Life Lessons

I promise not to bombard you with Inca Trail Updates, but I've had so many emails and comments that I wanted to get in a quick one today. Your comments have ranged from "you should be applauded" to "you should be chemically altered before you become a danger to society". We've also heard some good tips on fitness prep and gear to bring. We appreciate all of the feedback. This is Day -373, or in other words, 373 days before...

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It is interesting how sometimes the smallest of events can bring about big changes. Just a week ago, we were living our day-to-day lives, still enjoying the buzz from a wonderful trip to Quito and the Cotacachi area. We spent part of an afternoon talking to a friend who brought us some info on applying for our Ecuadorian citizenship at the end of the year, and within just two days, we suddenly find ourselves making a year-long commitment to train...

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I thought I could ignore the goings-on this week, and just let it all slide. After all, like most Americans (if polls are to believed), I really don't like either candidate for President. I got no horse in this race, no dog in this fight, no clowns in this circus, no turd in this bowl, whatever metaphor you prefer. But if you've read some of my other posts, you know that something that gets right up my left nostril in...

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Two friends we made here in Ecuador decided to sell their homes and move back to the US recently. They enjoyed their time here, but for various reasons had to move on. We will miss them, but wish them the best in the continuing adventure of their lives together. Their departure reminded me of an interesting discussion I saw a few months ago in social media. A blogger was convinced that the “retirement/travel industry” was hiding a deep, dark secret...

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Jerry Seinfeld once pointed out that in surveys, people consistently list "public speaking" as one of their biggest fears. In fact, it usually ranks higher than "fear of death". Mr. Seinfeld points out that this means for most people, if they are at a funeral, they would rather be the one in the box than the one giving the eulogy. This is certainly true for myself, which always surprises people who know me, and some of the things I've done in...

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Long time no blog, sorry about that. We're in the US right now, visit our east coast kids and grandkids. Most evenings we get back to the hotel with almost enough strength left to collapse. Fun, but exhausting. We fully expected things to seem a little strange, returning to the US for a visit after an absence of about 10 months, but I don't think we were quite prepared for this level of weirdness. Not only is there the overwhelming hate,...

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I often hear people cite "they speak a different language there" as a reason not to live in a foreign country - or for some, even not to visit. I also know expats whom, after moving to another country, refuse to learn any of the local language. In fact, some are even proud of their refusal to give up English as their sole means of communication. To each his or her own, certainly, but to me this is as hard to...

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I wonder how many people know the significance of June 3rd in the world of popular music? And this year, 2016 is the 50th anniversary of this important event. Give up? June 3, 2016 will be 50 years since Billie Joe McAllistar jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge. How many of you just heard a bunch of strings playing a descending scale? I'm speaking of course of the Bobby Gentry song, "Ode to Billie Joe", released in 1967, that starts with the...

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I have a confession to make. I'm a serial monogamist. I know you're shocked. If you've seen my profile picture, your first thought was probably "Is that Brad Pitt?" Of course, your second thought was probably "Wow, he's really let himself go!" But it's true, all of this good stuff is being wasted on just one woman. It is not that I lack confidence or ego - I dare say I could sexually disappoint more than one woman at a...

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There was a cartoon I saw once on the Internet, and I just spent a fruitless 2 hours trying to find again. This was during a time when talking heads on cable "news" programs were explaining that a large part of the blame for our economic woes was the fact that teachers in Chicago were getting pensions. The cartoon showed three financial managers, dressed in pinstripe suits and smoking cigars, as they pushed wheelbarrows full of cash labelled "bailouts" out...

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