in anticipation of where i'm going, i'll soon forget where i've been.  days fade to night, the sun chases after the moon in a swirl of blue.  my eyes now overstimulated with endless blue skyscapes, and an unfailing array of blue pigment forming ocean.  it's no surprise i struggle to grasp the day of the week.  just the same, all calendar dates have been long dismissed.  so to remember how it all unfolds, i've decided to journal about days, venues, and amusing souls along the way.  otherwise, recalling events will be based sheerly on imagination; something that quiet often eludes to a fantastical post.  so far, i did not dream this, only lived it.  hold on.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

more. or, less.

choosing one path, means abandoning all others.

a troublesome dichotomy that doesn't wash down with morning coffee. instead, that lump grows, and transforms, and conspires to consume me. maybe you, too. how do you decide on forever? and what is ever-after? my mind wanders. and treks. and drifts. and dreams. pushing me out of consciousness, and suddenly pulsing and pricking my thoughts.
erect. and unsure.
this isn't the 5K some 20-somethings make it out to be. and who are those nameless kids anyway? perhaps i'm mistaken anger for uncertainty. yet the restlessness grows exponentially.
i search for flights.
i dream of paris.
i plot to squash the need.
yet i'm not unhappy.
sleep more, dream less?
is that the cure..

Friday, September 18, 2009

chicken, or beef?

and numbers.

neatly folded into a less than forgiving seat, safely buckled down to a stale cushion, wide-eyed, i am on a b747-400 aircraft.
561 mph.
6,073 miles.
403 seats.
5 exits.
2 stories.
1 empty seat.
next stop, tokyo.

for the past month doug and i have been thumbing through america. michigan. kentucky. tennessee. alabama. it has been familiarly pleasant and physically exhausting, although we have been fortunate enough to share hugs, laughs, and heapings of home-cooking with family and friends. i got to visit the 'cherry capital of the world' and tastefully earn a well-deserved belly ache. put my toes in lake michigan, and freefall from 10,000 feet. there's so much to recall that journeling is most certainly the only way not to lose touch with the last months escapades. i've made a list. i always do.
...cherries. sleeping bear sand dunes. sunflowers. chip furbitz. the state theatre. cherries. turtle creek casino. beer hunting with brad. cherry bounce. skydive harbor springs. smoked gouda mashed potatoes...cherries.
had days of laughter from doug's charming grandparents- and even spent some time in my sleepy hometown; a place that sits so still, where people never ever change, and never ever will.
...chased the dog. napped a lot. paid taxes. lost my iPod in a tequila storm.
and the people i've hugged, i've hugged so many people. momma, brandon, doug, melissa, clint, brooke, dad, shelly, mere, mikey. all squeezes that are sure to remind me to write, laugh, and love all across southeast asia.

so far, we're nearly nine hours into a flight to tokyo- skipping quickly over the pacific, my watch reads 11:10 pm, the sun is shining, the dateline rapidly approaching, my eyes are bobbing, my toes cold, and i just finished reading 'harry potter and the sorcer's stone'. i'm quiet possibly the only person i know not to have tackled the magical series. no doubt i'll dream of dragon and owls, potions and wizards. doug is reading about vampires.

yellow fades to black, circling blue. light enthralled with dark, and prisms of color escape and delight. circumnavigate and twinkle. my eyes cross fade between rapid lashes and constant color. now blue swirling semicircles dance above golden pinwheels. it's true, i'm developing jet lag. soon- my eyes will give to the synapses firing thoughts of sleep.
more tales from vietnam.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

to the moon, and back.

i met an astronaut.  he's neat.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

train, jumping.

my efforts to maintain an up-to-date blog have been dismal, at best.  moments spent online are consumed with banking and a handful of poorly written emails.  i suppose my rapidly dwindling bank account, and my momma's sanity have taken priority over journal updates.  yet so much has happened!  i'm searching for a highlight to discuss at length.  a spot to interject.  history to relive.  instead, i'm indecisively deciding to post photos- allowing imagination to write the sequel to my journey.  fill in the blank.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


my thoughts numb.  yet racing.
my pulse quickening with every breath.
veins constricting.
my heart flittering uncontrollably in my chest.
palms sweating.
limbs tingling.
wind tangling my hair.
knees bend for an impressive surge of momentum.  

