18 11 / 2012

beenthinking:

It feels like I’ve been home forever. Which is fairly ridiculous, given that over the past four months my “home” has been stacked up and drifted two thousand miles west like a continent.  But the thing is, a mega grocery mart in California is a mega grocery mart in Minnesota. Traffic and English and ease and the relatively familiar are the same here as they are there as they would be anywhere in these 50 states, more or less. By which I mean that my feet remain restless, my heart is ready for something truly different.
When my father turned 60 this spring, I said: Let’s do something big. And, where in the world do you want to go? Northern India, he said and so I’ll fly to meet him and my brother in Delhi and seven or eight days later, just about the time we have moved through Rajasthan and also from delighting in each other to murdering each other, C. will join us as a very welcomed distraction for the next two weeks north by northeast. And maybe a little south? It’s hard to say. There are few plans and four sets of vibrant, detailed day dreams and I cannot wait to see where the compromises will take us.
So in a few days, I’ll zip up my backpack and do that bend and swing -  that favorite hoisting up and over, after which everything you need  (more than you need, really) is carried on your back. Under your own  steam power. And there are no laptops or telephones, little vanity and  few tethers home.
It’s hard not to grin while I write this and so I’ve stopped trying. I never feel completely at home here, you know? I think these feet were legitimately built to wander. It’s been 18 months since the last big trip to Colombia and that probably doesn’t seem like very long, but it’s a bit like holding my breath. Out there - anywhere - is the big exhale. Better, even, the big inhale. Out there, I feel my best self rise back up. Calm back down. I find myself again and my place - in a far backseat to the other 6,999,999,999 people in the world and what they’ve carried and what their parents carried and the thousands of glorious years of battles and faith and ruin and heritage and culinary ingenuity and victory and pilgrimage and uprising that nip me down to only this: Insignificance and Blessing. How lucky we are that the world is this big, that we might never reach it all.  I can hardly sleep at night thinking of the colors and the pace, the spice and the noise, learning the melody of a city I don’t understand. Watching a thousand miles of your countryside roll by like ribbons, like filmstrips. Catch me up, I’ll yell! Just praying the world will comply, just waiting to be overwhelmed. And I’ll memorize everything I can so that one day, when we are very much back home. Weighed down by the glories and the weariness of this domestic life, I can pull that packet out and wrap myself in its colors like peace.

beenthinking:

It feels like I’ve been home forever. Which is fairly ridiculous, given that over the past four months my “home” has been stacked up and drifted two thousand miles west like a continent.  But the thing is, a mega grocery mart in California is a mega grocery mart in Minnesota. Traffic and English and ease and the relatively familiar are the same here as they are there as they would be anywhere in these 50 states, more or less. By which I mean that my feet remain restless, my heart is ready for something truly different.

When my father turned 60 this spring, I said: Let’s do something big. And, where in the world do you want to go? Northern India, he said and so I’ll fly to meet him and my brother in Delhi and seven or eight days later, just about the time we have moved through Rajasthan and also from delighting in each other to murdering each other, C. will join us as a very welcomed distraction for the next two weeks north by northeast. And maybe a little south? It’s hard to say. There are few plans and four sets of vibrant, detailed day dreams and I cannot wait to see where the compromises will take us.

So in a few days, I’ll zip up my backpack and do that bend and swing - that favorite hoisting up and over, after which everything you need (more than you need, really) is carried on your back. Under your own steam power. And there are no laptops or telephones, little vanity and few tethers home.

It’s hard not to grin while I write this and so I’ve stopped trying. I never feel completely at home here, you know? I think these feet were legitimately built to wander. It’s been 18 months since the last big trip to Colombia and that probably doesn’t seem like very long, but it’s a bit like holding my breath. Out there - anywhere - is the big exhale. Better, even, the big inhale. Out there, I feel my best self rise back up. Calm back down. I find myself again and my place - in a far backseat to the other 6,999,999,999 people in the world and what they’ve carried and what their parents carried and the thousands of glorious years of battles and faith and ruin and heritage and culinary ingenuity and victory and pilgrimage and uprising that nip me down to only this: Insignificance and Blessing.

How lucky we are that the world is this big, that we might never reach it all. 

