I am so happy today!!!
This Story developed in one the most magical places visited during our F8 travel journey . Park Guell , is located in Barcelona Spain, is a place where we spent a day enjoying the beautiful landscapes of the City , from above you can see the city, its charms and the Ocean . The real treat is to walk within the admirable work and life of Antonio Gaudi , sublime architecture , ahead of his era, his vision in architecture , and furniture design are spectacular , and the colors he utilized are outstanding !!
I urge you to discover this amazing artist, perhaps you already know about him, his life , a man of faith and extreme humility. His most famous work is La Sagrada familia, Basilica , and Parc Guell among many . I could spend hours talking about him, he fascinate me , for his unique talent , and beautiful art , but moreover for the stories of true compassion and humility , told by the nuns who clean his house , his legacy to the world has no comparison.
Having described the green and unique architectural scenery i will now tell my little story about buying earrings in the parc. As we were walking in the paths of Parc Guell , between the restaurant and the museum and shop , the street vendors spread their clothes and items for sell . from Scarves , ornaments, to lizard replicas and all ,
Buying from a street vendor is something that for many years has been very controversial and an insight fight within my values , It is in a gray area for me , in one hand you don’t want to support illegal business , perhaps tax evasion , Selling Cheaper without overhead cost, In the other hand, the tempting items with irresistible price !! it hurts to pay double or triple somewhere else.
I know everyone has to do what It feels good in your heart . In mine in this case, I gave in. so here i was immerse picking my 3 for 10 euros sets, My Pakistani vendor had all this earrings pinched in an umbrella , fascinated I was picking them , These were not just any earrings they are “the” earrings. Perhaps explaining why I wanted them so bad , you can understand me better. They looked like a pair my bff and colleague Izabella from Munich bought while we visit Incredible India. I always loved them , rounded golden earrings, very simple yet makes you feel life a million dollars . (Only women can understand this feeling ) .
These earrings were similar to hers , so I indulge and lost myself in time picking and looking round and around on his big umbrella , a few seconds before I finished picking the last pair , I hear : “excuse me , excuse me , I will be back and in a split of a second , he closed the umbrella And started running for his life , as well as all the street vendors , here I was empty handed , no magical Indian earrings standing in the middle of the road in and empty of vendors path , seconds later a motorcycle police patrol with bright lights looking and chasing the street vendors . When you observe the scene , I was paralyzed in shock not so much for being left without the earrings I long to have, but for the almost inhuman way the street vendors were chased , and run to hide in the upper bushes, hiding, while the motorized police are circling the path chasing to get them , and looking up for the prey, I couldn’t get over the scene, there I was speechless seeing the police swiveling, waiting for them, and the street vendors looking through the branches. I was so sad, in one hand, how frustrated for the police officers, I imagine they didn’t plan after a hard police training to end up in such an unflattering job to chase the street vendors all day, and then this guys, dozens of vendors, knowing is not allowed they just don’t bother, break the rules,have spotters, and do it because they know “we” would buy!!! Big dilemma! I decided to tell the guy , better say send him signs, because he was up hiding in the hill, that i would buy only if he get outside the park.
Only then, i got my earrings with bittersweet feelings, sort of embarrassed, not too proud of supporting the illegal vendors, but thinking that is their ” modus vivendus ” but also know everytime I wear them, i will think of a beautiful park that hold the most amazing architecture, history and many many secrets.
what do you think of my story? how do you feel about street vendors? your thoughts and comments are appreciated!
Traveling has proven to provide health benefits, and specifically could help with your ability to accept, resource, react, occur, resolve and improve when occur, important skills that according to me and Darwin are key to existence . i am Very proud of how my family have been adapting to changes and circumstances ; countries, languages, currencies, extreme weather changes, difficulties, losses, hunger, thirst etc, that doesn’t mean it has been easy, we have been through, laugh and tears, (sometimes both at the same time ).
I am so proud of their strength, tolerance and patience with each other.
Almost 7 months traveling with my family in our overseas journey #f8Journeys, has already taught me many lessons , we learn our strengths and weaknesses , more over everyone was push to their limits and comfort zones to become one, and adapt to all circumstances .
How do you test yours skills of adaptability ? Any thoughts or questions ? Would love to hear from you .
Here is some pics of extreme weather changes from the jungle of Puerto Maldonado, the hot desert dunes of Ica Peru and the Glaciers in Perito Moreno,
your Adaptability will help you get ready for the next evolving moment of Life!
Climb 100 feet , top of the jungle in the Amazon
compromising and agreeing.
