Aug. 1st, 2016

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kyiv

Today I was reminded by Facebook that I was in Kyiv five years ago today, standing atop a monastery. It was my first visit to Ukraine, and since that time a lot has changed. My Ukrainian friend I was visiting now lives in France. He played an instrumental role in reigniting my passion for travel so many years after I left my job at the airlines. Since then, I've visited 10 new countries and 15 new States here in the USA. There are so many positive emotions locked in my mind from all of these experiences. The people I've encountered along the way, struggles with companions, roads, schedules...all of it a journey for discovery, not only about the world, but myself.

Many personal relationships have shifted - some closer, and some almost extinct. I've slowly let new people into my tight circle, yet toxic people are now banished. I can't say that I'm harsh or unforgiving, but I definitely give people way fewer chances now than I did two decades ago. I think it's a normal process of aging, somehow you look to insulate yourself with a protective layer of humans who support, provide warmth, comfort, security and other positive emotions. For me, these people have always been family and a few close friends. There's no point in wasting time on those who are constantly trying to belittle, tear you down and ignite all types of wildfires in your soul and heart. In youth, I somehow thought I could change people like this, take their hand, and guide them to some sort of light and positivity, but I failed each time. In essence, I think it's impossible to really change another human, although your presence in an individual's life can be the catalyst to facilitate or motivate change. Sometimes for the worse, but hopefully the better.

We can say that life, and everything, is in a constant state of flux - one moment you're floating peacefully on the calm sea, and the next your world is shaken, as if life is constantly hovering over a tectonic plate, or in the midst of some volcano with lava quickly creeping to the edge. For me personally, everything now is calm and fine, but boring. I don't have motivation to write long posts anymore, for several reasons. First, it seems the entire audience has disappeared. Second, there is nothing new to say. After three years of communicating on this platform, almost all of my views are known - about sex, gender, relationships, exploration, Russia....many other topics.  If you have questions which remain unanswered, you can ask me in the comments, and I will express my viewpoint if the inquiry isn't too personal, and I know something about the issue.

This is really just a simple note to let you know I'm alive, as many people have sent me messages. Thank you for your concern, and continued dedication to my stories, thoughts and blog. :) When I feel a burst of creative inspiration, new stories will follow. I still post lots of short notes, thoughts, and travel photos on Facebook. You can find me here. In two weeks, I'll return to Montana and then onward to Alberta, Canada for a quick mountain adventure before the big expedition through Georgia in autumn.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! Cheers from the USA! :)

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