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This month I spent about a week in India. The trip lasted from March 14-25 with about four days total of airline travel over and back, and some days after returning to adjust to Iowa time again.
Flight Plan. Our original planned flight path would have taken us over Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan but as we approached these various military hotspots and no-fly-zones the flight path changed to avoid those countries entirely. It was interesting watching the rerouting in realtime on the seat-back display.
Global WiFi. My primary phone is an iPhone using AT&T. My secondary phone is a Moto X4 using Google Fi global connectivity. It was my first experience traveling around the world with virtually unlimited calling, text, and high-speed internet access. The Moto X4 is about $200 on Amazon and the Google Fi service starts at $20 a month. [Learn More] I’d been enjoying the Google Fi network in the U.S. to get phone and internet service where other providers have none. It was nice to use it internationally, and actually quite amazing to land in another country and have seamless inexpensive phone and internet service.
Infrastructure. I visited India about 7 times between 2008 to 2012 and was surprised to see back then how far advanced the country is beyond the United States in the areas of life that matter. On this most recent visit, I was astonished to observe the progress that transpired over 7 years since my last visit to Lucknow, India. This time I saw newly surfaced roads without potholes. Taxis running on clean solar power. New public transit metro subway train systems. Mesh network phone and data with seemingly no signal outages. They have a nationalized healthcare system. When is the farmers market? Everyday. Where is the farmers market? Everywhere. There are fresh food vendors just about everywhere you look. In the U.S. we have city parks that are decorative urban accents of green. In Lucknow, they built one of the biggest parks in Asia. See the video below of Janeshwar Mishra Park.
Economy. The United States is $22 trillion in debt. India has an economy 1/3 our size and the national debt is about 2% of what ours is. Where is all of our money going in the United States? We’re $22 trillion in debt, yet we have schools being closed down, teachers being underpaid, hospitals closing, roads crumbling, healthcare becoming unaffordable, bridges failing inspections, food scarcity, public transit initiatives not getting approval, and I still can’t get a good phone signal in many locations in Iowa City. We’re supposed to have a government (and an economy) of the people, by the people, and for the people, but I’m increasingly feeling that our nation’s wealth is being siphoned away by a few dozen people who have better ‘access’ to our government and are given handouts and bailouts that the rest of us don’t get – like the ability to write-off the cost of a private jet. Imagine walking down the street and before someone robs you, they help you apply for a bunch of credit cards, then they help you take out cash advances on all those credit cards, then they rob you. That’s our situation in the United States. We have all this debt but not much to show for it. The people robbing us have helped us take out a huge cash advance prior to robbing us. Hopefully, this trend can change soon.
This past month I had some good progress with various wellness goals. I reported last month that I’m working on developing the mindset needed for optimal wellness:
“The most impactful wellness practice is the most elusive one. It’s not in a pill. It’s not in a gym. It’s a mindset or a zone one needs to get their attitude focused on.”
I’ve been developing a system of incremental fasting (this is different from intermittent fasting). Incremental fasting involves always fasting from several things in parallel. Building layers of fasting conditions a person to develop greater discipline and self-control. We all fast about 8 hours a day while we sleep. Carrying a fast into the day can be done in ‘layers’ by starting with only water, then a few hours later having a light broth, then adding veggies, and then adding heavier low-carb foods later in the day. The outcome of this eating plan is to reduce calorie intake, but also reduce reactive insulin spikes that cause the body to store fat. Sugar and carbs are powerful appetite activators, so by removing those the appetite is suppressed making fasting easier. I’m now about 23 pounds down from my highest weight. With focus, I will hopefully continue having progress.
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Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 19 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and activism. This is based on the life map presented on the Resources For Life website.