There are times when words absolutely fail me.  And for someone who enjoys the fine art of jibber jabber and the written word, to have words fail me really sucks.  If I could voice the speedway of thoughts and emotions that are zooming through my brain at this very moment you’d be begging me to STOP!

But as I sit here in my comfortable living room, on my not so comfortable sofa, with soul soothing music streaming through my ear buds, in an attempt to drown out the chaotic political noise of the day, I find myself stumbling for words.  And even though there are times when words just don’t cut it because they can’t quite capture the emotion of the day, hour, or moment in which I find myself, when I struggle to find the words it, as I said, really sucks.

Hubby is sitting next to me writing a letter to the editor of the New York Times.  He is not the writer in the family so how come words are serving him so well and failing me? It’s been an emotional roller coaster here in the United States and I’m sure those of you who live abroad are thinking, what the hell?!  Trust me, those 3 little words have become my daily mantra.

As I’ve watched the news unfold over the past months weeks days I find myself completely saturated and I’m pretty sure many of you are feeling the same.  It’s been a constant stream of “Breaking News” stories, one right after the other.  I barely catch my breath and out comes another.  You know those little punching bags that boxers beat the hell out of in rapid succession?  Yeah.  It’s like that.

  • “Fear only becomes powerful when you give it your power.”  Robin Sharma

I’ve been thinking a lot about what people outside of the US who have travel plans must be thinking.  Is it safe to travel to that chaotic mess currently known as the divided United States?  Or, on the flip side, as we gear up to travel in 2017 I find myself thinking that maybe we should pin Canadian maple leaves on our jackets.  I say this in jest.  Kind of.  How does the world at large view us, are we welcome in other countries?  Do we all accept each other as not being products of our government’s shenanigans?  I have to believe the answer is yes, on all counts.

  • “Don’t give into your fears, if you do you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”  Paulo Coelho

What travel has taught me is that the world is so much more than what mainstream media would have us believe.  It’s a great big beautiful world out there just aching to be explored and even better, it’s filled with good and kind people.  Yes, there are definitely the disgruntled who walk among us and wreak havoc at times, but they are not in the majority, never have been, never will be.

  • “When we meet people in our travels — whether across the seas or just across the tracks — we gain  understanding. That journey becomes transformative in that it makes us more empathetic, happier, and less fearful. It makes us smarter, and thus makes it tougher for bad forces to sidetrack our natural good intentions. When we travel in a way that connects us with real people, it makes it harder for the propaganda they live with to demonize us — and vice versa. We become bridges.”  Rick Steves

When we mapped out our path of retirement we never saw this coming, this new reality in which we find ourselves.  Maybe it was naive of us, but I don’t believe so.  There are moments in life that we simply cannot imagine.  How could we? There are definitely concerns that could come to fruition in this new reality such as, will we lose our health care or our social security? We really have no idea.  If we do we will have to adjust to accommodate the loss, but one thing we won’t do is give in to fear.

  • “The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.”  Ghandi

I’m not saying the world doesn’t have scary shit going on out there, but if we give in to fear then we might as well pull out the rocking chairs and call it a day.  I never thought I’d march alongside 500,000 people, but I did and it was one of the most empowering experiences of my life.  And, while I can well-imagine the thoughts and potential fears of travelers around the world hoping to visit the United States, all I can offer is, don’t give in to fear.  Don’t let fear dictate your travel plans, your view of the world, your life.  Life is just too precious to sit in fear on the side lines.

  • “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”  Nelson Mandela

Some days are tougher than others, but what I try to remember is that the world reaches beyond my television or newspaper or computer screen. It is not just the sum parts of the “Breaking News” stories hurling at us through cyber space.  And while at this moment in time it may seem like we are all bat crap crazy, it’s not the case.  It’s not the majority.  Never has been, never will be.

I encourage you to take a break, if only for a few minutes. Turn off the chaotic political noise of the day and listen to what a wonderful world it really is.

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