Volcano Boarding: Extreme Sport in León, Nicaragua

As an adventure seeker, I am always looking for new types of activities and ways to test life´s limits. At many times in my travel, I leave many people confused and asking themselves,

“Why in the world would Sarah ever think about doing that?!”

 

People from all around the world have followed on my crazy adventures, whether it be attending crazy world festivals, bungee from the worlds highest dam in Switzerland, sky diving, hitch hiking alone across 25 countries, or eating something that most people would not even think about trying.

My heart beats for adventure. Maybe it´s an addiction but I love the rush of trying something new and putting my confidence to the test.

 

In my solo trip through Central America, I made a stop in Leon Nicaragua, before making my way down to Costa Rica. Nicaragua is a gorgeous country that It is known for it´s volcanos, many of which are still active.

Normal tourists might think “I would love the opportunity to hike a volcano, take some beautiful pictures, and get out into nature,” while others, like myself, are programmed to think a bit differently and in terms of action activities. What if someone told you that instead of just going on a hike and taking some nice pictures, that you could have a once in a life time experience volcano boarding.

We are talking about going at high-speed’s down an active volcano on a small piece of wood.

Sound like your type of adventure?

Cerro negro

Cerro Negro is an active volcano that is more than 160+ years old, located about an hour drive outside of the city of León. This volcano Is about 728 m high, with an average hike up of about one hour.

 

Quetzaltrekking Nonprofit

For this adventure, I decided to go with the non profit called Quetzaltrekking. There are countless companies throughout the city that try to offer you a deal, but there is no company that measures up to what this non profit offers.

Quetzaltreeking is a nonprofit that opened in 1995. The money that is paid for the excursions goes towards helping with local projects and disadvantaged youth.

Not only was I having a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but I was making a sustainable impact by working with a non profit that is actively making a difference in the world.

What To Expect

The morning that we arrived to the volcano, the fun began….. Well,  maybe it’s better to say, the challenging part began.

We strapped our wooden board and gear to our back and starting the ascend up the volcano. The weather was absolutely perfect, with very little wind (normally its much worse).

It is important that you wear close toed shoes, due to the amount of small and large rocks going up the volcano. There are many places to stop along the way to get some beautiful panoramic views and take it all in.

After about an hour, you will arrive to the top, where you will get the chance to see  a volcano crater with smoke coming out.

Volcano Boarding 101

Before going down, you will first receive a briefing on the basics of volcano boarding. They will then give you a protective suit (in case of crashing), gloves, goggles and the small wooden board.

We were given the options to go down two different ways: sitting down, as if you were on a sled, or standing up, liking in snowboarding. It was quite funny to see the amount of people trying to go down standing up, because in the end, they only managed hurting themselves. In my case, I wanted to go down with my GoPro, so I decided to place it around my arm and sit down.

The board has a rope that you hold onto for stability. As you hold onto the rope, you are instructed to lean backwards in order to gain speed.

I took a deep breath, and started my way down the volcano. I instantly got nervous, due to the fact that I was going faster than I was expecting. Before I knew it, I was going at top speed, as black sand was blowing quickly up in my face.

I quickly tried to slow myself down and ended up crashing about halfway down the volcano.  I took another deep breath, climbed back on my board and finally made it to the end.

What an exhilarating experience!

 

When we reach the bottom, I was a bit scratched up, but the experience was so worth it. The best thing about going with Quetzaltrekking, in comparison to others, is the fact that instead of only getting one chance to go down the volcano, you can learn from your mistakes and make a second run down!

 

Would you ever give volcano boarding a try?

 

Don´t forget to also check out: 

COUCHSURFING: WHAT EXACTLY DOES THAT MEAN?

INDIA: MEDITATION BOOT CAMP: THE START OF MY MEDITATION PRACTICE

9 POWERFUL WAYS TRAVEL AND INTERCULTURAL EXPERIENCE HAS CHANGED MY LIFE

 

 

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Rosario, Argentina: Unexpected Connections

Argentina is a vibrant country full of many exciting adventures and different cultures. In my travels across this massive country I decided to do it only by overland in order to take in all of the beautiful scenery. After a beautiful week in Buenos Aires, I decided to take an Omnibus (the local bus transportation) from Buenos Aires to Rosario, which is about 300 km.

 

Luxurious Bus from Buenos Aires-Rosario

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Rosario is the third largest city in Argentina, with around 1.2 million people, and located on the Paraná River. Arriving to this city was a complete change from the crowded and loud capital city and was exactly what I was needing for a couple of days of rest.

During my stay in Rosario, I chose to stay in the Esplendor Savoy Rosario. This beautiful historic hotel is centrally located and walking distance to everything. After a long bus ride from Buenos Aires, this was the perfect hotel to go and relax.

