Monthly Archives: May 2013

In Gratitude to those serving: Past and Present, Near and Far

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In Remembrance of those serving: Past and Present, Near and Far

Joining Bloggers for Peace, my post for peace this month is in remembrance and honor of all those who served and continue to serve our country. The flags in the photo are from a memorial in Boston, Massachusetts in memory of every fallen service member from the Civil War to the present. The last Monday of every May is Memorial Day, a national holiday in the United States of America dedicated to the lives of those who served in the Armed Forces. The ultimate sacrifice, that of one’s life, provides us with the chance to wake up in a peaceful country with no fear of harm.

Today we take a special moment to say thank you.

 and starting now, I dedicate a moment of everyday to thank you.

Thank you to everyone and anyone working towards peace whether as a firefighter, in the armed forces, volunteer, parent, police officer, educator, friend, family member etc.

Just over the border…

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Being so interested in global matters, I realize that I sometimes miss out on some of the beauties that can be found in my own “backyard”. Today, my dad, brother and I drove over to Connecticut. While this trip took less travel time than my daily commute to college, I had never really taken the time to explore Connecticut, “Central Massachusett’s backyard”, before.

It was a quick, fun drive over to a lovely town filled with quirky shops, antique treasures, yoga studios, local theater houses, excellent food and much more that I must go back to discover! If anyone is hungry, a stop at “The Courthouse” in Putnam, Connecticut was worth every delicious penny. Stepping into the local antique shop was like entering a time-machine to day’s gone by.

Rooms upon rooms and multiple floors filled with treasures from “the good ol’ days” delighted us everywhere we turned. I could have spent hours in the store, purchasing nothing – absorbing everything.

I found such delight wondering about times past. I wonder what others will think when they look back at the things we leave behind. I intend to leave behind a legacy of love, change, travels, and lessons learned.

Today’s lesson learned: stop and look around: There is beauty all around me, all around you, all around all of us! Let’s not forget to notice the little things that make up the bigger picture. My time in Putnam, CT. was a testimony to that today.

A trip “just over the bounder” quickly made me realize how many great “holes in the wall”,  towns, and natural wonders America has to offer.

While I love traveling all over and know that the rest of my life is going to be spent in an international manner (with my fiance living in Germany) it is important that I and no one ever forget the wonders that can be found in our own “backyard”.

As Pretty as an Airport?

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As Pretty as an Airport?

It is no wonder that the expression has not been produced in any language because what does it mean? Each person’s experience at an airport varies. For some it is an emotionless place to get to the next business endeavor, for others it is a place to get to a vacation destination, for others it is the way to see family and for others still it is the mode of transportation for couples in long-distance relationships.
Airports can generate no emotion or sheer joy, sadness, excitement, and frustration. Airports are known to exhaust and energize people. Exhaustion comes from layovers, long flights, sleepless journeys and yet airports can energize people as the excitement of the next endeavor fuels their souls.

What do airports mean to me? Personally, I have grown to have a fully developed love-hate relationship with airports. Like an emotional roller coaster, airports leave me smiling, crying, laughing, hugging, smiling, crying, and smiling and crying some more. I love going to Logan airport for arrivals to pick up my fiance when he flies in (and family and friends when they come too). When standing among everyone else who is eagerly awaiting the arrival of a loved one there is a rush in the air, an almost tangible sense of jubilation. Arrivals symbolize celebration, reunion and love reconnected.
Departures, for me at least are a very mixed bag of emotions. For me, departures in the United States include sadness and excitement… when saying “until next time” to my fiance and family I feel like the air surrounding me is heavy and grief-stricken. Hating goodbyes, I choose to not say goodbye and to simply say I love you and I cannot wait to see you again soon! When I am the one who is boarding a plane though I just cannot wait to board! The thrill of knowing that I will soon be in the arms of those that I love half way across the world is such a rush. When boarding to leave New England weather behind for the beautiful warmth of Mexico or Jamaica.. I am psyched to get away to relax, making new memories on vacation!

My feelings towards airports is constantly changing… but remains in a love-hate continuum.
I continue to be so thankful for the ability to travel to other countries with such ease and comfort.

