Friday, July 30, 2010

Last Words and Fears


Hello Optimists,

Happy Friday! Ah, the weekend is upon us again...what a wonderful feeling!

Last night I was just browsing through some headlines and came across a slideshow of "Famous People's Last Words" and was immediately intrigued. I don't really know why- it is sort of a morbid thing to be interested in, but I thought I might get a chance to read some good quotes from some of the most well-known names of our time. Plus, last words are...well, the absolute last thing we will ever have on record from past presidents of the United States, actors and actresses, princesses, world leaders, etc. Their words undoubtedly mean something to all of us. While last words usually do not reveal centuries old secrets, cures for diseases, or words to unlock the mysteries of life, they do sometimes offer great wisdom and advice.

I don't really like thinking about any of our "lasts" because for me, death is a scary thing. I mean, I don't really know anyone who is welcoming it, but some can deal with it better than others. I think it's just the fear of the unknown...what is it like, when will it be, how will it feel? We don't really know the answers to any of those things until it happens, and then, well, it's a little too late to tell your friends about. I don't like to think about a life coming to an end- whether it be a person, a cat, a tree or a goldfish. It's just... sad.

So after clicking through all 33 of the featured "last words" of the slideshow, I thought it might be fun to look through my list of quotes and see which ones I thought would be good to have as the "last". I came across a bunch of good ones, but there was one that really stood out from the crowd. It's not necessarily the best of the lasts, but it is one that reminded me that our biggest fear shouldn't be the end of our life...
Fear not that life shall come to an end, but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning. -John Henry Cardinal Newman
This is a really great quote, isn't it? We can't be scared of the inevitable. But if we are to have a fear, it should instead be that we've missed the opportunity to really live. We've got to give life a good beginning, a jump start to the rest of the years that we are given the chance to live it up.

So while I still think that death is a scary thing, I guess I can see now why we shouldn't really fear it. I'm going to concentrate on making all of my years count....I think I've already given it a good start, and now it's time to make sure I keep the ball rolling. I hope you can take something from this quote as well and I hope it inspires you to live your life to its fullest.

Keep Smiling,

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Quote Coincidence


Hello Optimists,

It's funny the way things work out sometimes...

 I hopped onto Blogger to read through some of the blogs I follow, and I came across a great post called "Picture Your Dreams" over at Velvet Over Steel. I'm so glad I stumbled across this because it's about something I love to read about. As the title says, the post was indeed about "picturing your dreams" and said that we should visualize achieving the goal we've set for ourselves. I think this is a great message to send and it's something we should try to incorporate into our lives. Whatever you want in life- whether it be a new career, a diploma, or even a new pair of shoes (helloooo Manolos!) then we've got to picture ourselves working in that new office setting, walking off stage with diploma in hand, or strutting our stuff on the street in our new heels. "Picturing our dreams" gives us that little extra "umph" to make our dreams a reality.

Not only did I love this post because of the positive message it sent, but also because it featured two great quotes that supported this idea. And, when getting ready to write this post, it just so happened that the next reader-submitted quote in line was the same one that was featured in the "Picture Your Dreams" post! Well I took that as a sign that this quote was really meant to be shared and taken to heart, so I hope that you can read it and share it with your friends too! It is a pretty well-known quote, but even if you've heard it before, take some time to really think about it....
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. -Henry David Thoreau 
There's a reason why this is so's so so so powerful. Two things really stick out to me here. First is that we are to go confidently in the direction of our dreams. Confidently, without any second thoughts or room for reservations. Confidently, without worrying about what others may think. Confidently, with total faith in ourself and our decisions. This is something I'm always working on and looking to improve. It's pretty tough to live a in total confidence, but it's so important in our lives.

The next part that really stuck out to me was that we need to live the life we have imagined. We need to really live out our dreams, with all of the blood, sweat, and tears that may accompany it. To live out our dreams by making that one little idea a real plan of action. The life we have always imagined is just waiting for us to start living it...we have no reason to keep it as only a dream or a thought. That is our life...we just have to let it happen.

Go check out that post at Velvet Over Steel and read about how the author is really picturing her dreams and living the life she has imagined. It just might inspire you to start doing the same! It really is funny the way things work out sometimes, and I'm so glad that this little "quote coincidence" came about.

Remember today's quote as you go through your day and I hope this starts you on a journey towards living out your dreams.