5. 4. 3. 2.  i jumped on 2.
and i'm flying now.
wide eyes.  arms extended, ready to catch the world.  
with an arched back, and wings ablaze, i begin falling.
265 feet.
the ground is tumbling toward me, and i am chasing after it.
my brain fights to keep time with my body.  
river.  trees.  brown.  green.  my eyes dance in an overstimulation of rapidly approaching landscape.  and then i bounce.  and spring.  and regress.  
i didn't realize i was holding my breath until i began breathing again.  now i'm swinging , and human pendulum swirling as one with the world.  spinning and singing with the wind.
i let out a few celebratory war cries and announce my arrival.  
my heart considers slowing, my breath won't conceive of it.  
i am high.
punch-drunk on adrenaline.  and life.  

Saturday, August 30, 2008

samara, costa rica

after an impossible day pushed to the max with rain, 10 hours spent on increasingly uncomfortable bus after bus, and a troublesome border chalked full of hustlin' tico's (costa ricans)...i am writing from a musty hotel room i am sharing with two german kids.  
lena and daniel.  i think.

properly squatting in the peninsula de nicoya located on the northwestern pacific shore of costa rica, i am beat.
possibly even disgruntled.
i fault gustav, the tropical storm that has left me a damp backpacker for the last 12 hours.  and even the hustle and bustle of trying to navigate my way from nicaragua to costa rica.  so far, this was the most seedy border i have crossed.  most things went wrong today.  the market in san juan del sur, nicaragua was out of pitaya, my favorite breakfast refresco.  my backpack fell from the overhead stowaway compartment on the chicken bus and bashed me in the head.  and, i ended up stuck on a bus at night.  i was dumped off in the rain in the the middle of this ghost town, and wandered the streets for cheap sleep.  rarh!  a crazy day.  the only good thing i can surely report is that i'm in costa rica, and tomorrow the rain will subside.  if not, i'll sleep through it all.
buenos noches.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

jesus was a pirate.

reeling live from nicaragua, overdue for an update, i am contently resting in leon, borderline binge drinking local beer and feasting on a train of 50 cent tortillas.
deep breath. is good.

i bounced through belize with no real opportunity or necessity to blog. the country is at best not par for honorable mention. on the bright side, i did relax. traveling is exhausting. i dove the blue hole, a scuba divers must, and enjoyed cheap lobster.

honduras was next, where i spent some notable time at the whale shark oceanic research center on utila, one of the bay islands. initially, i had planned to blog solely about the magnitude of my adventures there and my time spent refusing to even blink under the water afraid i would miss something. but instead, i´m convinced that i am incapable of eloquently expressing the phenomena of the natural world that i was fortunate enough to experience.
i´ll say it, i´m a nerd. that´s not science, that´s life.
and nearly anyone who would care that i had the rare opportunity not only to study whale sharks but also to swim with them has by now received a postcard or phone call cluttered with jabbering bits of excitement about rhincodon typus. sadly i have no real photos of my sharing the ocean with this gentle giant. i am moved by my memories, and shudder at the flashbacks of coasting the caribbean sea with in fact the largest fish in the ocean. not one. but two! an arms-length away i felt like my 5´stature was smaller than ever before. swimming with a whale shark is like hiking with big foot! i have gained so much knowledge about the species, about their migratory patterns, their feeding, their reproduction. i have learned about conservation efforts, and tracking. nerdy or not, i won´t continue, but i can easily say that i am undoubtedly satisfied with my entire trip based only on my encounter with evolutionary perfection.

i have floated through to nicaragua now where i met one of the most charming and openly friendly souls i have had the pleasure of sharing smiles and thoughts with. his sunny disposition could easily highlight my day, and i liked him from the moment i met him. he said to me, ¨sometimes. we are really lucky, you know. to meet so many wonderful people. so many. i feel really blessed.¨ and that simple construction of a sentence summed up the way i felt about him, and so many other intrepid travels i have met on the road. so far, i have failed to really mention the influence of friends along my journey, but their impact has been unforgettable.

for starters: there was matt, who offered constant companionship and endless card games of crazy 8´s. then jeff and graham, the two super laidback warm-spirited canadians who helped me demolish buckets of beer after long days at the antigua espanol escuela. jeff, over a month later i ran into in honduras where we danced entire evenings away, and graham who i hope to meet in costa rica soon. not to be forgotten, olenka and katrina, the eccentric and flighty ladies from gun-wavin´new haven, ct. this duo brought more laughs and loads of love to my trip. we met in guatemala and continued through belize, where the 3 of us absolutely unknowingly accompanied some local fishermen on a drug deal to san pedro. olenka and i went skinny dipping in the heart of a lightening storm in honduras, and before i knew it the tiny polish girl and her swiss friend had disappeared from my life. briefly gavin and dewitt intersected my days and filtered in so much humor chased with odd looks from onlookers. as a small white woman, traveling with two large, loud black men, entire days are ensured to be enveloped in giggles. then there was olaf, the funny kid from holland with all the magic tricks, and peter, a boy from colorado who danced like a chicken. on another day, it was angel, the 43 year old british doll that sang to me, ýo shorty, it´s your birthday´and chanted my name to chug mojitos on my 26th.

