’ll be the next day… I sound like a late bloomer.

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Spiritual Saturday :- Signs

What’s a sign? What’s in a sign?

To me many things are signs from the Universe. Road signs and proper signage are too literal. Though when I think I’m lost – wandering, seeking and at the exact moment when I look up and see a sign, an indication I am on track – that provides not only reassurance, it also provides a boost to my confidence, adding fuel to a waning storage of energy and perhaps confidence. A reminder that I’m on track, on the path.

The path in life may not necessarily be the shortest path between 2 points. It maybe extremely long – feel like I’m completely lost and off track at times. However, I have been told and sometimes reminded that there is no wrong path. I may perhaps learn more lessons on a longer and a more meandering path but I will gain what I need to gain.
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Spiritual Saturday :- Past Lives in Paris Unravels

Where do I begin… In March of 2013, I checked into a hostel at the border town of Foz do Iguacu, Brazil. There in the 4-bed dorm room, I found a book on the shelf of the closet. I picked it up, the title of the book “Sarah’s Key” written by Tatiana de Rosnay. I thought to myself, “Why not give this a read – It’s been ages since you last read a book that’s not a travel guidebook.”

I admit I’m typically a slow reader unless the book intrigues me. This was one of those – I finished the book in 2 days despite the fact that I still found time to visit the Iguazzu falls on the Brazilian side and a local Buddhist Temple. The book tells a story of a Jewish girl who lived in Paris, France. On the 16th of July in 1942, the French police rounded up all the Jews in Paris and sent them to Vélodrome d’Hiver (Vel’ d’Hiv). She had locked her brother inside the secret cupboard in their Parisian apartment to keep him safe, with a promise to return. She became a child of the Vel’ d’Hiv roundup.

No other Holocaust story has struck me like this. I cried painfully as though I was the girl in the story when I finished the book. Even when I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2009, I did not react like this. My heart ached. I felt physical pain. I could not understand why the connection. Continue reading

Spiritual Saturday :- Totem Animals

Ever cross path with an animal or an insect – unexpectedly?! So much so, they startle you and stops you in your tracks??

Be it a spider, ant, frog, dragonfly, chicken, bat, goats.

I don’t mean the animals you see when you go to a zoo or pet store. I mean the animals that you encounter while minding your own business. Like a butterfly that suddenly catches your attention while you are on your daily run. That neighbor’s pet turtle which never leaves their house but suddenly is walking across your path outside.

Well recently, it keeps occurring to me. Animals capture my attention in unexpected locations at unexpected time of day. I jot down the encounters and when I get on the interweb I google them and see what they symbolize as an animal totem. Often times, the meaning as provided are immediate reminders of emotions or thoughts I have been avoiding or unaware of or have not considered. Synchronicity is at play and the Universe makes it hard to ignore. Continue reading

Travel Thought Thursday :- Synchronicity in Crete

The week prior to my arrival in Crete, I checked daily on multiple hotel / hostel booking sites for accommodation. There was not a single place which met my current budget of 10 to 15€ per night with review ratings of 7.0 or above.

What to do!?! I have never arrived in a new location without reservations for the first night accommodation. I dread wandering from place to place with my luggage in tow, looking for a bed. Many travelers I know does this on a regular basis but I am not one of them.
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