WHAT HAVE I ACHIEVED? - good question.

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Nov. 6:  05:30- Rise and shine. An approaching storm gives me reason to get moving.  I need to make it from “Kalani”to “Lefkada.” It’s a hard paddle the first hour to “Mytikas” but once I get around the point , the water is calm - can’t believe that seven km makes a total difference in water conditions. 

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I try to measure the distance using Route Builder. I regularly use several apps: Google Maps, HERE, Route Builder, YR, and Wind Guru. These have helped me through 4,700 kms of diverse weather conditions and route planning.

   I breathe a small sigh of relief as I paddle quietly through a small passage into the heart of Lefkada. Grey clouds approach rapidly. 

I breathe a small sigh of relief as I paddle quietly through a small passage into the heart of Lefkada. Grey clouds approach rapidly. 

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People will ask, “What have I achieved?” This is a difficult question to answer. Life is more than the finish line. It’s the journey.  Not to be arrogant, but I realize that I have actually touched the lives of hundreds of people, encouraging them not to be complacent towards others, but to be an integral part of their community. And to reestablish a sense of the greater family.  Often we think about A to B: A the starting point and B the finish line. Many are not satisfied with their finish line. They think they should have achieved more - a bigger house, a cabin, a hideaway in a warmer climate or free from financial concerns.  

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We fail to see that the most important event in life is what happens between A and B.  It’s the journey that is the achievement. The greatest achievement in my journey has been what I call “the human intersect”. The unique meeting point between two human beings where the life of another person is touched in a genuine and meaningful way.  When I met Jean Marie on a canal in France, we talked, cried, embraced, and left as better people.  When we intersect with others, we touch a soul, a heart and a life.  At the “human intersect”, we accept people at their point of journey and once again affirm  that we are not alone. We realize that we are fellow brothers and sisters and that we are together in this world - not divided, not at war, not at odds with each other, but together in our weaknesses and strengths. The “human intersect” unfolds the greatest human purpose: the opportunity to give, the opportunity to receive and the opportunity for two human beings to share, embrace and to walk away feeling they have value. A ripple effect, we are better equipped to give love, hope and empathy to the next individual at the next intersect.

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Nov. 5:  From Sarakiniko, I paddle through choppy water all the way to “Kanali.” It’s a tough seven hours. I approach a long beach and paddle to the outskirts of the city. By the time I stop the water is calm. Maybe I should start kayaking at night. :) I need to charge my batteries so walk into town for a small meal while sitting as long as a can before the restaurant closes. Sometimes I feel like a parasite, taking advantage of free electricity. 

Silence. Sometimes the quietness is refreshing. Paddle for six to eight hours. Unload the gear. Put on warm clothes. Pitch the tent. Eat. Take a swim. Sleep. Life is simple. Everyday I meet people and we discuss humanity, family, and caring for others. There is an army of good people. Hidden pockets of people who share what they have without expecting anything in return. The news doesn’t give the full picture as the full picture cannot be seen.

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