The hotel has everything you could want and more:

  • Rooftop Pool
  • Indoor Pool (all year)
  • Outdoor Pool (seasonal)
  • Hot Tub/Jacuzzi
  • Massage
  • Fitness Center
  • Sauna

For the couple of days that I was there, I was expecting to spend it completely alone, given that I didn’t make any kind of arrangements to meet any local people. I spent the day alone going through the rainy city and visiting the main monuments and learning a bit about the history.

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Rosario has a 20 km long riverfront street called La Costanera and most of the entertainment of the city is taken place along this area. In order to get a good feel for the night life and to try some delicious Argentinian food, I decided to do a nice long workout in the gym and then head toward the riverfront to see what it was all about.

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Solo travel always brings up new adventures. A friendly smile and personality can at times open up new doors to new friendships and opportunities to connect with people, and that is exactly what happened in Rosario. As I was running on the treadmill at the gym hotel, I ended up connecting with a local who then offered to show me the city and introduce me to some typical Argentinean dishes at the Riverfront.

That night we stayed out late, trying different kinds of meat (Argentina is very well known for that), cheese, wine and incredible typical desserts. I will admit, I have tried a lot of desserts in my travels across the world, but the desserts I tried that night were unforgettable. We ordered a homemade flan and Budin de pan, aka: bread pudding. This is a special dessert that is eaten all year round and out of all the desserts I have tried in the last year, this WAS the winner.

Amaaaazing!

After stuffing ourselves full, we took much needed stroll through the city and got a feel for the friendly and chill atmosphere.

Overall, what I expected to be a solo trip through Rosario turned into one that I will never forget.

Traveling alone may seem like a scary and isolated experience, however some of the most beautiful experience come from stepping out into the unknown and giving life a chance.

I had no idea that I would end up having the experience that I did in my short trip to Rosario, but when you keep your heart open, something as simple as a friendly smile with someone can open up a whole new world of connections and friendships.

More photos of Rosario:

 

Don’t forget to also check out: 

 

 

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My Journey Towards Minimalism

 Excess is everywhere we look. From our material possessions, school and personal debt to even our weight. Simplicity for most people seems too boring and empty, so to compensate people tend to add, add and add even more, resulting in more excess. The tendency to have more than we can even manage is the norm in our society these days. It’s been said, “the more the merrier” and some people don’t have any hesitation to live that to a tee.
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The year before moving to Spain, I was in over my head with clutter. Clothes, shoes, school books and bags loaded down my closet shelves to the point where I was afraid to open the closet door. On top of that, I was in over my head with student loan debt with a interest rate that was eating me alive. Seeing life outside of my debt seemed like an impossible task.

All of this clutter and excess around me not only cluttered my space, but it cluttered my mind.

When I decided to move to Spain, I was faced with the hard reality that I was going to have to make a change and I would not be able to take all my stuff with me. As hard as it was, I packed all three of my big bags to the maximum weight restrictions and moved to Spain.

After 6 months of living in Spain and after collecting another luggage full of clutter and stuff, I was first introduced to the idea of minimalism.

I sat in my bedroom of my home in Spain with all of my material items around me and broken on what to do. The idea of minimalism sounded freeing, but I was so attached to it all.

From that day I decided to take a step towards minimalism. I knew I would not be able to become an expert over night, but I could read more on the topic and get rid of something unnecessary each day, and so that’s how I started.

Little by little I began to read about this idea and the more I read, the more I started to fall in love with the idea. I went from kicking and screaming over getting rid of something I thought I “needed” to becoming empowered each time I donated an item.

As I write this I have come along ways in my path towards being a minimalist. I de cluttered my personal space, paid off all my debt and even managed to travel long term with nothing more than a small 36 liter backpack. The freedom I have experienced has changed every aspect of my life and has opened the doors to many exciting adventures.

Working towards minimalism is not something that just happens over night, but rather something you can strive incorporate in your daily life. It may be hard at first, but I promise you the pay off is worth it.

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Minimalism in other aspects:

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Art

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Architecture  

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Decoration 

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Design 

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Publicidad y Marketing

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Cooking

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  • What are your thoughts towards minimalism?

  • Do you practice this in your every day life?

  • Share below!

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My Birthday Celebration at Oktoberfest in Germany

Oktoberfest is one of the most wildest and well known cultural festivals in the whole world. It’s crazy to think that people from all of the world have gathered for over 200 years in Munich to celebrate and share in the Bavarian culture.

Given that I am a festival and cultural lover, I couldn’t possibly go to Germany without working this celebration into my plans.

Given the name, many people automatically assume that Oktoberfest is during the month of October, but don’t be fooled. The festival lasts about 16 days, beginning in the middle of September and finishing on the first Sunday in October.

The dates were absolutely perfect and in line with my birthday on October 2nd, allowing me the chance to dance my night away on my special day.

Mi dia especial

Feliz cumpleaños en Alemán

One of my favorite part of these type of cultural festivals is the chance to see the different Bavarian outfits that people wear. The guys dress up in Lederhosen and the girls in dirndls and there are thousands of different types of outfits that can be seen all throughout the festival.

