Why Maps and Meditations?

Both travel and meditation play a role in my fantasy books- but more importantly, they’ve played a big role in my life and who I am as a person. Here’s what I mean…

Travel

Mark Twain wrote: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views (...) cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

To me, that’s what travel is really about. Of course, I enjoy seeing new places, too- but it’s the exposure to new perspectives and ways of life that is most important.

Meditation

As much as I love travel… I believe looking inward is more valuable than looking outward. 

I like to focus on the “why” and the end goals of meditation… which includes all things self-improvement, life balance, and connection to something greater than ourselves.
 


The Animals of Langkawi

The Animals of Langkawi
Jul 08, 2016 by Tamara Spell
Langkawi, Malaysia is a beautiful place to visit, with tropical beaches, green mountains, and one of the longest cable car rides in the world. But the real highlight for me was the wildlife. Here's a tip for when you travel there: Skip the more expensive rooms over the water, and instead opt for a rainforest chalet, where you can watch monkeys, flying lemurs, and other animals from your balcony.

The Elephants of Pinnawala

The Elephants of Pinnawala
Jul 01, 2016 by Tamara Spell
In Pinnawala, Sri Lanka, there is a rescue facility for injured and orphaned elephants.  You can visit the orphanage, but you can also hang out by the river to see them when they walk here for their daily bath.

                        

Funny Signs

Funny Signs
Jun 23, 2016 by Tamara Spell
It's good to keep a sense of humor while traveling. These are some of the funniest signs I've run into so far. My favorite right now: "No vomiting in the Skydome"

Ramadan in the UAE

Ramadan in the UAE
Jun 12, 2016 by Tamara Spell
I learned a lot by living in a Muslim country during Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and increased prayers. It's one of those unique travel moments where you really get to experience another culture. Here's what happens in the United Arab Emirates...

3D Art in Langkawi

3D Art in Langkawi
May 06, 2016 by Tamara Spell
3D art museum Langkawi- escaping from a hungry hippo
There are plenty of beautiful things to see in Langkawi, but be sure not to skip the 3D art museum. It's a ton of fun!

       

The Storm and the Tea Lodge

The Storm and the Tea Lodge
May 05, 2016 by Tamara Spell
Sometimes, it takes being cut off from modern amenities and plunged into cave-like darkness in order to slow down from hectic modern life, and to really sit still and focus on the present moment. In this travel adventure, I got startled awake in the middle of the night- but I found the calm in the storm, and woke up to real tranquility the next morning.

My Favorite Books from 2015

My Favorite Books from 2015
May 05, 2016 by Tamara Spell
I discovered some great books and authors in 2015. It's fair to say that they all changed my life in some way, whether big or small- and that goes for the fiction as well as the non-fiction. But that's the power of books and good writing. Have you read these? And what do you think I should read next?

More than Just a Blessing

More than Just a Blessing
May 05, 2016 by Tamara Spell
About to receive a Buddhist blessing in Sri Lanka. It was one of those travel experiences that makes you think about life more deeply.Travel is about connecting with people and expanding your own mindset, even more than it is about seeing beautiful or interesting places. I was fortunate to have such an experience in Sri Lanka, when I helped with an English class at a local temple. They said I was helpful... but I felt like I was the one who received a gift.

A Day in the Abu Dhabi Life

A Day in the Abu Dhabi Life
May 05, 2016 by Tamara Spell
In Abu Dhabi, the mix of many different cultures means I get to meet a lot of new people and learn new things- which is really the best part of travel. However, a lot of my daily activities are not all that different from home. See what I've been up to, and what I get to do for fun in the Middle East.

Simplicity Isn't Always Simple

Simplicity Isn't Always Simple
May 05, 2016 by Tamara Spell
Moving to the other side of the world can be as simple or as complicated as you make it. For me, this experience taught me the value of traveling light.