Keep Smiling,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Spoiled with Desire


Hello Optimists,

Yesterday we had absolutely beautiful weather here in PA so I went out on a bike ride to try to enjoy as much of it as I could. It was a really relaxing ride; I was warmed from the sun's rays and cooled by the gentle breeze that would blow through at just the right moment. I was really enjoying my ride and as I peddled along, all I could think about was how much I would love to have this weather year round. I shudder to think of the cold days in the seasons ahead, so I tried to stay focused on the beauty of the present weather. After all, summer is my favorite, so that wasn't too hard to do.

I have found sometimes people have a hard time really living in the moment and appreciating the good things that are a part of their life because they're too focused on what might go wrong in the future. Some can't really appreciate the things that they have because they're always looking for something better, something greater than the things they have already worked so hard to get. I have found that since I have been writing this blog, I have been more appreciative of even the smallest things in my life, and because of that, I can really enjoy every moment I'm awake. So yesterday, instead of thinking of (and dreading) the cold weather that is to come, I chose to soak up every moment of the sunshine.

I'm totally loving sharing these reader-submitted quotes (and I hope you are liking them too) and the next one in line fit in perfectly with this whole idea of appreciating the present moment. I'm really excited to share this quote- it is one I will definitely be putting in my "favorites" list. Thanks to my friend Ashley over at Food, Fotos, and Fun! for submitting such a great quote! 
Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. -Epicurus 
See, I told you this was a great one! Ashley said she loves this quote because "it reminds us to live in the moment and be thankful for what we have. I know that I sometimes find myself working towards one goal and then immediately tackling another as soon as I've achieved the first. This quote reminds me to stop and relish what I've already accomplished." Well said, girl, well said. I couldn't agree more! 

I hope that you all take this one to heart and keep it in mind whenever you're feeling like your "want" list is continually growing. While we may not always feel that we have the best of everything or that we may never get the things we've always wanted, we can't let that cloud our view of the things we already do have. It's easy to get caught up in always pushing for bigger and better things, but we should take a moment to stop and appreciate the things we have at hand.

Keep Smiling,

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Three Important Things


Hello Optimists,

After thinking a bit more about yesterday's quote from Lost in Translation, I couldn't help but keep going back to the "know who you are and what you want" message that it sent. I'm always trying to figure that out....actually, I think we all are. A comment on yesterday's post proved that it's something we will probably always be trying to figure out (Thanks Joey for sharing your thoughts!). So in order to figure out who we want to be, we have to have some kind of idea of the qualities we would like to embody.

For some, this could be ambition, confidence, trust, and drive. Others may find that they want a quick wit, strength, integrity, and patience. Some may want a combination of these or many other things...there are millions of possibilities. (Suddenly I find myself back in 7th grade algebra..."How many possible outfits can Hannah make if she has 5 shirts and 3 pairs of pants?") But all calculators aside, this is really something to think about. We all have the freedom to design a combination of virtues and characteristics with which we live our lives and it's up to us to decide which ones to put into action. And better yet, we have the ability to surround ourselves with those traits to which we aspire to uphold through the people we associate with on a daily basis. It's so important to be sure of what you want for yourself, but we also must be aware of how those around us can be helping or hindering that process.

Digging deep within yourself to figure this all out and looking to others to help you along the way may seem like a daunting task, but lucky for us another reader-submitted quote seems to smooth everything out. Mike Thomas from The Thomas Organization left me a really great quote that lays out some really great virtues and ways to work them into your life...
Find strength in each other, courage in yourself, and hope in everyone else. 
Strength, courage and hope are definitely three of the things I want to have in my life. I think this is a really great quote because while it's important to have all three within yourself, it shows the importance of finding these qualities elsewhere as well. Courage, or having the ability to do something in the face of fear, is so important to have in life. We're constantly faced with obstacles and challenges that must be met only with the courage to defeat and conquer them. But to do this, we must be able to find strength not only in ourselves, but in others too, so that we can come together to reach a goal. And sometimes things are out of our control, and when this happens, we must have hope in those that do have the ability to face the challenge and can make a difference for us all. If we lose hope in everyone else, everyone else is sure to lose hope in us. This is definitely a quote to write down and try to put to action.