Many people choose to not wear the outfits, but I found that dressing up was on of the highlights of my experience. If you decide to go all out like I did, these traditional outfits are sold all over Munich and surrounding cities during and leading up to the festivities.

If you plan ahead of time, you can get cute knock off outfits online for a good deal.

Let me point out something from the beginning: you don’t have to LOVE beer to have an amazing and fun experience at Oktoberfest. After many attempts of trying to like beer, I still despise the taste.

I was probably one of the only ones to actually not drink beer during the festival, but that does not mean that I was not dancing and singing the evening away!

There are 14 main tents and each one of them have their own personality and charm and are free of charge to enter. There are some that seat thousands of people and may be very hard to get into, especially the Kafer tent because it closes at 1am, compared to the other tents that close at 10:30pm.

You are able to reserve a table, but in my experience you have to buy a beer in order to sit there, regardless of if you like it or not. Given that I don’t like beer, I ordered a Ridler, which is a very small quantity of beer with lots of lemonade and it was delicious!

Beer is typically 10 euros and sold in quantities of 1L and cost between 12-15 euros.

 

5 Lessons Learned at Oktoberfest:

 

  • Don’t accidentally leave the tent. This happened to me as a result I was locked out for over an hour from the people that met and had a table with. Sometime you can sweet talk yourself back in the tent, however, there will probably be about 50 other people trying to do the same, so don’t leave once you are inside!
  • Bring lots of cash if you plan on drinking (but be careful with this if you plan on drinking too much). Only a few tents accept credit cards, but don’t take your risks.
  • Be prepared to sing: memorize some of the lyrics before leaving because you can’t escape this experience without hearing it, so you might as well enjoy and sing up!
  • Do NOT wear open toe shoes. There will be thousands of rowdy and excited people dancing all over the place, so don’t take a chance of one of them getting too excited and jumping on your toe.
  • We are generally told to never put our feet on the table right? Well at Oktoberfest this is NOT the case. If you put your foot on the table here it shows that you are about to attempt to chug an entire 1L stein of beer, so get prepared for all eyes to be on you.

 

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Typical food at Oktoberfest:

  • Brezl/Brezn: Pretzel.
  • Hendl: Roasted chicken (yummy).
  • Schweinshaxe: Pork knuckle.
  • Spätzle: Egg noodles typically served with cheese
  • Kartoffeln: Potatoes.
  • Weisswurst: White sausage, which is typically eaten for breakfast.

 

 

Travel Information

  • Cost: free
  • Transportation: easily accessible by metro or by foot.
  • Accommodation: don’t plan on arriving the week of Oktoberfest and finding centrally located accommodation at easily and at normal prices. Prices drastically increase and availability is difficult. Many people book 6-12 months in advance for a good location, so don’t show up and be surprised.

→ You are NOT allowed to sleep outside the festival, like many other festivals. I saw people trying to attempt this and they were instantly escorted away by the police. ←

  • Attire: Lederhosen for guys and dirndls for girls.
  • Important words: 

Ein Bier, bitte: A beer, please

A Maß: a litre of beer

Prost: cheers

  • Overall opinion: I had an amazing experience and recommend it to anyone at least once! However, you you don’t like crowded and loud places, this is NOT your festival.

 

Some people didn’t care about the no sleeping outside the festival rules

 

 

Don’t forget to check out: 

7 FEARS TO CONFRONT AS A SOLO FEMALE TRAVELER

MOUNT IJEN: HIKING THE BLUE FLAME VOLCANO IN INDONESIA

6 TIPS FOR A SMOOTH TRANSITION IN YOUR FIRST DAY IN INDIA

 

  • Have you ever attended Oktoberfest?

  • How was your experience?

  • What was the best festival you have ever attended?

 

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Indonesia: Wedding Crashing

There is diversity everywhere you look in Indonesia, which is what makes this country so special. The country is made up of over 17,000 islands, 300 ethnic groups and six official religions, making it a place to explore and dive into a whole new culture. Right when you think that you have learned the basics on the Indonesian culture in one city, it changes the moment you arrive in the next. However, with all of the diversity everywhere you look, one thing remains true:

If you keep an open heart and mind, the Indonesians will welcome and love you with open arms, hospitality and good friendship.

Riding through Jakarta with my host and his son

In my stay in stay in Jakarta, Indonesia I truly got a taste of the hospitality and kindness of the Indonesian people. Not only did I spend my whole stay in Jakarta by staying with a local family using Couch Surfing, but I got the opportunity to be even more immersed in the culture by attending a Javanese wedding.

It is said that “the best things in life come from the unexpected.”

I have found this statement to be true in multiple occasions, and Jakarta, Indonesia being one of them. On my way to a popular attraction, Taman Mini (aka: Little Indonesia), I was lost as usual. After many different attempts to get proper directions, I ended up at what I thought was Taman Mini (given the crowds of people), but instead at place with a similar name and a large wedding party.

