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The Forty-Eight, Unplug & Unwind

In a day and age where we are all plugged in all the time it is hard to imagine time without any technology. But here friends, I challenge you to do something that is liberating and eye opening.

Go without technology of any kind for 48 hours straight.

No computer. No phone. No TV. No radio. And don’t go to the countryside to do this. Do it right in your normal hub. No excuses.

I did this as a part of a class requirement back in my introductory Telecommunications classes at my University. It was meant to show how much technology is ingrained into modern culture and daily life. My other professors were informed that during a 2 week period I would go technologically dark. My friends would leave sticky notes on my door to let me know of plans or if they were stopping by and just missed me.

For a millennial these are strange concepts, but for those who are older and remember these times this may be a nice practice to get back to the simplicity of life without WiFi. You older generations are no better than we are. Don’t play the shocked victim, you are all just as guilty. So give it a try.

Tell your co-workers, friends and loved ones you are doing this beforehand so people don’t panic when you do decide to do this.

Is there a TV in your normal bar/coffee shop? Sit with your back to it or consciously be aware of its presence as you avert your eyes to people in front of you. Engage others. Tell them what you are doing, it’s a great conversation starter. Start reading that book you always wanted to start but never had time for.

Make a journal of your experiences, stress, and observations of others. People watch. What habits have others developed because of this technology addiction? Call your friends out for paying more attention to their phone than to you when you are hanging out.

Challenge yourself and challenge others.

I will say that the first 24 hours are incredibly difficult. But stay strong. You can make it and honestly you may want to try it again sometime (But maybe for not as long).

Have fun. Do things you don’t normally do but think about. Sit at a coffee shop, go on a walk, play with puppies at the pet store, whatever!

Report back here on what you’ve done or how you felt afterwards.

The sky is the limit. Just remember: No selfies.

 

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How I Get Through the Day: It’s Only Temporary

Coping. People have millions of little tips and tricks. It all really depends on how you handle stress and how you relieve that stressful tension.

People turn to sex, drugs, alcohol, meditation, working out, or even the old fashioned screaming into a pillow. Something works for everyone. At the moment I need a moment for myself to vent. So here I am writing but also thinking. Thinking “out loud” as it were.

I currently hold a position in a broadcast center meant to be run by two people. I work 7 days a week for 6 months straight with minimal time off during my day. Weekends are not a thing here. But here’s the kicker that I’ve been putting through my head. My new partner is coming soon. This is only temporary.

Now as I continue to think out loud through this stream of consciousness writing I find this thought as being in denial, and possibly self destructive as I push forward at 110%, on all thrusters instead of pacing myself accordingly.

I feel like I’ve been through this situation before. The strangest feeling of deja vu resonates beneath the surface of my consciousness.

But here I sit. I guess those moments were only temporary as well.

via Daily Prompt: Temporary

Exposed: The Young False Prophet

I’ve always been the person to turn to for advice. I don’t know what divine power or whatever decided that I was the person to turn to for all of the answers in the universe but it just happened that way.

For one I look and carry myself in a way that does not reflect my age. At the ripe age of 22 I am often mistaken for someone in their thirties. Now I don’t look that way (At least I don’t think I do) it’s just my disposition.

I have no experience with the situations people bring before me  since they all lead down the road of relationships. I had two relationships that both ended once we went long distance. It’s just the nature of the beast.

You have to be able to cut through the superfluous feelings and get to what is really going on: is  there another player in this game of love?, are you overreacting to a text message he/she probably didn’t put any thought into sending? (Probably and almost always yes.)

For relationship advice I’ve found it helps to know the backstory, of course, but also just the facts. Human behavior is fascinating but when we try to describe certain points of a situation we dabble in the tiny details rather than the bigger picture. So if there is ever a freak out you probably need a different, uninvolved perspective so you can take some time to look at the bigger perspective yourself.

However, the key in this part of the advice process is to actually listen.

Do you have to take anything your friend says to heart? Absolutely not. It’s their opinion and their observation but you may be able to alter your perspective just enough to understand your situation if you do listen.

Like I said the facts vary and the advice changes. How the heck do I pull this wisdom beyond my years out of my thin air? And more importantly, why can’t I ever use it when making my own decisions?

It’s narcissistic writing about how hospitable I am but you know sometimes I want to kick back and relax.

 

via Daily Prompt: Exposed

The Grand Canyon of the Pacific: Waimea Canyon, Kauai

Hello my lost friends. How are we today?

Mark Twain referred to this incredible place as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Waimea Canyon. Now I have never been to the Grand Canyon but I was still thoroughly impressed with this mighty natural beast on a torrentially rainy afternoon in Kauai.UP3A6426

It is approximately 10 miles long and 3000 feet deep. It paints a remarkable landscape with it’s lush greenery and red soil that earns it’s Hawaiian name Waimea, which means reddish water. The canyon was formed by the Waimea River rising from the extreme rainfalls that accompany the wettest place on Earth, Mount Wai’ale’ale.UP3A6459

There are plenty of overlooks throughout the park. My party was running from a rainstorm and eventually pulled off to the side of the road at one point. The views from any direction are quite remarkable. It’s a long wind road to the top but definitely worth the potential car sickness as the roads swerve up, down, and around the canyon’s valley.UP3A6437

There are plenty of hiking trails that take you down into the valley as well. As always I advise study shoes, plenty of water, and a possible raincoat just in case the weather momentarily decides to take a turn. Something very typical in Kauai, although it never lasts too long.

