Novaturient


Novaturient (adjective) Origin: German | nO·va·’tUr·E·ent  A desire to alter your life; The feeling that pushes you to travel

“The gladdest moment in human life, methinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” – Sir Richard Burton

By deciding to alter my life and travel, I have been exposed to so many wonderful people, places, experiences, foods, drinks, ideas, visions, smells, sensations, and a never-ending supply of learning opportunities.  Each of these experiences have increased my desire to alter my life and travel more.  Some of my favorite or most memorable experiences:

1.  Living and teaching in Seoul, South Korea. It was hard for me to limit it to just these photos. In three years, I must have lived through 50 life times.  I went there in 2007 with my youngest daughter.  She stayed a year then moved back to the U.S. at which time my oldest daughter came to visit me and ended up staying a year.  Between traveling through Korea, volunteering at orphanages and soup kitchens, participating in theater, stand up, movie making, reiki, tea ceremonies, and on the list goes.  The most memorable experience of my life.  One day I will go back.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your Balance you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

“Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou

2.  Venezuela. 2010 – 2012. friends, food, festivities, hikes, rafting, paragliding, sky-diving, animal safaris.  My oldest daughter, her husband and my grand-daughter lived with me for about 8 months.  This was another of my favorite locations and times.  I can’t describe how sad I was to leave Venezuela.  I am fortunate to be in contact with so many of my colleagues and friends from this time period.  One day, I dream we will meet again.

3.  Cambodia – 2009 – This trip will also stay forever in my heart. It was my first solo trip. No kids, no friends, no knowledge of what I would get myself into.  I ate fried frogs, dried out grasshoppers, visited temples, made folks smile, folks made me smile.  I randomly ran into a couple of friends that I had known from Korea but also made so many more friends.  Visited a floating village and heard the stories of children who were the only source of income for their families.  An incredible place.  I have been back two times since 2009, more as a typical tourist doing more typical touristy things.  Nothing will ever compare to that first time.  It was a magical place.

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”  – Anita Desai

4.  Nepal – 2013-2015 – This was a uniquely different time of travel.  Kathmandu was amazing and wonderful and full of temples, and crowded and dirty.  I went on hikes and hashes weekly.  The food was ok, my colleagues were great.  I had friends from all over come and visit me. The most outstanding experience though was going through an actual earthquake.  I think what I learned most in Nepal was how resilient the Nepalese people were.  Not a single colleague missed a day of work after the earthquake.  Despite their homes being destroyed.  Despite their families living in tents outside of their home.  I will never forget that experience.  I think I also learned a little more how resilient I was.  How being in a situation that has devastated an entire country can change your life.  Seems like an obvious thing to say, but sometimes I will go back and look at photos or watch a CCTV clip from that time and just be in awe.  I also learned that it is unlikely i will ever again ride an elephant.

“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

Obviously I have been in many more places and have thousands upon thousands of examples of the things I have done and what I have learned and how I have grown.  All I know is that this adventure I have been living will likely never end.  I may retire from my work/travel life.  But travel will be something that I will never retire from.  it’s something that is in my blood and in my soul.  It is actually this journaling began.. and it is likely how this journal will end.

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag

“Adventure is worthwhile.” – Aesop

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.” – Anais Nin

Traveling souls: Sheree; Coreen; wanderingcanadians; tempranillo; albatz; dewetswild; woollymuses; carol; stephen; awara; Leane

Morii


Morii (noun) Origin: Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows | The desire to capture a fleeting experience.

The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed.  – Eminem

“A happening was looming. It was out there somewhere beyond the regular enclosed life that I had been living. It was out there, not waiting, but existing. Being. Perhaps it was only slightly wondering if I would come to it.”
― Markus Zusak

“If we only take a hard look at the facts of life, we will know that, really, nothing is in our hands – not even our hands are in our hands. Just try to hold your hand with your hand and you will know the reality. Really, nothing is in our power. Then what is the meaning of saying ”I” and ”me” and ”mine”? Here everything is happening, and happening together. It is an organic arrangement, an organic whole.”
― Osho

Fleeting – Anushk; Caeli; Pauli; MeRaw; Al; Soye; River; Jennie; LA; paean; shivani; abigail

Exulansis


Exulansis (noun) The tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because others are unable to relate to it.

This is true of almost every place you will ever go.  You cannot put into words the experience you had in a different country.  You cannot find the right words to explain the sounds, smells, tastes, the beauty, the sorrow, or the joy of a place because there were just too many ideas from each portion of your time there.  The chaos, the silence, the life of the people who live there.  So much like every other place and yet so different from every other place.  Specifically so different from my own experiences growing up in the U.S. and yet still sort of exactly like every experience I have ever had growing up in the U.S.