Strength. Courage. Hope. Three really important attributes in my eyes. Thanks to Mike Thomas for submitting such a great quote, and I hope you all can take something from this piece great of advice. It sure made me think!

Keep Smiling,

Monday, July 26, 2010

Know Who You Are, Know What You Want


Hello Optimists,

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! I know that I've been slacking a little bit with my blog since I returned from my trip, and it's not that I've been deliberately putting it off, I've just been enjoying the time I've had to unwind, relax, and share all of my fun stories with my family and friends. Yesterday I had the itch to start blogging again, and I figured that this week would be a good time to start it up again

While I was away I opened up the floor to anyone and everyone out there who reads my blog to send in some favorite quotes. When I got home, I was so so so happy to see a whole bunch of comments with some really great lines that would be perfect to feature in my posts! So thank you to everyone who has submitted a quote....feel free to keep sending them in!

The first one I got was from Krystal over at Krystal's Kitsch . The quote she submitted is a really great one from the movie Lost in Translation. I find that movies often have some of the greatest "one-liners" and quotes that really have an impact on us days, months, and even years after we leave the theatre. Krystal says this quote has been following her around for some time now, and I can see's a really powerful statement.
Charlotte: I just don't know what I'm supposed to be.
Bob: You'll figure that out. The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you. 
This is such a great line. We are constantly faced with that struggle to find ourselves, to find our place in this world, and sometimes (or more like a lot of times) we feel a little bit lost in our search. I often think the exact same thing: "I just don't know what I'm supposed to be". I think we've all felt this way at some point. But the real piece of advice that comes in the next line in the movie is really important for us to keep in mind. No matter what's going on around us, or how much we feel lost in the world, we have to always be aware of who we are and what we want in life. It's pretty easy to think that we know who we are or what we want, but do we really? Are we sure that we are who we are because we wanted it that way...not our parents, friends, or bosses? Do we want what we want because it's really what we want...or is that somehow influenced by society or even the "keeping up with the Jones'" complex? It's pretty tough these days to be that honest with yourself and be willing to take the time to assess what needs to be done in your life. Some may think it's a bit selfish to take some time out to revamp your own life; I, on the other hand, think we need it. It's so important, and as long as we keep on the path toward finding our true selves, I think we'll find the answers we've been looking for.

So thanks, Krystal, for offering up such a great quote! That's my challenge for today: let's all get one step closer to knowing who we are and what we want in life. It's not an easy task, but it's certainly one we all need to take on. I'm working on it...are you?

Keep Smiling,

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'm Baaaaaaack!

Photo: Sunset in Florence, Italy! 

Hello Optimists,

I'm finally back! I hope you had fun with my Come Fly With Me posts- it was the best I could do to take you all with me. Thanks for all of your comments and participation! My trip was absolutely amazing and so much so that I am having a hard time putting my experiences to words. I feel like I have so many great stories to tell and photos to share, but there's nothing that can really express what an incredible journey I had. I have never seen so many beautiful places or had so much fun in my life. And now I'm back home, left with thousands of pictures and countless memories that will forever be in my mind and my heart.

I was away for almost three weeks, yet looking back it seems like I was only gone for a few hours. It's funny how time just escapes you when you're out exploring. I didn't bring a cell phone and I didn't have my laptop, so I felt a bit disconnected. But you know what? It was kind of nice. I would use a friend's BlackBerry to send a quick email to my parents to let them know I was ok, and that was it. I didn't even watch TV the whole time I was there because by the time we got back to the hotel rooms at night, we were so tired that we basically passed out on the bed. I didn't know any of the news that was going on in the world, and I was definitely out of the loop when it came to celebrity gossip, but this all gave me a chance to really concentrate on the news I should be most aware of all the own.

Right from the start, I was so excited to be experiencing new things. Everyday brought something fresh and new, allowing me to add a bunch of "firsts" to my life. And just when I thought it couldn't get any better, the next day brought along something that really wowed me. I remember saying, "I can't even believe this" and "This is amazing" over and over again as we would travel to a new place, and sometimes, I couldn't even get any words out. But traveling to so many places in such a short amount of time was a little bit of a bummer- there were so many places I could have spent "forever" in, but it really did teach me to live in the moment. I knew that now was the time I had to enjoy my surroundings, to soak up all of the culture and beauty within a few hours or days, and to make sure I made the most of it. I realized that every second we have is so precious, and no matter if we're traveling through Europe or just sitting in our own back yard, we have to enjoy that time.

