Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Why being a Writer is the Coolest Job in the World

And yes, there are numerous other jobs that are also the coolest job in the world.  To name a few: jobs that save lives, jobs which help those in need, jobs which educate, jobs which make a difference in the experiences of others, creating something delicious that people revel in eating, jobs that invent something important and life changing, activism, jobs which offer support services to those in pain and need.  There are loads of jobs which are both incredibly important ones, as well as the coolest in the world.

Being a writer is absolutely one of them, and for many reasons.  Further, not only is being a writer one of the coolest jobs in the world, its also one of the most important.  Fitting into both of these categories.

Finding yourself dubious over that last statement?

Thinking, oh come on, sure, writers create entertainment and at their best, offer some relevant insights to others which is probably great fun, but they certainly dont do work as important as say, a doctor, or a counselor, or an advocate for human services, or a teacher, or an inventor, or a fire fighter.

I would argue that being a writer is exactly as important, relevant, and life changing as all of those careers.

Allow me to explain.

Writers educate.  You can learn anything and everything from books.  How to speak Italian.  How to cook or bake.  The nuances of eating a healthier diet.  How to improve your interpersonal communication.  How to write more dramatically. How to start a small business.  How to operate your Canon camera.  Particular etiquette and traditions in the Japanese culture.  All the parts of the body.  How to care for a particular type of animal and/or pet.  What the country of New Zealand is like.  The list going on and on and on.  Things that you may not have the chance to learn via personal experience, you can still learn via the mode of literature.

Writers offer support, empathy, a sense of connection and understanding.  So many people have found solace, a sense of understanding and of being understood, feelings of community and support, within books.  Memoirs and nonfiction that speak to survivors of trauma.  Grief counsel in literature.  Assistance with improving ones self esteem.  Feelings of, "wow, me too."  A sense of "I'm not alone, there are others out there like me."  We find this in both fictional stories (which are of course, based on very real themes of human life, as well as authentic human challenge and triumphs), as well as nonfiction.

Writers offer a sense of solace.  One of the main draws of reading can be the sense of peace, joy, and respite it offers.  Curling up with a great book, growing lost within the storyline or interest the context within elicits.  The process of learning and considering the messages within.  Enjoying a warm beverage and sense of solitude as one disgests the book at hand.  This can be a significant retreat and source of happiness in ones daily and weekly life.

Writers transport you to another culture, place in time, into novel experiences and lives you might never experience or consider otherwise.  So many of us will never have the chance to visit, say, Bhutan, or Australia, or the Arctic, or Europe.  Most of us, God willing, will never know what its like to be an addict, struggling through such.  Or, what its like to grow up in a war saturated community.  Most of us have one career experience, maybe two or three within our life, and thus, do not know what it might be like to work within another.  As say, a chef, or an FBI agent, or a midwife, or a detective.  We can see through this perspective and glean insight into all of these via books.  Most of us do not have any semblance of what it might be like to struggle with mental illness, or a developmental disability.  This perspective can be somewhat gleaned through books and literature.  While some people do experiment with alternative relationship styles, such as polyamory, or open relationships, many of us do not.  One can gain a birds eye view of what this might be like via literature.  There are so many alternate perspectives, experiences, ideas, cultures, and ways of being that one can have a semblance of understanding via the mode of books.  Expanding your mind, sense of understanding, and compassion.

Writers entertain.  Because fun, throughout our daily lives, is often sadly in short supply.  Far shorter than it should be.  We tend to forget how fast life is.  And further, that it shouldn't all be stress, slogging through the daily grind.  Rushing from here to there.  Sprinting down our "to do" lists.  Yet, this is how so many of us live.  Pouring mass amount of energy, worry, and time into things that really aren't all that crucial to the big picture joy of our lives.
Within books, both fiction and non, we can find thrill, suspense, excitement, romance, drama, joy, and inspiration.

