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Decade.

Tomorrow Earl and I will be celebrating one of our anniversaries. I can’t believe the time has gone by so fast, but it was two years ago tomorrow that we were legally married in New York State.

Life is nifty when you marry your best friend.

As part of our celebration, while in Chicago, the two of us went to Navy Pier for the evening. Earl quickly remembered that it was around 10 years ago when we were last at Navy Pier. Actually, it was 10 years, 1 month and 9 days ago, as confirmed by this blog entry. To celebrate, we rode the Ferris Wheel again and reenacted a photo from our first visit.

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2003

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2013.

We were in a different gondola this time around, but Earl accurately remembered that we were in gondola 13 the first time.

We went to Harry Carey’s twice during the evening; the first time was for a beer and appetizer, the second time was for a beer and supper. In between our visits to Harry Carey’s we decided to go for a speedboat ride on Lake Michigan. There were actually two rides we could choose from: a 60 minute slow-moving haunted ride that was sold out (we would have been the last two on the boat) or a 30 minute speed high-speed boat ride making waves, jumping waves and making crazy turns in a speedboat.

We felt the need for speed.

The boat ride stopped twice to show off the skyline of Chicago, where the Sears Tower is still called the Sears Tower and Macy’s is still called Marshall Fields.

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After the speedboat ride we went back to Harry Carey’s for the second half of our meal, where we posed with a potted plant. We figured it was a good way to start a new tradition on Navy Pier.

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At the very least we plan on coming back in 2023 to sneak another kiss on the Ferris Wheel.

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Inspiration.

I woke up feeling very inspired this morning. I think this is partially the result of having a good night’s sleep last night but I think that there was something in the my dreams during the night that contributed to this mood as well. Whatever the reason, I’m not going to complain.

We are in Chicago this weekend and as per the routine I established during our last visit, upon getting up, I readied myself for the day and decided to go out for a walk. Since we are traveling I am in explorer mood. My plan was to first head to the nearest Starbucks and grab myself a small bite to eat and an unsweetened green tea. Not surprisingly, I changed my mind at the last moment and stopped at 7-Eleven, picking up a healthier food choice (I’m impressed with this 7-Eleven’s healthy food choices) and an unsweetened iced tea in a bottle. Yesterday I would have picked up a Coke Zero. I’m not in the mood for chemicals today. I probably should have picked up a bottle of water, but the iced tea is generally in the same health range as the water, though I could probably do without the caffeine.

I am now sitting on the beach near Jamie’s apartment enjoying the sounds of the waves, the surprisingly warm breeze and the abundant sunshine.

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Before getting up this morning I read an article by Mark Manson that had popped up in my Facebook feed.  I had never heard of Mark Manson before this morning, but a quick perusal of his website revealed that he is an author and blogger, a life coach of sorts and, this really caught my eye, a digital nomad. For the last year or so I have been really intrigued with the concept of being a digital nomad. With my keen interest in travel, you can probably guess that I have an interest in the digital nomad lifestyle. Convincing my husband of the same is a different matter.

The Mark Manson article that was shared is entitled “10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America”. Judging by the comments that follow the article, it appears to have struck a chord with some with a more Yankee-Doodle-Dandy inclination. I found the article fascinating and Mr. Manson’s viewpoints confirmed some what I already suspected.

In my life experience I have met many people that wouldn’t dare venture outside the “safety” of the American borders. I know some that won’t travel to even Mexico (not Mexico, N.Y.) because they just know that they’re going to be kidnapped, raped and held for ransom. I’ve met others that have traveled all over the world and while doing so, have tried to Americanize the experience as much as possible. 

I can’t wrap my head around this.

As I experience this mid-life celebration, I can’t help but realize that I still want to expand my mind, broaden my horizons and build my experience database. This is where the digital nomad lifestyle comes into play.  I find myself most inspired about life, work and play when my view is changed. This is most likely the case with many, but I think this is fuel that I definitely need to feel “fresh”. Sitting here on the beach in Chicago, writing this blog entry, my head is going at 100 MPH with ideas about future blog entries, solutions for problems that have been bothering me at work and destinations of where I would like to take Earl with our frequent flyer miles. Maybe I just needed a little sun and the sound of the waves. Maybe life in the center of Upstate New York, surrounded by woods and hills, is a little too stagnant. Maybe I need the sound of waves. Maybe I should drive the hour from home to Lake Ontario once in a while.

If we were to travel more and leave the borders of the U.S. in doing so, I certainly wouldn’t want to seek out American experiences. This is the one thing that makes me nervous about going on any sort of structured tour. The late author and humorist Erma Bombeck mentioned this in one of her books years ago, with tour groups you’re with other Americans, “experiencing” the local flavor of country X but from a purely American point of view. There’s no language struggle. Cuisine is arranged. You’re with other Americans.

I’m not sure I want that type of experience. Well, right now I’m not sure I want that. I’ve never experienced the alternative but I want to, at least once.