+ So I’ve finally arrived in Madrid Spain, after three Emirates flights (Melb-KL, KL-Dubai, Dubai-Madrid) and I don’t know how many time zones. On my final leg, one of the Emirate flight attendants was a Spanish beauty that looked exactly like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Made that trip so much easier! Ps: Emirates know how to fly, outstanding service.

On the Dubai to Madrid flight I sat next to a lovely Arabic man who has lived most of his life in Spain. Married a Spanish woman and they have two twin daughters, aged 23. Sami was terrific, we discussed all world affairs, religion, politics and solved every global crisis. He is meeting me Sunday morning to show me around the city and find a place to purchase a SIM card for my stay. Picture Pablo Picasso, and that’s who Sami resembles in appearance, wearing acid wash jeans!

I got into a taxi at the airport, greeted by a €30 flat fee for wherever you are going to in Madrid. Clearly the speed limit is only a suggestion in this grand city because my driver was hitting 115km plus in an 80km zone. Welcome to Madrid.

So after I checked in, although feeling very tired, and with sleep patterns all over the shop I decided to explore the local area.

My hotel, Hotel Petit Palace Art Gallery is situated in Barrio de Salamanca district. Madrid has many quality neighborhoods, but this has to be one of the best. In between Calle José Ortega y Gasset, Calle Claudio Coello and Calle Serrano, cosmopolitan streets filled with great people watching, delicious restaurants, significant history, brilliant shopping and high end retail stores. Brioni is next door to my hotel! A must stay area when in Madrid.

My hotel is uber chic and hip, with great art everywhere, including in my room. Spain is after all home to great masters - Picasso, Goya, Dalí, Gaudí, Miro and so many more.

So, first impressions of Madrid - a clean, cosmopolitan city with so much to see. People are generally well dressed. Less English speakers than other Euro cities, and loads of people still smoke. Madrid is the third-largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, with so much to see and discover. I think I need to return one day to fully appreciate what this dynamic city has to offer.

It’s currently 6:30am on Sunday, oh, buenos días everyone! Today I’m off to explore the city a little bit more with my local guide Sami (the Picasso look-a-like). Then on to the train station for my 7hr trip to the north west of Spain, to the town of Sarria, in the Galicia region.

I look forward to meeting people along my journey to Sarria, which will be the beginning of my El Camino de Santiago experience ~ The Way of St. James. This is actually happening. Wow.

Image: original picture overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.


"To attain true inner freedom, you must be able to objectively watch your problems instead of being lost in them… Once you’ve made the commitment to free yourself of the scared person inside, you will notice that there is a clear decision point at which your growth takes place."
Michael A. Singer

+ Below are 10 Tips for the Graduating Class of 2014:

1. Never miss an opportunity to tell someone that you appreciate them. The power of gratitude is profound.

2. There will be people who won’t want to hear what you have to say because you’re “just a kid.” Make them listen. You have something important to say.

3. Be attentive to yourself. Self-understanding is crucial in you finding happiness in your own individuality, before you search for it in another person.

4. Never objectify women. Real men need to stand up for equality and any form of injustice.

5. Accept that you will sometimes be wrong. Then forgive yourself.

6. Change isn’t easy. It’s a challenging road full of self-doubt and temptations and regret. But never give up. Push through and grow from each experience.

7. If you have a dream, go after it, even if people don’t understand it.

8. There are people in your life who care, and there are people in your life who will listen. Try your best to keep these people you really appreciate in your field of vision at all times. Don’t be afraid to let them in. Vulnerability is a great strength.

9. You’ve got to learn to love yourself. You’ve got to see that you’re worth so much more than all those negative thoughts that may be consuming your mind. You’ll get through all challenges by changing the way you perceive yourself.

10. And finally you’re pretty freakin’ awesome, and it’s time you start believing it!

This is your moment. You decide.


+ “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

I often speak of three things that I believe are significant in helping young people grow - 1. Having a clear Purpose and passion in life, 2. Empowering environment, which includes people and places, and 3. A critical friend or mentor.

Have you ever pondered how many people there are in your life that have had some level of influence upon you to help you become who you are today?

I’d like you to consider these four tenets when you consider a critical friend or mentor to support you in seeing your possibility:

1. Is a positive Role Model. An individual who exemplifies in word and action what it means to be an ethical, responsible, and compassionate human being. Someone who has a reputation for character and solid principles you wish to emulate.

