How it all came to be…

The travel bug bit me hard, early on.  I have always had to urge to see new places and things, to be part of something historic, to find how things come together.  When I was 10, I took a month-long journey across the U.S.  At the time, I had no idea how much this would fuel my need to explore.  It also did cement in my heart knowing exactly where home was for me.  I spent five years living in southern California knowing I would never be a “California girl.”  Maine had stolen my heart long before that.  I have since lived in many places and it has never been a question in my mind where home is.

There are many definitions of home.  I know that some people consider home a specific place or house.  Some people think it is where someone they love is.  In my case, my home is several spots in Maine.  Northeast Harbor is the first place that was home to me, then Trenton,  and Ellsworth.  Now, despite my attachment to my beloved Mt. Desert Island, home is split between Portland and Belfast.  That is where my closest family is and being near them is what brings me a sense of peace.  Every time I come back to Maine, the first sight of ocean gives me a feeling of being where I belong.  My course has been set for a long time, but I do love the side trips on my journey.

I have recently been reading a lot about hiking and have always wanted to make it part of my life.  I had some experiences with someone who really made me think it wasn’t for me, but the more I come back to it on my own terms, the more I think it might be an answer for when my wandering temporarily ceases.  Many people associate the quote “Not all those who wander are lost” with me and I have always embraced it.

I love the life that I have created and I am lucky that I am able to follow my dreams.  Is this the kind of life for everyone?  Absolutely not.  One of the things I hear most from people is that this life sounds fun, but they wouldn’t be able to handle the constant moving or not being in their own bed or the unknown that I constantly face.  I don’t know why I am not scared of all these unknowns.  I probably should be.  I go to a new town, drive in places I’ve never seen before, possibly  not even heard of and walk into a new hospital to learn a new job every few months.  It should qualify me for some kind of crazy, but I seem to thrive on the challenge.  Maybe my confidence comes from knowing each situation is only temporary or that no matter what, I am independent enough to handle what is thrown at me.

I have a certain level of sadness when I think about not having this line of work.  I do love being a lab tech and could be happy doing just that, but my thrill comes from being free to explore and grow by walking beside the Grand Canyon or stopping in the middle of the road to let a bison pass or being in a solemn place like Gettysburg.  I have been fortunate to see so much and I am rich with experiences that I would most likely not have with a permanent job.  But, my family ties are so strong that there are times my homesickness overwhelms me.  I never take for granted when I am able to see that familiar rugged coast under the plane I’m on and the warm hugs that greet me because they are my true sense of peace and love.

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Stadium number #17!!!

In a very recent trip, I was able to check a few more things off my list.  I find that when I am able to do that, I get very excited and everyone around me knows about it.  In this case, I think all of my co-workers were fully aware of all of my weekend plans and when I returned to work on Monday, they all wanted to know how it had turned out.  I find that I have such a level of enthusiasm that I think some people really don’t understand, but I think it’s important to find the joy in even the smallest of places.  Life is about doing what makes you happy and the memories that will stay with you.  For me, it’s the travels and adventures that I have and I hope that others are able to find their happy.

But, onto the trip.  I decided to make the 6-hour drive to Denver from where I was staying in northern Wyoming.  I had a big weekend planned and a fairly short amount of time to do it.  Part of my sense of adventure just pushes me to try things even in an abbreviated time frame and I have gotten very good at planning out how to maximize the time that I do have.  I left at about 3am on Saturday morning and made it to Denver at around 9:15-not too long after the Denver Museum of Nature and Science opened.  I am always a sucker for a good science museum and the Denver one was not a let down in the slightest.  I saw some temporary exhibits on the Silk Road and Whales.  I probably could have spent days in there, but I was on a schedule.  They also have an interesting exhibit on Egyptian mummies.   My youngest sister is fascinated with that subject and I have gotten more of an appreciation over the years because of her.

 

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I then had a scheduled tour of Coors Field-stadium #17 for me!  This is one thing I was really excited for.  I haven’t spent much time in Denver and certainly not really any touristy things.  It is a nice ballpark and the view of the Rocky Mountains is nothing short of spectacular.  They are very dramatic and as you are at the top of the stadium, they can not be ignored.  I can only imagine how beautiful some of the sunsets there are.  It is marked in the stadium exactly which seats are at a mile high, which I find to be unique and a fun fact.  They were replacing the seats, so there is a lot of work to be done before Opening Day.

 

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My next stop was to the local Hard Rock Cafe.  I have gotten into collecting shot glasses from all the Cafes that I have been to.  Plus I really like to see all the different pins that are at each location.  The cafe is actually located in a part of Denver that has quite a bit of shopping and a road blocked off to cars for pedestrian traffic, like the cafe in Louisville.  It makes it a very inviting place to want to hang around.  However, parking is nowhere near inexpensive.  I paid $5 for half an hour and even to me that seems pretty steep.

As part of this trip, I needed to satisfy my inner history nerd and for that I went to the Molly Brown House.  Almost everyone knows Margaret Brown as the “Unsinkable Molly Brown.”  A lot of people have seen the movie with Debbie Reynolds and plays about her.  Yes, she did quite a bit when the Titanic was sinking, but one of the things I didn’t realize is how philanthropic she was.  While on the Carpathia, she raised money from the wealthy to give to the poor who had lost everything when the ship went down.  She loved to travel and she was also very vocal in the Women’s Suffrage movement and even worked with the likes of Alice Paul.  The house that she had in Denver was originally built for a silver baron, but was sold to them when the silver market bottomed out in the mid  1890’s.  It was a beautiful house and quite modern for the time it was built.

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The next day, I decided to stop in Boulder to go to the Celestial Seasonings factory.  They give free tours and tell you all about the process that goes into making tea.  The nice thing is that the company has always operated out of Boulder, so every tea bag is from that one place.  They are very eco conscious and there is even a reason why they don’t put strings or tags on their tea bags.  They found out that by eliminating that, they were able to significantly reduce the amount of garbage going into landfills.  Of course there is a fairly large shop with everything you could possibly want that has their logo.  Plus, you can buy any of their 83 ish flavors of tea; which you can also try in the sampling room.  The fun thing is “The Mint Room” which is where they have to store the peppermint and spearmint.  it’s a closed room and when you walk in, it burns your eyes and a lot of people can’t stand being in there.  I had no idea how powerful mint was until then.

So, it was a lot packed into a couple of days, but such a great trip.  There is so much to do in Denver that even a week would probably not be enough time!

 

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