05 Feb 2012 Count Something Important

lee abbamonteAtul Gawande says in his book, Better, count something interesting, be it an object or an abstract concept, and you will learn interesting new ideas. Some people count the days to summer camp or the nights until a Saturday night date; I enjoy counting the countries I’ve visited.

After seven years at sea and a year in Asia with my husband, George, I have touched ground in 108 countries. But we are far from the top elite of this hobby. This past December, we met Lee Abbamonte at a Traveler’s Century Club luncheon. He has currently checked off 301 of the world’s 321 countries! (photo December 2011 Traveler’s Century Club Meeting with Joan Schwarz, Pam Barrus (VP TCC), Lee Abbamonte (301 countries), and Lisa & George Rajna)

photoMy family has been counting, too. My parents rang in the New Year with us to celebrate their seventieth birthdays and nearly forty-nine years of marriage. My sister counted and collected over eight hundred photos that represented every decade of their lives, from images of their great-grandparents to their grandchildren, including shots of hilarious 1960s hairstyles, and our home’s mod wallpaper during the seventies.

Using the fantastic site, www.picturemosaics.com, we turned our collective photos into a photo mosaic masterpiece. A picture might be worth a thousand words, but this photo mosaic was so impressive that when we hung it in the photo and art gallery on the Voyager of the Seas to surprise our parents, total strangers inquired whether the piece might be for sale! I told them, “You can’t have ours, but I recommend you make your own!” Naturally my dad said, “Sell it to them! We can hang on the wall in their house also!”

momdadI love the photo mosaic and I love the personal history it represents. I think I may create one from the five years George and I have spent together, including shots from our travels. Here is a novel and unique art project for travel pictures and now I can count one more important aspect of my own life.

Article first published as Count Something Important on Technorati.

Our movie about Bahia De Kino: “The Movie” is on Technorati! Check it out on youtube


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Lisa Niver

Lisa Niver is a travel expert, writer, artist, entrepreneur, and on-camera host who has explored 99 countries. Niver has established a following through her written and video content, garnering over one million video views on YouTube, Amazon Fire Tv and Roku. She is the Adventure Correspondent for The Jet Set, the first travel based TV Talk show. She was a winner in the 59th annual 2016 Southern California Journalism Awards for her print column in The Jewish Journal. Niver is the founder of a top 100 travel blog, We Said Go Travel, that reaches more than 200,000 annually and is in the top 1/8 of the top 1% of all sites in the United States. In her tri-annual international travel writing competitions, she has published nearly 2000 writers from 75 countries. She was invited to the United Nations as a Champions of Humanity ambassador, to the red carpet at the Oscars with United Airlines and to New Orleans for a project with American Express and Starwood Hotels. Her recent stories include Dutch designer villas for Luxury Magazine, interviewing Fabien Cousteau for Delta Sky, skiing with the blind for Sierra, Ubud cremation ceremony for National Geographic and scuba diving in the Solomon Islands for Smithsonian. She also contributes to USA Today, Wharton Business Magazine, the Jewish Journal and is verified on Twitter and Facebook. Niver was a 2012 nominee for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, a 2014 nominee for the Charles Bronfman Prize and a finalist in two categories for the 59th annual Southern California Journalism Awards.

  • Lisa and George Rajna
    Posted at 23:15h, 06 February Reply

    From J
    "What a wonderful photo of your Mom and Dad. I bet they are delighted.


  • Lisa and George Rajna
    Posted at 23:16h, 06 February Reply

    from NB-A
    "I loved the photo montage/collage. .. so cute how you hung it in the gallery….I LOVE IT!!! and yes your dad is correct, I would have sold it!!!!! (then printed another, of course!)"

  • Lisa and George Rajna
    Posted at 16:47h, 08 February Reply

    From V:
    "Sounds like a wonderful celebration, they are very lucky to have you two girls. All the best, V"

  • Lisa and George Rajna
    Posted at 16:49h, 08 February Reply

    From ARB
    "Hi Lisa, Have not talked or e-mailed in a long time. If going to South America, how important do you think Macho Piccho would be. Its a long flight from Buenos Aires to Lima to Cuzco to the site and back. Do you really think its worth it.
    Anyways, love the picture mosaic. Glad you and george are doing so great. Miss U. and send you all the best."

  • Michael Milne
    Posted at 05:49h, 09 February Reply

    Hi Lisa,

    As we ditched all our possessions to travel around the world I'd say we are counting new friends we are making along the way. We just wrote about this perspective for the Philadelphia Inquirer: http://www.changesinlongitude.com/benefits-of-travel-make-you-happy/

    BTW, wow you have young looking parents. What's their secret?

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