How to Travel the World, Be in the Moment and Live Regret Free

Honored and humbled to have been interviewed by a personal inspirational figure of mine, Life Coach, author and much more, Erica Boucher 

Travel the World, Be in the Moment, Live Regret Free
I hope you’ll take a listen and while you’re at it, subscribe to the series. I download every single one myself and listen to them at my leisure, while I’m cooking, walking or just relaxing. 

 
Want to travel the world or bring other dreams to fruition but don’t know how or where to start?  I’d love to help. Please message me and we can get started working on a plan to make your dreams reality.

Rhonda Effron Brown * Global Dream Champion

 

Advertisements

a Festival, Castle, Camel and a night in a Cave: American Nomads go Back in Time in Southern Spain. 

A tale from the travel trail of Rhonda and RyanWe’ve done very little hitchhiking in our five years on the road, but it seemed like the best course of action when we decided to go to a fairly nearby medieval festival in Alcuadete Spain as there was no easy bus route and we just don’t do taxis unless we have to. 

 Less than twelve miles away and ready Freddie with our hand painted sign out the door we went about three hours before sundown on the Saturday night of a three day event that a local had tipped us off to. 

Side note: We’re here as “workawayers” housesitting for a month. 

This region of the Andalusian mountains is a bit hot, dry and rugged, especially in mid July. But nonetheless gorgeous with its rolling hills of olive groves wrapping across them like tight braids as far as the eye can see. 
In the beginning we felt no concern as the first few cars passed sharing a friendly wave but not stopping. 
It was after our route turned down an even smaller road and passing traffic became nonexistent that it first began to truly settle in the walk we may have ahead of us. Not new to adventure or long treks, we had water with us and plenty of podcast downloads to help pass the time. 

It was the long and steady inclines with unrelenting brilliant sun beating on my back that really kicked my bootie. 

I stopped as needed to catch my breath and take in the vast amazing scenery. 

Our mapping system estimated a 4 hour walk   that apparently did not allow for hills and breaks. Four hours later, it was nearly 11:00 at night and we still had about an hour to go. 
Like an oasis to the poor soul lost in a desert, a small cafe with a lit up Coca Cola sign appeared and as we approached, we both held our breathe a little praying it would still be open, so ready were we for a real rest and an ice cold drink. 
Hallelujah! Not only was it open but the kind owner after hearing our story generously offered to drive us the rest of the way to our destination. 

We knew heading out that it would be an adventurous night, even if we had caught a ride right out of the gate because we had no where to sleep and wouldn’t have wanted to spend the money even if we had found one. 
Being penny pinching travelers is how we’ve managed to continue our world explorations for so long. 

I had tucked in my messenger bag, 3 light weight shawls and a airplane style blow-up pillow. 
As we sat in the little restaurant waiting for the kind keeper to close things down, deep exhaustion began to settle into my bones making it harder and harder to believe that this had been such a good idea after all. 

I began to notice that my foot had not stopped aching, pulled the heel of my tennis shoe down to discover an enormous blood filled blister just above the bottom of my foot. It was about the size of a 50 cent piece and not from the rubbing of my shoe but rather from the pressure created from going up and down steep inclines. 

The bottom of my b-cheeks were beginning to cramp up and all I could imagine doing was curling up somewhere and crashing. 

All that changed and my energy came rushing back when our destination came into view with its 700 year old Moorish castle high up on a hill ablaze in festive lighting. Within moments we began to see the crowds, the tents, the fluttering colorful cloth banners and traditional shaped fabric garlands so familiar from childhood storybook and Disney movie memories. 

Awareness of aches, pain and fatigue immediately vanished, swept away and replaced by a flood of excitement and curiosity. 
It had the feeling that the party was just getting going good although certainly many had already been there for hours. 

Costuming a big part of the merriment, to my delight knights and fair maidens of all ages walked the narrow cobbled streets. Children enjoyed the luxury that small towns can provide bounding about with friends as carefree as playful puppies in a wheat field. 


Ryan cautioned me to look over my shoulder as suddenly a giant camel emerged through the crowd behind me with a young girl not looking entirely certain that she thought the ride was such a great idea after all. 


After walking a few windy blocks up a cross roads emerged, a lovely plaza, gaily festooned and partially filled with tables where hundreds were seated, eating, drinking, visiting and watching one another and the kids who had fun activities of their own, smallish rides not authentic but more in keeping with the going back in time nature of the event than everyday carnival rides. 

