Cheryl Koshuta

Aware Life, Midlife, Good Life

Living with Zest and Deliberation

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Dealing with Change

An Update and A Blog Break

The high country peaks in the distance and Round Lake below. Photo credit to Pru McDonald.

The high country peaks in the distance. Photo credit to Pru McDonald.

I’ve been a lazy, naughty blogger of late, leaving all my readers wondering if I’m still alive and if so, where in the world am I? My sincere apologies if you’ve been looking for the latest adventure story. But after this update, you’ll have to wait even longer. I’m taking a break from the blog to focus on the book I’m writing about those adventures. I’ll be back in a few months, and in the meantime you’ll still be able to follow me on Instagram at cherylkoshuta, or as always, through my Facebook page which consists solely of blog posts and Instagram posts. (more…)

Rocky Mountain Bliss

Lupine in bloom

Lupine in bloom

I can’t believe it’s already June 2016. I’m in the Rocky Mountains amidst thigh-high purple lupine and rustling aspen leaves. It definitely feels like summer. However, back in the middle of February, when I first returned to the United States, it was a culture shock to fly from Nairobi, Kenya to Boise, Idaho. Contrasts were everywhere: hot to cold, chaotic to calm, equator to mountains, black to white, foreign to familiar. I had come back to the U.S. to ski, regroup, and decide what to do next. (more…)

Conservation in Kenya

You looking' at me???

You looking’ at me???

It’s hard to believe that two months ago in February I was watching a cheetah yawn in Kenya. Since then I’ve been back in North America in the throes of cold weather and ski season and Kenya seems very far away. But writing this post almost makes me feel the equatorial sun on my shoulders again. (more…)

It’s Rarely What it Seems in Australia

The good news is, I’m alive and well. I know it’s been a while since my last post, so for those of you who might have been worrying (somebody, anybody?), I am sorry. Since my January Thailand post about wrapping up the 2015 year of travel, I spent three weeks in Australia, another two in Kenya and now I’m back in the US for ski season. Somehow time just got away from me since I’ve been busy having new adventures.

kangaroocrossing

But let’s go back to Australia. It’s one of my favorite places to travel and this time was no exception. The place is so darn big, there’s always somewhere new to explore; this visit included three new places. As always, the people I met reminded me not to apply stereotypes or judge a book by its cover. (more…)

Tying Things Up in Thailand

A local boy photobombs my picture of the street scene

A local boy photobombs my picture of the street scene

The garish t-shirts were everywhere. They sported an amateurish “Bike for Dad” logo in both Thai and English on a weak yellow shirt highlighted with uncomplimentary deep sky blue sleeves. Men and women, young and old, wore the identical tees. It was a river of sickly yellow flowing on the streets, the elevated trains, and the ferries. Vendors sold them on every block from impromptu tables or storefront racks. It wasn’t exactly the look I expected to see in Bangkok. What sports team or charity could possibly generate this much support? (more…)

Beneath the Surface in Spain

Typical courtyard in a Spanish hotel--Casa De Poeta in Seville.

Typical courtyard in a Spanish hotel–Casa De Poeta in Seville.

Traveling makes me realize how little I know. Take, for example, the Catalans, Andalusians, and Moors. Familiar terms to me, but after a few weeks in Spain, it was clear my knowledge barely qualified as superficial. With this admission, my European readers are probably wondering about my travel credentials. My other international readers are certain I know even less about their countries. My American readers are likely nodding in agreement with my ignorance, except for those who have been to Spain or were history majors. (more…)

Buddhist Blessings in Bhutan

The largest Buddha in the world sits over Thimpu.

The largest Buddha in the world sits over Thimpu.

Imagine this:  you’ve just made an offering to the goddess of compassion and the temple’s resident monk pours saffron holy water into your cupped palm as a blessing.  Instead of taking a noisy sip and splashing the remainder on your head (as was explained to you), you pretend to drink because you don’t want to get sick from the water, and then you surreptitiously throw the rest over the top of your head instead of on it; your hair is already a humid mess and just doesn’t need more wet. Now the dilemma: do you lose the merit you were supposed to earn by making the offering?  This became a daily preoccupation during my time in Bhutan. In this case, I chose to think the goddess of compassion would understand, but would the Buddha see it the same way when I did it in front of his statue? Or how about the irrepressible Divine MadMan? (more…)

Nepal: Kathmandu and Everest

The monastery at Tyengboche with the Nuptse ridge and the triangle peak of Everest.

The monastery at Tyengboche with the Nuptse ridge and the triangle peak of Everest.

You might think my traveling is all fun and exotic. But rest assured, there have been plenty of challenges ranging from filthy bathrooms to spending time in places I didn’t want to be. I’ve been wondering if how we experience the world is driven by expectations and anticipation. If you are looking forward to something or expect it to be a certain way, are you often disappointed? If you have negative expectations, will they be met no matter what? And if you haven’t really thought about what to expect or anticipate, does it enhance the experience? I don’t know the answers, but I’d be interested in your opinions. I had plenty of time to ponder these questions during the second half of my Nepal visit. (more…)

Nepal: Mustang and Lo Manthang

prayer flags fly at each pass

prayer flags fly at each pass

“Slowly, slowly,” my Sherpa guide says as I place one foot in front of the other. The incline is steep and the air thin and cool. A steady stream of sweat drips off my nose; I don’t bother to wipe it. There is cloud cover, thankfully, since hot sun would surely make climbing to the top of this 2300 meter high (14,107 feet) Himalayan pass worse. (more…)

The Many Faces of Romania

Pelicans feeding in the Danube Delta

Pelicans feeding in the Danube Delta

I didn’t intend to spend a month in Romania, but it turned out that way. Now that I’m gone, I think I may have stayed a bit too long. I say that because the longer I was there, the more I realized that, in general, the people weren’t smiling much. Nor laughing. The grim grayness that permeates most things wasn’t punctuated with happiness, as I’d experienced in other countries. (more…)