Writers inspire.  There are so many books out there that, on reading such, one will feel uplifted, emotionally moved, a new window of knowledge opening up within ones mind and heart.  Learning something they hadn't considered or known prior.  For example, within a particular story, seeing someone having gone through something incredibly difficult and emerging through such, intact, and even for the better.  Reading about people working hard and reaching the stars for which they were aiming.  Books inspire us to new heights, different dreams, and further benchmarks.  They can help remind us of whats possible, of all that we are capable of.  They can open our minds and hearts.  Fill us with a sense of possibility.

Writers teach us how to be human.  Through reading both fictional stories and non fiction, we come face to face with the dilemmas, challenges, as well as triumphs and wonder, of all it means to be human.  We can experience the navigating through all of it.  Finding ourselves suddenly introduced to new ways of thinking, different ways relating to others, novel ways of being or living.  Reading about the experiences, lives, dilemmas and challenges of others can inject us with a sense of greater empathy.  Showing and reminding us that all of human life is incredibly complex, messy, and layered.  That this is normal, worthy of openness, bravery, and a seeking of further learning and curiosity, and even to be celebrated.

Writers open up new worlds inside of us.  Within books, we find different ways of looking at the world, and at other people.  We can be inspired by alternate ways of loving and relating to others.  We can learn things with regards to diet, health, psychology, science, that we didn't know prior and which change the decisions we make daily after learning such information.  We may stumble on alternate career ideas which we had never thought of, known about, or considered prior.  Read about places of which we had never heard, and which we now long to venture.  The list goes on.  Reading opens up whole new worlds and adds layers of knowledge to the being which we already are.

Writers absolutely change, and even save lives.  All readers know this to be true.  And every single reader has a handful of books for which this is absolutely true for them.  Books that changed their life in some way. Sometimes in minor ways, other times, in monumental.  Reading a book about nutrition that changes how you eat.  Reading a book that introduces you to new ideas for how to love or conduct your relationships.  A book that offers life philosophies you had never known or considered prior, which speak to you and thus, embed themselves within your heart.  Altering your way of thinking and acting from there, going forward.  A story that changes how you view people who have gone through a certain type of situation, now seeing them with new eyes.  A book that entices you towards an adventure on which you have never embarked or thought of, prior to reading it.  The list goes on and on.  Books influence our thinking, change our perceptions and ways of thinking in both minute ways, and huge ones.  The books that do this are different for everyone.  Particular books speak to different people.  Certain topics and reads, reaching out and grabbing hold of you, with a refusal to let go.  Their messages and ideas continuing to whisper to you through the walls, long after their having concluded.

Books are powerful, immensely worthwhile, awe inspiring and awesome things.  And the people who produce these small squares of paper, chock full of etchings and typing's which have the power to alter your entire way of thinking and being?  Writers.  A crucial, immensely important, life changing job to be sure.  A job that has the power to, and absolutely does, shape and alter lives in powerful, significant ways.  How incredibly cool and important is that?  One of the coolest jobs in the world, to be sure.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Roundup of Most Awesome Adventures Ive Taken

Get ready for a roundup of several of the most awe inspiring, awesome, memorable trips Ive taken.  Hopefully providing some inspiration for future trip considerations of your own...

Amsterdam, and the jaw dropping Keukenhof tulip gardens, drawing visitors from all over the world for the mere 6 weeks that the flowers are in bloom.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  The colors, astounding to be sure.  As well as, Amsterdam is a scene straight out of a fairytale.  Canal houses like upright gingerbread cookies, steel gray canals winding throughout the city, cobbled lanes, the chime of bicycles shimmering in the air.  Boats bobbing along water surfaces, some of which are even restaurants, cafes, or even residences.  Quaint and inviting cafes situated waterside.  The city is inviting, atmospheric, beautiful.

Check out this link for more Amsterdam info, from restaurant recommendations to activity ideas.

Berlin, Germany.  I was able to venture here several times while living in Germany.  Edgy, open, graffitied, exciting, hipster, grungy, history laden.  Way cool locale for exploring.

