Afterward Part 1: Changes to Make Back at Home

Trip Start May 14, 2008
Trip End Jun 17, 2008

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

 "He who returns from a journey is not the same as he who left."  Chinese proverb*
*from The Way of the Traveler, Making Every Trip a Journey of Self-Discovery", by Joseph Dispenza

Inevitably, journeys to other locations change us.   We have ideas of new things we want to do, or feel a new found inspiration to actually do things we have been thinking about for a long time. In order to actually make these changes, I am a believer in writing down those things that I want to change.  This helps me to identify what those things actually are and helps me to stay focused as I try to implement them.  I realize that this is a highly personalized list, but I offer it here as an example, if someone like to try it out for themselves. 

Here are some of the changes that I plan to make in my life as a result of this trip to Israel:
        Find an answer to the question that Harvey raised when we were leaving Yad Vashem:  "What action can I take so that this doesn't happen again?" 

Genocide is a present day crime against humanity.   What is it about man and countries that allow this to continue?   We had discussed some actions we could possibly take.  It's a topic that needs to be continued and answered now that we are home. 

        Research and identify additional ways we can support Israel.   On our return flight there was an ad in on-board magazine that stated "the best gift to bring back from Israel is the one you will leave behind".    That just struck such a chord within.   Both Harvey and I had considered purchasing a momento of our trip, but we are not shoppers and nothing that we happened to see caught our eye.  As I was packing, I noticed how I was so carefully packing the few pottery shards from Beit Guvrin, those 2,000 year old pieces of pottery were being handled like gold!   But maybe it is true that the best gift is one not that we bring back, but the one we give to Israel.  When we went to the Galapagos, we donated to the national park to help pay for the maintenance.   Maybe we will give to the National Parks, to the Jewish National Fund that plants trees or to something related to tolerance among different religions, or....

        Get back to practicing daily personal intentions.  As part of my annual goal setting, I had set out seven intentions, one for each day of the week.  The idea is to keep in my mind during the day, a particular approach or mindset.  It is a creative visualization approach to my days.  This trip was my first experiment in trying to integrate these "intentions" as we travel.  I really did like setting it in my mind before the day got started and practicing these intentions did help me enjoy the days' experiences.  I looked back at the journals to identify if there was a point in the trip when I stopped doing them and what happened or caused that to occur.    I have identified that those days where I did not feel rested, I set the practice of intentions aside.  Clearly, I have more practice needed!    When I do this practice at home, it does help to make the day more the way I want to live...from the inside out, rather than responding to whatever comes to me.  It's also a way to have discovery without being on a trip.  The discovery is of the self... 
        Get my aqua jogger out from storage and start to use it in the pool! Instead of a buoyancy device for jogging, lie in the pool just as I did in the Dead Sea and let myself be, totally.  Practice "be"ing.
         Add new toys to our travel bag:  waterproof point and shoot camera (as fast shutter speed and ISO as can get), portable digital audio recorder (to record music and sounds; practice with voice memos and voice recognition software in laptop).  Practice with them so their use becomes intuitive.
        Follow up on the reading recommendations by Mordecai, our guide in Tsfat.  The Palm Tree of Devorah by Moshe Cordovero; Lilith's Cave by Howard Schwartz.  My sister is also going to suggest some further reading by her favorite author, Rabbi David A Cooper.
        Check out specialty food markets and see if I can find fresh vegetables and fruits that actually have flavor.   These were so much better in Israel!
        Read about Chagall, the Isaiah scroll, kabbalah.  Follow current events by reading the Jerusalem Post.
        Format the journal and photos on the web so that future TripAdvisor readers can access. 
        Format a book of our journals and top photos from each day.  Print them at home on high quality paper.  Create a handmade casing or binding (will need to research).  There is something precious about something handmade that you can hold, like a jewel that the journey was.  I had planned to do a MyPublisher book as I have in past trips, but this idea has now evolved. 
        Complete a photo collage project, the seeds of which were sprouted on this trip.   This is something that I have wanted to do for years and I am going to make this happen.  I am feeling inspired!

        I truly love to be out in nature and I will do this more!  Locally, I can go to Fairchild Tropical Garden or walk along beach when it is quiet.  I can spend time in our garden.  Plan future trips where can be out in nature.
        For future trips, I can't imagine traveling now without my laptop and writing my daily journal in the computer.  It enables such a free flowing stream of consciousness in my writing.  The process creates a more mindful approach to new places, and it helps to remember, absorb and clear my mind, getting ready for the next day. 
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