Dépaysement


Dépaysement (n.) – Origin: French – Definition: The disorientation felt in a foreign country or culture. The feeling of being a fish out of water.

O.K. Obviously feeling like a fish out of water in a foreign country is not really an issue for me.  Quite the opposite.  I have loved every country I have traveled to.  Even the ones I didn’t LOOOVVEEE.. I also didn’t really hate.  I especially loved traveling with my daughters.  They also always seemed to adapt very well to the random places we visited. Like we really made every country feel like it was our home and we fit in to each place so nicely.  For example, my daughter just joined in the family photo of this family in Shanghai, China.  Even throwing them rabbit ears.

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There were things in some countries that made us uncomfortable at times.  Like the domestic pet section of the zoo in Shanghai.  It was funny to us, but also, uhm, interesting.

However, for me all of the experiences were about learning lessons of tolerance and acceptance and just being able to have fun.  I know at times, my kids were homesick and wanted the “normalcy” of “home” but in retrospect we all talk about how they were amazing times and none of us would ever change any of them and all of us would go back to any one of those days to relive them and stay longer and appreciate more!! I hope you enjoy.

Well, I guess we were like fishes out of water for at least a little bit of our time there.

“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

Ivor; Lia; Tim; Nuno; purpose; Bernard; Ria; Roisie; Stephanie; Anna; Outlandish

Ukiyo


Ukiyo (noun) Origin: Japanese | The floating world – Living in the moment, detached from the bothers of life.

A hard translation of this word dates back to Japan’s Edo-period as it describes the urban lifestyle, and a famous related word is ukiyo-e or Japanese art paintings of the ‘Floating World’ or of our fleeting life and transient world.

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I was fortunate enough to take a vacation with my daughter to Croatia.  I let her plan the entire trip.  Where we stayed, where we ate, what we did.  It was one of my favorite trips.  I didn’t have to make any decisions (only had to pay for everything.. haha)

I sat on this very cool spot for hours in Zadar, Croatia.  We visited this place again and again throughout the day because it was just interesting and beautiful.  It was mesmerizing.  Next to it was an ocean organ.  They were steps that went into the water and when the waves came up it would sound like an organ. Seeing people walk across this at different times of day made it seem like you were in another world.  At night it would light up.  I think it was one of our favorite places in Croatia.  The entire country was amazing and one day I will go back.

Croatia: inavukic; Dave; slovanians; lidija; michael; Ellen; viveka; maris; Isaiah; luke; kylie; isaac; Cameron; nathaniel; tina; ahoyne; somewhere; justtravel; chester

The Sea organ is an architectural sound art object located in Zadar, Croatia and an experimental musical instrument, which plays music by way of sea waves and tubes located underneath a set of large marble steps.

zadar

Hodophile


Hodophile (adj.) – Origin: Greek  Definition: “Lover of roads”, or better “love of travel.”

My life is a road man.  Walking on it, sitting on it, marveling at it.  Imagine if we had no roads.  Sometimes the road is hard but if you stay on it, you will get somewhere. If you don’t like the somewhere you end up, you can leave it behind and go off on another .. if you can’t find another road.. build one.  Brick by brick.

If you go off the road, that’s ok.  Just keep going, eventually you will find another.  There are no wrong turns.  Only wrong choices.   Keep movin’ man.  keep movin.

Roads – stickymango; misstraveler; prab; milford; monkey; agov; wanderingcanadians; baydreamer; newlife; restlessjo

Dérive


Dérive (n.) – Origin:Latin/French – A spontaneous journey where the traveler leaves their life behind for a time to let the spirit of the landscape and architecture attract and move them.

Venezuela was my first posting.  I have some of the fondest memories of this place and hope to one day be able to go back and revisit some of my favorite places and discover new ones.  This was a very special time in my life for so many reasons.  I hope can you vicariously enjoy some of my favorite times there.

Skydiving and Canyoning

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Merida

Colonia Tovar

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Port Ordaz/Ciudad Bolivar/ Playas/Chichiriviche Cerca de Morocoy/ Santa Theresa/ Avila/ Caracas

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Catatumbo/ Delta Orinoco/ Los LLanos / otres partes

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If you asked me what my favorite part of living and working in Venezuela was, I would not be able to answer.  I loved all of it.  My colleagues, my friends, the random people I met and places I went.  Just so many good things.  Like I said, I would love, love, love to go back and hopefully one day I will.

Venezuela: Geri; Barbara; Luke; Isaiah; Elliot; Oliver; Dillan; Noah; Mason; ravanji; Rob; Archyde;

Solivagant


Solivagant (adj.) – Origin: Latin – Definition: Wandering alone.

I love to travel with friends.  It’s always more fun to look back on the good times you have and be able to have folks around who really understand and remember the specific experiences you shared. It’s also more fun to look back on pictures of “the group”. … AND… occasionally, those solo photos are just awkward!

However, sometimes in life, it just works out that you find yourself on an unexpected journey all by your lonesome.  My very first such experience was in Cambodia.  I was supposed to go there with my friend Ed.  We had been planning this trip for weeks.  I think I frightened him off because i started talking about elephant treks and hikes into the deepest parts of the Cambodian jungle. 

At any rate, I had already bought the ticket and thought, “What the heck, why not!”  It ended up being one of my very favorite trips. I think that because I was by myself, locals reacted differently to me, and I was had the freedom to react and interact differently to and with them.  So even though I was alone, I never really felt alone.

But due to being alone, I was able to spontaneously meander here, change my mind, go there, jump on a bus, or a tuk tuk, a couple cooking classes, ate a snake lunch followed by a frog snack, randomly stopped at a coffee farm, a basket making facility,  take a tour with a guy named “Dollar Sam”.. because, what the heck, why not?

I truly loved my experience.  Cambodians were amazingly friendly and I rarely saw anyone without a smile on their face.  The food, the sounds, and smells, all if it was really amazing. I have been back since, with other, but it has never been as amazing as my first solo trip.

I have since traveled through portions of Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, Nepal, and a few other countries alone.. or partially alone.. or alone for a few days.. but they also, will never be as amazing as my first solo trip.  I hope you enjoy the below parts of my journey.

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It takes a true solivagant to drop everything for a solo backpacking trip in a foreign country.

Solo travels:  Oldbird: mstravel; sft; happy; Faye: earlgrey; mich; kayy; sunset; sirpeter; soap; erratic; ayushi; trix; ashamabdi;