Stalls lined the streets from here up to the castle and its adjacent cathedral selling all kinds of crafts and treats. 

I expressed over and over how glad I was that we had persevered and how worth it the long trudge had been. 


We spent the next few hours meandering, capturing photos or at least trying to in the low light conditions. 

A favorite discovery was a tent with at least a dozen different predatory birds calmly standing on perches as though there was nothing at all unusual about the mayhem about them. The giant owls especially cracked me up, slowly opening and closing their eyes, turning their heads impossible distances to look around. 


The evening’s final big moment was held right at the foot of the castle where the horses were openly stabled, their saddles and regalia off to one side, the jousters’ lances, and long spears arranged on the other. 
Musicians and fire dancers led the closing ceremonies wrapping up the day’s event at 3:00 AM. Now my you, as a many time “Burning Man” attendee, this production was quite amateur in comparison to many performances that I’ve seen but fire, costumes and crowds are always thrilling. Throw in a star filled sky, a beautifully lit fairytale castle and the giddiness of extreme fatigue and you have a grand finale of a night to remember. 

At that point feeling grateful that gravity was working with us, we ambled down the cobbled street along with the crowd of weary revelers now feeling seriously ready to find a place to rest our bones and tuck ourselves away for the night. 

In my thirteen plus years with Ryan, we’ve found ourselves quite a few times on fun adventures where we’ve needed to snuggle somewhere without true shelter, a reality that I could not have even begun to imagine for several decades of my life. Intentional short term “homelessness” while not the most physically comfortable of realities has always been fun and thrilling. 

Each situation has special memories and stories associated with it for which I am deeply grateful. I’m also grateful that we’ve never had a critter or some other uninvited guest join us. 

This time the closest that came to happening was a guy looking for a place to take a leak head our direction before seeing us up above him then doing a quick zip up and walking quickly away. We were not at risk of getting sprinkled. We’re experienced. We know how to assess a curl up spot. 

For a few brief moments as we were walking along with the throngs, no yards, parks, benches or woods nearby (fortresses don’t have a lot of those things generally), I started to expect the search my take a little while and goodness I was tired, but I’ve learned not to feel fearful or anxious in such situations. Solutions always appear. And then bam, there it was, an open gate that lead down a small empty walkway that seemed to beckon. Without discussion, we both made the gentle turn into it and soon found ourselves looking at an ancient wall with a small cave just a few feet off the ground in the hillside that it was built upon. I made the slightly awkward climb up the rocks to get to it, turned on my phone’s flashlight and checked it out. Nothing gross, nothing scary, no signs of recent occupancy by other humans or critters, fully enclosed on three sides with the exception of a hole about the size of a dinner plate near the floor that lead deeper into the cave. That did creep me out just a little and I warned Ry to not be startled if a mass of bats should decide to pass through during the night. Fortunately that did not happen. I’ve had plenty of upclose experiences with bats and am not mortally fearful of them as some are but I’d just as soon not be woken up by the frantic flutter of them dodging around my head. 
(The red teardrop marks the alley way where we were. The cave can actually be discerned just a bit to the left. Wow. The internet is such a crazy cool things isn’t it?)
‘Twas a quick and easy decision to stay put. The earth was hard packed and a bit lumpy with small stones but nonetheless our Home Sweet Here felt wonderfully cozy, safe and extremely adventurous. 

We got up with the sun both of us having gotten at least a bit of sleep. Every now and again we would be stirred awake by voices passing by that took no notice of us. 

As the town came back to life, people started showing up on the sidewalks and a street cleaner directed us to a place about a half mile walk away to a part of town where we were able to find some action, a coffee and eventually a local willing to let us pay him for a ride back to our village where we’re staying. 

The miles go by so much more quickly in an automobile but we still were pretty impressed by the distance we had traveled by foot. 
Physical recovery took two days. The wonderful memories will hopefully last forever. 

Do you dream of taking to the road, RV’ing, adventure traveling, exploring America or the world at large, becoming a digital nomad, participating in the sharing economy through wwoofing, workamper, or workaway, becoming an Airbnb host, or just yearn to somehow recreate your life? Well every situation is different but I am happy to answer any questions I can, help think through challenges and obstacles and share what I’ve learned from our 5 years on the road and what it took to make it happen. For details please write me at rhondamail@aol.com or message me on Facebook Rhonda Effron Brown. I’d love to help you figure out how to live your dreams. 

