Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A Life of Adventure

I get inspired at NANPA by the adventurous lives I see. Norman Wu was at one of the first NANPA Summits I attended. He told us about what it took to photograph UNDER the Antarctic ice. His book, Under the Antarctic Ice has amazing photos and he also made a documentary, Under Antarctic Ice. Several NANPA photographers lead tours every year to Antarctica. I already have an idea who I want to go with if I get to go.

On one of the panels this year, Michele Westmorland talked about her experiences in Papua New Guinea. She has done film footage of the native people there and leads cultural tours. I was impressed with her respect for the native cultures. I found a trailer for her film Headhunt Revisited. There is more of the story of this amazing expedition at the The Smithsonian Magazine. Whether I get to visit this amazing place in her group or not, I've been inspired to find out more of her view of honoring cultures and to get more information about her project.

This Summit, I sat across from a 68 year old gentleman. He had a heart attack in 1969 and began an exercise program. He is an inspiration - he's climbed Kilimanjaro and Mount Rainier. He's going to be going with a group to the Galapagos Islands this year. His eyes sparkle. He smiles and laughs. He is living a full life.

While for many reasons I may not get to do all of the things I hear about at NANPA, the stories inspire me to get out and experience this wonderful world that God made. I was browsing Nancy Rotenberg's site last night. She has an essay there about enjoying the world around her while she was confined to a chair. When you are truly aware, your backyard holds amazing wonders.

When my children were growing up, we made efforts to take them as many places as we could. So many of my children's friends never left the state of Texas while growing up. (Yes, Texas IS a big state, but still . . . ) We used saving techniques such as over withholding on our income tax. A large refund check in the spring often funded our camping trips throughout the United States. One year we drove to Alaska.

As I get older, I need to stay active. My body needs to be outdoors moving and my spirit still needs to experience new things. I want to be a vibrant old lady that people will want to be around. Whether exploring my backyard or going to far off places, I want to see and experience as much of God's creation as possible. I want to keep having adventures all my life!

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