Through the Realms: Tales from Cuba

“Much have I traveled in the realms of gold, and many goodly states and kingdoms seen.” –John Keats (English poet, 1795-1821)

Here at All Things Good, our love of traveling, exploring and embarking on adventures is grounded in our belief that a curious mind can not only stimulate the senses, but transform our sense of self in relation to the world at large. In fact, it was ultimately our love of seeking and exploring the world around us that led us to launch this blog.

Since then, we’ve had some fun adventures, including to the land of Hula Honeys, the birthplace of Harry Potter, the traditional music capital of Ireland, the oldest teashop in Europe, and a sailing adventure in the Florida Keys (to name just a few!).

We’d now like to turn to the adventures of others – you! – to hear your own stories as you travel “Through the Realms.” We love all the beautiful photos of exotic destinations and spirited excursions you can find on the social media landscape, but want to hear what you learned, who you met, and what you’ll remember about the realms you travel, too!

Katie Christensen

We’re excited to launch “Through the Realms” with Katie Christensen, a travel addict who has visited 13 countries in the past 12 months. Last May, Katie left her management job and made it a goal to visit a different country every month. Since November 15, she has traveled to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Mexico, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Belgium and, most recently, Cuba! Needless to say, she has surpassed her goal – and inspired us with her adventurous spirit and traveling curiosity. Her blog, Global Novice, documents some of her experiences with beautiful photography. Read more

“The Soul of a Journey”

“The soul of a journey is liberty, perfect liberty, to think, feel, do just as one pleases.” –William Hazlett, English writer (1778-1830)
Sedona, Arizona
And Other Journeying Quotes:
“The longest journey is the journey inward.”  –Dag Hammarskjöld, Swedish diplomat (1905-1961)
“It is better to travel than to arrive, it is because traveling is a constant arriving, while arrival that precludes further traveling is most easily attained by going to sleep or dying.”  –John Dewey, American philosopher (1859-1952), Human Nature and Conduct: An Introduction to Social Psychology
“The world may be known without leaving the house.”  –Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher (6th century BC), Tao Te Ching (translated as “The Way of Life”)

A Time for Everything: “Spring, A Cookbook”

Skye Gyngell recipesThere is a time for everything, including a time for asparagus and artichokes and cookbooks that are all about spring cuisine! Adding to the growing collection of beautiful cookbooks from the culinary world which are dedicated to seasonal cooking is one of London’s “most respected and acclaimed chefs” Skye Gyngell’s new cookbook Spring.

Ms. Gyngell, who also has published three other cookbooks*, is known “for her distinctively seasonal, elegant cooking, creating dishes inspired by what she saw growing and blossoming around her.” She also has a new restaurant by the same name “Spring” in the heart of London’s arts and culture district.

It is worth checking out her website, where you can find one of her shared recipes of the month (see below). Read more

Happy National Tartan Day!

national tartan day
Tartan store in Edinburgh, Scotland

On April 4, 2008, President George W. Bush signed a Presidential Proclamation designating April 6th as “National Tartan Day.”*

“Americans of Scottish descent have made enduring contributions to our Nation with their hard work, faith, and values,” the Proclamation reads. “On National Tartan Day, we celebrate the spirit and character of Scottish Americans and recognize their many contributions to our culture and our way of life.” Read more

Beauty and the Beast: Bringing a Tale as Old as Time to Life

“Winter turns to Spring, famine turns to feast, nature points the way, nothing left to say, Beauty and the Beast.” –Mrs. Potts

Disney could have hardly chosen a better time to make and release a live-action adaption of the beloved Beauty and the Beast 1991 animated classic.*

Winter’s cold, snowy and lethargic presence has been exacerbated by a long, polarizing and turbulent political season, leaving many of us desperately longing for a ray of spring sunshine and a rebirth of our depleted spirit.

While I suspect the film would have been a record-breaker** regardless of its release date, Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast was all the more enjoyable and uplifting for the contrast it provides to the current mood and political climate permeating our country. Read more

Singing in the New Year 2017: Hallelujah!

“There’s a blaze of light in every word;
it doesn’t matter which you heard,
the holy, or the broken Hallelujah!
Edinburgh sunset
Edinburgh, Scotland; December 2016
I couldn’t feel, so I learned to touch.
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you.
And even though it all went wrong,
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
with nothing on my lips but Hallelujah!”

– Lines taken from the legendary song “Hallelujah” by the legendary Canadian poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen (1934-November 7, 2016)

Sailing “Close-hauled” Into Summer

sailing quotes Ahh, summer…there is nothing more inspiring than the majestic beauty of a sailboat sailing offshore, making its way into a welcoming harbor filled with beautiful white boats on a sunset-splashed summer evening.

It brings forth dreams of heroic adventures on the high seas and imaginings of far-away paradisiacal places with “palm-green shores” and ancient ports with cargo ships unloading their treasures of “emeralds, amethysts, topazes, cinnamon, and gold moidores” (as John Masefield describes in his poem “Cargoes”), all bathed in the magical golden hues of summer.

The idea of sailing is the ultimate romantic longing – glistening waters, brilliant sunsets, and a solitude that drenches the soul in the wonder, mystery and power of the natural world. Read more

The “Sunshine of the Lowcountry”

“I was born and raised on a Carolina sea island and I carried the sunshine of the low-country, inked in dark gold, on my back and shoulders.” –Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides  
Pat Conroy quotes
South Carolina Lowcountry, May 2016
“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” –Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides
“Why do they not teach you that time is a finger snap and an eye blink, and that you should not allow a moment to pass you by without taking joyous, ecstatic note of it, not wasting a single moment of its swift, breakneck circuit?” –Pat Conroy, My Losing Season

Setting Sail Into New Realms

“Much have I traveled in the realms of gold, and many goodly states and kingdoms seen.” –John Keats
beautiful ocean sunrise
Photo courtesy of Madeline Huemme

From the East to West Coast and the North to South, set sail this summer – on ocean or lake – to bask in the sun’s golden hues and wander the waters of new realms. Read more