Spotlight + Guest Post: Transformative Travel by Kate Benzin

Friday, November 16, 2012

Transformative Travel
Title: Transformative Travel
Author: Kate Benzin
Genre: travel

Kathmandu. Nepal. The Himalayas. An exotic area of the world that many people dream about visiting. Kate made that dream come true.

A casual phone call to a friend sparked the fulfillment of Kate’s lifelong dream of traveling to Nepal in order to trek in the Himalayas. She jokingly mentioned to her friend Kay who was planning to start a new exercise routine that they could get fit on a trip to the Himalayas.

Within just a few weeks, Kate and Kay found themselves on a plane on the way to the adventure of a lifetime:
– seeing the gorgeous snow-capped Himalayas in person so close that it seemed that Kate could just reach out her hand to touch them
– trekking for days into areas that only the most adventurous travelers ever reach.

What Kate learned about herself during the challenging and sometimes excrutiating, but always stimulating, adventure of trekking at high altitude over rough terrain truly transformed her in ways that often did not become apparent until many years later.

Follow Kate as she learns more about how to expand her limits so that she can truly fulfill her dream. And maybe you will find yourself motivated to fulfill your dream as well.

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Guest Post

Fulfilling Dreams by Kate Benzin

“20 years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Do you often think that there just has to be more to life? Maybe you feel that something is missing, but you’re not sure what that might be.

It can be very scary to think about examining your own life and asking yourself whether it has really become what you had hoped it would. What if the answer is no?  What would or could you do at that point? If you acknowledge that your day-to-day life is not what you want, you can’t just go on with it as usual. That’s when you find yourself in a very scary position.

How long have you been in your boring job?  Maybe you thought you’d take that job temporarily just while you got your head together. And then weeks turned into months, months turned into years. If you’re not careful, before you know it, you’ll be ready to retire without having worked at a job that inspired you or without having accomplished what you wanted to do while you were still young.

I drifted along like that - from one boring job to another. I worked in several office situations. I tried different business enterprises. I went back to school to become a psychologist. And then finally, I saw an opportunity that seemed to me as if it was just meant to be. I read about a short-term job in Indonesia, and I grabbed it.

I’d always wanted to work overseas, but there were always things holding me back. I’d gotten myself into a lot of debt and couldn’t seem to climb out. I always seemed to be in the middle of an apartment lease, a relationship, or some other important event.

My biggest obstacle, though, was that I had a dog and a cat that I loved very much. How could I go overseas and leave them behind?  Actually, however, I probably just used them as an excuse for not being brave enough to venture out to find a more exciting life.

But even while I was hesitating, I kept my eyes and ears open, and I happened to see an ad for a short-term overseas position – the answer to my prayers since I wouldn’t have to leave my pets permanently. It seemed perfect, so I jumped at the chance. But then I found other obstacles.

While some friends congratulated me on being daring enough to grab the chance that I’d found, others tried to hold me back. They tried to talk me out of taking the position. One friend even took it very personally – as if I had consciously chosen to offend her by moving away. Luckily, I didn't let any of their nay-saying change my mind.

Are you living the life that fulfills you? If not, what is holding you back? There are always challenges to face in creating an ideal life. But remember what Mark Twain said about eventually being more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.

There are opportunities around all the time. It’s just a matter of keeping your eyes open and being willing to seize the chances that come your way. Hopefully, if you find a new direction in life, whether temporary or permanent, your friends will be happy for you on your new path. If not, then maybe they weren’t the best friends to have.

It took me a long time to follow my dream of living overseas, and that temporary move gave me the chance to discover that living overseas gave me the adventurous living that I’d been seeking. And yes, I brought my pets over to my new adopted home.

As a writer, I now have the chance to share stories about fulfilling my dreams. In Transformative Travel, I describe fulfilling another one of my dreams – trekking in the Himalayas. What an adventure and what great memories!

“Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.” -- H. Jackson Brown, Author

So what I’m saying is – grab opportunities that come your way. Don’t let them pass you by.

About Kate Benzin

Hi - I'm Kate Benzin.

I am originally from Chicago, but started moving around immediately after college. I now consider myself a seasoned traveler who has lived in Indonesia for most of the past 30 years since 1982 when I arrived for a 3-month contract to train people as word processors - and I'm still living in Indonesia because I found that living in Indonesia gave me the kind of adventurous life that I had been seeking. So I stayed and taught English for 14 years.

When I needed a new direction in my working life, I changed careers and became a tour director which allowed me to continue living in Indonesia while working all over the world - Indonesia, Russia, Spain, China, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Finland, France and more.

Now I spend most of my time writing in my home/office just north of Yogyakarta in Central Java which I share with my three dogs.

In my first book How To Find The Heart Of Bali, I share insights that I gained during my many years in Indonesia. In my second book Transformative Travel, I share how I fulfilled a lifelong dream of trekking in the Himalayan Mountains.

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