It was February 25, just a week before we were to leave for Fiji, the trip to celebrate my turning 70, when my husband, Thom, said to me.
“You know, Jo, this is dangerous and a silly thing to go on this trip. But I’m choosing to do it anyway.” I said, I know. I’m choosing as well.
I had planned my dream birthday trip for a year. My request to my sons was this:
“The only gift I want for my birthday is for all my grandchildren to be together and you guys, of course.” They said, “okay, Mom, let’s do it.”
Just weeks before we left, COVID 19 made its ugly entrance into the world.
We knew it was risky. We tried to console ourselves by saying there’s not that many cases of corona.
How could we know that we would be caught in another country as they closed their borders? And how could we know that we'd use all our resources to overcome some tough times?
Having the best birthday of your life on a...
Africa was completely and utterly fabulous. It was the trip of a lifetime and I wouldn’t change a thing. I could write a book about my two-week experience on safari in Tanzania.
It was AMAZING.
Get a load of these pics!
At times it was surreal. Deep, wild, emotional. Being this close to animals in their natural habitat was beyond anything else I've done in my life.
I came home from Africa with stars in my eyes, refreshed, and alert even after a 41-hour trip home.
I left again after two weeks.
First to Manitou Springs, Colorado, to be in a circle of 13 women from all over the country… the Green Women’s Leadership retreat.
We came together with our hearts wide open to learn about the climate crisis and how each one of us can make a difference. We talked, we cried, we connected and we realized just how desperate things are in the world. We each made a commitment to our own self-care so that we can be up for making...
"To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
In case you missed the 1st part of this story, you can read how we started this adventure in Part 1. Go here
We had been warned about altitude sickness…nausea, headaches, dizziness. The only way to get rid of it we were told was to come down off the mountain. My head was starting to bother me now. More Advil and more water. We kept going.
Indomitable. Unable to subdue or defeat. It was powerful to say these words to myself as I heaved my left leg up unto a huge rock.
In-dom-i-table. I WILL NOT be defeated by this damn mountain.
This was an epic trip for me. In the telling of this story about our adventure, it’s important to give you some background on what it’s like to climb Fuji-San (Mr. Fuji).
It was a Buddhist monk in 700 A.D. who first climbed Mt. Fuji. A temple was built at the summit 400 years later. It became a pilgrimage site for Japanese. In 1860, the first foreigner climbed Mt. Fuji.
In 1868, Lady Parkes, an Englishwoman, defied a ban on women climbers and ascended the peak. The ban was lifted afterward. What a badass woman :).
It was my husband’s idea. Thom had dreamed about this climb even before we moved to Okinawa in 2013. He’d always said, “I’m gonna climb Mt. Fuji.
I really didn’t want to go on this trek. I heard about...
"In every journey or adventure, there will be the unexpected, the low points, the funky stuff that happens. This is true for travel or for life. And there are always lessons to be learned."
February is the month of love. And because of that, I decided it would be a theme of self love. And since my blog is live again, I thought I'd repost this story as this adventure taught me so much about loving myself amidst being terrified and making decisions. I also learned a lot about forgiving myself.
Three years ago my husband and I visited my son and his family in the tiny South Pacific nation of Vanuatu. We were stoked to be so close to an active volcano. The events that happened were, shall we say, a little scary?
It all started a little bit wonky, the beginning of our trip to see the live volcano on Tanna in the South Pacific island of Vanuatu.
That tropical morning we got off the plane from Efate, the main island of Vanuatu, and arrived by plane an hour later on the...
Fall is a time for us to slow down, to ground ourselves and to nourish our bodies. This retreat is designed to help you stop and listen to what it is you need right now. It's a fun and restorative weekend with mindfulness exercises, morning yoga, an online cooking class with the fabulous Chef Bai, healthy recipes to try at home, meditations and group calls to connect you with other women.