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“Distance is not for the fearful, it is for the bold. It’s for those who are willing to spend a lot of time alone in exchange for a little time with the one they love. It’s for those knowing a good thing when they see it, even if they don’t see it nearly enough…”

As today comes to a close, this quote sums up how I am feeling pretty well. Many have asked me how I do it… how do I and we (my fiance and I) manage the distance. The answer is, because we make it work through love and trust. You can trust me when I say that it is worth it. Love, laughter, joy, smiles, and friendship make distance seem small even when it is great. When you love someone with all your heart and they love you the same, unconditionally, the distance stands no chance. I would even say that the distance begins to disappear.                                                        As Helen Keller once said, 

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”

This is not to say that the distance is not difficult at times. Long-distance relationships come with nights alone and their tough moments. They also involve a global perspective for time management. Living in different time zones means that when it is morning for me (6 am) it is noon for my fiance in Germany. A global relationship has opened up my eyes in exciting new ways. 

With today’s technology: Skype, Facebook, and iPhone apps like Viber, Voxer, and Whatsapp talking to people, seeing them and texting is an easy and affordable thing to do. Thinking of how people, years ago used to stay in touch only through written letters makes me so thankful for the internet and all that it offers. Today, it can feel like someone halfway across the world is right next to you when talking to them on Skype.

Long distance relationships do not last thanks to iPhones and the internet though, they last because of the strength of the love that exists between two people regardless of location. They last because two people have met, fallen in love and decided they are going to work together to make love last.

So, yes, it is not always easy, but it is always worth it.

Love cannot be seen or touched, but felt with the heart and it is one of the most important things in life just as Helen Keller so correctly stated.

 

 

 

“Distance is n…

Each Journey… a new Chapter in the Book of Life

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The past few years have been transformative for me.

Journeys have ended and new ones have begun.

Where I am right now is the perfect example of that. Spring semester at Worcester State University has just come to an end and with that came the end of another of new experiences and accomplishments. During the spring semester of 2013 I took on the role as research assistant, an opportunity that provided me real experience in the field of Psychology research. Through this I was able to grow as a person, student, writer and researcher. While it can be sad to see doors close, another one always opens. 

Having already said goodbye to spring semester and preparing to say goodbye to my job as child care provider provides space to say hello to summer semester I and a full time summer job as a care provider for persons with special needs. 

As one door closes, another one opens they say.

For months now I have been preparing for the next big journey in my life beginning in August of this year. This, a year of study abroad in Berlin, Germany at Freie Universität Berlin, is yet another  door that opened. In February I received a phone call announcing that I was accepted to the university, this of course thrilled me and I cannot wait for the start of this adventure!

Traveling through Globalinks Abroad I will be working on my goal of learning to speak German fluently! Speaking and understanding German fluently is a dream of mine which I intend to have come true. 

Globalinks Abroad has been a fantastic company to work through. International education is an opportunity which I believe should not be passed up on. Study Abroad provides the chance to grow by learning through first hand cultural experiences by gaining a global perspective in today’s world, a world that has become very ever-more connected.

For anyone wondering if study abroad is for you, stop wondering and embrace the possibility that awaits.

Colleges and universities in the states are thrilled to have graduates that have taken on international education. Study abroad departments are prepared and willing to assist students every step of the way. Let go of  the what if’s (What if I get home sick? What if I don’t learn the language?) and how’s (how will I afford it? How will I make friends?) … and allow curiosity to lead the way. Take a chance and enjoy. 

Today my countdown begins! Here’s to Germany 2013 – 2014 

Celebrating family in all corners of the world!

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Celebrating family in all corners of the world!

Mother’s day is everyday in a way, isn’t it? I mean every day I give thanks for my mom and all the amazing women and moms in my life! They are all truly special!! I have always had family in Germany and America… so the idea of “international love” and love that truly knows NO distance is no stranger to me. I love my cousins, aunt and uncle in Germany just as much as those living less than an hour away in America. Now another amazing family in Germany is a part of my life and I can not imagine being happier! So today on this Mother’s Day I want to say thank you to mothers everywhere, near and far, you make a difference and I am so grateful! Even though I cannot always be with the people I love most in person, that’s what living an international life will do to you, I can still be with every person I love in heart… thinking about them, Skyping them and making sure that I check in and let them know I love them! Enjoy your day everyone, may it be filled with people you love!