Spring Cleaning - Clearing Inner SpaceApril 2012
spring flowers



Here in the Upper Midwest, spring has come early! 
We'll take it every time!


Analogous with new beginnings, spring brings ritual cleaning and reorganizing. Pete decided it was time to clean the garage over the weekend. Happily basking in the warm sun, he sat in the driveway and methodically sorted his fishing tackle in several compartmented boxes. Inside, Betsy had previously tackled (pun intended) the upstairs closets, preparing for a department store sale that rewards shoppers for bringing in Goodwill donations with a discount coupon for each item. Of course the day they were delivered wound up being double coupon day. The stack of 60 coupons couldn't even begin to be completely used!


betsy and maeIt seems as though whenever we return from an extended trip, we're all about new beginnings and a lighter load. When the same subject came up during a day of reconnection, Betsy's school chum, Mae, who is embarking on a new beginning herself, concurred. Spring cleaning, we agreed, is a metaphor.


When clean, uncluttered and organized, your inner space can reflect a fresh outlook and room for new growth. Read on . . .

Clearing Inner Space by Letting Go . . .
kauai hwy 550

This is Highway 550, the road up Waimea Canyon on Kauai. It's a hair-raising route at times, atop a ridge with steep drops on either side. I walked about 1/2 mile back up an incline to get this photo as there was nowhere prior for us to stop. I'd had to keep going until we reached a safe place with just enough breathing room to pull over. "Such has been my road in business and life," thought I, huffing and puffing because of the altitude. Not the prettiest shot I took on the Garden Isle, but it's the most metaphorical. Phew! I never would have made it back to look things over if I'd had anything more than a camera to carry.


kauai waimea summitHighway 550 has mostly clear markings and more than a few guardrails. Still, it's pretty high on the white knuckle scale. But oh, the reward at the summit overlook, where you climb on foot using a switchback stairway, then stand above the clouds and survey a wondrous sight: mountain, valley, and the clear line of horizon separating sea and sky. This must be a God's-eye view - an extended moment of complete, connection and clarity that will leave you feeling like the most fortunate (and perhaps the smallest) human being on the planet.


Alfred Hitchcock defines this same "clear horizon" as the utmost in fulfillment in this wonderful video:

Hitchcock's Definition of Happiness
Hitchcock's Definition of Happiness
". . . when all these are removed and you can look forward and the road is clear ahead and now you're going to create something. I think that's as happy as I would ever want to be."


Just as we might give our homes a good spring cleaning by decluttering and opening the windows to air things out, we can look back over the road we've just traversed unencumbered by psychic baggage, if we'll let it go. This allows us to turn around and gaze upon clear horizons. Clearing this inner space leaves room for things like:
Spring cleaning isn't just about your home, it's about your heart, too. What's keeping you from clearing the road ahead?
The Wonderful World is Waiting! See it with a DreamTrips Membership
View a quick video of how DreamTrips works!


Make it the Mediterranean!

Rome, Italy4 Day/3 Night 4-Star Hotel Dei Mellini June 15-18 Prestigious 19th century atmosphere on the right bank of the Tiber between the Spanish Steps and St Peter's, superior double room includes daily breakfast, "Eternal Rome" tour: Fountain of Trevie, Agrippa's Pantheon, Navona Square, Basilica of St. Peter, St. Peter's Square. $359.99/pp


Crete, Greece 6 Day/5 Night Aquila Rithymna Beach Hotel July 10-15 Charming accommodations include daily buffet breakfast and dinner, close proximity to Ottoman Baths, Rimondi Fountain, Preveli Monastery, Venetian Loggia and ancient site of Eleftherna. Aegean beach location plus outdoor and indoor pools $459.99/pp


venice - westinVenice, Italy 4 Day/3 Night 5-Star Westin Europa & Regina July 19-22 Located on the Grand Canal just minutes from Piazza San Marco, accommodations include classic period-style decor double room with Westin Heavenly Bed, daily American breakfast buffet, Murano (glass-blowing factory), Burano (lace making) and Torcello half-day sightseeing cruise $659.99/pp


Tour of Italy 10 Day/9 Night Rome, Florence and Tuscan Tour Sept 29-Oct 8 Guided trips through vineyards, farmlands, eateries, first class hotel accommodations, all hotel service charges, tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes included, local highlight restaurant lunch with wine in Florence, farewell dinner with wine in Rome trattoria. Visit Pisa, Siena, Florence, San Gimignano, the Umbrian and Tuscan hills, Chianti region, Italian Riviera and Arno Valley. $1962.99/pp


All Aboard for Alaska!

NCL Pearl Cruise  8 Day/7 Night May 20 - 27 Seattle, Inside Passage, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Victoria BC Second City comedy entertainment, Broadway-style shows, climbing wall, kids' center and teen discos $780/pp includes port fees and taxes


alaskacruiseDisney Cruise Lines 8 Day/7 Night June 11 - 18 Seatlle, Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Victoria, Kids' Oceaneer Club and Lag, tweens' Edge, teen-exclusive Vibe hotspot, Broadway-style shows, character greetings, and even adult-only pools! $1086/pp includes port fees and taxes


PCL Golden Princess Cruise 8 Day/7 Night July 14 - 21 Seattle, Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm, Ketchikan, Victoria BC Peak experience glacier viewing, whale watching, wilderness excursions, historic tours and more! $895/pp includes taxes and port fees


Exotic Asia

Samui, Thailand 5 Day/4 Night Samui Nakara Resort and Spa Deluxe room accommodations at luxury resort located on Choeng Mon Beach in the Gulf of Thailand, with welcome fruit platter and daily poolside buffet breakfast, BBQ pool-side dinner includes open bar!  $319.99/pp


shanghaiShanghai, China 4 Day/3 Night Jiu Long Hotel Aug 3 - 8 Accommodations include private round-trip airport transfers with a guide, daily breakfast, night city tour including People's Square, tour of Old Town (the Pearl of Shanghai), Yu Garden and Yu Yuan Business City with private guide service $199.99/pp


