We were in Denver this past weekend for my niece’s wedding. Travel always spurs blog ideas, so this week touches on ones from the trip.

Living an unconventional life isn’t something to which I’m inclined. My life tends to fall within some fairly standard bounds, allowing for the uncontrollable events that life always holds.

As I pointed out in the toast at the wedding reception, my niece, in stark contrast, had an unconventional life thrust upon her almost from birth.

Growing up amid a care group that depended on her extended family and close friends, she’s an interesting blend - a very loving young woman with certain traditional views surrounded by some very different experiences and twists on life. At several crucial junctures though, she has made incredible decisions that I view with tremendous respect and pride in her judgment. And among traditional aspects of the ceremony and reception, there were multiple unconventional elements for those that wanted to look for them. It was quintessential Valerie!

The whole trip was a reminder that it’s important to be open to and learn from life perspectives and behaviors that are very different from your own. Try to look for points of agreement where you may share views. And maybe wait a few minutes (or a few days, or even until the next trip) to provide your wisdom on life and how to live it. In so doing, you may get to learn all kinds of new things about tattoos, snowboarding, and what it means to be a polite graffiti artist!