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Jewish Journal

Using Travel and the Seasons to Gain Perspective

by Lisa Ellen Niver

September 1, 2011 | 3:56 pm

The seasons go round and round sometimes without notice, but I like to pay attention.

The Labor Day holiday reminds us that summer has almost ended and the school year will soon begin. This year my contemplation of beginnings and endings includes my Aunt Iris’s passing and Christopher Rowe’s (my friend Michelle’s son) untimely death at 4 years old.

Thinking of these transitions, I wonder what will I do for myself this year as both a family and community member, tasks that may give meaning to these seemingly unreasonable events.

In addition to Labor Day and school starts, September also brings with it Rosh Hashanah, literally the “Head of the Year.” Between the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur are the ten days of awe which feel like a frozen moment in time, an opportunity, or maybe even a commandment to observe my direction in life. I often use these days to reflect on what I did and did not accomplish in the past year. Did I take advantage of all the opportunities that presented themselves in the past 365 days? Did I use my talents to create tikkun olam and help to repair the world or did I stand idly by as the world moved on around me.

Is there room for me in the Book of Life? September is a month of new beginnings and old questions for me.

And so Rachel Friedman’s The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost is a Jewish journey, a personal narrative of facing fears, transforming internal ideas and metamorphosing into an adulthood grounded in the art of wanderlust. Getting Lost is part travelogue and part personal transformation. This memoir combines the author’s personal journey and travel discoveries woven into her stories, along with her reflections about success, failure, life and the meaning of the aforementioned.

Most people do not ever realize, before traveling that is, that looking at a map of a foreign country in a language you don’t understand will lead you eventually back to yourself. As Ms. Friedman says in her book, “After all these travels, I find I no longer have that fear. Life feels full of opportunity and possibility—and maybe even adventure.”

When I travel, I too find that the journeys to the far reaches of the world lead me back to myself – but a new, more insightful self.

Find out if you too can take this road on September 6, 2011…Gather with travel veterans and Travel dreamers to Rachel Friedman read from her book. Plan to share your travel stories and travel dreams.

Meet Lisa Niver Rajna and author Rachel Friedman on Tuesday, September 6, 2011, 7:00pm at Traveler’s Bookcase 8375 West Third Street in Los Angeles.

For more information: www.wesaidgotravel.com
This article first appeared in Westside Today.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Lisa Niver Rajna, M.A. Education, is a passionate writer, educator, social media ninja, speaker and global citizen, who has traveled to over one hundred countries and six...

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