I can hardly sleep at night thinking of the colors and the pace, the spice and the noise, learning the melody of a city I don’t understand. Watching a thousand miles of your countryside roll by like ribbons, like filmstrips. Catch me up, I’ll yell! Just praying the world will comply, just waiting to be overwhelmed. And I’ll memorize everything I can so that one day, when we are very much back home. Weighed down by the glories and the weariness of this domestic life, I can pull that packet out and wrap myself in its colors like peace.

18 11 / 2012

"If our lives are dominated by a search for happiness, then perhaps few activities reveal as much about the dynamics of this quest - in all its ardour and paradoxes - than our travels. They express, however inarticulately, an understanding of what life might be about, outside the constraints of work and the struggle for survival."

Alain de Botton The Art of Travel [spotted via Orangette]

(Source: cupofchi)

18 11 / 2012

beingblog:

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors.  And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
~Terry Pratchett from A Hat Full of Sky.
Photo by Sioen Roux. (Taken with instagram)


though i rarely update this blog these days, i can tell you that the desire to travel still burns brightly within.  but i am struggling with an enviable dilemma - i am so content here, but the wide world beckons…

beingblog:

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.

~Terry Pratchett from A Hat Full of Sky.

Photo by Sioen Roux. (Taken with instagram)

though i rarely update this blog these days, i can tell you that the desire to travel still burns brightly within. but i am struggling with an enviable dilemma - i am so content here, but the wide world beckons…

(via beenthinking)

17 11 / 2012

littleredroom:

canon ae-1
caffeinated leaf

I rarely let a day go by without a sip of that glorious black nectar.  With older tastebuds, appreciative of the interplay between bitter and sweet, I genuinely enjoy exploring how different beans, roasts, and brew methods can transform the taste of coffee.

But there’s more to it than that.  There’s a love of coffee for the opportunity it gives me to slow down, to step away from my desk, to indulge in a moment for myself.  There’s fascination with the way coffee and culture intertwine; picture all the thought leaders and history makers that have changed our world…how many have planted the seeds of their most fertile ideas at a gathering over a cup o’ joe?

And of course, there’s coffee as a reviver.  On bad days, it serves to mask the worst parts of my personality that surface when I am lacking sleep and lacking perspective.  On better days?  Coffee revives memories.  The smell of espresso is a comma, a pause, punctuating memories as phrases from the most full and fulfilling years of my life so far.

And so to the cup pictured above.  Lovely texture, a delicate rosetta.  Though not my usual drink of choice (I’m a doppio kind of girl), this black and white snapshot is filled with character in every bit of grain and noise.  It just takes a glance and in an instant, I think of London.  Yes London!  Not historically the mecca of coffee, but in MY history, it is…in a way.  Coffee and London means weekends, familiar accents, corner seats, shelter from the hubbub of Oxford St, sometimes new friends, sometimes solitude.

Maybe I am romanticising this too much.  But now you know that coffee is more to me than just a jolt back to reality.

littleredroom:

canon ae-1

caffeinated leaf

I rarely let a day go by without a sip of that glorious black nectar. With older tastebuds, appreciative of the interplay between bitter and sweet, I genuinely enjoy exploring how different beans, roasts, and brew methods can transform the taste of coffee.

But there’s more to it than that. There’s a love of coffee for the opportunity it gives me to slow down, to step away from my desk, to indulge in a moment for myself. There’s fascination with the way coffee and culture intertwine; picture all the thought leaders and history makers that have changed our world…how many have planted the seeds of their most fertile ideas at a gathering over a cup o’ joe?

And of course, there’s coffee as a reviver. On bad days, it serves to mask the worst parts of my personality that surface when I am lacking sleep and lacking perspective. On better days? Coffee revives memories. The smell of espresso is a comma, a pause, punctuating memories as phrases from the most full and fulfilling years of my life so far.

And so to the cup pictured above. Lovely texture, a delicate rosetta. Though not my usual drink of choice (I’m a doppio kind of girl), this black and white snapshot is filled with character in every bit of grain and noise. It just takes a glance and in an instant, I think of London. Yes London! Not historically the mecca of coffee, but in MY history, it is…in a way. Coffee and London means weekends, familiar accents, corner seats, shelter from the hubbub of Oxford St, sometimes new friends, sometimes solitude.