Today's featured quote really supports this idea and I think it's something we should always keep in mind.
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present. -B. Olatunji
If we take the time to view today's experiences and events as a gift, we can really appreciate what life has to offer.  Sure, it's important to remember yesterday and look forward to tomorrow, but there's no time better spent than that in which you can enjoy the moment you're in. I learned a lot of things over this trip, but probably the most important was this idea about enjoying the present. I think it's so important for all of us to try to acknowledge what our day brings us, what experiences we encounter and what we can learn from them, and to really relish in the glory of the present day. Take some time today to just sit for a moment and just enjoy.

Thank you to everyone who has submitted a quote to be featured in a future post! I am still collecting them, so if you'd like to submit one (or another one!) please do. Just leave a comment here...and don't forget to check back to see when your quote is posted!

I hope to be back to my normal posting schedule soon- I just need a little bit of time to get my suitcase unpacked and my internal clock back on eastern standard time, and I should be back on track.

Keep Smiling,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Come Fly With Me...To Greece!


Hello Optimists,

The last stop in my European journey takes me to beautiful and ancient Greece, a land of great mystery, myths, art, war, and history. I have studied a lot about the ancient Greek culture and architecture, so I am so excited to finally be able to see in person all of that which I had only seen in textbooks. Not to mention that My Big Fat Greek Wedding is just about my favorite movie of all that pretty much puts the icing on the cake.

There's a particular part of the movie that is quoted quite often by my sister and me, where the Greek father says, "Give me a word, any word, and I'll show you that the root of that word is Greek." And though his rooted translation was not always entirely accurate, the Greeks honestly do have some clout when it comes to their ancient influences. They are very proud of their culture and are known to speak passionately about their country. The Greek language has spanned some 3000 years and had deep and direct influences on many Romance languages and even on Latin.

Some travel to see the beautiful scenery of Santorini, while others go to the ancient ruins in Athens. Some, on the other hand, go to Delphi to see the oracle where Apollo supposedly spoke to the gods. In ancient times, people came by the thousands to have the chance to ask questions of the gods- everything from when an empire should declare war to the perfect time to plant crops. I found today's quote and thought that it would be something to come straight from the oracle, a little piece of advice that seems too wise to come from any other mouth than the gods'.
ευτυχία δεν έγκειται στις περιουσίες και όχι σε χρυσό, η κοπή της ευτυχίας υποστηρίζει στην ψυχή
Happiness resides not in possessions and not in gold, the feeling of happiness dwells in the soul.  
Can't you imagine that coming from the oracle? I think even the Greeks, who take such pride in detail, perfect form and embellishments, would agree on this one. Putting all marble and gold aside, the Greeks know that happiness comes from within. It is forever embedded in the soul, but sometimes it takes a bit of work to get it out. This is really a great quote, and one that we should all keep in mind. Our search for happiness need not go much further than in our own souls...I think we would be surprised at how much is in there if we just took the time to find it.

It is with great sadness that I bring Come Fly With Me Week to a close, but I do hope you enjoyed reading about some of the places I visited. I will be sure to post some pictures from my journey when I return to the U.S. so I can share even more stories and experiences with you!

Don't forget, I'm still collecting your favorite quotes for my future posts! Find out how to submit them here.

Keep Smiling,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Come Fly With Italy!

Hello Optimists,

Finally I have arrived in the country I have been wanting to visit since...well, since forever.  It is the country where my blood runs through, where the beauty of life is celebrated to no avail, the place where I can feel the warmth of my family. Here it is. I am standing in il bel paese, Italia!

I will be visiting a few cities throughout this country for the next six days, though somehow I feel as if six years would not be enough for me.  Oh, I cannot even contain myself....Florence, Rome, Assisi, Capri, Sorrento, Pompeii!!!!!...I just cannot wait to take it all in. I want to hear (and speak!) the language, see the beautiful sights, and eat the delicious foods (hello gelato!)

But most of all, I want to be in the presence of the culture where life is for living, enjoying and savoring, and feel the spirit of the warm and passionate Italians. Luckily I have a family who has stayed true to its roots, so I have had the pleasure of growing up with the warm and loving people I am hoping to find here in Italy. We are not the loud, obnoxious "Italians" you see on TV, but rather, the quiet, reserved, and loving people who relish the time spent with family and friends, and who know that....

