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Josh Misner, PhD

Mindful Living in a Distracted World

Arrival in Krakow, Feeling the Weight of History Bearing Down

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Upon checking out of our hostel/apartment in Reykjavik, we were picked up by an airport shuttle by a young Polish man with a stunning haircut (hint: his head was shaved, just like mine and half the other men in Poland). Upon finding out that our next major stop was Krakow, his eyes absolutely lit up with joy, exclaiming, “MY HOME COUNTRY?!?”

Upon hearing this news, our driver began talking about all the things to see and do in his home country, but when he asked where we were going and we told him Krakow, his joy suddenly turned somber. This man seemed reluctant to call Auschwitz by its name, referring to it as “the unspeakable place” instead. He lamented the reputation of his beloved Poland as being tarnished by the last 80 years of history there, reminding us that there are hundreds of years of storied history to explore in addition to that most fateful and terrible series of events for which it is known. Continue reading “Arrival in Krakow, Feeling the Weight of History Bearing Down”

16 Hours in Bergen: A Lifetime of Memories

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Three years ago, we had to say a tearful goodbye to our beloved exchange student, Maria, as we passed her back to her wonderful parents, Kristin and Bjørn in Seattle. We threatened promised to visit them in Norway at some point, and yet, following through on that seemed impossible for so many years. Continue reading “16 Hours in Bergen: A Lifetime of Memories”

Skogafoss, Reynisfjara, and Seljalandsfoss: Iceland, Day 3

Day 3 began with my eternal quest for good coffee, but sadly, Iceland fell a bit short here. Granted, the hotel coffee is decent, as long as you like it simple, but it’s no 16-ounce, triple shot tiramisu latte from my favorite coffee stand back home in the PNW.

Following breakfast, we hopped a giant, well-appointed bus headed for the south coast, staffed by the most wonderful tour guide, who seemed as intrigued by our culture as we were with hers. The day held MUCH rain in store for us (more than Seattle and northern England combined, actually), but despite the dampness, our first stop at Skogafoss was awe-inspiring. Continue reading “Skogafoss, Reynisfjara, and Seljalandsfoss: Iceland, Day 3”

Mud Masks, Rotten Shark, and Giant Schlongs: Iceland, Day 2

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Day 2 was off to a significantly better start than Day 1. After a full night’s sleep, we woke up to a reasonably decent hotel breakfast before hitting the road in a bus, headed for Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon (pictured above).

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Donning our volcanic silica mud masks and helping ourselves to some complimentary beverages, we allowed our tension and worries to effortlessly melt away into the volcanic hot spring water. Yes, the water really IS that blue, and the pool was expansive enough for us to go find our own little niche for some peace and quiet.

On the way back to our hotel, however, our bus took a detour through downtown Reykjavik, where we noticed the following curiosity: Continue reading “Mud Masks, Rotten Shark, and Giant Schlongs: Iceland, Day 2”

Iceland, Day 1

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They say the journey is more important than the destination.

Nope.

After a tearful goodbye with the diva dog on Thursday morning in Spokane Valley, followed by a failed test fit of our luggage into a mid-sized SUV, followed by a quick upgrade and a successful repeat of that same test in a Dodge minivan (unfortunately), we were on the road. Continue reading “Iceland, Day 1”

Two Days Out.

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48 hours from now, I’ll be in a rental car, family in tow, all our possessions for four months crammed into a handful of 40-pound suitcases, headed for Seattle, where we’ll board a plane headed for the land of Vikings and hot springs.

Today, we’re finishing packing, moving the rest of our lives into our 10×20 storage unit, and filling up the empty spaces with all the uncertainty that will fit. Continue reading “Two Days Out.”

Comparing Prep to Anticipation

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  • Jack-hammering concrete.
  • Digging three-foot holes in basement dirt.
  • Hauling 50-lb buckets of dirt & rock up a flight of stairs x 100+.
  • Plumbing sewage drains.
  • Framing.
  • Plumbing water supplies.
  • Refilling trenches, mixing & pouring/finishing concrete.
  • Wiring.
  • Insulation.
  • Painting house exterior.
  • Painting house interior.
  • Packing.
  • Moving all personal belongings into storage unit.
  • Prepping internet classes.
  • Prepping shipboard classes.
  • Marketing a new book.
  • Performing a book reading.
  • Filming, producing, and editing new videos.
  • Editing clients’ dissertations and books.
  • Booking flights, hotels, and tours.

Continue reading “Comparing Prep to Anticipation”

Planning Stages, Pt. 1

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Over the last few weeks, I’ve purchased a buttload of airline tickets: first, from Seattle to Reykjavik; second, from Reykjavik to Bergen; third, from Bergan to Krakow; and fourth, from Krakow to Berlin. Then, I added train tickets from Berlin to Bremerhaven, which completed our pre-embarkation travel. Continue reading “Planning Stages, Pt. 1”

Opportunity of a Lifetime: Sometimes More than a Clichè

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August 2003: It was my third semester of college as an undergrad, and I was starting at a new college. My first class was a speech class at 7-bloody-30 in the freaking morning on a Tuesday. Regardless, as I attempted to be a good student, I showed up early. Problem was, even at 15 minutes early, I was still the only one there.

If any of you vaguely recall 2003, you might remember that, back then, cell phones had one or two main functions: calling and texting. Sure, some came with simple games or ludicrously slow access to the internet, but those were only for the uber-wealthy, and that was most certainly not a group of which I was a member. Continue reading “Opportunity of a Lifetime: Sometimes More than a Clichè”

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