And life continued on

My last post was in April and it was only a quote that moved me from a book I was trying to read. 

New Zealand was my trip of a lifetime. I loved it. I reveled in it. I savored it. I lived it fully. One of my favorite weeks from the three months there was over Easter weekend when I shut down my phone and lived only in the present moment. I was staying near a beach on the north island. I would arise in the morning, eat a light breakfast, and then hike out to the beach. There I would relax, meditate, read, explore. I met phenomenal people. I’d hike back to camp, shower in the refreshing cold water, and spend the afternoon writing. There’d be a simple dinner with a glass of NZ wine and another hike out to the beach to enjoy sunset. It was a dream come true to spend such a week. 

I lived. I learned. I grew. I loved it in NZ. 

I flew back in April. My beloved met me at the airport with two dozen red roses in his arms for me. Life has been a whirlwind ever since. 

The hot August sun shines on me now as I write this short update. We are in Michigan along the great lake of the same name. We continue to live the RV mobile lifestyle and tell people that “home is where we park it!” Life is crazy good. My family is well. I have my first grandbaby who has stolen my heart! We move along as weather and our exploring hearts mandate. Family and friends top the list. National parks run second. And life continues on!

Be Not Fearful

In an instant, my life appeared before me as a web of fears, cares, concerns, anxieties, and worries. Till that moment I had never quite been aware of this. But God had been. God was showing me how much my life was controlled by fear. ‘Be not afraid.’ A phrase spoken by Jesus (Matthew 28:10), echoed by Pope John Paul II and many angels. And no one EVER (caps mine) said there was a reason to be afraid. They just told us to get over it, to get past the fear, and to accept the grace that God was extending to us through our trials.

From the book Angels and Saints by Scott Hahn 

Photo from Radleigh Valentine Facebook post

 

Magic and Nature

Her tears slid down her wrinkled cheeks. She cried for men like Walt, who would rather have died than live in a place that covered up paradise with plastic playgrounds and parking lots. And she cried for herself. She understood now why her magic had been misfiring. It was being plowed over and lined with asphalt. Magic was not meant for a world like this.  –Esther, from the book by Christy Yorke entitled ‘Magic Spells’ 

Life is Crazy Good!

  
And this is what my trip to New Zealand is about…seeing life from a different perspective.  Sometimes we are looking for something when we are, in reality, living it. Sometimes we look for a photo from a particular angle and when you shift a few feet–over, up, down–you discover a better shot. Sometimes we live according to what the majority of others are doing around us, like the sheep prolific around this country, following the leader, when if we veer slightly from their course our life takes a dramatic turn into a world of beauty, wonder, and freedom.

Taking a chance, a partially calculated risk, can end up propelling you forward. All those days you spent feeling frustrated and stuck will seem like distant memories as your life flows along a river of rapids. Getting out from behind others, your life becomes yours. There are numerous ways to live this crazy life. You, my friend, get to choose. You do not have to follow the crowd. You can begin to live life on your terms. 

Being here in NZ, I see both single women and men backpacking around the gorgeous countryside. They either sleep in tents, they couch surf, they stay in hostels or backpacker places, they stay in hotels or B&B places, or with friends. Then there are those who are riding bicycles around the country and have the same list of accommodation choices. Others travel in cars, some in vans, some in campers, some in motor homes. Travelers sleep in their ride or choose from the accommodation list. You pick!

So far on my journey, I have been staying with Airbnb hosts. It has been fantastic! I have made new friends. I have met lots of dogs because all but one host has had at least one. Some of them have had cats too. My hosts share bits of their lives with me. They provide me with insights about their neighborhood, community, area. My hosts give me their opinions. And the best part is I have complete control of my budget/expenditures. I choose how much I want to spend based on what amenities I am willing to live with, or without. 

The same is true for the backpackers, the bicyclists, the campers, the motorcyclists, and the travelers. Life is a crazy good and big adventure and YOU get to decide how you would like to experience it–locked into a home location with set expenses or out on the open road with a set monthly budget with a flexible daily rate. Sometimes you just might choose to sleep out under the stars and that, my friend, can be free! It all comes down to perspective and a new way of seeing things.

 

Hokitika Gorge

  

sign at a roadside tavern/hotel between Hokitika Gorge and the town

 

Monkey Bay pathway, South Island, NZ

  

New Zealand…Here I Come!

My next adventure has begun–one flight down with two to go. I am here at LAX getting ready to board my flight to Sydney. The final flight takes me on to Auckland. 

I decided to try Airbnb places since my brother is a host here and having fun/success with them. I am very excited about my first four bookings. One is on a working sheep and cattle farm. WooHoo! 

Take care all and thank you for following along as I “take the world by Bella Storm!”   

