A Travellerspoint blog

February 2019

Staycations, explore your surroundings

2147D9C5C1E4281F74CDE97AED044F34.jpg During the colder and wetter months, living in an RV can be a bit boring. When it pours down rain, I prefer to cuddle up on the couch with my blanket, a book and a nice cup of tea. Sounds relaxing, but I can only relax so much until I get bored. I usually stay occupied homeschooling Landon, blogging, editing and working on my Vlog, but in order to continue working on the material I need to gather it first. Any chance I get and when the weather cooperates, I hit the hiking trails in our surrounding area. I heard that this winter here in the San Francisco Bay area is more extreme than usual. The constant rain has left the area muddy or flooded. We have been on some trails that were so soggy, our shoes got soaked and heavy with caked on mud. Walking with the extra weight is strenuous and wears on you quicker, especially on steeper inclines. We figured out where some hiking trails are, that are still paved and on higher elevation, allowing hikers to continue their hobby even after downpours. I just took Landon, our 9 year old to one of these trails, amidst cow pastures and had a fantastic time. IMG_20190217_072853_587.jpg
We spent a good 2 hours on the trail, reached the top, where we rested for a bit. I packed water and stuffed pita pockets to refuel us before our descent. We ran into a herd of cows that were blocking the path. Puzzled we tried to figure out what to do. Usually cows are pretty mellow, but not this Mama cow. She was protecting her young as it was resting in the pasture and gave us the stink eye. She did not mooooove, until another hiker tried to shush her away. That must have upset her, because she was about to come after him. Finally, we clapped our hands, made noise and whirled our arms, and Betsy cleared the path for us. She was definitely stubborn. 20190216_151145.jpg
Last week we checked out Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. It was very exciting to me, coming from a big city I need the occasional Metropolitan feel. The combination of city and fishing piers hits everything that I adore. It was windy and cold as we strolled around the piers, visiting tugboats and schooners, observing the sleepy sea lions on the decks and diving in and out of colorful buildings selling souvenirs. At a food stand we purchased bread bowls filled with steaming, velvety clam chowder. The market stands were bursting with lobster rolls, fresh crab, chowder and fish. It was a challenge to chose what to order. It turned out to be a perfect winter's day outing.7981A3FFA81CCAAD641A076FC5FDB8DE.jpg 79809D45E273AFC2F4A59F1FD6A48A8C.jpg IMG_20190214_073134_828.jpg 798121FDAF361C311E44ABCF69EB6ECA.jpg 20190211_152551.jpg
I love that this area has so much to offer, just alone San Francisco will take several trips to explore, with its parks, seashore and historic landmarks. 20190211_155930.jpg IMG_20190213_084122_781.jpg
We are very fortunate to stay in such a diverse area. Two hours from us, driving east sits the impressive mountain range of the Sierra Nevadas, where we can explore Kings Canyon, the redwoods at Sequoia and Muir trail. Several family sledding trips are offered thru MWR that will transport you, equip and feed you for the day. Definitely one trip, that is on my bucket list. With Spring around the corner, I am eager to head into Napa Valley to soak in the country side and taste their fruity wine creations. Lake Tahoe is another day trip that I am looking forward to and for a longer stay, Seattle Washington with a quick visit to Victoria B.C on top of my list.
Setting some goals helps overcome the winter blues, looking forward to learn more about the area makes it interesting and fun. Don't get stuck in a rut, even if you can't get far, turn your hibernation into a staycation. Go out and explore! 180_20190216_160938.jpg

Posted by Meike Carter 04:13 Comments (0)