Day of Clay and Play in Kathmandu Nepal 

****~CLICK HERE to SKIP to MINI MOVIE~****


Spiritual awakenings are expected on visits to Nepal. (Have you had one? I’d love to hear about it). I think most of us imagine these bright moments of contentment, clarity and oneness to occur as they have for many others before, on beautiful mountaintops with endless vistas of peaks and fluttering prayer flags. Standing before the face of God. 

Mine was on the back of a motorcycle in heavy traffic. On the way to a kids’ camp, an invite from a new friend and local potter, my heart nearly exploded as I listened to him share his most sincere and lovely thoughts on the true meanings of life and purpose. 

Hope you enjoy my mini movie ~CLICK HERE~from that day. In the beginning you’ll ride with me down narrow streets and alleys of Bhaktapur, through its majestic gate and then on to Kathmandu. I took out the main highway and the traffic jams we endured but I do show a bit of winding around through a more affluent neighborhood on the outskirts of town, getting lost a little and needing directions. 
The rest of the film gives an inside look at a private winter break camp enjoyed by some of the wealthier kids here. It was a bit like going through the looking glass. My friend’s role in this is to share his love of mud and pottery with the children. Ceramics is a very significant part of their heritage and culture. 


I had a fantastic time and may go on another outing with him to donate art supplies to a school that can really use them.
Here’s a little more about him and his story:
Seventeen years ago, my friend, Srijan Prajapati’s father and provider was in a terrible accident at the age of 35 and lost his ability to walk and work. 
This brought great challenges to the family but they managed to survive and continue the family pottery business of several generations. 
Opportunities in Nepal can be hard to come by but Srijan was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship and spend six months in China to learn Mandarin Chinese, a very useful language here in Nepal for both business and tourism. China is a neighboring country with considerable wealth. 
Many of his peers were seeking higher-paying jobs and opportunities abroad but he realized the best option for him and his family was to stay home and bloom where he was planted. 
Over the years his love of pottery and mud has continued to grow and he and his brother have very ambitiously met the challenges. 
They’ve done their own rebuilding post earthquake and have taught themselves many skills useful in creating a very appealing and successful shop.  
Genuinely warm and friendly people when they welcome you in to not only see their wares but also to try your hand at making one, you can tell that they share in your delight. 
I was caught very much by surprise when Srijan invited me to join him on this adventure as we had just met but he told me later that when he mentioned in conversation that he would be going, he saw the light flash in my eyes and he knew that I would love it. 
It’s that kind of open heartedness that I love discovering. This day of clay and play with kids in Kathmandu was a really special one for me. A peak memory. 

****~CLICK HERE to SEE MINI MOVIE~****


setting: Pottery Square Bhaktapur Nepal, Bhaktapur ride through town, Kathmandu Neighborhood, Pragya Kunja School Winter Break Camp 

A Christmas Celebration in Bhaktapur Nepal 2017

A mini movie and this time a Ry masterpiece 🤗 capturing the frivolity of last night’s amazing event here at the Hotel de Courtyard. The party was held in wonderful space between the Coffee In Style coffee shop and was a collaborative venture of those two businesses plus a few more. Two kitchens at least were used. 
Over 50 people were expected but it looked to me like the crowd swelled to quite a bit more than that and was an international group. Many locals but I also met guests from Denmark, China and Tibet. The food came out in courses, much like they do in Europe with time in between to savor. The big Tom turkeys were quite unusual for here and a special treat. 


The program was stellar with a beautifully done multifold full color print piece handout offering cultural insights. The many acts displayed fantastic costumes and had the support of festive lighting and a powerful sound system. Great job team! 

CLICK HERE


Ry and I had extra fun packing a few goodies in my bag to hand out. I’d guide their hand inside and help them pull out a surprise. When those had all been exhausted I resorted to sharing pieces of some garland I bought which really tickled the kids and got them gaily dancing about and waving. 
We had a super time. Hope you’ll take a moment to experience the film. Ryan really captures the night and our part in it. Feel free to share 

click on the BLUE LINK to view on YouTube and subscribe to our channel to not miss future adventures with us HoHoHo! ❤️🎄❤️ 

CLICK HERE

Celebrating in the Streets of Bhaktapur Nepal

Everyday brings a new surprise here.