Any normal person would of arrived at this type of wedding and would of directly left, especially in my given situation. First and foremost, I was not invited, secondly I was not dressed appropriately and it was a Muslim wedding, thirdly there were guards watching the gate and lastly, I have blondish hair and that is an automatic magnet for unwanted attention.

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However, being the abnormal and curious person that I am, I decided to take a risk.

Already having had the experience to attend two Muslim weddings with success in both Malaysia and Singapore, I felt courageous and confident that I would be able to crash this wedding with my street clothes on. I confidently walked past the guard as if I belonged to the party and with confidence I walked into the front door and greeted each person I saw.

Given that I wanted to take some pictures of this experience, I confidently walked up and stood in line with the family in order to get a good group picture, while preparing in my mind a little speech for anyone who asked who in the world I was.

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I simply made the plan in my head that I would just explain to the bride, groom and members of the family that I was the white American cousin that no one has ever met and was there for the wedding. 

I had no idea how that excuse was going to pan out with the family, but I swallowed my pride, walked up to the bride and groom and hugged and kissed them as if I had known them my whole life. I asked for a picture and they instantly agreed, followed by countless other photos that were taken by her family. Right after the picture, they smiled and demanded that I go load up my plate and eat the buffet wedding dinner.

And of course, I agreed.

The moment I finished my picture with the bride a groom and finished eating, the fun part started.

Almost everyone in the wedding party left their seats, ran towards me with their camera or cell phone begging for a selfie. I spend over 2 hours taking selfies and I honestly couldn’t say who the guests took more pictures with, the bride and groom or with the strange foreign girl.

This experience allowed me the opportunity to better connect with the Indonesian people and get a feel for their culture, food and traditions in a way that I wouldnt of had if I would not of attended the wedding. However, I would of never had this experience if I would’ve chosen to stand at the gate of the wedding with just simply curiosity and an unwillingness to get past the fear, break the rules and take a risk.

In life if we live in fear and constantly worry about what other people will think, we will miss out on some of the most exciting adventures life has for us. In this personal experience, we are talking about a wedding, but how many people actually miss out on amazing, unique experiences because of some type of fear or worry about the opinions of others.

Life’s too short and opportunities are missed too much because of the four letter word: FEAR

Don’t forget to also check out: 

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TOP EXPERIENCES YOU MUST HAVE IN SPAIN

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  • Is fear holding you back today?

  • What is it that you truly want to do, but you are too afraid or worried to give it a try?

  • Share your stories and thoughts below!

 

 

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India: Volunteering at Children’s Cancer Hospital

In Chennai, India, I had the amazing opportunity to work with a team of film makers and be on set for a short video they were making for a local non profit organization.

There is something magical about volunteering and truly making a difference in other’s lives. When you volunteer, not only do you help others, but in return you almost always leave the experience feeling a new level of gratitude for what you have and a sense of fulfilment that you don’t typically get from just an ordinary experience.

Volunteering in general is a win-win for everyone!

For this opportunity, I had the chance to work with a children’s cancer hospital in order to help bring awareness Indian kids diagnosed with cancer. In order to do this, I volunteered with a film crew who were working to make a powerful short video, showing countless stories of children who have fought (and are still fighting) the difficult fight of cancer.

On film day we all met together at the studio in a huge room, where I led all the kids in some games and songs for 3 hours while everything was being set up.

Of course, there was an obvious language barrier, but this experience truly showed the power of non verbal communication when communicating with others, because smiling, laughing, hugging and some silly games like Simon Says, Heads up seven up and games in English, where the children repeated words and funny animal sounds after me, was proof that no fluency in the same language was not necessary.

After 3-4 hours playing with the kids, we moved into the studio to start the filming. This was my first time to ever be on set for a short film and it was so much more complicated than I had imagined.

Everything from the sound, lights to positioning had to be absolutely perfect and every time I thought something was great, they would scream CUT, and start again.

Our day started about 8am and during all the morning hours I played and spent time with the kids and their families. However, in the afternoon we moved to the filming room to film. Hours and hours went by, filming the same line over and over again. Every time I thought we were making some progress in the video, I would hear:  “CUT! I WANT A REDO!! “

After countless hours and redos,  I decided to move out of the way and sit against the wall and just watch. I picked up my cell phone to look at the time, and with a big sigh of dread, I continued waiting…..

In my mind I kept thinking, “Uf, how much longer are we going to be here. I have not eaten and I am ready to do something. Now that I am not actually playing with the children I am getting tired of just sitting here. I am ready to go!”

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With my mind moving to a negative place, I quietly looked out at the kids again, which were getting ready to go for a another retry. The sweet little girl that I had been playing with that morning made direct eye contact with me and with a huge smile going from ear to ear, she looked at me and waved as big as she could with all the excitement in the world.”

