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Patrice Koerper, American Corner, Bitola, Macedonia

That’s me. Happy and fulfilled because I was using my strengths and was very grateful to be where I was, doing what I was doing – talking about positive psychology at the American Corner in Bitola, Macedonia to a great group of people!

For my next project I am heading to the Republic of Georgia for three months as a Response Corps Volunteer with the United States Peace Corps. I love the Peace Corps; 2011 is their 50th anniversary. Who knew during the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps I would be a volunteer with them again! That’s the fun of creating the life you want, it is often a mystery – until it unfolds in front of you, like Macedonia and Georgia have done for me.

I will live in the capital of Tbilisi, and will work with the Ministry of Environment Protection writing a public relations plan for them. Before becoming a life coach, I worked in public relations for 25+ years, but could never have predicted I would someday be using those skills in Macedonia or in Georgia.

Georgia and Macedonia have a number of things in common, they have both been republics since 1991, and they are both beautiful mountainous countries with lots of vineyards; wonderful, warm people and rich histories. Their climates are similar, and much like Cleveland, Ohio were I was born and lived for 36 years.

I cannot wait to begin my assignment in Georgia, but it is just as difficult to say goodbye to Macedonia and my friends and “family” here, as it was to leave my family and friends in the States. Change and courage go hand in hand with each new adventure. We can never be certain where our journeys will take us, but I know that happiness is my constant traveling companion if I only remember to open my suitcase!

I hope wherever you are in the process of creating the life you want, you are experiencing fun, flow and fulfillment and are surrounded by friends and are finding ways to use your strengths, because as noted on the screen in the above photo those five things combined are the key to creating the life you want, PERMAnently.

Below is the next stop of my journey, where will yours take you? (Please remember, the internal places we travel and the friends we make are as important, and are usually more life changing and lasting, than the locations we visit.)

The Republic of Georgia

And, in true Georgian tradition, I will toast to you and your journey as soon as I can in my new location. You see, in Georgia . . .

“Toasts, however, are not simple declarations; they are expected to be speeches mixed with mirth, spoken verse and insight. Toasts are usually made with wine, toasting with beer is an insult to the one toasted. We are very generous with our wine, but since toasts are the only time you are supposed to drink your wine, we have many toasts (we have always been a practical people). In fact, we will use just about anything as an excuse to toast, a foreign guest happens to work quite well. So get used to your family, your country and friendship and your character being toasted. ”

http://georgia.travel/culture/food/toasting/

And, since Georgians never toast without a table laden with delicious homemade food, I know I will be feeling at home very soon!

PS  This post is filled with interesting links and videos about Georgia and posts about Macedonia and Wishful Thinking Works. Please take a minute to scroll up and click to learn more about where I am heading next, where I have been and what I’ve been thinking about along the way.

Travels, timelines and tales

 

“The flip side of wanting something involves actually doing something.”

P. Koerper, 8/29/2011

Yes, I am quoting myself, again. But, I can’t help it. You see, one week from today, I will be starting a bit of an adventure . . .

First stop the ancient, beautiful, mountainous, country of Macedonia, where I lived and worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) from 2006-2009. I will be visiting my warm and wonderful Macedonian friends and presenting a two-day seminar related to a project I worked on as a PCV. I will also be doing some Wishful Thinking Works presentations, some coaching and hosting an American traveler, who heard me talk about Macedonia at a library presentation this year and decided she wanted to check out this great little country while I am there. (She’s very cutting-edge, Macedonia was one of CNBC – Top 10 Travel Picks for 2011. Plan to join me there next year.)

Second stop, the Republic of Georgia, where I’m scheduled to head in September or October for a three-month assignment as a Peace Corps Response Corps Volunteer!  Needless to say, but I will anyhow, I’m excited about both journeys!

I’m updating you on my plans because they relate to the Wishful Thinking Works blog in two ways:

1. I’ll be blogging on Mondays about Wishful Thinking Works topics, and hopefully once a week about Macedonia and later Georgia. I will have great internet connectivity in Macedonia, and should have same in Georgia, but if miss a post or two, please know it is all part of the adventure. And, I do apologize for missing or posting late, lately, but between Peace Corps requests and requirements and my personal procrastination for gathering or submitting paperwork, I fell a bit behind. (Did you know that rabies shots haven’t been given in the belly for more than 20 years, and there are only a series of three, not the twenty or so rumored in my youth? I learned that first-hand/arm recently.) 

2. The second way my travels relate to Wishful Thinking Works is they truly are part of my creating the life I really want. Reconnecting with friends, finding new ways to live and share what I’ve learned throughout my career and through creating Wishful Thinking Works, learning new things, and being a part of Peace Corps are important to me, and help me flourish. I like that.

That said, it is always hard to leave friends and family behind, to picture the holidays with new faces instead of familiar ones, and to challenge myself in different ways, but the flip side of wanting something involves actually doing something. So I’m packing my bags, thankful that the Internet makes connecting in so many ways so easy and heading out the door knowing exciting experiences, friends and tales to be told are waiting.

If you don’t hear from me until next week, I’ll be saying good-bye to folks I love and trying to stuff five months of cooler weather clothes into two suitcases.

Talk to you soon.

Patrice

PS Here is a short video about a PCV in Georgia. Looks like I will be comparing Georgian wine to Macedonian wine soon, I like that, too. (Always remember – part of flourishing is having fun!)

PSS The photo on the left was taken in Ohrid, Macedonia, I mentioned it last week. It’s a reminder for me there are lots of doors and windows waiting to be opened!

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