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A Train Somewhere: Preparing for Success

Written by Hank Martin in Personal Development

The countryside rolled by, and I moved onward from one place to another. I don’t even remember where I was going that time. That’s sad. Too many train rides. Too many plane rides. Too many car rides. All of them taking me from this place to that place. I was young then, that’s what I remember. The experience is only sensations. The blur of the landscape. The hard plastic seats. The clack of metal on metal as wheels rolled on over metal lines in to the distance. I have so many of those experiences that they gel together. All of the things I’ve experienced on trains couldn’t have happened on the same journey, could they? …

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Three Inches Up…There’s a Great Big World

Written by Hank Martin in Personal Development

Look up! Look up! Look what your missing! It’s right in front of your face! I watched 50 or more people stroll through town the other day with their heads down. Can you guess why their heads were down? ¬†Yep, because they were engrossed in their cell phones. These were not just locals and this place was not just a dirty big city street. No,the people I was watching were tourists from out of town, vacationing in one of the most beautiful mountain towns during one of the most beautiful fall seasons I’ve ever experienced. Maybe they looked up for one second to snap a quick photo of the golden sunlight striking the grey peak …

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Appia Antica Way

Written by Hank Martin in Personal Development

Rome is like a cake. Beneath roads are old houses, a subterranean layer of history eroding away and returning to the Earth. Modern civilization is the frosting on top, a metamorphosizing, gelatinous mass of life shifting at the whims of the time. Some parts of this upper crust are the same as always. Bernini alleys, a coliseum built from money plundered from Jews, Salvi’s trevi fountain and more are relics of a different time. You can pass an ATM on the corner and then find yourself standing before the looming, black and weathered Pantheon. History overflows in this city like water from a bucket. The past spills into the modern world, melding the two. In …

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Smiles are Contagious

Written by Payton Lee in Personal Development

Smiles are contagious. This simple, polite notion has faded to the back of people’s minds, possibly forgotten all together by some. ¬†Smiles these days are traded in for smirks, eye rolling, and furrowed eyebrows. It is a trend that needs to be broken. Vacation. The word is supposed to bring joy, excitement, stress-relief, and smiles. Getting to bike in the most beautiful mountain scenery should make all worries wash away. Hiking in the back-country with amazing wildlife and wildflowers should relieve the stress you have left from work. Swimming in a natural Alpen lake, colored like a gemstone, should take your breath away. Zip-lining through Aspen trees in the sparkling sun should stamp a permanent …

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Anger and Travel

Written by Hank Martin in Personal Development

This is what hell is like, I thought, as I looked towards the thrashing angry ocean. The water rose in frustration and slammed itself against the beach, grinding rocks into glass colored pebbles with its agitation. It was a thing of all motion and no progress, like anger. Can you see anger in a place, a non-living thing? Or, do human emotions only make sense to humans? On the early morning streets of Italy, as I walked to school past St. Peter’s Square, I saw two men cursing at each other in Italian. Their arms gyrated like mimes and their faces were red. One had parked the other in. Another time I saw homeless people …