It seems there’s been an underlying theme this holiday at our home in the mountains; good food and fine wine are a given. But snowshoeing and more snowshoeing, has allowed me unexpected serenity. The snow on the ski hill has been somewhat lacking and so we’ve been strapping on the ‘shoes’ and happily meandering through the nearby golf course and Kimberley Nature Park. The neighbourhood gals and I have also been out and when we’re not chatting, my prevailing thought is of the year that has passed. As I soak in the vistas and admire the snow laden pines, I reflect and give thanks that my dream of writing a blog came to pass.
A New Year’s message from Word Press included a summary of the first year of notes on a boarding pass and those 20,000 plus written words only have meaning if someone reads them. And thankfully you have. In fact, I know that you readers are from 52 different countries, thus far. Imagine how inspiring this is for me, to envision that somewhere in Russia, Estonia or Botswana for example, my blog was discovered and read…literally, it means the world to me.
I know who some of my readers are of course, but many others I do not. I don’t see who you are when you view a post, but I can see the country that you’re reading from. If you’re curious how a reader ‘finds’ my blog, one way is from the ‘tags’ that I note on each post which materialize in internet searches. I myself recently researched something online and one of my articles popped up, somewhat surreal I can assure you!
The unexpected joy of writing a blog is the communication it opens up with people. It seems I traveled ‘around’ the world this past year with stops in the U.K., Denmark, Sweden, France, The Netherlands, U.S., Turkey, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong. So perhaps, dear reader, I met you in one of those countries.
There was the lovely German lady on the train to London and unfortunately we didn’t begin chatting until just before the train approached Paddington Station. There was an immediate connection and I was able to give her my card before we reluctantly bid farewell, “You can have a look at my blog if you’re ever bored,” I said with a parting smile as we each disappeared our own way from the busy platform.
I recall the charming Londoner I met while on the Dickens tour , there were many questions I wanted to ask him. Unfortunately, time doesn’t always permit this and yet I was pleased to have met him, if only briefly. Not long after, he graciously sent a note to notes on a boarding pass.
There also was the beguiling young person in the cafe in Malaysia who was interested in my travels, as was the couple in Thailand while we chatted over a beer as we sheltered from the midday downpour. There have been so many chance encounters and happily for me, people are receptive and curious.
“How are you able to travel so frequently?
“Do you plan what you write about or is it an inspiration that comes to you?”
“Don’t you get tired of living out of a suitcase for much of the year?” (yes to that one!)
And pleasingly there are people here at home who are supportive and follow notes on a boarding pass. One such lovely lady is a vibrant eighty-two year old whose birthday I had the good fortune of celebrating just as I arrived back to Canada this holiday season. I was in transition as a few days earlier I had traded my sandals and sun dresses for winter boots and sweaters. Donna Lee took my hand in hers and said warmly, “Thank you Terry Anne for the opportunity to travel with you through your blog. I read every one of them, those interesting insights to places that most of us will never experience.” It warmed my heart and I think we both might have had a tear in our eye.
It means so much to hear sentiments such as these, as I have from many of you whether it’s in person or through a written message. And when I do, I know writing is worthwhile…and it also gives back to me. That was predicted by a dear friend of mine as I procrastinated and swithered a few years ago.
I was on a Skype call to Pamela, she in France, myself in Norway.
“Where’s your blog, you’ve thought about it for a year now,” She admonished me with a stern but encouraging voice. Pamela is a life coach and was justifiably focused on my procrastination.
“I know, but I can’t decide on a name for it, I’ve got so many ideas…Bloom Where You’re Transplanted, A Collection Called Life, A Passion for Life, Planes Trains and Notebooks,” I lamented.
“Just pick one and get on with it, this is called paralysis by analysis. It’s time to do it, it will bring you such fulfilment and abundance…”
It was that word abundance, it stuck with me and Pamela was right. This blog, nine months young, has brought me such joy and abundance. Along with the research, travel and writing, it’s also the connection with people that has been more gratifying than I could have imagined; the satisfaction of making an impression, imparting or learning something new, inspiring someone wherever they may be.
My resolution last year did come true and this year my hope is to secure more articles for publication and then there’s that ‘darn book’ to spend more time on. That is my wish and I hope that whatever resolution you have committed to becomes a reality for you this year. As I know, sometimes it can take longer than expected and often it can seem like an insurmountable challenge, just as this blog once seemed to me. But as I can attest, when you stretch and challenge yourself just that little, you can bloom in unexpected ways.
I’ll be returning to Kazkhstan at the end of the month, however it will be a short ‘stint’ as it seems we’ll be off to live in a different country in the spring. Yes, dear reader, perhaps more adventures in store, more intrigues to write about. Ah, by the way, how did I finally decide on that seemingly difficult task of naming my blog?
There I was in Amsterdam last February, out for dinner, chatting and absent mindedly making notes on a piece of paper all the while. As I arrived at Schiphol Airport the next morning for my flight, I dug out my e ticket boarding pass. Surely it can’t be this piece of paper marked with notes? It was indeed and I remember thinking once and for all, that’s it…notes on a boarding pass. Pamela was pleased and I had finally stopped procrastinating!
I’m ever so relieved I did. But for now, I wish you a new year full with dreams realized and much abundance in whatever you hope it to be. Happy New Year, wherever you may be in one of those 52 countries…and I truly do thank you. Terry Anne
P.S. And of those other two questions?
I’m able to travel so frequently partly due to my husband’s work locations and a commitment I made to myself as an ’empty nester’ to seek out new experiences and inspirations.
Of inspiration? Everything I’ve mentioned inspires me and most blogs formulate in my mind for a week or two. Perhaps others for months such as the post previous to this one. The sheer joy of it all; even I don’t know where the next one will take me!
And those countries…just in case you’re curious
United Arab Emiretes
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Korea, Republic of
Isle of Man
and last but not least, Romania