Photo du Jour: The Meteora Rock Climber – Greece


“It’s not just a question of conquering a summit previously unknown, but of tracing, step by step, a new pathway to it.” Gustav Mahler

Look carefully at the top of the dramatic, finger-like rock formation, and you’ll see a tiny human silhouette.

Continue reading “Photo du Jour: The Meteora Rock Climber – Greece”

Photo du Jour: Spring Blooms – Keukenhof Gardens, the Netherlands

holland tulips, green grass and tree trunk, Keukenhof Gardens

In celebration of spring’s return here in Croatia, (and hopefully soon for those of you in chillier climes), I share this image from my photo archives, and the famous and magnificently-beautiful Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands.

When I’ve visited Holland during the spring months, I couldn’t decide which I preferred  – the perfectly-manicured gardens of Keukenhof, or the fields of tulips, awaiting harvest, that resemble vibrant carpets of red, yellow, or purple.

Enjoy the day!

Where in the World?

Photography & text © by Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Snowy Vignettes from an Alpine Paradise

oberammergau church in snow snow paths in germany

Having ‘escaped’ winter by spending five wonderful, but scorching months in Asia last year, I must admit – it’s been a bit of a shock wintering in the Alps these past months. Fortunately, there are the visual elements that make sidewalk slips, shoveling and shivering so worthwhile: chalets peeking out from under snow blankets, Mother Nature wearing her finest maquillage, and graceful icicles about to rappel from rooftops. Here are more scenes from Oberammergau, Germany, and inspirational quotes attesting to the magic of winter.

snow on the ground with kofel mountain overhead quote evergreen dressed in snow quote

Oberammergau in snow

birch in snow quote

snow quote Oberammergau icicles and quote mountain with snow quote

snowmen fall quote

snow evergreen quote

What do you think of winter? Do you embrace it or long for balmier days? Can you share any tried and true activities, rituals or pilgrimages that help you bridge the cold impasse to spring?


Where in the World?

Planning Pointers:

  • The town of Oberammergau is located about 90 km southwest of Munich. To get there by rail or by bus, research the Bayern or Regio Ticket (website in German, but you can use Google Translate). These special tickets start at €20/25 for one passenger, and cost €6 for each additional passenger. You can use them to travel via bus and train throughout much of the region, making them a better deal if you want to make a few stops in a day. You can purchase tickets online, via a ticket machine, or in person.
  • Are you looking for a guesthouse or hotel in Oberammergau? Before my parents moved there, Shawn and I spent two nights at the Gästehaus Hildegard (affiliate link). We thought the beds were comfortable, the owners were helpful and kind, and the breakfast was tasty. The guest house is centrally located in the town too, and it’s not far from the Tiroler Gasse bus stop. The train station is also only about 1 km away.
  • This page indexes all my posts from Germany.

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Celebrating the International Day of the Girl

International Day of the Girl Child

October 11th is the first-ever International Day of the Girl Child –  a day dedicated to recognizing girls’ rights and advancing their lives and access to opportunities.

International Day of the Girl Child

In honor of this day, I encourage you to participate in your own way. Educate yourself about girls’ issues. (I highly recommend the powerful book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, written by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.) Support a nonprofit organization of your choosing. Visit the Participate tab for more ways to get involved, or search GuideStar – a directory of charities and nonprofits.

International Day of the Girl Child

To inspire you, I’ve included a collage of pictures of girls and young women that I have met during my travels from Cambodia to South Africa.

International Day of the Girl Child
South Africa

The world is not interested in what we do for a living. What they are interested in is what we have to offer freely – hope, strength, love and the power to make a difference! 

-Sasha Azevedo

International Day of the Girl Child

How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world.

-Anne Frank

International Day of the Girl Child

We must become the change we want to see in the world.


International Day of the Girl Child

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.

-Helen Keller

International Day of the Girl Child

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.

-Margaret Mead

International Day of the Girl Child

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

-Robert F. Kennedy

International Day of the Girl Child

Go out into the world and do good until there is too much good in the world.

-Larry H. Miller

International Day of the Girl Child

To him who is determined it remains only to act.

-Italian Proverb

International Day of the Girl Child

We have it in our power to change the world over.

-Thomas Paine

International Day of the Girl Child

I feel that the greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.

-Dr. Jonas Salk

International Day of the Girl Child

Your thoughts, words and deeds are painting the world around you.

-Jewel Diamond Taylor

International Day of the Girl Child

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can.

-Sydney Smith

International Day of the Girl Child

We can do no great things – only small things with great love.