La vita è migliori quando tu sorridi. 
Life is better when you smile. 
I just had to use this Italian quote for today's post because I whole-heartedly believe in it. This is so important to remember because it's so easy to get caught up in the doom and gloom of other people's sorrows, or to focus on all of the negatives in this world. But just a little smile can give all of that a time-out, and even for just that moment, life will be better. We've got to commit to being happy people, and the first step to that can be made with a smile. 

Well, I know that I am certainly smiling here in bella Italia, and life is pretty darn good. So let's all take the time to make today the start of a better life...all it takes is a smile. I guess I've always been trying to send this message through my valediction at the end of every post. I hope today you realize the importance of this little reminder.

Don't forget, I want to read your favorite quotes! Learn how to submit them to be featured in a future Optimal Optimist post here.

Keep Smiling,

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Come Fly With Paris!


Hello Optimists,

In the last post I gave a hint as to which city I was stopping in next...did you guess correctly?

The next part of my trip takes me to The City of Light...Paris! I will be spending three days in this glorious city and I hope to see as much as I can while I'm here. I don't know which site I'm more excited to see...the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Champs Elysees, Notre Dame, Versailles, the Seine river... ah, I have a feeling these three days are going to go by very quickly.

One other thing I am very excited to see is the fashion. Parisians are world-renowned for their incredibly chic fashion sense and I just can't wait to get out and "people watch". I tried my hardest not to pack clothes that would immediately identify me as an American tourist, so I hope I can fit in seamlessly with the locals. Though fashion seems to take the cake in my eyes concerning French culture, France has also paved the way in art, cinema and cuisine (just think of Julia Childs!), so don't count them out when it comes to world powers.

When most people think of the French, they have an image of a person wearing a baret, carrying a baguette and smoking a cig with their nose in the air. The idea that the French people are rude and condescending toward others is not really true. I have heard from many people that the French are warm and friendly people, who, contrary to popular opinion, do not hate Americans. In fact, today's French proverb turns the tables a bit and is a little reminder that maybe we shouldn't be so quick to judge the French...
Il ne faut pas juger de l'arbre par l'écorce.  
One should not judge the tree by the bark.
This is something we should always keep in mind. And for that, we say merci to our French friends.  Judging by outside appearance alone, we cannot know the details or beauty of a tree's inner life. We don't know how many rings are inside, how many flowers bloom from its branches in the springtime, how deep its roots grow, or how much shade and comfort it can provide a person on a hot day. Its bark is just a shell, a mere piece of armor against many years of cold, wind, rain, and sun, and it would be foolish to assume anything about it based only on its (probably) weathered appearance.

I think we can learn a lot from this French quote, though we need to apply it more than just to trees. Keep this quote in mind each and every day, and remember not to pass judgement based only upon appearance....what lies beneath that exterior can sometimes be the opposite of what we can see.

Next up is the country I have been waiting my entire life to visit. It's where my roots are grounded, so even though I'll be across the ocean from my family, I don't think they will feel that far away. Here's a hint: In this country, the average citizen consumes 26 gallons of wine a year. Salute! 

Don't forget, I want to read your favorite quotes! Learn how to submit them to be featured in a future Optimal Optimist post here.

Keep Smiling,

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Come Fly With Me...To Amsterdam!


Hello Optimists,

Welcome to Come Fly With Me Week! I am soooo excited to share some words of wisdom from my travels with you, and I hope you enjoy the ride! My plans for the next two weeks are to stay true to the ideals of Optimal Optimist while sharing some of my travel stories with you. To do that, I will include a little proverb or quote from each of the countries I'll be visiting (in both the native language and in English!) along with a little bit of info about each place. I hope you enjoy it!

The first stop on my European journey is in Amsterdam. After a long flight from Philadelphia to London and from London to Amsterdam, I am looking forward to finally beginning this wonderful trip! I find it funny that whenever I mention that I'm going to be stopping in this city for a few days, I always get the same response: "Ohhhh, Amsterdam, I hear ya gotta watch out for that place. It's a little crazy there." Okay, I am well aware of the extreme liberal laws (if you can even called them that) concerning drug use, and I know of the iconic red-light district that seems to characterize the city. This is obviously not the reason I'm here. But I've done a bit of research on it and I have found that there is a lot more that Amsterdam has to offer besides "special" brownies and legal prostitution. And I found that despite what we hear about this city, Amsterdam is one of the cleanest and safest cities in Europe!