and phillip, the heart stirring man with an unfailing smile and kind eyes who said just how lucky we are, to meet so many wonderful people.

all these souls, these amusing folks, have collaborated to make my journey of self-discovery and exploration even more touching and laughable and real than i knew possible. tackling the entire world alone can seem scary. and that sensation, that very one, is probably why i do it. but the kindness of strangers leaves little to be desired on the road. i like it here.

i´m anticipating days washed with surf in nicaragua.
maybe i´ll buy a board.
maybe i´ll buy a house.
maybe i´ll never leave.

Monday, August 18, 2008

fortune favors the brave...

here i sit: wresting with vocabulary, contemplating a thesaurus, with a brain garbled full of static and thoughts dangerously ricocheting and conspiring to dream.

i am healthy. i am happy. i am not hungry.
i am not broken.
i am the envy of my friends. i am my mothers daughter.
i am lost. i am brave.
i am lonely. i succeed. i believe.
i fight sleep. i doubt. i know.
fire rages in my heart. slides through my veins. my consciousness tingles. my eyes burn.
and i, am so very alive. painstakingly alive.

  welcome to 26.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

remembering guatemala.

after more than a month of traveling, without a timely opportunity to blog, and a border to cross, i am now remembering guatemala. what a captivating country! the maya, the mountains, the markets. it's easy to see why i was captured for four weeks. i trekked the diagonal of the country, more or less. guatemala city to antigua. panajachel to santa cruz. coban. lanquin. semuc champey. santa elena. el remate. tikal. finally to melchor de mencos, the guatemalan town on the border with belize. taxi rides, tuk-tuks, shuttles, chicken buses, a pullman, and 2-tired-feet escorted me, most times exceedingly uncomfortably, across the country. more than a decade after the official end of the civil war- i found this place to be a country filled with kind people and unique experience, instead of the harsh dangerous realities so many were eager to warn me of. sure, this country has troubles, annoyances, and problems, but being proactive about avoiding danger, i found it easy to explore. entirely possible.

highlighting guatemala is easy.

1. volcan pacaya: climbing a mountain. poking, stirring, swirling lava. melting marshmallows.
2. la iguana perdida and el retiro lodge. simply stated: a sublime backpackers paradise. far my favorite, the impossible cave at the base of semuc champey. a real spelunkers delight! as if the funky stalactite and stalagmite formations were not enough, the cave is not lit, and filled with water. due to the recent rainfall, rivers, streams, and lakes are higher than they have been in the last 50 years. the cave is no different. it is necessary to swim in many places while keeping a steadfast grip on a petite candlestick, hoping not to allow moisture to extinguish the flame. there are ladders you must climb, slippery every step, and foolish. at the end of the cave gushes a waterfall, and riding the created current from the fall is like being tossed in the middle of a speed boats wake. fun enveloped in danger. just as i like.

today i am in belize, a tiny island called caye caulker just off the northern coast of the country. it is quiet here, picturesque, and reminiscent of my caribbean home. actually, it's much the same. heated, thick, humidity filled air. creole speaking folks. fresh scents of marijuana lifted by the breeze filter across the island. i am anticipating the ocean. the second largest barrier reef in the entire world is here, artfully scattered below the surface.
the worlds shore is waiting.
i'll see you there....

Sunday, July 20, 2008


"slowly closing her eyes she allowed the playful breeze to summon memories overcrowded with ghosts. this place had the power to do that. the mountains, the trees, the flowers, the rivers and lakes in the distance…they were forever branded upon her soul. they defined her. with this picturesque landscape came faint, but very familiar murmurs of a time never forgotten, a home tenderly missed, a smile left behind yet hauntingly remembered." -an amazing woman. sarah cox.

Friday, July 18, 2008

pass go, collect $200.

it just occured to me that within the last year, i moved.

chasing something. or. running from something.

st. thomas
st. john
st. croix
peter island
norman island
jost van dyke
virgin gorda
puerto rico
st. maarten
st. kitts
isle de saints
st. lucia
palm island
union island
tobago cayes
st. barth's
petit st. vincent
petit martinique

...i'm still hiding.

