Variety:Spices of Life

We currently have a guest in our home who is staying with us for a month. He is a friend of my daughter’s from college. He comes from a different background and has grown up with lots of spices in his food. In our home, we are very plain compared to the basil, parsley, oregano, lots of pepper, bouge cheeses, etc….So, it was hilarious to see my daughter, her Dad and her friend joining forces to make our families traditional spaghetti. At our house they like it sweet and he is use to a more savory and spicy pasta. I sat back and laughed watching them all debate how in his mind, “spice is good. Spice is a great variety of life. It needs spices!” he argued. It was back and forth with my daughter stating her side and how this is tradition and she likes it her way. Finally, it was agreed that the spaghetti would be made the traditional way our family makes it & then he can add all the spices he wants in his bowl & that my daughter would at least try it.

The pasta was finally done & everyone was happy, but I was especially happy to see both sides pleasantly talk about the variations. He shared how the sweetness was delicious and different than what he was use to. My daughter tried the spices and was open to new flavors. But sometimes you just have to try the variety to see what you really like & how sometimes your traditional will always be your personal favorite. How can you truly appreciate or value something if you don’t try anything else?

When I think of spices of life—I think traveling to new destinations, seeing new places, shops, trying new food, even if they are new spots in your own backyard, community, state, etc. We have moved to a few different states (Idaho–both sides, Arizona, various places in Utah, two different locations in Oregon) and have seen various parts of California, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Alaska, Montana, Nevada…we have a ways to go to see the various parts of this incredible world, but slowly we make our way. They are the places that make the greatest memories, the moments that stay with you. Think about it—your favorite memories and life moments—where were they??

SEEKING THE VARIETY: So, this post I am researching and giving you some fun activities and ideas to get you out seeking a variety of spices for your life!

TRAVEL: So does traveling lead to more happiness? Im sure many people would agree that the answer is yes. In fact, a survey by the travel company G Adventures found that 83% of people consider travel to be a very important part of life, and 68% of people say that new experiences are the happiest part of traveling. -Delivering Happiness.

Why are we happy when we travel? According to the blog In Pursuit of Happiness the answer is these six reasons: having a sense of accomplishment, learning about ourselves, becoming more interesting individuals, realizing that some things in life are less important than they really are, connecting with people and feeling alive. I LOVE that!!

I know for me, traveling to new places, even just a new trail, a new antique shop, a new activity, a new food place to try, a new destination…makes me come alive with wonder and curiosity. I so enjoy the newness of any new adventure. This past weekend our community had a kite festival. I had been waiting months to see this event & experience it. I even purchased a book on the history of kite flying so I would have a new perspective and understanding of the history. Always so much to learn. I couldn’t believe the amount of people that accumulated. Just the variety of people that were drawn to this event was fun to see. It was pure joy to see colorful kites blowing in the wind in every view of the ocean sky. To see huge whale kites, sharks, giraffes, modern spinners, angled shapes that twist with the breeze—beautiful! It was wonderful to see children pass by me with their homemade kites with big smiles & even bigger smiles when you commented on their kite. It was incredible to see kite fliers who created & choreographed multiple kites to musical compositions. Who knew!? To see such passion, strength and skill was extraordinary.

Travel Challenges: Visit a new city & ask the locals for all the musts to see. There are always local spots–whether its for great food, an incredible sunset skyline, a specialty shop, a unique food that is local, etc. Ask the locals for something special. They wont let you down.

Tour a new location on a bike or take some type of local transportation–trolley car, ferry ride, horseback, etc. See things around you from a different perspective.

Take a free tour of some type–whether it is a walking tour, a museum tour, local garden or historical homes. Find some free tours of interest to you.

Find local graffiti art and take selfies with your favorites. This is especially fun because there are always so many different messages, images, artists, etc. Find what you genuinely like.

Find local LOVE padlock bridges, gates or place to leave your loving mark. My little family did this while traveling through Nevada. There are locations all around the world and in different cities. Take a special padlock, write a message & attach it to a special location. Have fun!!

Send yourself or someone you love a fun postcard. This would be a fun memento to yourself and it would be a great way to remember the places you have seen and adventured.

Find the Unique or largest something of some kind challenge: Whether it is the largest croissant, a large local statue, big sign, giant rock coming out of the ocean, a manmade elephant, an octopus made out of recyclable plastics, etc. Find things wherever you are that you may not see somewhere else. Go out of your natural way to find the unique and extraordinary.

BEST VIEW: Seek out the best views in town. Humans are 90% visual beings, so it would make sense that we are moved by visual settings, things and places we see. No matter where you are, ask around for the best views in town. Whether it is on top of a hillside, the top of a building for an incredible skyline, a tall tower, a good whale watching spot, a beautiful beach to photograph, a forest path that leads to an open meadow. Seek out the places that you are drawn to. Maybe you like to take photos of graffiti and ask around for local art. Maybe you just want an idyllic picnic spot. Maybe you want to take a tram ride to a meadow of wildflowers. There are special spots everywhere. Seek out what you need to find.

NEW FOOD: Make it themed. At our house, we try to add some spice to our meals with a fun, new song themed with our dinner—ie: Italian, French, Mexican and have the fun music mixes playing while we saute meats, bbq steaks, boil pasta, broil breads, etc. Add some flair, decorate, try new dishes.

You could also do a fun share and care potluck with your neighbors. Have everyone sign-up to bring some fun flavors & try a bit of everything.

Also, try out some of your local dishes. Seek out and find a favorite thai or mexican dish, maybe find some place that has incredible desserts. Try it all. Find what you enJOY!

SOMETHING out of your NORM: Seek to find something that will help get you out of your norm. Find some activity that will challenge you on a new level—whether you have always wanted to go sailing, hike into a cave, golf from an ocean view, Tour and walk to the top of a lighthouse or maybe a haunted house. Maybe you have an obsession with Twilight & want to stay in one of the epic homes in the movie. Maybe you want to find Big Foot & need to find a museum to explore your curiosities. My neighbor wanted to stay at a hotel with alpacas & play with the babies on the property. Maybe you want to stay overnight in a treehouse. Maybe you have a list of waterfalls you want to see—The list of opportunities is endless. It is up to you and your imagination. Plan a trip and make something happen.

I hope this list gets you thinking, planning, and shaking things up to bring a little more variety and spice to your life. Your life only changes when you begin. Think about it—Everyone LOVES a good surprise. Life is full of surprises if we take the chance to seek and find them in all we do.

-Peace. Love and Light to you. -H