Here is a link to a blog entry I wrote from one of my adventures to Berlin.

One week spent, solo, in Lisbon, Portugal.  LOVED this city.  Electric.  Worn.  Artsy.  Colorful.  Romantic.  Cobbled.  Hilly.

Click here for more on Lisbon during my time spent there.

Alex and Dan visiting me in Frankfurt, Germany, as well as our adventuring to Heidelberg!  Such a thrilling surprise and great time with these two :-D.  Cannot believe its been over a decade of our being friends.

Jenn and Steve coming to visit in Frankfurt!  As well as our adventuring to Rudesheim am Rhine and Heidelberg too!

Budapest, Hungary with Somayeh.  LOVED this trip.  Some of the most phenomenal food Ive ever tasted, and for the lowest prices.

Click here for loads of food porn photos, as well as rad recommendations in Budapest.

Solo adventuring in Italy!  The first solo trip I ever took, to be exact.

Click here for the experience, as well as loads more photos and recommendations.

Paris, France.  Ive been blessed to have been here some four times now.  Its still one of my favorite cities in the world.  Classy and new, yet old.  With eye catching, ornate, stunning buildings everywhere one looks.  Fast paced, with slow, leisurely pockets of time punctuating daily life as well.  Romantic.  Bustling.  Beautiful.  Gothic architecture, with much modern and new.

Made these myself :-) from scratch.  In a croissant making class.

On a bike tour with my sister.

Lichtenstein Castle in Germany with Andy.  Also trekking to Cochem, an Edward Scissorhands esque small town.  Gorgeously decked out in autumnal foliage.

Click here for the entire trip experience, a road tripping venture through Germany in search of creepy castles.  Way cool!

Edinburgh, Scotland with JudithOne of my favorite trips ever.  Fell in love with the enigmatic, mysterious, haunting atmosphere of this city.  The landscape, very Game-of-Thrones esque.

Click here for one of the blog entries I wrote about our time in Edinburgh, loaded with photos.

Skiing the Swiss Alps.  An experience I never thought Id be lucky enough to have.  Zermatt, a quintessential winter wonderland.  Alpine village.  Magical.  Quaint.  Stunning.  Romantic.

I. Loved. This.

The scenery while we were skiing, so astounding nearly to the point of my skiing off the trail in being distracted by the immense beauty of it all.

Here is a blog entry I wrote, showcasing all the photos and experience of such.

Solo tripping in Stockholm, Sweden, as well as boating to one of the outermost islands of Sweden called Sandhamn.  Reveled in this trip.  Both, the scenery, exploring the city, as well as all the writing and reading I did.  So fulfilling, satisfying, just really wonderful.  A week spent wandering this fantastically architected, eye catching, ornate, romantic spot.  Granted, it blew a hole in my wallet, still it was a phenomenal trip.

Here is a link to my first blog entry chronicling my time in Stockholm.

The library of Stockholm.  Hands down, the most awesome library, architecturally, that Ive ever seen.

Classic Swedish sweet, called Kanelbullar.

Mouthwatering meal I had at Herman's Vegetarian restaurant in Stockholm, with sweeping views of the city from the hill on which it was perched.  Loved this.

Solo meandering and exploring through the French Riviera.  My last solo trip in Europe prior to moving back to the US, after four years of living abroad.  I wanted this trip to be an incredibly special one, so I chose a place that had been at the top of my bucket list for years.

The three Riviera cities I ventured to:

Saint Paul de Vence
Villefranche Sur Mer

As well as, wandering the old town of Nice.

It was everything I dreamed it would be.  Medieval feeling.  Old.  Wildly romantic.  Quiet.  Saturated with vivid color.  Stone laden and cobbled.  Cozy.  Inviting.  Atmospheric.  Luxurious.  The air even smelt of vanilla in certain places.  I would absolutely thrill at going back here.

One of my blog entries, bursting with awesome photos and suggestions of what to explore.