Reviving the Soul

Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.
- Dalai Lama

For those who know me, you know that vacation is not a word in my everyday vocabulary. It has been a long 7 years since I have had the opportunity to travel out of the country for pleasure rather than business. Though I appreciate those trips (and enjoy them greatly!!), my approach to leisure travel is a bit different than it is from business travel. 

I had been to Brazil a few times and fell head over heels in love with the country and people there. About 8 years ago, I had the opportunity to work temporarily in a school on the island of Fernando De Noronha. I returned a year later to continue working with the school and also documenting the daily activities. The immersive experience changed me as a person. 

I thoroughly believe that every person, if given the opportunity, should travel out of the country. Experiencing other cultures not only allows you to grow as a person, but it gives you a sense of appreciation for your life and what you have. 

Traveling is often a very humbling experience for me, like an instant reality check. I find myself drawn to the rugged, minimal, barely developed destinations. (I think my subconscious knows what I need to keep myself in check) Though a luxury resort may be relaxing, I know it wouldn't have the same effect on me. With these travels, I realize that the little things that I worry and stress about "back home" really don't matter as much as I had thought they did. 

I am inspired by my observations of people living joyfully with what we would consider the bare minimum. I can feel their utter and complete happiness. I am envious in the contentment and pride in living the minimalistic life. 

Simple Homes 
Living with Family
Loving Life

I QUESTION why the American way of life seems so far from this simpler living style. I ASK why we feel we need so much in our lives just to be happy and feel successful. I SUPPOSE it's just the American Way to achieve the American Dream. But, I FEAR that while living this way in order to achieve a "better and more successful" life - we ultimately miss out on life. We don't enjoy it. We live our lives for tomorrow while allowing today to pass by without a second thought. 

This is something that I know I am personal guilty of and I would venture to guess that many of you are as well. But for now, I am in check and living for today. Grateful for what I have, for where I have been and for where I see my life taking me. I have my recent trip to Belize and Guatemala to thank for that.  

'Till next time.

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  1. Jenelle, you need to put a book together of your photos and life experiences. I thoroughly enjoyed your pictures.

  2. I love what you wrote here, and of course love all the images! You definitely deserve a vacation more than once in 7 years! Your soul obviously needs it :)