2011: Let’s Embrace the Year!

By Emlyn Lee, Founder

It’s a new year…a new decade…a new start! Thus, the ideal time to review the past year, set goals for 2011, and vow to clean out old habits and make room for new ones. I love new beginnings, as it provides opportunity to change, make a new start, and have a fresh outlook on life. Yet for some reason, I put a twist on this year’s resolution. Instead of looking back at last year’s list and being hard on myself for not reaching all of my goals, I decided to take a different approach for 2011. I am making a conscious effort not to focus on everything that I wished I had, or wanted to be, or hope to become; but to take the time to appreciate the people, places, and things that have brought me to be who I am today.

I am not saying that I am giving up on goals. On the contrary, I think recognizing the positive influences in my life will motivate me to achieve more and reciprocate goodwill to others. I want to recognize the positive influences, and see the patterns and connections of the good things, versus life’s challenges, and continue to pursue that upbeat path in life.

So let’s do a comparison test. Think: recession, rising oil prices, war, natural disasters, diseases, and lost luggage. This is just a short-list of things that have a huge influence on the travel industry. Unfortunately, most of these words are negatively perceived, and thus the major causes of why people don’t travel. These factors are out of my control, but if I reflect too much on them, and how it will impact Cultural Embrace and the travel business, I mine as well close shop now. Now rewind, and let’s think of eating delicious street foods, shopping at night markets, swimming with dolphins, $10 massages on the beach, laughing with children as they are trying to teach you some foreign phrases, and riding a bicycle in the Alps…I’m now grinning ear to ear! These are the things that I love to experience when I travel, and what motivates me to get you to take the plunge to visit a foreign country.

I guess the phrase ‘mind over matter’ is true. I have been blessed with a fortunate life, why not embrace it? I am healthy, have a rockin’ family and friend base, traveled to over 75 countries, own a business, have clothes on my back and food in my belly. Heck, if you’re reading this, you’ve got it pretty good too. Vision, education, electricity, owning a passport, and internet are things that I took for granted. Not anymore. Thank you, merci, gracias, xie xie, obrigado. Wow, 2011 already feels great!

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