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These were my 9 most-liked pictures on Instagram in 2016: from Sweden, Malawi, Germany, Japan and San Francisco.

10 trips and 10 top posts: a look back at 2016

It’s customary for blogs like Rachel’s Ruminations to publish an end-of-year overview. I have mixed feelings about 2016, however. It was, in many ways, a terrible year: the Brexit, the US elections, the war in Syria, and the deaths of so many talented people. But, for me personally, it was a great year. My kids…

It seems appropriate somehow to pose the book in front of my scratch-off world map. I have so much more traveling to do!

A Last-Minute Christmas Gift for Travelers!

Here’s a great idea for a last-minute Christmas gift.  The Trip that Changed my Life is the title of a collection of short stories by travelers from all over the world. (Links to Amazon in this post are affiliate links. That means I receive a small percentage of what you spend, but your price does not change.)…

One step at a time ... (photo courtesy of Anne Hellersmith)

Freedom Plan: Blog Challenge Day 10

This is the last day of Nathalie Sisson’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge. Today’s task has a number of parts, so I’m going to break it up and answer each part separately. I want you to think back to the journey you’ve been on in the last 10 days. I encourage you to read through…

view of Deshaies seen from a hill above, as used in the starting credits of "Death in Paradise"

Location Independence: Blog Challenge Day 9

Today’s assignment in the 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge is to examine what “location independence” means to me. Day 9 Challenge: Imagine you are on a long holiday in Portugal (or wherever your dream destination is). There are castles to explore, secret bars to discover, and sunny beaches to laze around on. In today’s post,…

My husband and I, waiting for the film to begin.

Adventure: Blog Challenge Day 8

I didn’t read Day 8’s assignment in the 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge until late afternoon. Given the assignment, that made it hard to fulfill: Like I said, today is a fun day. So I want you to go out and do something that you’ve wanted to do for a long time. Go out play, enjoy, and…

elephant drawing

Procrastination: Blog Challenge Day 7

I completed each of the Day 1 through 6 challenges in Nathalie Sisson’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge on the day they were issued, until yesterday. I was so tired after work that all I wanted to do was collapse on the sofa and watch a week’s worth of Eastenders that I had recorded….

Betsy and Pete Wuebker (photo courtesy of Betsy and Pete)

Inspiring People: Blog Challenge Day 6

Here’s today’s assignment in Nathalie Sisson’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge: Day 6 Challenge: Find 1 or 2 people who are living the kind of life you want to live, and whose tribe you’d love to be part of. Then write a short post about why you find them inspiring and the one question you…

students working at the school where I teach

Success Plan: Blog Challenge Day 5

Today’s challenge on the 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge is the following: Create a daily success plan for yourself that takes only 15-20 minutes and schedule a time in the day where you can squeeze it in. Write a blog post about what you will do, when you will do it, and how it…

a solo travel selfie taken on a boat

My superpowers: Blog Challenge Day 4

Today’s task in Nathalie Sisson’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge is: Hopefully, you have discovered at least one or two superpowers that you have. They could even be something that you didn’t know existed until now! I want you to write down what these are and how these superpowers will help you to realize your dream…