Thanks for your time
World Traveler & Entrepreneur
creator of F8 Journeys
(*F8 is a Lifestyle and a Journey, the key to happiness is to balance all 8 elements: Family-Faith-Friends-Fitness-Fund/Give-Back-Food-Fun-Fulfillment)
Cessy Meacham CTIE
Anytime Travel Solutions
Travel Enhancing values of
Family, Faith, Friends, Fitness
Fund/GiveBack, Food, Fun, Fulfillment
The name of the cruise couldn’t be better Magnifique!!!! As a travel advisor you run through hundreds of vacations for your clients, one in particular is not common , “reposition cruises” , as it names states, these are the cruises that will move their ships from one continent to the other to service the markets according to seasons. All of them have great schedules, From the very first time I sold them, I kept them, in my bucket list, ( i have too many items in that list) , This routes are long and take you from point A to B , and you have to fly back to your original point , or not , or other point, like us , we are embarking in Santos Brazil , and disembarking in Venice Italy , and will flying back from Germany to Miami . Ahhhhhhh feels good to e-say it !!! I have moved (cielo y tierra) and pushed and squeeze this trip in our #f8travel journey, this is the part I feel more proud about, we are going to be in a cruise for 19 days !!! Va va Voom!!!!
Being 21 weeks together , traveling the East coast of US in “Harvey” our RV, Peru from North to South , Chile, Argentina, and Brasil, By train, buses, vans, mini buses, cars , Ubers, dune buggies, airplanes, tuk-tuks, river boats, and other transportation in existence, a cruise could not be missed.
It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t cheap , but when there is a will there is a way, we will be happy to be in a place, were we feel safe, kids can be on their own, no money to count, no luggage to drag, no check in and check out, also we will visit 5 countries even before we start our month in Europe , isn’t that enough reason???
I am worry for the lack of connectivity, but is probably good to take this time as my electronics dependance Rehab , I will be force to do things Offline ! kids have been warned all along, internet prices are forbidden for our F8journey, we will see who does it better, so lets get this party started, Boarding tomorrow , no stress packing because I am packed since October , hahaha!!! Stay tune for my reports off board!!
Thankful for your time.
Cessy F Meacham CTIE
El Chalten route to the Glaciers
There are towns in the south of Argentina that I will remember forever. El Chalten is one. My family and I were growing tired of hauling our suitcases. (our house and lives were compacted in a suitcase) and also growing tired of long hours on a bus . I expected nothing memorable from our stop in El Chalten and I was almost bothered by having another overnight to stop before our objective : trek in a Patagonian Glacier. El Chalten is known for their high winds , snow covered mountain vistas and more things I probably missed seeing .The winds are so strong that if you become distracted, it can easily blow you away. The unexpectedly fantastic view of the snow covered mountain peaks excited me, not necessarily for my desires but for my kids and, especially, my husband who has watched many documentaries on Patagonia showing it’s many outdoor activities, especially hiking, trekking and mountaineering. After a 12 hour, overnight bus ride from our previous town, in Los Antiguos, there is nothing worse than arriving at 7am to the destination, in the very early morning and hearing “your rooms are not ready, check in is at 12noon”.
But this was our reality of more hours sitting to wait for the rooms. As we waited, we sat on bare wooden benches. Anxiously, my husband and youngest boy were ready to explore the town and surrounding landscape. In contrast, my oldest son cared more for his WIFI connection so he could connect and make more music tunes for his soundcloud collection. For me, I didn’t even know what I desired more, bed ,shower or nothing at all, It had been a difficult day, fighting and holding on to my business and entrepreneurial mind is not an easy task. What I honestly wanted to do was to work, yes, I wanted to be working, i wanted the connectivity at all times as I am use to , this was heavily weighing on me. to not make money has been increasingly frustrating , and building up on me, But the only way to enjoy and experience moments with my family is to live in the moment , cant think of the past, or the future , without reverting back to my “should do list”. I realize that I must create memories and be a role model for my kids while educating myself and my family with values, and appreciate the many cultures which we have been experiencing. F8 journey IS happening now and I cannot be distracted from those core objectives and purpose. Of course, easier said than done! But one must take the bull by the horns and continue onward.
After getting our rooms,
and changing to the most warm clothes a Florida girl owns, we started a small trek that was weather proof available for all. This was a trek to wonderful waterfall, lake views and majestic mountain views. We began the walk and on the way to the trail, I smelled the most amazing homemade scents of lamb. “Cordero”, is announced on almost every corner. I started the trek knowing that this would be my price for finishing the trek.
My discomfort during a trek can not be contained in my mind, but also must be verbalized. During my uncomfortable trek, in my mind, no view of a paradise in the world would have changed my mood. I huffed and puffed as we hiked the 3 miles of climbs and descents. As we passed over a climb, to my surprise, a view of waterfalls and the glacier were extraordinary. I struggled but actually enjoy it. Photos can only partially describe the magnificent views. Not only magnificence from what my eyes were experiencing, but also an epiphany.