Mother Teresa

International Day of the Girl Child
South Africa

The mind has exactly the same power as the hands: not merely to grasp the world, but to change it.

-Colin Wilson

International Day of the Girl Child

If it is to be, it is up to me.


International Day of the Girl Child

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

International Day of the Girl Child

Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.

-Eleanor Roosevelt

What girls or young women have inspired you close to your home or during your travels? Please also share your ideas for making the world a better place!


A Sky Aglow: Up with the Great Reno Balloon Races Dawn Patrol

Reno Dawn Patrol hot air balloons

Like paper lanterns rising to the heavens in the Far East, the radiant balloons twinkled in unison during the Dawn Patrol that was to precede the Great Reno Balloon Races.  Only seven balloons – those which were qualified to fly in the dark – participated. The flying conditions at night can be dangerous since atmospheric conditions can change quickly once the sun rises over the hot Nevada desert.

Reno Dawn Patrol hot air balloons

As music played in the background, the sky changed from jet black, to midnight blue to steel grey, with a hint of gold. Unfortunately, weather conditions prevented the 80 or so balloons from ascending together after the sun had risen. Though we were disappointed, the beautiful Dawn Patrol event made our 0400 wake-up so worthwhile!

Reno Dawn Patrol hot air balloons Reno Dawn Patrol hot air balloons

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.  

-Leonardo da Vinci

Reno Dawn Patrol hot air balloons

Reno Dawn Patrol hot air balloons Reno Dawn Patrol hot air balloons

Heights by great men reached and kept were not obtained by sudden flight but, while their companions slept, they were toiling upward in the night. 

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Reno Dawn Patrol hot air balloons

Reno Dawn Patrol hot air balloons

The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.

-J.M. Barrie

Reno Dawn Patrol hot air balloons

Reno Dawn Patrol hot air balloons

The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it. 

― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Reno dawn patrol hot air balloons

Reno Dawn Patrol hot air balloons

“There is a trick to flying. The angels told me.” He had smiled at my wide-eyed awe. “You need to forget everything you know as a human being. When you are human, you discover that there is great power in hating the earth. And it can almost make you fly. But it never will.
I had frowned, not quite understanding him. “So, what’s the trick?”
“Love the sky.” 

― Anne Fortier, Juliet

Reno hot air balloon races dawn patrol Reno dawn patrol balloon races

Reno dawn patrol hot air balloon races

Reno Dawn Patrol hot air balloons Reno dawn patrol balloon races

Reno hot air balloon races dawn patrol

reno hot air balloon races Reno hot air balloon races dawn patrol

Reno dawn patrol balloon races

I will never stop trying to fly, because I’m not convinced that anything is impossible!
― Matt Scott

Reno dawn patrol balloon races

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Vivacious Venice: The Third Time’s a Charm

It is often said that the third time’s a charm… Though I don’t believe that even the most hapless travel endeavor could ever be classified as a failure – because the opportunity to learn about oneself or the wonderful world is so great – my third visit to Venice was still certainly the most enchanting.  My first forays past Saint Mark’s Basilica and the Bridge of Sighs were too hurried and the second jaunt was too claustrophobic given Carnevale celebrations. However, my most recent visit was just right: riding in a gondola with sensational spring skies overhead, racing against the blazing sun to devour glorious gelato before it melted into a colorful canal of its own, and pondering all the vignettes that for centuries have unfolded on Venice’s waterways.

Continue reading “Vivacious Venice: The Third Time’s a Charm”

Happy Independence Day (& Birthday Greetings for a Special Someone)

American flags Washington D.C.

Lincoln Memorial Washington DC close up head and hand

“What a glorious morning for our country.” -Samuel Adams

Lincoln Memorial Washington DC

“Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.” -Harry Emerson Fosdick

peace among all nations washington DC

“It seems to be a law of nature, inflexible and inexorable, that those who will not risk cannot win.” -John Paul Jones

Autumn Leaves at the Vietnam Memorial - Washington D.C.

“Every generation has the obligation to free men’s minds for a look at new worlds…to look out from a higher plateau than the last generation.” -Ellison S. Onizuka

National World War Two Memorial Washington DC

“We live in a world that is lit by lightning. So much is changing and will change, but so much endures and transcends time.” -Ronald Reagan

Washington Monument reflected on Vietnam Memorial wall of names

“It is immigrants who brought to this land the skills of their hands and brains to make of it a beacon of opportunity and hope for all men.” -Herbert H. Lehman

Washington Monument Washignton DC

Happy Birthday to my dear Shawn – and to the United States. 

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All rights reserved.