The Top of the World

May 13, 2015

Some of us make it to the top of the world, or at the top of the mountain…and are able to walk out on its ledge and look down upon it…


And some of us get near it and watch…while many of us are somewhere in the middle.  It is a rare chance in life to see a sight such as this!  And, even rarer to meet people that represent this.  However, many people have things such as this in us whether it has manifested itself yet or not.

Once when working in Liberia, the driver of the car lost control and I nearly lost my life there.  It was a horrible accident.  When I returned to the U.S., a friend and colleague who had heard about it mentioned to me “I don’t know why you do what you do, but isn’t it kind of dangerous”.  He asked me, “what motivates you to go abroad to really far distant places whether they be somewhat dangerous or representative of a major difference in the ease to amenities that we have in the United States…”

To experience different cultures and ways of life, is to step outside of our comfort zone.  When we step outside of our comfort zone, we step outside of the cognitive shortcuts that impede our insight.  You can’t always understand something by sitting in the middle of it and looking around.  Sometimes you have to step outside of it to see it for what it is…just as in we need to step outside of our own thought processes and emotions to sometimes see clearly.  It facilitates understanding.  It can facilitate the development of compassion and appreciation where none exists.

I didn’t put a significant post up on Bali, because I provided that a few years ago when in that country.

Bali I Link

Bali II Link

But, one significant lesson learned during the trip to Bali and life overall is the need for appreciation.  All  over Bali you see these displays of offerings, to show appreciation and seek blessings…



Even in the retail establishments, there is always the display of the need for appreciation and the intersection between our lives and nature:


Even with the amazing exposure to the all the exotic displays of culture:


Or the amazing displays of artisan skills that adorn the environment completely with beautiful sculptures:

P1040240 P1040241

Or the hospitality demonstrated, when a band walks up to you on the beach and asks you where you are from so they can play and sing something that reminds you of home:


One of the most amazing things though  is to be accepted and treated as family even on the other side of the world.


I’ve been lots of places and I have seen lots of things; but, spending a month in Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia) was one of the most phenomenal and amazing experiences I have ever had.  In many ways, it makes you feel as though you have lived several life times in a short amount of time.

I am very appreciative of the opportunity, and if I have fall off the grid….you may find me in a little village somewhere in Indonesia hanging at a Warung 🙂  Here is to everyone who made this trip so amazing:


Nothing but love and appreciation…always…

Back around the world sometime soon…hopefully….


Usually when I Travel and Blog, I rush to make my posts of thoughts and pictures to share the experience. This time I am posting more from the back end of the experience. Functioning from the mantra that we can learn quite a bit about ourselves and the universe through the experiences of others, I decided to listen a bit more. Because so much of what I am observing I have observed in other parts of the world, I don’t want to simply duplicate self-evident commonalities. Rather, I want to add to the accumulation of previous experiences. Within the context of the political stalemate, social and political fragmentation across the United States it appears obvious that not only is minimal listening taking place, but also a pervasive inability to feel compassion for the plight of others. This could be because of an absence of compassion or an overinflated sense of self-exceptionalism. Certainly this trip provides an opportunity to absorb other cultures in a manner that heightens the ability to listen and to develop humility by recognizing that exceptionalism exists all over the world. Travel with me through South East Asia:

Leaving Savannah for a two (2) hour flight to Chicago; absorbing a two (2) hour layover in Chicago; then boarding a flight that goes over the north-western minimally populated areas of Canada; flying into Alaska, across the Bering Straits into Siberia; down through Russian Airspace; over Mongolia; into China, brushing by Beijing to land 15 hours later in Hong Kong; after a two (2) hour layover; then flying over Vietnam and mainland Malaysia and five (5) hours later arriving in Singapore. Twenty Six (26) hours, talk about wanting to punch yourself in the face 🙂

Now I am not an airline critic, but just a side note. If you want an authentic Asiatic experience from the time you board your flight until you land in Asia, then go with Singapore Airlines (#1), Korean Airlines (#1.5), or China Airlines (#3). This particular flight was on United Airlines. I would call it the low cost carrier currently to Asia. The best thing is that the arrival was safe. But, if you also want high levels of customer service, an Asian flight experience and safety, well…now you have it!!

This time around, Air B &B was the experience of accommodations to look for…while many cities are grappling with what to do with Air B&B particularly as they challenge the hotel industry, many other areas see it as a viable way to boost competition through allowing homeowners to engage in the free-enterprise system. This place was absolutely awesome. Located in the central city by Gaylon/Guillemard and by Metro Station Paya Lepar…it was ideal:



And, check out this view from the back porch:


When down time is available, or when the day is over and the evening is the context of the moment…they had this wonderful roof top pool where you can see much of Singapore from all angles and feel the flow of the city…not to mention chilling at a very high level 🙂


Time to try to deal with a 12 hour time change…ugh…but, it is worth it…time for a walk and a swim.  More to come…