Hungry and thirsty we started the return with everyone laughing at my complaints for how difficult was the decent which is typically easier than the ascent. My toes hurt , my knees hurt, my kidneys, other body parts were in pain. We made it back to town and with it being 4pm in this land, it is sac religious to ask for food at this hour. This is the break time when the town’s people take a break from serving tourists. This is the time for themselves to play their music and eat their foods. While I knew and appreciated this ritual, I had an obsession with the thoughts of my prized Lamb dish. We detoured from our return to the hotel and entered a restaurant where I thought we would get the “authentic” experience of Cordero Asado and cure my craving. It was a chance to be among locals and help dissipate my feeling of inadequacy in my business by doing something I truly love: to drink wine and have a nice profound conversation with the locals. We ended up in a place that was filled with Che Guevara’s and other’s quotes and the Mapuche’s culture photos and flags and book titles that have revolutionary tones. This would be a perfect place to cheer me up. I was overjoyed when the owner/attendant agreed to serve us and that they could served the Cordero Asado for which I craved. I chose to stay, against my son’s protests. His idea was to just mingle with the mainstream and eat at the restaurant within our hotel. I loved experiencing the Bohemian lifestyle while treated to a few of the local musicians sitting around practicing their music. I cherish the nice, long talk with the restaurant owner. We talked history and learned more about the Mapuche’s and Tehuelches , native roots in Patagonia. This interest had been sparked and had become a favorite subject during my earlier conversations with another restauranteur, Mario from the restaurant ‘Don Raul’ in San Pedro de Atacama (Chile). This latest conversation regarding the Mapuche culture made me remember and appreciate my admiration for their culture. Mario explained how the Mapuche people were the strongest fighters defending themselves against not only the Spanish conquistadores but the mighty Inca attempts to conquer. This is an interesting subject that I plan to continue to research.
As we sat waiting on our plates, a bottle of wine was in order. Also while we continued to wait for the prized plates, I noticed the owner was seated at another table enjoying lunch with his family. At first glance this was an enduring seen but as time passed and knowing my family was starved, my patience ended and I decided to bother him and asked for our orders to be taken. He immediately stood and began to serve us. One could argue that the wine might amplified my emotions but this lunch/supper meal may be the most rememberable for these reasons;
1) we laughed until tears came out, always loved that, tears of joy, remembering people, anecdotes, kids mimicking others, and mostly laughing at my husband’s funny/senseless jokes,
2) unfortunately, it may be an remembered for the worst meal we had in Argentina . and the priciest we pay in Patagonia. I have been lucky enough to taste gastronomy in many continents and I feel spoiled when it comes to the tastes I have experienced, but having my kids, who pretty much eat anything, telling me that this food was horrible was crushing. My lamb and kids pasta where incredibly bad. Thankfully it was difficult to fail my husband’s salad. But, I couldn’t believe this would end up being the worse meal ever, as far as taste is concerned. I am disappointed and i was banging my head on the wall for insisting on this restaurant because I saw so much potential, but, instead I will choose to be thankful for the laughs and for the learning from the locals that keep the flame of recovering their native lands and roots. I am thankful for the laughs of my kids even if is to make fun of all my aches from trekking and thankful to this meal, for distracting me instead of my thoughts being upset.
Let me say that the stress of not being able to work and create business ideas , 24/7 as I am use to, had not being “cured” and stills haunts me since the first week of our trip. But I am making the efforts to place them aside an living the moment, I am enjoying my family, and trying to smell all the roses in our journey.
I want to point out something that I mention to my travelers when I plan their trips, no matter your destination, your state of mind will always determine how much you enjoy it. In the journey and the destination, your emotional state will allow you to experience the world at its best – good or bad. I pretty much spoiled my trek, but chose to change my state, I would like to point out that I would love to come back to El Chalten with more days than just an overnight. This is a beautiful town where Nature lovers of all countries and all ages come for the pristine looks of hills, lands and Glaciers. Perhaps not like me, expecting too much for the “Cordero Asado”!
The questionable restaurant!
Our F8 trip is already in its 19th Week and the countdown Will start soon. My family and I are spending 4 Nights in San Carlos de Bariloche and the hotel is Costa del Nahuel , everything in Argentina has been handcrafted by my network travel partners – Designer Trips , Matias and Lucas , and everything has been perfect – length in each place and lodging accordingly to our budget. We are experience it to plan it in the future for you . 🙂 exciting !
