It’s been far too long since I joined this fun month end post with a couple of my favorite bloggers, so I’m catching up today with a summer post (also, I refuse to discuss the end of this season). I’m joining Emily at Chatting at the Sky to share some of the things I’ve learned, am still learning, or have been reminded of during these past few months. And I’m also joining Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into lately. So this post is a little more laid back, a little random, and a little reflective, but I hope you’ll enjoy and be inspired to think about some great things that have happened lately or the many things you’ve learned.
A Few Things I’ve Learned
1. How to water ski
Well, kind of. I tried once before when I was in college but really struggled to get up out of the water. My stepdad took me out on the lake when I was home in Maine this summer, and I got up on the first try! And then I promptly face planted. I managed to get up again for about 10-15 seconds, which doesn’t sound like much, but I was pretty stoked about it. I may or may not have taken in a lot of water through my nose.
2. You’re never “ready,” and it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Whatever the “it” is, there comes a time when you have to take the leap and get moving. I was profoundly inspired by this post by Shauna Niequist, and I can attest to this forward motion progress that I’ve been seeing in my life lately. I don’t have it perfect, and there is always more to learn, but I need to take action on the things I’m learning instead of letting them bounce around in my mind forever.
“It’s the forward motion that gives you the stability you need. Sometimes we just have to pick a direction and start pulling that paddle through the water, and along the way we’ll get the stability and confidence we’re looking for. But you’ll never find it at the beginning, standing there, waiting for the waves to stop shaking the board. The waves never stop shaking the board.”
3. Who A is on PLL! [no spoilers]
My husband totally did not believe I. Marlene King that we would actually find out, but we did! I feel all kinds of ways about it, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it. So let’s just say I’m happy to finally know.
What I’m Into
1. Joining a travel writer’s group
This was a birthday gift to myself, and after being a part of it for almost two months, I am so glad I jumped in! I have been listening to Alexa’s podcast for a few months and have learned so much about breaking into travel writing, so I was really intrigued when she shared that she was starting a Travel Writer’s Academy. I have been finding it so helpful to have a small group that is focused and working through challenges together.
2. Discovering like-minded travelers
Part of my writer’s group has been to uncover my niche and find other bloggers who are doing similar work. I am so glad I came across Dan and Audrey from Uncornered Market. Here are two of my favorite posts so far (it’s like they got inside my head and wrote things down coherently):
- Should Traveler’s Give to Kids Who Beg?
- Manifesto in Progress: The Art of Traveling the World…for Good
3. Halfway reading
My reading habit fluctuates SO much throughout the year. It seems like the winter is my prime time because all this light during the summer gives me so much energy to DO things! I currently have at least 5 books that I am part way through. And I am constantly seeing other books I want to pick up and read. Please tell me I’m not alone here!
- El León, la Bruja, y el Ropero by C.S. Lewis
- Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans
- Travel Writing by L. Pat O’Neil
- Homies and Hermanos: God and Gangs in Central America by Robert Brenneman
- A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
4. Soaking up all the goodness in Maine
We had perfect Maine summer weather when we went up in July, and we enjoyed a beautiful week on the lake with my family. Lobster, wild blueberries, pine trees, boat rides, loons, campfires…all the best!
5. Articles, Podcasts, and Videos
- I don’t really have any words for this one. Just a little feel-good music for your day.
Abdi and the Golden Ticket [This American Life]–hands down, this is one of the best podcasts I’ve ever listened to. It’s a good example of how hard it is to get into the United States and what people go through to get here. Stop what you’re doing and have a listen.
- Béisbol from Latino USA (part of NPR) was incredibly fascinating to me, particularly because I have traveled to Cuba and the Dominican Republic and have often wondered how baseball became so deeply rooted in those cultures (as opposed to fútbol as in the majority of Latin America). If you’re interested in the topics of race, immigration, or even sports, definitely check it out.
- A few other favorite podcasts (with tons of great episodes):
- This Is Your Life with Michael Hyatt–all about “intentional leadership…live with more passion, work with greater focus, and lead with extraordinary influence.”
- The New Business Podcast with Chris Ducker [if you’re on Stitcher, there are two feeds–everything until 02/13/15 is under Chris Ducker and everything after is under the New Business Podcast]