Rain or shine!

I was a little grumpy about the rain earlier this week. Then I thought about it, and I feel like an ungrateful child. I get to go on this fantastic vacation, I’m getting time off and I let a little rain bother me. I realized that I was just making my own holiday miserable and the rain had nothing to do with it.

So I rain proofed myself and went to face off with the rain. I was determined to learn to enjoy this rainy weather and not let it get to me. I was hopped on my bike and peddled through the rain. As it started to pour, I took cover in front of a bakery.

I stood there watch and watched as the rain fell. I had no where to go, no places to be. Then I began to notice…

The rain washed colours off buildings, and onto the cobblestone.

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Mom and Dad alike sheltering their children and getting soaked themselves. Couples holding each other closer to stay warm. Everyone rushing to where they need to be.

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Except for her. She’s learned to laugh and dance in the rain.

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Genius is divine perseverance.

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Photo: Cappadocia, Turkey

It seems that life never really gives you a break.  Just when you can almost see the light, just when you feel like you are almost there shit happens. Shit always manage to happen!  The next thing you know you are putting out one fire after another.  I’ve always wondered if life is just a tiring exercise of getting through all the curve balls, lemons, and *insert any object of your choice* that is thrown at you.

I remember a passage from Daisaku Ikeda.  He said (paraphrasing now) that anyone can go through rough patches.  It’s not enough to just get through it, but you have to get through it and come out a stronger, better person.  This passage is exactly what I needed at this very moment. So thank goodness for diligent reading and all the Buddhist meetings I’ve attended.  Problems in life never really do go away -if they do than you need to share your secret with me.  It’s not that life gets easier, or that problems go away.  It’s that we get better.  We expand our capacity to deal with shit hitting the fan and various flying objects coming your way.

So to all those people who are dealing with difficulties now, never give up.  Because..

…genius is divine perseverance.

Venturing East

My curiosities have taken me to the less traveled parts of Europe.  Eastern Europe has always intrigued me.  Stories of gypsies, Dracula, lonely beaches, and misty mountains come to mind.   It was a part of the world that I knew very little about, and what better way to learn about something than to go experience it first hand.  When I learned that my dear friend Olga was working in Izmir for a year, I jumped at the opportunity to go visit her and check it out.  And so my journey began -researching, deciding, changing my mind, researching, saving, saving, saving..

I had no idea that airfare would be so costly -though mind you I was traveling during Christmas peak season.  Nonetheless, I try not to let finances impact my travel decisions.  With that being said, I did have to save up a bit.  I had a bit of Petro Points saved up so I converted it all to CAA Dollars, and used it towards my flight.  It was about $1k, which really helped a lot.  (At one point or another, I’ll do a post on playing the Areoplan miles/ CAA dollar game.)

So without delving too much on expenses here is a quick breakdown of how much the entire trip cost.

Flight: $2.4K CDN
Food, Hotel, Spending: $2k CDN

I know most of you would be very interested in how much I specifically spent on each place.  Those will be detailed in my later posts.

So without further adieu, on December 20, 2013 I left for my first stop: Sofia, Bulgaria.

IMG_5704By the way, the little person on the right is Ru.  We will be braving the unknown together.