We entered Argentina by bus and I feel good and confident that the time they took in the border, frontier, with bus and luggage manually checked, probably avoid further problems . We saw several police bording the bus. We, later, exited the bus for X-raying all the luggage. After which, we were on our way again. The advatanges of riding by bus are the amazing views , the forced time to sleep and read, and the affordability when you are a party of 4. After many buses with different carriers, I must say that our Favorite attendant, Patricia (Cata International) was outstanding and attentive. A bonus was that the meals on this route, Mendoza -Barcelona, where awesome – all full meals, breakfast and snack. The excitement to see the Andes mountain range and spot the white tips in the summer “mode” was like a JACKPOT. The word, “el niño”, is always discussed to explained the drastic weather changes including: dry rivers , unusually hot or cold, as well as other phenomena. In any case, we are fascinated with the Patagonia landscapes , the pristine lakes , the easy going and safe streets , the amazing blend of cultures in the hotels architecture with structures resembling Switzerland The healthy air and very low humidity breathed in is incredible.
We are getting used to sweets and other non-traditional items for breakfast instead of the eggs , ham or sausages. A good “asado” or Italian pasta for lunch is the norm with whatever is leftover for dinner. Argentina was at the top of the list for my husband and so far the first 5 days in this land did not disappoint a bit!
Stay tune for next week where we will go to Perito Moreno Glacier and first hand feel the glaciers .
Please write me if you have any questions at ANYTIME !
Cessy F. Meacham CTIE
World Traveler & Entrepreneur
Follow our trips : www.f8travel.com
Dunas de Conache – Trujillo Peru
Dunas de Conache – Trujillo Peru
This place is a recreational complex in the department of La Libertad , close to Trujillo, the facilities offer great fun for a very few dollars, entrance is about $0.25cts but you pay a few dollars other activities you want, zip line, boats in the lake, shooting, some trekking, etc,
This is a video of my pathetic attempt to stand up, on the board, i must say this has been my second time after trying in Ica -in the Oasis of Huacachina, where i did sand board seating down and belly down , this was the very first time I actually tried to stand up, my nephew and kids love it and being one the few “sport” that the whole family can participate, I decided to join them any time we can .This dunes were harder because no vehicle was involved to take you to the top of the Dunes , therefore you have to sweat and climb all the way, all that work and in less that 1 minute you ride down, is better to do it early in the day so the heat doesn’t get you too hard.
You can tell I had fun but most importantly , I LOVED ,listening to my children laughing so hard at me, and with me!!
Would you try ??? What sport or activity you practice with the entire family?
#f8 #family #fun
Is this bringing me closer to my goals?
It is said, when you are in business that you have to write your goals, to have clarity, and that every action you make you should be asking yourself; Is this bringing me closer to my goals?
Have you applied that?
I personally like to have a business coach, not only I let it all out with a professional ; my business challenges, frustrations and goals, but also allows that this professional with a special interest that I “ feel ” the value of their advice, keep me in track towards my goals and also more than often , If you are like me going a million miles per hour and in all directions, they are the ones who helped me to stop , realize and enjoy my successes.
But things are a little different this year for me, (more than a little they are 180 degrees different) My F8 Travel year , is a year of experiences, building relationships with hotels , tour companies and organizations, is also a year of bonding, a year of gratitude , a year of memories, a year of learning, a year of togetherness, and with it there are goals to accomplished, As always it must be the financial goals, where I must make sales as I travel, I need to pay office rent, the management of it, Health, Life and Travel Insurance among others, Technology is being my savior and my nightmare at the same time. But together we must accomplish those much needed sales.
The new goals I have in addition are the core of what is F8 travel, in every experience we lived in this year in every city we visit, every family and friend we met, every restaurant, i ask myself: ” Is this bringing me closer or let me experience any of the F8 elements? Is this for Family? or Faith? or Friends? or Funding/Volunteering? or Fitness/Health? or Fun? or Food? or Fulfillment?
If what I am doing involves one or more of those elements, I feel like I am getting closer to my goals for this year.
You don’t have to be traveling to add F8 in your life, I believe it will help everyone to grow spiritually, I am overwhelmed with gratitude because these last 15 weeks, since We started this Life purpose Journey, October 09th 2015, I made possible to personally hold hands, look in the eyes of those who mean a lot to me, i had the blessing to tell them, “ I love you” “ I appreciate you “ “You made me feel especial” , and “ I am here for you”!!, and you might be my next visit 🙂
Thanks for your time,
Tio Victor & Mila Ulloa without their courage to Leave Peru in the 60’s for a better future for them and their son, I would never be an American Citizen today! Bravery runs in the family!
LAS BRISAS MEACHAM FAMILY
The Meacham’s at a dinner Show Las Brisas del Titicaca in Lima Peru, they are my biggest cheerleaders and the axel of my world!
#food #family #fun