I gave her a smile back and just stared at her smiling face.

This moment of eye contact with this little girl is one that I will never forget for the rest of my life, because it was the one moment where I truly took a look at myself and felt embarrassed for the negative thoughts that had been going through my mind.

Before the shoot I was told the stories of the children in which I would be working with. This little girl was in a 3 year battle with stage four Leukemia. She comes severe from poverty and she and her mother have to travel over three hours in the hot, crowded, public buses to the hospital each week for chemotherapy, and they barely have enough money to cover that cost.

Despite the outside forces, she has always kept a positive mindset and decided that she wanted to live and no matter how bad she feels, she keeps pushing ahead.

This was the case for most of these children. Most have been fighting cancer, with intense chemotherapy for at least three years. Most come from poverty, single parents and situations that I can’t even begin to imagine.

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As I was sitting there in the floor, complaining in my head about how long they were taking, that smiling little face from that girl would not leave my head. Not only that, but this little (as well as six others from the film shoot) received heavy doses of chemotherapy the day before, but yet stood so tall and proud.

Besides one very weak girl on out of the group fainting from hours of being on her feet, there was not one that complained about standing during long hours and the countless re-dos. They did exactly as they were told with a smile. They did not have Iphones to entertain them and they didn’t complain like most children about being tired, hungry or bored. Sadly, it was only me in my own mind.

I left this day reflecting on all that had happened and feeling a new sense of gratitude. Not just gratitude for my health, although I give thanks for that now each and every day, but for the life that I grew up with, for a loving family, clean water, enough food to eat, shelter, and for the opportunities that I have had throughout my life.

Volunteering truly does help you to get a new perspective and helps you to realize how much you really do have to be thankful for. Even if youe situation seems bad, there is always someone that has a worse one.

This powerful experience has helped me to realize that I need to start seeing more of my blessings and focus my life around that, because everything starts with gratitude.

 

Check out the final video from the video shoot:

 

Don’t forget to also check out: 

PHILIPPINES: CREATE YOUR LOVE STORY

VIPASSANA 10 DAY SILENT MEDITATION RETREAT FREQUENT Q & A

A NEW LIFE PERSPECTIVE: BURNT TO THE GROUND

 

 

  • Have you ever had an experience that truly changed your life and your perspective on life? 

  • Do you have a personal inspirational story? 

  • Share your inspirational story below! 

 

 

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Retail banks wake up to digital lending this year

There’s one way and only one way to determine if an animal is intelligent. Dissect its brain! It’s a T. It goes “tuh”. Anyone who laughs is a communist! Morbo will now introduce tonight’s candidates… Morbo’s good friend, Richard Nixon.

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Strategic and commercial approach with issues

That sounded like a prayer. A prayer in a public school. God has no place within these walls, just like facts don’t have a place within an organized religion. Son, a woman is like a beer. They smell good, they look good, you’d step over your own mother just to get one! But you can’t stop at one. You wanna drink another woman! The Internet King? I wonder if he could provide faster nudity.

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Within the construction industry as their overdraft

Lisa, vampires are make-believe, like elves, gremlins, and Eskimos. We started out like Romeo and Juliet, but it ended up in tragedy. Attempted murder? Now honestly, what is that? Do they give a Nobel Prize for attempted chemistry? Get ready, skanks! It’s time for the truth train! Books are useless! I only ever read one book, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” and it gave me absolutely no insight on how to kill mockingbirds! Sure it taught me not to judge a man by the color of his skin…but what good does *that* do me?

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Africa: The Poor Man With the Richest Life

It was a hot Tuesday afternoon in Dades Gorge, Morocco in Africa when I was first introduced to Abadalam. After having a very interesting first night in the village, my Polish friend, Dori, Moroccan friend, Badel, and I was leaving Dades Gorge, headed to the Sahara Desert.

I was filled with mixed emotions and excitement about our next new adventure, because I had never seen anything even slightly similar to a desert in my life.

On our way out we could not help but notice that the same happy old man, Abadalam, that we had a brief conversation with the day before. He was up bright and early, proudly working his small little food stand, where he sold snacks, omelets and cold drinks.

When he saw us he instantly said, “I didn’t know that you all would still be here. If I had known you were staying the night, I would of had you three stay in my house. Would you please stay again tonight and stay with my family and I?”

My instant thought was NO WAY. I was ready to leave and visit the Sahara and on top of that I didn’t know what we would be getting ourself into by going to his house. Abadalam had to be in his 60’s, with very worn clothes, and on top of that, working a food stand. When I thought of what the situation might be like at his house, I imagined going to a small dirty hut, where he had very little food, no shower, and out in the middle of nowhere.

After he insisted a few more times, I finally started to open up to the idea. I mean I really wanted a cultural experience, and I knew this would probably give me the cultural experience and adventure I was looking for.

So, I agreed…however, I was prepared to rough it for the day and night.