Monday, July 14, 2008

lago de atitlan

atitlan: connotates where the mayans believed the rainbow gets it's color. that's what my mom said. she's generally right. and anyone who cast a glance on this astonishing lake would have no doubt that they are witnessing the timeless beauty of an ancient world. the grace of this lake could well be where the rainbow collect color. surrounded by three volcanoes, and mirroring the sun, this is the most awe-inspiring lake i have ever seen. it's so nice to be on the water again. everything is picturesque; from the tiny villages selling handicrafts, littered with smiling faces, to the landscape of the mountains, to each small roll of kelly green transforming aquamarine water.

my days by the lake were spent in a quiet village called santa cruz. my nights were easily sold to la iguana perdida. here i crashed in a treehouse bunk, sharing a view with stray dogs, and the night air with seven strangers. the beds were stiff, the absence of doors coupled with thatch walls did not allow the chill to escape, but for $3.50 US/night, i'd be insane to object. experience and adventure are afterall what i'm consummately chasing. i can only equate this hostel to a mythical fort inside an avocado farm, and given the opportunity, i know i'll return. next time, more conscious that this lake, these warm people, and the birds-eye view found amongst the trees, all culminate as thieves. 'they' steal away your days, your time. being stuck in a rut doesn't nearly have the same definition here. 'they' steal your heart, capturing memories and views foreign to the rest of the world. 'they' steal your memory card capacity! even on a cloudy day, this place is nothing shy of stellar and outstandingly photogenic.

falling asleep at night is reminiscent of kentucky. animals chirping, sleeping, howling, the wind whistling. and when the sun comes alive, so does the jungle. creatures that were chirping at night, now singly without hesitation. bugs resting at dusk, now taking flight and jabbering.
i hear sounds i don't know.
animals i cannot readily identify!
this makes daybreak monstrously more intriguing that ever before.

i know i'll find my way here again.
next stop, semuc champey.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


with heavy breath and a light heart my eager feet dance and smash cascading volcanic ash on a summit to volcan pacaya. i´m in guatemala.

in only a weeks time, my reality has been on a boomerang flight across the globe. at first paris. indulging in wine and warm company: breathing, eating, and existing in french. now trekking new heights: sweating and swearing across central america. literally. my days have been chased with mounting curiosity and an evermore building frustration, forcing me to quickly catch a language i´ve only begun to flirt with. i enrolled in a language school. like all extremes, i´ve moved into the home of a guatemalan family in antigua as well. countless children jabbering and tossing marbles with dirty faces. an older brother, perhaps a black sheep, delighting sunrise to sunset in american cartoons. a mother who cooks and cleans, and refuses english, with kind eyes, and a visibly sweet soul. the meals here offer little variety. rice and beans. or is it beans and rice? just the same, i have not been hungry. although this house is filled with love, and an overwhelming presence of family, it is lacking amenities this silly american has grown accustomed to.

toilet paper.
hot water.
it matters now how far from home i go, little has changed about what comforts me. classes are from eight to one, with a private teacher, and a bottomless mug of coffee.

my days are consumed learning. learning verbs. learning swear words. learning directions. learning the taste of new foods. learning the history of the city. of the volcanoes. learning to consume a litre of moderately warm beer before it becomes unbearable. learning new faces. new names. learning, i believe, is how i continue to celebrate my youth. i am happy here. on the road. seeing the world with bright eyes. glittering with awe, while combating heavy rains, as i climb an active volcano. 2500 m. aching arches and muddy shins, i was one soggy kid long before the end. mountains of folded, twisted, and contorted magma stretch across the hillside. i struggle to capture the omnipresence in my viewfinder. up. up. up. the burning molten rock is all-encompassing and feast on fear. words lack justice. pictures off little. standing in front of 2000 degree rolling lava is something the title of this blog only hints at.
calling all thrill-seekers...
pacaya was magical. and well worth the blisters, tired muscles, and meager $7 i paid to get there, and hire a guide for the mountain. i think i will romp in guatemala for 3 more weeks. honduras for my 26th birthday. stories to come, and photos when possible!
much love and laughter.

Friday, April 18, 2008


the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, esp. by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.

i am, an escapist.

