Cheryl Koshuta

Aware Life, Midlife, Good Life

Living with Zest and Deliberation

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Reflections on life

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…)

Spirit of the Southwest USA

View from the Rim Trail at Sunset

View from the Rim Trail at Sunset

It was two a.m. when the ghost coyote passed in front of me. I was on the Grand Canyon Rim Trail counting shooting stars. It appeared from nowhere, ignored me as it trotted by, then disappeared back into the darkness. I wasn’t scared, but felt a slight shiver go down my spine, surely from the chill of the desert night. (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…)

Morocco

No traffic jams when riding a camel

No traffic jams when riding a camel

“Take off your clothes,” said the woman who’d escorted me into the small room. She waited as I disrobed, then pointed to an arched door. “That way.”

She followed me into a low-ceilinged, steamy chamber with a large, knee-high slab of granite in the middle. “Lay down on your back,” she instructed. I eased myself onto the table and closed my eyes. They flew open when she doused me with a bucket of warm water. I closed them again for the second bucket and waited for the third, but instead, I felt her soapy hands washing my feet, and then my entire body. I rolled over and had the back side done. I’m going to fess up and tell you that she didn’t miss any spots. (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…)

Alone in Portugal? Not really.

View from my balcony the first night in Lisbon..alone in the midst of many.

View from my balcony the first night in Lisbon..alone in the midst of many.

“Want to join me?”

What lovely words for the solo traveler’s ears to hear. I try to say “yes” whenever I can (and feel it is safe). In Portugal, one “yes” led to three others and some of my favorite experiences.

After two months in Nepal and Bhutan, I was ready for Portugal. Well, truth be told, I was ready for anywhere I could get fresh seafood and a good bottle of wine. I’d had enough of rice, lentils and beer. Lisbon fitted the bill perfectly for my first few days back in Europe. By Friday night though, I was sated and ready for something different. The front desk staff at my chic boutique splurge hotel recommended a bar on the rooftop of a parking garage. “It’s a new place the local people go to, not foreigners yet,” they said. “Great views of the city, especially at sunset.” (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…)