A young boy arrived to lead us to the house of Abadalam. In the hottest part of the day, we set off on our 25 minute journey, through the woods, across a creek and up the hill to his home. We finally arrived, covered in sweat and exhausted.

We were instantly greeted with kisses by his lovely wife and 2 teenagers. My breath was taken away as I entered to find the most tidy and coziest home that I had ever seen. During our stay, the wife and daughter prepared three incredible meals and even prepared me a small bucket of their hottest water so that I could shower comfortably.

That whole time we were there they were showing so much kindness to us, even though just 3 hours before this we had been total strangers. They opened their home and gave us everything. I watched how this little family had so little, but shared everything they had. The love between all of them was contagious. It was magical.

In the midst of it all, something started to overwhelm me on the inside: “Sarah, shame on you.”

I was SO quick to judge this man from what I had seen on the outside and I almost did not give him the time of day. However, Abadalam and his family in a short time had shown me what it is to be happy and content with little. They had their family, little food, shelter, and their God, who they prayed to together daily, and they were grateful.

I learned from this sweet family an important lesson: money is not everything. In fact, some of the poorest people, like Abadalam’s family, have richer lives than people who have all the money in the world.

Don’t forget to also read: 

40 Positive Actions to Take in 2016

Create a Bucket List: Awaken Your Dreams

Consistency in Achieving Your Goals

 

 

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Don’t Touch My Cookies

A woman was waiting at an airport one night, with several long hours before her flight. She hunted for a book in the airport shops, bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop. She was engrossed in her book, but happened to see the man sitting beside her. She could not believe her eyes, as this man boldly grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between. She tried to ignore it in order to avoid a scene. More annoyed than ever, she munched the cookies and watched the clock, as the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock.

She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by, thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”

With each cookie she took, he took one too. When only one was left, she wondered what he would do. With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh, he took the last cookie and broke it in half. He offered her half, as he ate the other.  

This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude, why he didn’t even show any gratitude!

She sighed with relief when her flight was called. She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate, refusing to look back at the thief.  She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat and dug for her book, which was almost complete. As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise, there was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.

If mine are here, she moaned in despair, the others were…………. HIS! During that time she realized that he was the one trying to share the whole time. Too late to apologize, she realized with grief, that she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.

With this story we learn two things: we must always be open to share with others and more importantly is that in many different situations in life we have the wrong idea on the actual situation. We tend to only see things from a negative point of view and see the worst case scenario.

We must learn to have empathy and put ourselves in the situation of the other person and see things as they are and not automatically jumping to the negative.

 

Don’t forget to also check out: 

MY PHYSICAL TRANSFORMATION: WELCOME BACK LIFE/ENERGY

BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING

Staying Fit While on the Road

 

 

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Importance of Integrity

One day a wealthy man met a poor man with a family that was unemployed for over two years. The wealthy man had pity for his situation after talking with him and offered him work. The wealthy man explained that he had been wanting to build another house, but he just could not find the right person for the job.

The poor man was creative and had built houses his whole life.  Just the thought of taking on this new project made him light up with happiness, because he with the amazing salary that he was being offered it would give him a better opportunity to provide for this family and even save thousands of dollars.

The wealthy made did not have many plans laid out. He gave him a budget of 1M for materials and told the man to use the best materials and build the house just like he would like it.

The poor man started planning everything and was so excited to be able to use his creativity to build exactly what he wanted for the man.  He spent hours planning and was determined to give the man his hardest effort with the best materials throughout the whole house.

However, after a couple weeks of planning and going into different stores the poor man started to get a few new ideas.

After some time working he realized that the wealthy man was so busy that he didn’t check in and see the progress of the construction. As he was shopping and comparing prices he realized that he would be able to buy cheaper material without the wealthy man knowing and pocket thousands of dollars and on top of that, the great salary that he was being offered.

This motivated the poor man each and every day that he went to buy materials from the construction store. He was ecstatic at the amount of money he was pocketing each day and even more excited that no one would ever find out about it.

Months went by and he finally finished what he started. He smiled as he stood in the front yard looking at the beautiful luxurious house that he had just built, knowing that the wealthy man was going to be so pleased with the results.

The time finally arrived for the wealthy man to see his new house. When he saw it for the first time he stood there in amazement “WOW, this is amazing!! I am so pleased with your work. This is absolutely perfect!”

The poor man handed the keys to the wealthy man and smiled.  “Well, my work here is done. Here are your keys.”

The wealthy man smiled and looked at him directly in the eyes and said “No, actually the keys are for you. Congratulations, you have just build the house of your dreams!”

The wealthy man went on the say “For that reason I constantly insisted that you build this house according to how you like it. I wanted to give you something more than a good salary. I wanted you to have the house of your dreams, a safe place where your kids could grow up. The truth is that I don’t need a house, I already have many.”

