Because I DO believe in spirits
Ever since childhood I've been sensitive to 'energy,' although I didn't realize it at the time. Always intensely impacted by other people's emotions, and fascinated by the so-called 'occult,' I conducted seances before high school and even tried levitation once. Decades later I learned the benefits of massage and energy healing, eventually training to do the latter.
My connection to energy manifested in a new way about 10 years ago. I was driving through Kansas & doing research for a state travel guide. I entered the office of a renovated historic theater in Salina, explained my project, and asked to take photos in the auditorium. The room captivated me, from its carved wood and gold leaf paint to heavy crimson drapes on a private balcony.
But it wasn't until I checked all of my images that I saw a large ball of light hovering to the left of the balcony. Neither I - nor a gal from the office - could find a light source that would explain this. When I asked if the theater was haunted they assured me it was.
Since that time I've photographed what I now know are light 'orbs' in at least five additional U.S. locations - from Weston, MO. to a St. Augustine lighthouse and a vintage hotel porch at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs
But my most remarkable experience occurred several years ago, in Ferrara, Italy. My mother's family ruled the city during the Renaissance while occupying a castle and several smaller palaces - and visiting the city fulfilled a four-decade dream.
It seemed the spirits knew this. During my brief, 2 1/2-day stay, I photographed no fewer than SIX orbs throughout the city. Since then I've smelled perfume wafting across a haunted jail and captured a ghostly apparition in a vintage home in the Kansas City area; and seen a sliver of unexplained red light in a haunted St. Augustine lighthouse. And as the most recent complete eclipse approached, I could have sworn I literally saw our beloved deceased pooch sitting in his favorite chair.
For me, evidence of spirits has become commonplace. And you?
2 of my must-have personal care travel items
Anyone who travels frequently has learned the value of toting ear plugs and eye masks along. But there are two other items that have long been part of travel must-haves.
I took my first flight to Europe about five years ago (I know...I know...late bloomer). Excited yet nervous, I set out to learn the best ways to maximize my comfort on long-haul flights. In addition to hydration with beverages, it appeared skin hydration was important too. So I filled a TSA-approved spray bottle with rose water. Those mid-air spritzes were so refreshing. Before long I carried rose water on all flights and even began spritzing my face daily. It's become something I 'can't live without.'
My other must-have has helped me escape nicks or cuts when rummaging around in my toiletries bag. If I'm toting a razor, I've learned to secure a binder clip (is that the right name?) over the blade. Voila - quick and easy protection from injury!
What are your must-have personal care items when traveling?
Today I return to blogging after a very long hiatus.
I'm excited to have a place where I can immediately share dishes I have savored, destinations I can't forget and people who have inspired me during my travels. No waiting for edits, here - just a candid glimpse at my life as a travel and food writer.
Welcome to my travel blog, PACKED!