The Netherlands

Impressions of a Country, Interesting People

Tulip Gardens I love this photo. It is an ordinary day for a Muslim who is not blowing things up.  Terrorists create terror. This is a girl who is smelling the tulips, just like everyone else. People told me it was not safe to travel, that people are out to get Americans, that ISIS wants to get me. Yes, there are dangerous parts of the world, and there are extremists everywhere. However, let us not forget an extremist is just that- it doesn’t matter which religion is followed.  I have heard a lot of remarks regarding “all” or “none” of a certain religion yet did not see a bomb anywhere, nor were there any other problems.

Who are these people that I keep getting warned about? Who are these people that some of my countrymen believe are “out to get us”? Perhaps we should meet those who are different than us, get to know them personally, and then develop an opinion.


The Motivations Behind the RTW Trip

RTW Trip

Someone recently asked me about the inspiration for my trip doing long-term travel rather than vacations as most people.  Here was my reply.

I have just started the journey 4 weeks ago, and am now no longer scared, but getting comfortable. I am currently staying in Amsterdam with a Turkish friend, then off to Turkey, Israel, Eastern Europe, then to Africa for a few months before heading to Asia, Australia, New Zealand, S. America and back to the States.

The inspiration is from a multitude of things, one being (I am an admitted idealist) and that I am tired of seeing people afraid of others who are different from them. So, as I am meeting people who are different from mainstream America,I am getting to know them as people and blogging about what I am discovering and sharing it with whoever cares. ( I am also writing a book for myself and any of my future great-grandchildren who may care). Just think if the information opened at least 2 minds to a different perspective. (And if more minds are opened, we can actually change the world 1 mind at a time.  For instance, if I open 2 minds that realize that all muslims are not trying to bomb buildings, and those 2 people open to minds by seeing that I am staying with some muslims, eating the same kinds of foods and discussing the same concerns, and that they are not trying to blow up buildings, and they open 2 more minds, etc. – imagine the impact people could make on their own communities that eventually effect larger communities, then regions, countries, and eventually the world.  One person really can make a difference, even if it ends up only opening 2 minds. The process is just slower in that case.
My blog is not that good yet. I hope someday it will be. I am technology challenged, as well as directionally challenged, so get mixed up (or lost as most people call it), but that is part of the fun and the way to experience real life.  I have only started blogging since I decided on this trip, so I am also learning patience on how to work the #$%^&*!! thing; like uploading pictures, and videos, writing with style and remembering ( or relearning as the case may be) the grammar lessons taught so many years ago.
I have actually interviewed and video interviewed people about their opinions about topics of concern in the USA and of interest to me, which I have found fascinating.
Examples are: a Muslim man who moved to Amsterdam, how did he feel about giving up his citizenship to take on another, what about loyalty to one’s country and patriotism?
Also spoke a girl from Latvia about why the world should care if Russia took over Crimea Ukraine, and why people in Latvia say that if Russia were to take over their country (even though it is so small, and most americans could not locate it on a map,) that people are speculating that it could start world war 3.
Another topic was dark and light magic, and I spoke to a 20-year-old a girl who lived in a haunted house for 6 months that scared her so much, she moved out. (Books being moved around, whispers in the air, etc.)
I am also exploring the thoughts of others regarding how does a person know if the person they are dating are suitable to marry, (especially when one of the couple is ready to get married, but the other one is not ready to commit),
how the prostitution thing works in Amsterdam (how much does one pay for what service, etc) and the coffee shops too.
Of course, I am enjoying learning about these things – the coffee shop that I went to was a lot of fun, and luckily for me,  I get to enjoy any other topics that I find interesting that someone else wants to discuss – like riding a bike down the road of death in Bolivia.
Why now? I will turn 50 this year, and since we only live this lifetime once, and average life expectancy is 78 for women, I may have only 28 yrs. left, on average. And since we never know when a person’s time is up – it could be  10 minutes from now when I get hit by a truck crossing the road, or 50 years, and I will never be any healthier or fitter than I am now (probably), and still capable of doing what I want to do – climbing a glacier, riding icelandic horses, I need to get started checking these things off the bucket list. If not now, when?
These are probably the same reasons as most other people do long-term travel rather than a vacation.