The poor man stood there at a loss for words. Thoughts and regrets came flooding in all at once. He thought, “Uff,  if I would’ve known that I was building this house for my family I would’ve done things completely different. I would of bought the best materials and paid attention to all of the details in the construction.

A few weeks later the man and his family moved into the house. Within just a couple weeks the first problem started. After a large rainstorm, the house ended up with leaks in many different parts.  One thing led to the next and before he knew it he was spending thousands and thousands of dollars to fix the repairs that were coming up daily.

After a month they started having even more serious problems with the roof. The cost got so high that he eventually ran out of all his savings just trying to fix the repairs from living there only one month.

At exactly two months his savings was gone and he realized that he could not afford to maintain the house costs and had to move out.  All of this could of been prevented if he could of just had integrity and done it right from the beginning, but in the end he was left worse than when he started.

It just comes to show you the importance of integrity in your personal and professional life. In whatever kind of work we do, we must do it to the best of our ability, as if we were building our own dream home.

 

Don’t forget to also read: 

 

What are your thoughts on this story?

Share below! 

 

 

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Meant to Thrive, NOT Survive

You’re not simply meant to survive, you were meant to thrive.

As I travel around the world as a motivational speaker, I always hear the typical line, “Sarah, you’re so lucky to be traveling around the world and having these cool experiences. Things just come easy for you. I can’t even imagine what your life must be like.”

It’s easy to look at certain people, like CEOs of big companies, world travelers, actors, authors, or whatever job it may be and think that his or her life must’ve been simple and they are just lucky to be where they are in life now.

What so many people fail to see is the inspiring story that got most of these people to where they are now.

In my own personal life growing up I didn’t have a lot of self confidence. I come from a family with a long line of alcoholism on both sides, divorce and poverty mentalities. My father, whom I have a close relationship with, has been an alcoholic my whole life, past user and seller of heavy drugs and spent my childhood years in and out of prison due to drugs and a big meth lab drug bust.

 

My mom struggled through that time with a broken heart, an empty bank account and two little children to feed. As broken as she was, she enrolled herself into the university and within a couple years graduated with her teaching degree with honors in order to give us a better life that what she had seen.

The truth is, I have heard the statistics my whole life,

People that come from a long line of drug and alcohol abuse are more than 50% more likely to become that way one day in their life.

That does not look so promising for someone like my brother and I who have a long line of addictions in our family, and our own dad has always been on an uphill battle with the fight against drug abuse.

However, regardless of the statistics I knew in my teenage years that I wanted to create a different life for myself and that I had a choice.

I could choose if I would continue on with the long line of drug abuse, poverty mentality, and broken dreams, or I could go out and create the life I have always imagined.

I learned that we are NOT meant to survive here on earth, we are meant to thrive in every aspect of our life, but the choice is up to us.

We all have our struggles, and sometimes life doesn’t seem like it’s fair, I understand. But this is our one life here on earth and we must make a choice:

Are we going to be bound by the unhealthy ties of our family patterns (drug abuse, divorce, poverty mentality, selfishness, living paycheck to paycheck, low self esteem, fear, food addictions, laziness etc) or are we going to to dream big for our life, take risks and thrive? 

 

The choice is yours.

What will you choose?

 

 

Don’t forget to also read: 

Camino de Santiago: Do the Impossible

Delayed Gratification

Out with the SHOULD…!

 

 

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Fly 10,000 Miles Across The World Under $10

Living in Europe for the last three years has given me the opportunity to explore some many places that I have always imagined visiting. One of my favorite parts of living in Europe is having the opportunity to just pick up and hop on any airplane and fly to a cool new place at least 1-2 times a month.

When people started following my journey and seeing all the traveling and flying I was doing I always got the same typical response:

– Are you rich or are you just in debt up to your eyeballs?! How in the world do you afford to travel so much?!

Traveling in Europe is not like traveling in the USA. I fly many 6 hour round trip flights and do it all just under 40 USD on most occasions.

Seems impossible, but thanks to airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet, I can fly to hundreds of locations within a very reasonable cost.

Since being back in the USA to visit, the reality of airlines prices has hit hard. Even with the gas prices lower than normal, the prices of airlines seem to stay high and our US budget airlines like “Allegiant” can’t stand a chance to what is offered in Europe.

So, if I told you that I know a way of getting over 10,000 miles across the globe on for less than $10 you would be dying to know right?

Impossible? No, it is possible…because I JUST did it.

If you have followed me for awhile, you know that I am debt free and do not believe in going in debt for my travels around the world.

I don’t use credit cards when I travel, I do not buy anything that I don’t have the money for and I work hard for every penny I make. If I don’t have the money saved I don’t travel, end of story.

With that being said, I did some research and decided to try a sky mile rewards card, but ONLY charging it for my international flight and ONLY buying the ticket if I could turn around and pay it off the next day.

Last year I made a round trip flight from Europe to the USA and I used the United Airlines Mileage Plus card for the first time.