Adventures in Africa

 White River, South Africa3 Day/2 Night Pine Lake Inn July 20-22 within proximity of Kruger National Park, Sudwala Caves, Sabie Falls, Pilgrim's Rest and the Panorama Route along the Blyde River Canyon. Includes daily breakfast. $95.99/pp


Manifest Kenya Voluntour 8 Day/7 Night Kibera Voluntour and Safari Sept 27-Oct 4 Refurbish classrooms at a community school and orphanage, build a sustainable fresh water system, and spend four days on safari in Massai Mara. All in-country transportation provided, Nairobi suburban guest house, two driving safaris per day from Siana Springs Intrepids Lodge with open air tents, most meals included. $2579/pp

bumi hills elephant

Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe 5 Day/4 Night Bumi Hills Safari Lodge November 1-5 Garden room accommodations include all meals, one express spa treatment per person, two activities from a list that includes game viewing in open safari vehicles, on foot professionally-guided safari, boat safari - view elephants, buffalo, Nile crocodiles, lions, hippos, leopard, kudu, water buck, impala, monkeys, baboons and zebra. $549.99/pp


San Lameer, South Africa 3 Day/2 Night Peermont Mondazur at San Lameer Hotel and Resort November 9 - 11 Elegant, contemporary accommodations on a lagoon with access to the magnificent Blue Flag Beach on the Indian Ocean beach. Includes daily buffet breakfast. Enjoy great birding and nature trails with more than 200 species of birds, herds of impala, and 18-holes of championship golf on the property. $99/pp


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Thank You! This newsletter supplements our lifestyle blog, PassingThru, where we chronicle our journey toward simplicity, income diversity, and location independence. What does that mean in a practical sense? We work anywhere there's internet and phone service, we travel when we want, and we don't have all our eggs in one basket! 


Now we're committed to sharing ideas you can replicate for more satisfaction in your own life pursuits. If you'd like to forward this newsletter to a friend, please click on the "Forward email" link below.


Wishing you great ideas, safe travels and freedom to enjoy the journey!

                       Betsy and Pete

In This Issue
Clearing Inner Space by Letting Go
The Wonderful World is Waiting with DreamTrips
Great Reads
Before You Come Back . . .
Book Travel at Our Site and Save
Quick Travel Links
New Weekly drawing to win a DreamTrip valued at more than $2800! First drawing April 9th! One winner each week for fourteen weeks with a bonus drawing/winner at the end of the promotion. (Earlier entrants from previous promotion are still eligible to win!)
 caribbean cruise
Eight-day, seven-night, all-inclusive Caribbean cruise aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines' Pearl, departs Nov. 4, 2012. This Mega-Cruise DreamTrip includes the 
* Accommodations in an ocean view balcony stateroom.
* $1,000 in Rovia Bucks to put toward your flight to Miami, Florida, where the cruise embarks.
* Traditional fine dining, endless buffets and custom-order action stations.
* Entertainment by the Second City comedy troupe and Broadway-style shows in the evening.
* State-of-the-art fitness center.
* Two-story screen for playing Nintendo Wii.
* A climbing wall.
* Fantastic ports of call in the Bahamas, Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Mexico.
Only one entry gets you into all the weekly drawings, click here, provide your contact info and then watch brief video!

Let's Connect!


Betsy    Find us on Facebook   View our profile on LinkedIn   Follow us on Twitter 
 Peter   Find us on Facebook  View our profile on LinkedIn  Follow us on Twitter 


To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable; and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, act frankly . . . to listen to stars and buds, to babes and sages, with open heart; await occasions, hurry never. . . this is my symphony. - William Henry Channing

Great Readsbook icon
october abduction
The October Abduction of Thomas Martin: Bloodline is a book you won't be able to put down. When you're finished, you won't be able to stop thinking about it. Check out the story in our extended post and Amazon review.

David McCullough, perhaps better known for his biographies of John Adams and Harry S Truman delivers an epic narrative taken from the stories of survivors of The Johnstown Flood of 1899, bringing to life the 19th century disaster. All the elements of social status, human nature, industrial progress and tragedy combined.
Where We're Headed
loon pontoon 
April - May  Pete will be trout fishing in southeast Minnesota and then we'll be at the Wuebker cabin in Northern Minnesota for an extended stay.
June - July Michigan for family events and then an extended road trip east to PA (including Johnstown) and a meander through points south, looping back through Lynchburg, TN
Book Travel Online at Our Site and Save:
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Exclusive Lowest Price Guarantee and More!

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Quick Travel Links
This woman believes it is her right to recline her seat all the way even if it inconveniences other travelers. 

She's been sucked into a Pushkin dilemma created by the airlines. Solution: purchase or request premium seating whenever possible to avoid these issues. Pete and I like aisle seats in the same row, opposite each other.  How to avoid that cramped seat next time. Other tools for better seat selection: SeatGuru and SeatExpert



travel hacker  


Join the Travel Hacking Cartel and start earning beaucoup reward points. Additional advice on accumulating rewards and reward travel consulting (you'll pay directly for it) helps for hard-to-redeem situations: The Points Guy and The Savvy Traveler Consulting Services

Road trippers can benefit from GasBuddy, a location-based gasoline price app.
dog vacay  
Dog boarding just got awesome! Find a real home for your dog to stay in while you're out of town. Check out Dog Vacay, an affordable convenience for man's best friend. Now in beta and adding locations. 
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