2. Is a skilled listener. They really get to know you – your context, gifts, strengths, fears and challenges, your individual personality and your aspirations. They are a trusted ally, or advocate, who works with you and on behalf of the your best interests and goals.

3. Is a facilitator. They are a thoughtful person who provides access to people, places, experiences, and resources outside your normal environment. Allowing you to develop a diverse range of perspectives, through real encounters, that challenge and provide alternatives.

4. Is unapologetically honest. A person that doesn’t just encourage you, but will also tell you the blunt truth when you are moving in the wrong direction. They become an important sounding board who will help you with your struggles and help you to clarify your principles and beliefs.

The right critical friend or mentor will help you discover and develop the true possibility within yourself to succeed in all aspects of life.

Who are you allowing to influence you and are they worthy of that influence?

Instead of pairing up with someone who will reinforce your weaknesses, find someone who will challenge you to acquire new strengths through new horizons. You decide.

6permissionistriumph, estoperpetua,

+ To Risk

"To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.

To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow,
But he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live.

Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.

The pessimist complains about the wind;

The optimist expects it to change;
And the realist adjusts the sails.”

~ William Arthur Ward

6carpediem, permissionistriumph,

+ Today the world lost it’s smile.

"I use to think the worst thing in life was to end up alone, it’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone" ~ Robin Williams

So sad that someone who brought such joy and laughter to so many others was suffering so much. Depression is real. If you are depressed please know that you are not alone. And to my friends, never be afraid to reach out to someone you may think is struggling.

I’m sad to read the news of Robin Williams passing. A great artistic talent of our time. His genius will be missed. Thank you Mr Williams for sharing your undeniable talent and gift with us all.

"Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary!"

O Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip is done. The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won. You were extraordinary Mr. Williams.

6RIPRobinWilliams, permissionistriumph,

+ “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make” ~ Jane Goodall

Who pushes your thinking? Who challenges you to be your best? Who gets you out of your comfort zone? What difference will you make today?


+ What turns a walking holiday into a pilgrimage?

In late September/early October I’ll be participating in the Camino Pilgrimage “The Way of St. James” from Sarria to Santiago, Spain. The call of the Camino is to move beyond that which separates us and to find that common bond, that spiritual thread which binds us all together.

I believe we are all fundamentally spiritual beings on a human journey. It’s time to create your own ‘way’ through discovery, movement and listening to your inner truth.

So what weight are you carrying on your journey? Pilgrimage is a great metaphor for life. What are you carrying that is unnecessary?

Each of us will read the signs and interpret these to develop our own future scenarios.

Along every path of enquiry and discovery there comes a point that requires a leap of faith. You reach that point where you have to let go of the safety of the familiar and comfortable and dive into the unknown, with nothing but your inner truth, your faith to support you.

Life itself is a sacred journey. By developing an attitude of gratitude for all learning experiences along your paths, we’ll come closer to creating your own meaning, as you discover you are never alone.

Give yourself over to the spirit of the journey, a combination of the beauty of the outer landscape and listening to the beauty from within.

Pilgrimage can form and inform your personal theology. Pilgrimage can awaken the spiritual from within. Opening the opportunity for real renewal. As the true temple is not a structure, it’s holiness lies at one’s inner altar, which the structure is built.

Create opportunities to worship and value your altar from within.

6permissionistriumph, camino,

5 Things a Good Man Does and 5 Things He Doesn't - f

+ A good man doesn’t objectify women. He knows the difference between appreciating beauty and reducing a person to the sum of her parts. And he teaches it to his children, too ~ Thomas G. Fiffer


+ Stop waiting for Friday, for Summer, for someone to fall in love with you, for life to happen to you. HAPPINESS is achieved when you stop waiting and make the most of the moment you’re in NOW.

"Successful people do not have a part-time mindset nor a full-time mindset, but a lifetime mindset" ~ Orrin Woodward.

Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late.

"Whether you think you can or think you can’t you’re right" ~ Henry Ford

If you subscribe to the notion that we are what we repeatedly do then never allow waiting to become a habit. No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.

And don’t tell me you don’t have time, that old chestnut is far too convenient. It’s about making time to attend to yourself that matters. Never compromise on investing in self.

Live your dreams and take risks. Life is happening now.

"A year from now you will wish you hard started today" ~ Karen Lamb

So what at are you waiting for? Make your own meaning NOW. Reignite your fire.

Dedicated to my beautiful friend Alice, who is at the beginning of an amazing life journey.