Monday, January 28, 2008

one if by land. two if by sea.

pillows croon in a semicircle around my head. at first three. now 5. 6. i'm fighting to stay in the bed. the barricade of down and feathers i've artfully displayed during my pretense of sleep is giving weigh to my trashing dimensions. joints aching, head tossing, hands grasping for the steering wheel. i am not dreaming. sadly enough, i am also not sleeping. it's the salty drink that covets my slumber. the ocean is a blanket of entropy. writhing in the sheets, i rise from the bed. we have been sailing for 17 hours now. lids heavy, my eyes still producing sleep, i make a steadfast approach to the helm. the boat is heeling. i am bouncing into doorways, missing steps, and sliding through the galley. i imagine composing apologies: "i'm sorry ocean, for donating my leftover beef stroganoff...i guess you didn't care for it anymore than i did." i find my seat at the helm with the captain. the wind is screaming. 25 knots. 30. 35. we are under full sail. the main, jib, and mizen all smiling with the wind. it's 4 am. the sea illuminated only by the stars, and the faint hint of our spreader lights. no land in sight. i gaze across the mounting waves, whitecaps are frosting the ocean. the captain retires, this has now become my watch. alone with an angry sea, i brace myself as the boat smashes down, rogue wave, after rogue wave, stirring in 10-12' seas. i'm reminded of that ride at the fair that kinda looks like a triangular spinning top. and when you get inside, they start spinning the thing so fast that you stick to the walls. then after about a minute, they stop it and you fall down. i feel like i'm on that ride right now. hours of lost sleep, and a foaming host, have me reeling from one minute to the next. and, well, you can't fuck with gravity. i'm stuck inside that machine, and this weather front has me pinned to the walls. i want off this ride. i want to feel the relief as you stumble outside and kiss the ground. i'm not seasick, i'm tired goddammit. but it will go on like this, trade winds abusing my reality, for another 3 days. then with land insight, st. thomas will unveil in front of me. a brief sanctuary; resting up for the next seafaring safari.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


its like nowhere else in the world.  no grass-carpeted mound in a field.  no romantic rooftop setting.  no city skyline crowding with electricity.  on the open ocean, on a cloudless night, the stars appear to be cast across the sky like wedding confetti thrown in an excessive gesture of bonhomie.  it is mind-blowing.  the forward deck calls to me.  flat on my back, unyielding the responsibilities of the world, i appraise the diamonds in the sky.  studying each semi-precious stone; the cut, the clarity, the twinkle.  almost unknowingly, i've created a paint by numbers scene of glittering reflected light.  each ornamenting and flattering a different aspect of the unceasingly inky sky.  the stars humor the ocean in a mischievous way, archaically romancing every ripple of a gently rolling wave.  likewise, the sea faithfully parallels the gleaming affinity and offers a blanket to encapsulate the light-footed, light-show.  my head pivots in a half-moon.  eyes roaming to orion, then andromeda.  knots of constellations tangle the night sky.  eighty-eight magic boundaries overhead, all echoing in harmony.  worries long forgotten.  these remote incandescent bodies transpire to narrate a song.

"sing me to sleep.  tonight.  tonight."

the sea cradles the boat, tender swells chorus.

"teach me to dream.  tonight.  tonight."

Monday, January 14, 2008

hairoun, "home of the blessed"

although they all look the same, lately i've been purchasing a lot of postcards. it's one more attempt to recall where i've landed. most recently heading up the assembly, i've added bequia, mustique, the tobago cays, canouan, palm island, and union island. jumbled together, these make up some of the focal destinations in the grenadine island chain. separate, their mention will forever evoke jaw-dropping flashbacks of a truly wondrous place and experience. the front runner of the group being the tobago cays. they are a small group of deserted islands that time seems to have forgotten. relatively unaffected by disruptions of man, or disasters by nature, these islands are protected by a horseshoe reef. navigating a boat amidst the reef is daring, but possible. needless to say, the snorkeling is phenomenal. the water dances in a kaleidoscope of colors, changing from blue to turquoise to green. below the surface the reef emits a mirror of colored fire, bouncing from gold to brown. in a box of 64, crayola doesn't exist inside the realm of color schemes i saw. i nominate 'tobago turquoise' for review. it would be a most exquisite crayon of aquamarine consistency, glittering with sun-kissed emerald flakes, and a shallow violet core. every kid would want one. every kid should see this. balanced by a confectioners' sugar white sandy bottom, the reef is littered with booming coral heads and a thrilling amount of diversity amongst the biomass. the marine life here has perfect attendance. i float past a slow-swimming nurse shark. he seems to be as enamored with the ocean as i am. almost lackadaisically, he woos me with his grace and agility. from head to tail we were equal in length. in this water, i was his equal. i maybe spent and hour swimming with this shark, imitating his nimbleness and keeping with the rhythm. it was as if he would perform the sequence of a dance and turn to me in gesture to say, "okay, now you try." i would do my best and engage my most shark-like moves, after which he would applaud. following a shark-guided tour of the reef, i was ready to trade in my twin-jet fins for a dorsal fin, and my snorkel for a set of gills. at least i know in some other life, i most certainly had a tail! tonight i'll dream of re-growing it...