Maybe I am romanticising this too much. But now you know that coffee is more to me than just a jolt back to reality.

02 7 / 2012

Since arriving in London early on Wednesday morning, I feel like I’ve been going at a million miles an hour. I’ve packed my days with so much that I haven’t had much time to sit back and reflect on how happy I am to be “back home”. But so far, it’s all been positive; seeing familiar faces from years ago, catching up on so many lives, visiting my favourite places and enjoying the nostalgia of it all.

As hard as it was to live poor in London, I have well and truly missed this place and these people. I only hope I get the chance to live the London life again someday, and live it gratefully.

11 3 / 2012

typeverything:

Typeverything.com
‘Life is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing’ print by LLKoOLReL.

typeverything:

Typeverything.com

‘Life is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing’ print by LLKoOLReL.

06 12 / 2011

pauloctavious:

Love riding the first seat of the train. #chicago


love the L.  missing chicago.

pauloctavious:

Love riding the first seat of the train. #chicago

love the L. missing chicago.

(Source: pauloctavious, via photons)

01 12 / 2011

Sure is nice to be a traveller again.

Sure is nice to be a traveller again.

12 6 / 2011

Washington - “80 Miles”

Why did you say that to me?
Eighty miles out on the sea
When I am built
With parts of you
And you
Are built
With parts
Of me

Two things: 1) I love it when Megan is in this mode, just her lovely lovely voice and one instrument; and 2) I am reminded of London every time I hear this song, so much sometimes that I think I can conjure up my smell memory of sitting on London buses, and walking to work through W2 to W1, and wandering quietly around the perimeter of hidden, private gardens.

19 5 / 2011

16 5 / 2011

I’ve sadly neglected my travel blog, primarily for the fact that I haven’t had time to do much writing for pleasure. I would write in my journal at least once a day during my trip last year, but often I would scribble a thought or quote or idea at multiple points throughout the course of a day. For 2011, I have about 10-15 entries in my diary.

I feel a bit sad about that fact. So I’m not going to be too hard on myself, or edit myself excessively in the interests of just writing.

Tomorrow, I’m off on a “business trip” of sorts - I’m flying interstate for some meetings and other business related to my PhD and will be staying two nights in Canberra. This will be my second trip to Canberra in six months (with quite a few more to come in the next 2.5 years), and my third and fourth flights since arriving back home from RTW2010.

Though I learned to hate flying (thanks TSA) and love train travel (thanks Deutsche Bahn), I will admit to feeling that familiar sense of excitement for another journey, no matter the vessel. The magically mundane tasks of checking carry-on baggage restrictions, writing up packing lists, actually packing my bags…those tasks had become so routine after ten months, and I was happy to let go of them after returning home in October 2010. Then again, I’ve dotted the months following with near-monthly roadtrips, so maybe the routine was never abandoned in the first place… Whatever the case, I’m glad to be off again. Perhaps I’m not a “traveller” this week, but I know I’ll get my chance to explore again, and sooner rather than later.

28 2 / 2011

May 2010: 3.51AM (London, England).

One night flashes before my eyes every time I see this photo.  The tube.  Brick Lane.  A Belgian, an American, a Mexican, a Frenchman, an Australian.  The night bus.  The late night/early morning chill.  The sunrise.  A grubby window.  A beautiful view.

May 2010: 3.51AM (London, England).

One night flashes before my eyes every time I see this photo. The tube. Brick Lane. A Belgian, an American, a Mexican, a Frenchman, an Australian. The night bus. The late night/early morning chill. The sunrise. A grubby window. A beautiful view.

27 2 / 2011

October 2010: Cinque Terre, Italy.

October 2010: Cinque Terre, Italy.

27 2 / 2011

October 2010: Love Locks (Cinque Terre, Italy).

October 2010: Love Locks (Cinque Terre, Italy).

21 2 / 2011

October 2010: Looking back on Vernazza (Cinque Terre, Italy).

October 2010: Looking back on Vernazza (Cinque Terre, Italy).