Travel blogging

90_20181222_162141.jpg Honestly, I never ever thought of blogging a couple of years ago. Matter of fact, Tony and I slowly began to disconnect from anything that could cause an outside effect on us. That meant no more TV with annoying commercials, instead we watched Netflix and YouTube. No more News, we were beyond tired of opinions versus news. It literally affected me and I developed insomnia thinking everything is so bad, how can we last another decade. Finally we decided to free ourselves from anything that caused us anxiety. Tony spent over 5 years deployed, fighting and it was time to give it all a break. The military life definitely left an imprint. We had to let go of many things that either reminded us of the hardships we had to endure or we had to readjust and approach situations on a lighter note. I slowly reintegrated myself into the world of social media less than 4 months ago.
I was excited to reconnect with friends and family yet hesitant to get too involved. Being away from family, due to always changing duty stations was difficult at times, but we learned to get used to it. Unfortunately we didn't really fit in anymore. Life changed us so drastically over the years and we felt awkward being around people. I developed very bad anxiety that ultimately sent me to the Emergency room a few times. In order to cope, we realized that traveling was like medicine to us. What seems to be more unnerving to most, because their home and inner circle is their safety net, seemed to be what we needed. We like to be in the middle of nowhere, not knowing what tomorrow brings and living in the moment. I didn't used to be that way, but Tony's deployments changed my take on life. I want to live it to its fullest and teach my children how beautiful the world is and that it is okay to take risks. IMG_20190204_080923_785.jpg
I took the risk of blogging. Seriously, that was unexpected! During the drive from the Four Corners to Gallup, New Mexico I played around on my phone and came across this site for travelers, asking if I would be interested in sharing my travels. Heck ya, I love to share, because traveling is awesome! I wrote a few lines, almost deleted it, squeezed my eyes shut, held my breath, pushed the button thinking here goes nothing. Well, I guess viewers did read it and quickly I learned how to build it up, adding backgrounds, fonts and most importantly pictures. To my surprise I just hit 3500 views, since I started blogging in November 2018. As a private person, I had to overcome being such an introvert,which took some courage to expose myself, but I felt the need to share with others what we have learned and hopefully help someone in a similar situation. Blogging and writing is not my strength. Matter of fact, during my high school years in Berlin,Germany my English teacher told me, that I was incompetent and would never speak English. I made a point to return back to my high school a year later, after Tony and I married in 1995 and told that teacher in English that she better never tell another student that they are not smart enough and incompetent. Her remark certainly stayed with me, which makes me question every single time I post a blog, if it is good enough. I hit that publish button anyway, because I don't want fear or uncertainty to keep me from doing what I love to do. Practice makes perfect and I mastered the art of learning from my mistakes. One thing led to another and blogging triggered vlogging. We had been watching YouTube videos for a while, following families that sail the oceans and travel the country. It inspired me so much that I wanted to give it a try. Like I said, I learn from my mistakes and quickly learned that filming, narrating, and walking is harder than expected. I was unfamiliar with the equipment, especially the editing software. For hours I tried to piece together footage. It was necessary for me to teach myself from scratch. Although time consuming and unprofessional at first, I had to go thru the learning process. As time progresses I can see the improvements in my videos, pushing my creative side to different levels. IMG_20181217_163557_785.jpg
Blogging and vlogging has been therapeutic for me somehow. In the beginning I cringed every time I heard my voice and especially my accent. I picked out my flaws and focused on improving them. A few videos later I noticed the difference in my speaking. Without planning it, vlogging turned into my speech therapy.
Blogging on the other hand is helping me to focus and broaden my vocabulary. It also serves as a diary that reflects on our Journey.
Hopefully one day my children and grandchildren will be glad that I created these everlasting memories to pass on from generation to generation. It also connects me to my family overseas. My YouTube channel -C's the Journey- allows them to get a better insight of our lives by practically tagging along. Some may never get the opportunity to visit us in the States, but they can enjoy the beauty of this land on screen and see us almost in person. It is not about the likes or the number of subscribers, it simply serves a deeper, more private purpose. The purpose is, to connect to the people we love and care about. Making new friends along the way makes it even that much sweeter.
Thank you for reading!
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Posted by Meike Carter 09:13 Comments (2)

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