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UNDERSTANDING TO ACTION!

As my 65th birthday gift, my daughter Ellian set up this blog site for me. Over the last few years many friends have contacted me, particularly on Facebook, or they have visited and enjoyed sharing stories and ideas. So with the possibility of enhancing these contacts and sharing some of my ideas, musings, readings, adventures, philosophies and pleasures I will share them through Facebook and yet to be discovered other means, whenever I post something here.

What is the point of sharing these ideas and stories? The main reason is that people have said they would like to read them. A secondary but energizing reason is that my deep gratitude for this incredible life wants me to give something back. I no longer formally teach, I have closed my training and development company and my term as chairman of an environmental group has expired. Although I feel that I do not have a minute to spare in this exciting life of adventures, projects, runs, family and commitments I still want to take time to share and give.

One of the main recurring themes in these blogs will be that I do not want to provide understanding, for that can be gleaned in many ways. I want to give examples of how I have used understanding to do and achieve things. I have spent my life attempting to live like this, sometimes even jumping before I understand where I could land. Even as long ago as my time at Durham University, as president of the Geographical Society, my presidential address was entitled “Knowledge for what?” We could all see in 1970 the mounting calamities that were about to severely damage our environment and we did so very little about it. There is currently much information on how artificial intelligence is about to deeply effect how humanity views itself and how it creates meaning in life, but understanding this does little to galvanize action. Of course these are large scale examples of understanding that are difficult to determine how to make a difference, but on the small personal scale there are hundreds of good beneficial ideas we come across, fully understand and approve of, but do not allow them to change the way we live at all.

So I will try a few posts and if they help you in any way please let me know. Converting understanding to change and action is a habit worth developing. I understand why I want to write this. Let’s see if I can continue to do so. – Paul Bell (March 2017)

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Welcome to Paul Bell Adventures

Born on the Greenwich Meridian in 1952, Paul Bell is the father of two lovely children (so say we), granddad to one bright and cheeky granddaughter, and husband to lovely Laura. He lives (sometimes) in Bowser, BC. These are his stories.

The Bell Family
Laura, Paul, Andre, Baby Lyla, Angie, Ellian

Understanding to action. Adventure.

Understanding to action. Adventure.

I have been meaning to add a few ideas to this blog for quite a few weeks now, but guess what, I have been totally involved, in fact up to my neck in an adventure, so this is the first day since the end of March that I have time to write. Ridiculous!

I spent April preparing a boat that needed much love and care, and then the next 5 weeks sailing through some very engaging conditions to Alaska. But this journey is an ongoing saga until September and currently too complex a set of emotions to attempt to join the dots between understanding and adventure.

One of the parts of my character that tends to dominate events is that I have the ability to “make things happen”. So I enjoy, in fact thrive upon, expanding dreams into actions. Dreams are not necessarily “understanding”, but they do provide the energy, framework and impetus to get you started.

Six years ago Laura and I, whilst sailing in the Mexican Sea of Cortez, realized that it would potentially be a great area to kayak in. We were aware that it would suit us well to kayak in warm conditions, that our combined knowledge and skill sets could deal with the seas and unpredictable wind conditions but it still took six years to turn that understanding into action. The vagaries of life and other adventures just kept blocking our chance to put the dream into action.

Luckily we resorted to the old trick of completely committing to a sensible date and agreeing to go with our friend John who we most certainly did not want to let down. Plenty of excuses rolled along to make us rethink, such as squeezing 3 kayaks on the roof of our VW Jetta and driving from Canada to Mexico on snowy, windswept roads. Not the right vehicle or time of year but we had to play the cards we were dealt. The 3-week kayak trip down the desert coastline for 300 miles was fantastic. Every day had to be taken as it came. Strong winds came up quickly, we did not have weather forecasts, and drinking-water was a challenge but a planned-for one. The desert, seas and beaches were empty but for the occasional fisherman, blue whale or dolphin.

As is often the case we realized that our understanding of the venture had underestimated its beauty, the help we would receive whenever we met people, and the deep thrill we felt as we paddled out each day into an unknown, unpredictable coastline. There was much relief at the end but we did not really want to stop. We were very pleased that we had turned a glimpse of a good idea into a memorable action.

a note from your son

To be excited, inspired and challenged. To bring your own values into light and thus shed light on who you are, seeing what you don’t want and do want. Choice, freedom, love, individuality, perspective. This site will likely help lead you into a multitude of all the above.
Paul Bell has a contagious charisma, which effects everyone who knows him. I’ve seen it endlessly throughout my whole life. Hence why my sister created this website, for you all to benefit as we have and still do.

– Andre Bell, 2017.

A present for my Dad

As my Dad (Paul Bell) approached turning 65, I found myself kept awake an entire night wondering about what to gift to the man who has, or can create, everything and anything. And then promptly the next day I received a Facebook message from a kind fellow asking if I knew how to get in touch with a Mr.Paul Bell. Following a brief chat it turns out that this fellow was in my Dad’s tutor group some several decades ago (before I was even born) and was so moved by how much my Dad had affected his life in those brief years, that all these years later he wanted to reach back out and thank him. This is not the first time that I have come across such gratitude for the ways in which my Dad has inspired and influenced life.
And yet, with all the time he spends adventuring, both in mind and body, there isn’t much chance for him to continue to share with those that are fascinated by his enthusiasm. So, I have built this as a space where Dad can share his bountiful enthusiasm and adventures, and in turn, hopefully inspire and encourage a few more of you. He inspires me every day. – Ellian Bell (Paul Bell’s favorite daughter).