Traveling for work can be stressful for some and was at one time for me as well. Now I find pleasure no matter where I travel, even while sitting in traffic. After discovering that listening to audio books can bring peace on the road – bring two for variety – especially when sitting in traffic. When traveling to the ‘north country’ New York State traffic jams are not a concern – weather on the other hand can be.
This week there was an overnight in Hogansburg, then on to Malone for a morning visit with my last stop in Elizabethtown for an afternoon visit. The weather was perfect – cold but sunny. The snow storm wasn’t expected to start until later in the afternoon. I love snow but traveling in the Adirondacks in bad weather can be a little frightening at times – no streets lights, no other cars for miles, and there isn’t any cell service for long stretches.
Traveling south, as I was passing through Saranac Lake they were building the Ice Castle. This is why it is important to carry a camera or smart phone. This was a very interesting process. I had no idea that the blocks of ice were cut from the lake. It makes sense if you stop to think about it and this is why I am slowing down and taking time to think and be mindful of the world around me. As you can see from the photos below the ice was a beautiful shade of blue. After parking my rental car the first thing I noticed was a large cloud hanging pretty low in the sky above. It reminded me of a mitten with the thumb sticking out below or a whale. It wasn’t until I snapped the first photo that I noticed the large circle of light surrounding it. As you can see from the photo it was a complete circle hanging above the lake.
It was nice getting out of the car to stretch a bit and get my legs moving. I try to get out and stretch every hour and a half. After leaving Saranac Lake I traveled through a mountain range. We can see the high peaks in the distance. This is an area for hikers and mountain climbing. I enjoy this myself in the summer, it can be a little unpredictable in the winter due to the sudden snow storms. So I leave the winter climbing to the experts.
Feeling a little tired after my second meeting and another hour of driving, I decided to stop in Lake George for a cup of coffee. My favorite coffee shop was closed for the winter but fortunately I found Cafe Vero – it was a delight. I brought in my camera and a book – was glad I did when the warmth of the fireplace greeted me. It was a very peaceful place to sit and read a book while sipping my latte. If you are in the area you can find Cafe Vero on Route 9. The staff is very friendly and the latte delicious. They had a maple glazed bacon donut that looked scrumptious, unfortunately I didn’t try it. Maybe next time.
In the past, when traveling for a week at a time I would bring candles, bath beads, framed family photos, books, colored pens, journals, magazines, scissors, glue, herbal tea, and a special tea-cup. Sometimes my pillow and a throw, if I didn’t travel by train. The hotel room would become a home away from home. When in NYC I would walk forty blocks after work and take photos of items in store windows and displays, food dishes, people, and items in the hotel room. It was a little stressful then because my youngest daughter was a teenager and I missed her. Fortunately for us, we had family members available in my absence.
If traveling for work, make the down time feel like a vacation then it becomes pleasurable. Enjoy the pool, jacuzzi, gym, and once in a while order room service. Think about the times in between work and home as the space between – it is in those spaces of time that you can bring peace into your life. Those spaces in time can be filled with meditations, reading, singing, laughing, seeing with new eyes, taking photos, meeting new people, learning new things. My time working as Congressional Fellow in Washington, D.C. is referred to as my working vacation. The girls were able to experience new schools, new friends, new sights, new travel on the metro. I lived a new experience everyday – meeting new people for around the country and world, exploring D.C. especially on weekends, participating in rallies – it was a true adventure. Today I live close enough to family that I can visit but in a new area with many areas to explore and new people to meet regularly. Live in the spaces, even if it is familiar to you. Look at your area as if you were a visitor and explore with new eyes. Take a new route to work, stop in to the local attraction whether big or small, walk around your town, village, city as if you just moved to the area. Do you see anything new, different, anything you never noticed before?
If you live mindfully in the spaces in between, I would to hear what you do to keep life exciting and new. If you would like to learn how to take the first stop to quiet your mind and live in the space in between I would love to guide you to that place of peace.
Light and Love,