No donkeys here though if you were looking for an exact Pacific replica of the Grand Canyon. UP3A6482

It is definitely a must go for anyone traveling to the island of Kauai. But then again, if you aren’t planning on visiting Kauai on your Hawaiian vacation you are definitely missing out.

Control: An Exercise in Patience

As a young Millennial I feel like there are numerous things I could write about the concept of control. The world is crazy right now and many people my age seem to struggle with the idea of control.

We flounder, we doubt, but in the end we persevere.  The fact that we have goals show that we are in control. We know the factors, the risks, and we move forward in some way. We ponder, we think, and we wait.

Sometimes to move forward some people take steps back. When I was a goalkeeper my coach called that a stutter step, a habit that took weeks to break, and it is basically taking a strong step back to lunge forward. In reality all you need to do is put more force in your planted foot and just take a step. Sound easy?

After doing the same thing over and over again it is not easy to break such a habit. But it is possible. With patience comes control and I think society today is lacking patience which contributes to this idea of a lack of  control.

We live in a time where everything is available instantly. If we took a moment to merely sit back and listen you might notice how much control and power you really have.

via Daily Prompt: Control

The Quiet Country Side: Lidice & Terezin, Czech Republic

There are many towns in the Czech Republic that are worth the day trip. A trip to Lidice and Terezin will bring you to the WWII section of Czech’s history.

About 30 minutes outside the city of Prague is Lidice, or at least, where Lidice used to be.

The Nazis leveled the town to nothing, killing almost all of the inhabitants and sending Aryan looking children to SS families in Germany. This town was not Jewish if that’s what you are thinking. It was Christian.

11070962_10206384471197691_1437589520490169913_n.jpgIt was punished for hiding the assassins that took down the Protectorate Reinhardt Heydrich, the mastermind behind the “great extermination” and Hitler’s right hand man.

Lidice is now a grass valley filled with memorials. Talk a walk down the path and you will find a collection of child statues. It is for the 88 children of Lidice that were sent to Poland and gassed. At the foot of the bronze statues of children are stuffed animals and candles that people have brought in remembrance.

To say it is powerful would be an understatement. An entire community completely obliterated for selflessly all to keep their hero keep out of reach of the enemy.

Continuing onward, Terezin is about an hour from Lidice. We arrived at the ghetto museum. Terezin is a normal town, unlike what I had seen in my previous visit to Krakow’s ghetto. So it may catch you by surprise on how different it looks from other ghettos. This is because this ghetto was the beautified by the Germans to trick the Red Cross delegation to think that the ghettos were nice places for people to be kept. The Germans succeeded.

Many artists and well known and respected figures were kept here. People who would be missed if they simply vanished like many families and neighbors did during this time. After the delegation left more than half of the population was sent to Auschwitz.1900048_10206384475757805_1280837162194926976_n.jpg

The small fortress itself was interesting and worth the tour. Again different from the Auschwitz I had seen as Terezin was built in the 18th century.

It has tunnels and a sturdy foundation (If you are claustrophobic avoid the tunnels). In the cell block you may come across a wreath in remembrance of the assassin who started WWI. He is regarded as a national hero to this day in certain parts of the world.

Take your time. Take it in. If this is your first concentration camp be respectful. I always tell people I am with to picture themselves walking through a cemetery or a museum to help frame their mindset.

 

And I will Christen thee… with bones? Kutna Hora, Czech Republic

To start a blog I thought I’d start with something eye catching that many people actually do not get the opportunity to see when traveling in the amazing country that is the Czech Republic (or Czechia, whatever they are calling themselves today.)

That would be the sleepy city of Kuta Hora located east of Prague in the Czech Republic. Although Prague is known as the “City of One Thousand” spires and Kuta Hora is known for the Gothic St. Barbara’s Church, which is adorned with medieval frescoes and flying buttresses, there is a hidden gem here.

Sedlec Ossuary.

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Also referred to by many as the Bone Church. It’s probably something you’ve seen pictures of plastered all over the Internet but never truly knew much about it none the less where in the world it is.

A little history for you about Sedlec so you know what makes this space so special.

In the 12th century an abbot returned from a mission to  the Holy Land with a small amount of earth from Golgotha, also known as Calvary, where Jesus was crucified and sprinkled it over the cemetery there. Naturally this holy aspect added to this place caused people to flock here so that when they passed they would be buried there. As one may imagine, when the plague ran through Europe the death toll rose dramatically in this area and there was no long
er any room for the 10959696_10206067237667051_8745935172628972077_n.jpgapproximately 40,000 people that were buried there. One of the abbots erected this Gothic church in the middle of the cemetery and under it a chapel which would hold the bones of unearthed graves.It was later remodeled in Czech Baroque style.

The present arrangement of the bones dates from 1870 and is the work of a Czech wood-carver, František Rint
(you can see his name, put together from bones, on the right-hand wall over the last bench).
Also out here is the Czech Museum of Silver. Kuta Hora gained its wealth from the Silver mines. The minting of local currency took place here for over 200 years here, beginning in the 13th century before plague, war and later fire closed the mines down for good in the late 18th century. You can still go down into the mines today to explore on tours but also take a look into the museum as they have an Old  Master of Coin there that will demonstrate how they actually minted coins back in the day. And hey if you’re lucky you might even get a chance to do it yourself.

Now Kuta Hora is not difficult to get to from Prague. There are buses that go out there every so often. I’d recommend spending a day out there as you can fill your day up there, grab some local food and beer for lunch and that’s what I’d call a ‘Prekrásny Den’.