[cml_media_alt id='6067']Eagle Creek: www.eaglecreek.com[/cml_media_alt]

Before my trip with my new Eagle Creek light weight bag www.eaglecreek.com

As a sign up bonus, you earn 30,000 points and you get all the following benefits:

After buying my last round trip ticket from Europe on this card, I received 2 miles for every 1 dollar spent on my ticket, leaving me with around 39,000 skymiles points.

When buying a ticket through United there are some days of the month that have special deals, which allows you to save when using your sky miles points.

When booking my one way flight to Europe this year I found one of these special days, which cost me 30,000 of my sky miles points and a 8 dollar fee. With my points and the small fee, I can fly all the way from Miami, Florida-Canada-Madrid.

What a deal!

Also, last year I learned another trick on saving money on flights. When you are flying and have no rush, pay special attention to “overbooking” on flights and run to the first opportunity to give your seat up to the person that might really need it, but is on the waiting list.

I flew out of Miami after my Caribbean cruise and I gave up my seat without even knowing the reward I would get.

When the plane pulled away, United Airlines bought my lunch, gave me a free flight, valid for one year, and put me on first class for my next flight. I couldn’t of been more excited!

When it was all said and done, I got 10,000 miles in the last 3 months and all under 10 dollars!

In my ventures around the world, I have learned many tricks along the way, but am always open to more tricks.

  • Do you have any tricks to share? 

  • Have you ever given up your seat for overbooking or used skymiles?

  • Share you experience below! 

 

Don’t forget to check out: 

 

 

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Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Fasting, the act of abstaining from eating, is a practice that can have many health benefits if you practice it in moderation. I will never forget the first time I ever tried fasting. At the beginning of the day, it seemed that all I could do was think about food.

I paced back and forth by the refrigerator and no matter how hard I tried to focus my mind on something else, my thoughts always went back to food.

However, as the day went by, I started thinking less about the fact I was not eating and by later in the evening I felt an unbelievable amount of energy, clarity and not a thought about food.

When I woke up the next day, I thought about the day before and the energy and clarity I felt and I knew that this was a practice that I wanted to learn more about and implement at least once a week in my life.

It was INCREDIBLE!

Our bodies are exposed to countless toxins each and every day, by both the air we breathe and the food we eat. A normal person eats way more food than it needs to function and as a result, our digestive system is always working overtime.

When we fast, our body gets a chance to use its energy to better remove toxins and in turn, gives us a feeling of well being and energy.

Fasting is not an uncommon practice. In fact, fasting has been practiced for thousands of years for curing, rejuvenating, clarity and decision making. There are many studies out on fasting, and it has been shown that intermittent fasting  has been shown to improve blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood triglycerides and even blood sugar levels.

In my own personal life, and having practiced intermittent fasting over a long period of time, I can tell you from experience, it can change your life. 

From my own personal experience, I experienced:

  • My thoughts are on more important aspects of life, instead of constantly wondering about the next meal
  • Mental clarity and new ideas
  • Increased energy
  • A realization that I need little food to survive
  • Increased self discipline and control

 

Don’t forget to also read:

The Key to Lasting Habits: Trigger Moments

Switzerland: James Bond Bungee Jump

Advantages of NOT Traveling by Airplane

 

  • Have you practiced intermittent fasting?
  • How was your experience?
  • Share below

 

 

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6 Steps to Turn Your Desires Into Reality

 

Napoleon Hill was a famous author and one of the earliest personal success experts. Not only was he the advisor to the President Franklin D Roosevelt, but he also had the opportunity to interview hundreds of the most successful people that ever lived in order to understand the secret to obtaining good fortune.

 

He is author to the famous book “Think and Grow Rich”, which is based on the truth that everything begins with an idea and you are literally able to take your ideas and your desires and turn them into your reality. These ideas can be incredibly powerful if you know how to turn these ideas and desires into material objects or riches (that being whatever it is that you want to happen, not just simple money.

 

“Wishing will not bring riches,” Hill writes. “But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches.”

 

In one section of the book, Hill sums up “six definite, practical stepsto achieve the wealth you desire.

 

From Desire to Reality in Six Easy Steps

1. Fix in your mind an exact picture of what you desire. It’s not sufficient merely to say, “I want plenty of money.” Be definite as to the amount you desire to obtain.

2. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the thing you desire. There’s no such reality as something for nothing.

3. Establish a definite date by which you intend to possess the desired thing.

4. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you feel entirely ready or not to put this plan into action.

5. Write out a clear, concise statement of your responses to the preceding four steps.

6. Read your written statement aloud twice daily. Once after arising in the morning and once just before going to sleep at night.

 

As you read, see and feel and believe yourself already in possession of whatever your goal happens to be.

 

Don’t forget to also check out: 

 

 

  • Will you take the steps to start turning your desires into reality?
  • Have you tried applying these practical steps into your life? 
  • Share you stories below! 

 

 

 

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