Now while I will admit that this city wasn't always on my list of places to see before I die, I am very excited to be visiting. Not only is Amsterdam the capital and largest city of The Netherlands, it has a rich history, great art and architecture, and beautifully scenic canals. I turned to the official website to look up some fun places to eat, shop and play while I'm here, and I have a pretty long list of things to do!

I always like to learn a bit about the culture of the people living in the places where I'll be visiting, and I was happy to find that the Dutch are characterized as hard-working people who value the "live and let live" attitude and always look on the bright side. Now that's what I like to hear.  I think I can really end up liking this place...

Here is a great little Dutch proverb that I found that I thought would be perfect to feature for this post. The Dutch people value a lot of great attributes and have a real zest for life. Here's one thing that's so important to keep in mind in order to keep that optimistic attitude alive...
 Een handvol van geduld is waard meer dan een bushel van breinen.
A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains.
I think Americans especially need to write this little quote down and carry it with them in their pockets. Patience is such an important virtue to have, and unfortunately,  not many people practice it. Without patience, not much can be accomplished, so we've got to remember to keep a calm composure and a bit of a higher tolerance for others around us. There's nothing wrong with carrying a little bit more patience with you as you go through your day, and after a bit of practice, it will definitely leave you feeling refreshed, happy, and a bit more optimistic.

Yay for the start of this amazing journey and I'm so excited to be taking you along with me! Check back in 2 days for the next of the Come Fly With Me Week posts...and here's a little hint: we can thank this next country for one of our most famous and iconic landmarks.

Don't forget, I want to read your favorite quotes! Learn how to submit them to be featured in a future Optimal Optimist post here.

Keep Smiling,

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Launching Come Fly With Me Week!


Hello Optimists,

Happy July! Today marks the "unofficial" launch of Come Fly With Me Week!! (The real first post of Come Fly With Me Week will be coming early next week). I've been counting down to this day since March 15th, an excruciatingly long 108 days ago, when I booked my trip to Europe. Finally my countdown has reached 0 and I don't think I can be any more excited to get going! The past 15 weeks have really gone by quickly, and I haven't had much time to let this whole idea of traveling sink into my mind. This will be my first time traveling to abroad so it's quite an event! But even in the days leading up to today, I was excited to go, but wasn't "freaking out" with excitement like I thought I'd be. And today I am surprisingly calm,  though I did notice last night that a little smirk would appear on my face for no apparent reason, and as the time got closer and closer to midnight, I couldn't hold back my smile any longer. And then there it was, officially July 1st, the day I would depart on an amazing journey. 

I am just so excited to see new lands, meet new people, and just experience a new way of life. I usually don't like to do all of the "touristy" things when I'm in a travel hot spot, as I think a better way of understanding the people and culture is to go where the locals go, but this time I'm up for it all. I want to see everything I can, even if I do look like a tourist doing it. But more than just seeing the sites just to mark them off my list, I want to feel the history behind every ruin, to surround myself with the culture of the people and the cities, and to immerse myself in the languages spoken by native tongues. I want to go to these places and see them with fresh and open eyes and leave feeling renewed and energized. 

I found an absolutely perfect quote for today's post that really captures the way I feel about my journey, and I couldn't resist sharing it's message with all of you.
"The destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things." -Henry Miller
No matter where you're traveling, whether it be to another continent or just another town close by, remember this powerful quote. Going to a new destination does not just offer a new place to "X" out on your map of places you've visited, but it is a new experience, a new beginning, a new way of seeing the world. When many of us think about traveling, we think about the destination. Let's get there as quickly as possible, do a little site-seeing, buy an ice cream cone, and go back to the hotel. Instead, we need to take it all in; let's experience this new place by letting it wrap us up in its culture, let it introduce us to a new way of life and open our eyes to the variety in our world. That's when you've arrived at your destination.

Please excuse my absence for the next few days, but do check back on Tuesday for the first Come Fly With Me Week post. Here's a little hint about the first place I'll be quoting from: This city is home to the oldest stock exchange in the world.

Think you know where it is? Check back on Tuesday to see if you're right!

Keep Smiling,