Archive for February, 2013

Cape Town South Africa Through Rose Tinted Glasses

Posted in travel on February 23rd, 2013 by Sandy – Be the first to comment

After little over three weeks, I find myself leaving on a jet plane. It has been a mixture of feelings. I reflect. On the one hand the communities are clean, crisp and orderly. There is a sense of pride and knowledge of what makes a city desirable.  Then there are the townships, which I just glimpsed. Perhaps I did not want to know more.

My driver from the airport was young and cheerful. He had been quick to point out all the breathtaking sites  as we approached this thoroughly modern city with one of the grandest natural back drops on the planet. Mountains practically dropping out of the sky into the ocean and of course the natural wonder, Table Mountain with a cap of billowing clouds are just magestic.  Cape Town feels like a city with everything yet on an extremely manageable scale, easy to navigate, inviting and fun to walk.  The crispness of the architecture, touches of Dutch colonial interspersed with modern fusions surprise you at every intersection. The colors are bright yet tasteful. The range is phenomenal. I guess it’s in the DNA.  Long Street offers hints of New Orleans with laced iron work on many of the buildings. Cafes, coffee house, art galleries, clothing boutiques, interior design shops, curio and souvenir shops, you name it.  You will wander down side streets to the open markets of masks, beads, wood and metal work and be mesmerized. Museums and parks are just around a corner.

The city feels rich because it is city where tourists come to visit and those with means, and there are many, have second, third or perhaps more homes around the world and this is one of them. New Mercedes, BMW’s, and Audi’s are common. The pace is casual.

Virtually around a hill you find Camp’s bay with a dazzling white beaches meeting natures sculpted rock outcroppings. Elegant homes, Apartment and condominiums, dot the mountain to sea landscape. It is breathtaking. But there is more… read more »

Why Are We Drawn To Danger?

Posted in Thinking Patterns, Uncategorized, travel on February 3rd, 2013 by Sandy – Be the first to comment

My New Friend

I am in Cape Town now, an exquisitely beautiful city at the tip of Africa. Yesterday we ventured out to a wildlife reserve. Aside from riding around in a partially open vehicle through areas with lions, elephants, Cape Town buffalo and rhino you could for an extra fee go spend time with the cheetahs.

I learned that cheetahs are capable of being domesticated and they were the cats of royalty. Yet, they are wild animals, with killing for survival built into their DNA.  So on the one hand I was attracted to this experience and on the other hand, I realized that this animal in a nano second could do a great deal of harm. I calculated the risk and decided it was worth it. Why? My mind had decided that they just couldn’t be offering this experience if there were casualties strewn about, yet there would always be that chance of  startling or touching in the wrong way, and paying a severe price.

I found it exhilarating to find my arm being licked by this incredible creature, a powerful cat capable of accelerating from zero to sixty miles and hour in three seconds. As the tongue,  courser than any sand paper I have ever touched, worked its’ way up and down my arm and leg, I realized how vulnerable  I was; but also how exciting it felt. It was the thrill of a new frontier, of extending my own personal boundary.

I felt like this experience is the metaphor constantly in front of us for reaching out of our comfort zones and trying something new. It doesn’t matter what it is. It is the idea that we just find that comfort edge and consciously go a little further.

There is the resistance in our minds,  that voice that finds all of the rational reasons not to take a chance. Then there is the countervailing voice that says, “What if you do? How good will you feel for having tried something new.” Better yet, after such an experience, how did you feel?  I must admit that as  I rode home, I thought of how unusual this experience was, it was a first,  and how empowering it made me feel. And perhaps that is why we are drawn to a little danger. If we face it and get through it, we feel stronger and more alive. I am not talking about recklessness  such as riding in a speeding car with a drunk driver: I am talking about a reasonable return on one’s apprehension.  It is related to the fear of embarrassment. The idea that we will look foolish if we fail. But as a friend of mine once said, “Be embarrassed once a week, for you will know you are truly alive.”

Is there  something you’ve been wanting to do, but have  felt resistance.   Ask yourself how good you’ll feel if you do it , and you succeed. Maybe it is time to pet the Cheetah.

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