I have taken some amazing photos of many different places in the world.  My friends and family love looking at them, but often cannot even imagine what it was actually like.  I’m always a little surprised because when I live in or visit a different country, I see what I know.  I see families eking out a life and a living.  I see the rich and the poor, the politics, and the criminals.  I also sometimes cannot imagine me being in some of the places I have been. Even when I am actually there.  It will sometimes cross my mind how strange it is that I am just walking down a street in Lagos, or Kathmandu, or Caracas, or.. or .. or.  It’s sort of like an out of body experience at times.  If I feel that way, how can others even relate to the experience?

If an average day in a foreign country experience is difficult to explain, imagine how much more difficult it would be to try and explain going through a not average day in a foreign country.  People wandering aimlessly through the streets.  The heartbreak and the true chaos. The confusion and the trying to find assistance for the injured.  It’s something that even now I struggle to put into words.  It’s surreal.  The pictures can show an aspect of the experience but not the recurring tremors.  The “lost”ness that so many felt and very possibly still feel today after so many years. Even more important was discovering the immense strength of a nation’s people.  I will never be able to fully explain it and I will never be able to ever forget it.

experiences: LU; carmen; aprilgrey; esoteric; kaushal; jim; joan; kuntala; renx; exile; pattimoed; jaya; Rebecca; Aakriti

Vemödalen


 (noun) Origin: Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows | The frustration of photographing something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist.

“The frustration of photographing something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist — the same sunset, the same waterfall — which can turn a unique subject into something hollow and pulpy and cheap.”

ETYMOLOGY: From the Swedish word vemod which means “tender sadness, pensive melancholy” and then combined with Vemdalen, the name of a Swedish town. Swedish place names are the source of IKEA’s product names — the original metaphor for this idea was that these clichéd photos are a kind of prefabricated furniture that you happen to have built yourself.

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” — Henri Cartier-Bresson

Kathmandu,NepalCape Town S.A from helicopter

Famous Places: Lookoom; Danee; Sidd; pedmar; marta; streets; sarah; crossings; littlemiss; PCOS; roberta; Salsa; Monkeystale

Schwellenangst


Schwellenangst (noun) Origin: German | Fear of crossing a threshold to embark on something new.

ETYMOLOGY: From the German words Schwelle (threshold) + Angst (anxiety).

My dad passed in October and when I saw this word, it brought me back to his passing.  It still causes angst in my heart along with the realization that I have embarked on a new journey.  A journey that will no longer include my father or my mother.

In the U.S. death is viewed with angst, with fear, with trepidation, with not many positive words.  All of these words are true, but more for the living than for the dying.  Even the word passed is a euphemism that makes you think that the threshold is just something you walk through which makes the actual event that much more traumatic (for the living).  Watching someone die is traumatic. Devastating.

The word also brought me back to my time in Nepal.  In Nepal bodies are generally cremated.  They are carried through the street (also generally) and brought to the sacred area where folks sit on one side of a river and 5-9 bodies would be laid to rest on the other side of the river and publicly and openly cremated.  Families would gather on the other side of the river and watch the events.  There would often be food and drink shared and people would come and go from the cremation area.  Anyone could stand and watch or pass through this area.  At first it was super odd to watch but also fascinating.   Kids were playing nearby, monkeys begging for snacks, old people staring into the distance.  Who knows what they were contemplating.  There was sadness of course, but it was an expected event.  Everyone lives and everyone dies.

I actually found it reassuring.  Crossing the threshold is inevitable.  The end is not necessarily the most important part of the journey.  In Nepal, it was a reminder that we are all eventually smoke and ash.  The trick for me is not to be smoke and ash during the years I am passing through right now.  Here’s to the threshold!  Enjoy.

“Life itself means to separate and to be reunited, to change form and condition, to die and to be reborn. It is to act and to cease, to wait and to rest, and then to begin acting again, but in a different way. And there are always new thresholds to cross: the threshold of summer and winter, of season or a year, of a month of a night; the thresholds of birth, adolescence, maturity and old age; the threshold of death and that of the afterlife — for those who believe in it.”
― Arnold van Gennep

Threshold:  Thoughts; Hobbo; blindzanygirl; victoria; purplerays; strangers; heart; compassandcamera; beth; dale; brand; maedharanael; ben; tom; overthinking; shayan; swabby; Yinglan; Ramblings