 

The Equation of Love

As I am preparing for my next adventure, I had to part from my new beloved. He is in California and I am visiting family and friends out East. However, our time apart is not what some might expect. I believe it is because…

Love + Faith = Peace and Confidence

I now am experiencing the type of love Paulo Coehlo wrote about in The Alchemist and it makes my heart sing! 

There is a type of love that is fearful and controlling, and requires you to be together. But absolute love, well, it is at the level where you let go of the other knowing they will return freely to you if it is that kinda love. What an amazing feeling!

Happy trails to you until my next post. My plan is to take a portion of my time in New Zealand to write and fill in the blanks from my US road trip in 2015. I’ll definitely be exploring NZ and will write about those sights too. And, many have encouraged me to write about the love story of meeting my dream king while at the Crown of the Continent–Glacier Natl Park. I better get my typing fingers ready! Hugs!!! 

 
My king of the road! 

Fall in New England

I can hardly believe how my life has changed and progressed since my last post. I can hardly believe how much time has passed too. 

The prior post was inspired because I had met a man while visiting Glacier National Park. He had kissed me the second night of knowing me. It was passionate and intense. I get chills now remembering it and how my body responded to him. However, I left and continued on with my trip. During the drive as I listened to the Katy Perry song, Dark Horse, it seemed appropriate for my future love to know that with me it is “yes or no, no maybe” and to get ready for a life of magic with me. 

The man decided he would say yes and drove over 350 miles to reconnect with me. We each had agreed we had a desire to get to know one another better, and met for an exhilarating four nights in the Bozeman, Montana area. Neither of us could believe how we felt in such a short time. It was like we had known one another before and had finally reconnected. Regardless, we agreed we should go our separate ways…me on to meet my goal and finish my trip around the country and him on to his life as a “west coast” man. 

I went on to North Dakota and then to South Dakota. He traveled to Spokane, Washington. We talked each day and both realized we were crazy to let go of one another. We were having such fun and had felt such a strong connection. We wondered why we had parted. It was the next morning that he took off and drove over 850 miles to see me again, in Custer, South Dakota. We have been together almost every day since. Hence the reason for my lack of posting. 

Even now, taking time to describe what had happened these past three months is an accomplishment. It has been the ride of a lifetime…to be able to spend the last half of my trip with someone special. Stay tuned for more!!! 

 

Dark Horse by Katy Perry (feat.Juicy J)

It is sunny wherever I am, and a refreshing storm comes through after I leave.  –Bella Storm  

 While driving along the Montana roads, enjoying the scenery, and listening to my favorite tunes, I decided the title song is a perfect anthem for “Bella Storm.” I modified the lyrics only slightly:

Are you ready for the perfect storm, Bella Storm?! 

You can watch the Katy Perry lyrics video here:  http://youtu.be/qQAKD__j4gM

Most of the lyrics of the song seem fitting for this stage I am in–while providing a gentle warning to any man even remotely considering getting closer to me. 😀 Basically it is because I am always moving on and am not a one-night stand type of girl. If I have another relationship, it will be the one to the end of the book. 

And the planning for the trip after I complete this one is already in progress… Bella Storm is Taking the World by Storm–literally–come January 2016. WooHoo!!! 😀✨👑💖 

 

Glacier National Park | Hiking to Find “Treasure”

Hiking Glacier! To find some of the “treasures” within Glacier, you gotta get out and walk. I have done three trails thus far. Each was relatively easy, doable, and under five miles roundtrip if you are like me and prefer shorter trails. 

Get up early and head up to Logan Pass to hike up to see Hidden Lake. Did you catch all those ups?! It is a climb and totally worth it. Do what I did…stop periodically to catch your breath and take in the gorgeous views all around you and the wildlife too. I saw sheep, goats, marmots, and little prairie dogs or chipmunks. 

    
    
 Next was a hike to Avalanche Lake. Wow! The waterfall on the left is from Hidden Lake, which is on the other side of Bearhat Mountain. This is the view of Avalanche Basin. Bearhat is on the left and that is Little Matterhorn on the right. 

 This next one is in East Glacier and takes you to the Aster Falls first. Then you take off on a .6 mile hike up to the Aster Park Overlook. There were several times I wanted to turn around. Instead, I persevered and was rewarded with this treasure view.  

 As I neared the top I caught sight of the rock stack cairn. It felt great to add my rock to the stack. Talk about the feeling of accomplishment…all the way back down I was pumped I had stuck with it.  

 I also saw moose going both ways on that trail. Hard to see, but there are two. 

 You will enjoy it if you give it a go.  There is so much beautiful treasure!  

  

 Are you ready to book your trip to Glacier? 😀 Nighty-night, all.  
   

Glacier National Park | Going to the Sun Road

I parked Victor and rented a car to drive on the historical road. Here are a few photos capturing Mother Nature’s artwork!  

    
    
   
Stay tuned, more to come….