CLICK HERE to WATCH!

Celebrations in the mystical #Kathmandu Valley are seemingly endless, very lively (think lots of music, bells, drums), stunningly colorful (think red!) and amazingly unchanged (think #nationalgeographic). 

I hope you enjoy this compilation of several events I just stumbled upon in the streets of the ancient royal city of #Bhaktapur #Nepal. 

CLICK HERE to WATCH!

I highly recommend a visit of at least a few days here in this lesser known UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

It’s much more peaceful than nearby neighboring Kathmandu and has so much to offer. Rich culture, great shopping, lots of places to eat and things to see. 

Want to know more? Please message me. I love to share travel advice.

Have a question? Please ask 🙂

Enjoy and Namaste! 

Celebrating in the Streets #Bhaktapur #Nepal #rhondarecreates Rhonda Effron Brown


CLICK HERE to WATCH!

Come along on a morning tour in the ancient city of Bhaktapur Nepal

Imagine a crisp morning in December. It’s early, about 7:30 am but things are quickly coming to life in the incredible royal city of Bhaktapur in the Kathmandu valley. It’s a place that most of us have never heard of but should have.  

So much to see, hear and observe; narrow carefully swept brick paved streets lined with stunning examples of hand carved dark wood details, flags fluttering, local farmers vending a kaleidoscope of fresh produce from spread blankets, old men sipping their small cups of steaming tea at roadside stands and discussing who knows what, maybe the upcoming elections, scores of faithful worshippers wrapped in bright flowing fabrics bringing offerings on colorful and carefully arranged trays to the many neighborhood temples, bells of all sizes ringing randomly, scooters buzzing by and goats joining in from the ends of their ropes with bleeting, as if to say Namaste to anyone who’ll listen. 

Come along with me as I walk around and share these sights and sounds plus my thoughts. We’ve spent several weeks here so I’ve learned some things but still have endless questions to ask. 

Just follow this link!  And please, I’d love to hear from you, get your feedback and answer any questions that I can. 

Travel on 🙂 

4 years of travel and the road has lead us to Nepal! 

Hello dreamers of the world! As a self proclaimed “global dream champion”, a term I coined when trying to figure out how to explain what the heck I do, I’m reporting on some exciting months that lay ahead.

I’m the kind of person that needs a sense of purpose and needs to feel that I’m helping others to feel contentment and bliss.

I’ve learned this about myself. I love to travel, explore and share insights but to be able to go well beyond that by staying somewhere for an extended period and get involved in projects helping bring others dreams to fruition. now that’s extremely satisfying.

This is My new “home office”, the patio of a coffee shop right in front of our guest house and just steps away from Bhaktapur’s Main Street that leads between two magnificent temple Squares and was the route of the giant wooden chariot pull that Ryan participated in here back in April . There are multiple exciting projects I’ve been asked to help with by one of the most exciting visionaries that I’ve ever met that’s pulled together a team of 13 from around the globe who are deeply vested in it. To say that the goal is to change the world for the better, addressing every key challenge, is in no way an exaggeration.

I’m so honored and fortunate get to take a small part in it. The first project I’ll be focused on is simple in concept yet magnificent in scope. It’s just breaking ground on a mountain top near Pokarah Nepal. It will take quite a bit of doing to communicate the vision, but that’s mostly what my role in this is so look forward to details. Will be ready to throw it down when I get past an intense bout of digestive misery. Worst I’ve had in over 3 months. Was it gluten, dairy or potato? Where, when, how? I have no idea. I try so hard to be careful. Great time to have access to a Western style toilet, TP and the most soothing thing of all, a hot water shower. It’s day three and actually getting worse instead of better. That’s a sign that it will probably take a full week or so to recover. Dang. I’ll be all right but it does leave me weak and a bit beat up. Now if I can just not catch this sore throat, runny nose thing our host and Ryan are suffering with. Have a little fever but otherwise no symptoms of that grunge. Fingers crossed. 🤞🤞🤞🤞

Peace and Love

Rhonda Effron Brown

#inlightnepal
#globaldreamchampion

#bhaktapurnepal

#nepal

#pokharanepal

#nomad

#nomadicliving

#exploretheworld

#liveyourdreams

#bethechangeyouwanttosee

#dreambig

#globallove