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;

Peripatetic


Peripatetic (noun) Origin: Greek | peri·pa·tet·ic A person who spends his time wandering.

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If there is a word that most describes me, it would be this word.  I AM a peripatetic.  I started my life as one and I believe that is how it will end.

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I have mentioned this several times, but from the time I was a very small child. I read books on travel and adventure.  From the wild west to space exploration.  I loved the idea of being anywhere and everywhere.  I loved all things related to magic, space, the future, the past, immortality, and any form of travel, survival, and escape.

My first attempts at travel (meandering and wandering throughout the world), were simple road trips close to home.  I’m not sure why my mom and dad allowed me to drive from Spokane to Shelby at 16, by myself, through a mountainous, and over a sometimes dangerous highway.  But they did, so I did. Meh, it was the 80s.  I’m still alive.

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My best friend in high school was also game for wandering here and there. I think we started in what appears to be the 1800s?

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We wandered by car, dance, skiing, and apparently a bit of cannibalism.  At 17, both of our parents allowed us to drive from Spokane to Seattle and off into Canada. Again, it was the 80s and meh.. we are both still alive..

I have wandered with friends, cousins, kids, and whoever else was game.  I have wandered by train, plane, moto bike, bicycle, boat, balloon, parachute, hashing, hiking, tram, subway, slide, skeleton, camel, elephant, my daughter’s back, and car (just to name a few modes of maneuver).

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My favorite wanderings were by car, followed super closely by train.  I love seeing new things ahead of me but also love seeing what I’m leaving behind in my rearview mirror.

There is something magical about wandering across the U.S. and other countries by car that is difficult to replicate.  One of the beautiful things is when you are in a car is that everything is directly in front of you.  Sometimes it is annoying (heavy traffic) and other times, it simply takes your breath away.

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You are going slow enough to really see things.  If you see something you like, you can stop and take a photo, interact with the actors in this flick that you have just created.  You can experience your surroundings in any way you choose.  Admittedly, sometimes it can be terrifying and sometimes you feel like you have been taken hostage, or you have taken your passengers hostage!! I’m delighted to say that both of my daughters have developed a love of wandering as well.  I personally feel that the many wanderings we have made, have drawn us closer than nearly anything else we have done in our lives.  We have this expansion that has happened in our heads that can never be reduced or taken away.

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The same goes for walking.  When you hike or walk, you are in the thick of it. You can be invisible and interact or you can simply pass through.  I think so many people miss the purpose of travel because they are constantly flying from here to there, simply to get there.  Dude!!! For me it’s the journey.

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“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

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Wanderings: mousumi; fanny; srikanth; islandtraveler; dave; janny; sonofasailor; alec; ab; artsyfartsy; karen; Gary; laura; geekyhooker; Ruth

City Scapes ~ Damn Sam, Where you been?


“There’s something about arriving in new cities, wandering empty streets with no destination. I will never lose the love for the arriving, but I’m born to leave.”
― Charlotte Eriksson

Whenever I get travel weary, all I have to do is look back on the past 12 years and that crazee wanderlust lights it torch and blinds me once again.  I have been called a vagabond, a gypsy, homeless in theory, among others.  However, the words used would lead one to believe that I do not actually have a home.  Anyone who knows me, knows that no matter where I lay my hat, Spokane is my home.  I just have a natural urge to travel.  I love the food, the sights, the drink, the sounds.

As much as I love to wander and roam… to me there’s really no better place than home.  Until I am ready to go again. It’s the only real addiction I have.

“The world is full of wonderful things you haven’t seen yet. Don’t ever give up on the chance of seeing them.” ~J.K. Rowling

“Half the fun of the travel is the esthetic of lostness.” ~ Ray Bradbury

“You’re not sorry to go, of course. With people like us our home is where we are not… No one person in the world is necessary to you or to me.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

“There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,
A race that can’t sit still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin, And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain’s crest; Their’s is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don’t know how to rest.”
~Robert Service

Wanderlust:  Angeline; amoralegria; usfman; fandango; henhouselady; blindzanygirl; footloose; mudgha; monkey

Day 24 ~ The adventurer ~ I was ~ I am


When I was a very little girl, my favorite types of books to read were books that detailed young adventurers.  It didn’t matter the era, the genre, or the sex of the youth.  The common theme was someone who was between the age of 10-18 who for some reason set off on an adventure.  Maybe they were stuck in the wilderness and survived.  Maybe they were heading west with the pioneers.  Maybe they were entering a time portal or sailing across the ocean by themselves or on a ship full of other adventurers.  Maybe they were escaping some calamity.  It didn’t matter.  These young adventurers were smart, capable, and full of hope.  Books and images still light that flame of adventure in me.

I once tried to sign up to take flying lessons when I was way too young to do this sort of thing without parental approval.  The old Spokane Airport had a program for youth to partner with an older pilot to learn to fly a plane.  It was a huge dream of mine to be able to just jump in my own plane (or a stolen one, or a left behind one, or… well you get the idea.)

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I have traveled far and wide and am amazed at the things I have seen and the things I have been able to do.  On a recent trip home, my sister and I went to eat at the old Spokane Airport diner, The Skyway Cafe..  As I sat there eating and looking around at the model airplanes hanging from the ceiling, the pictures on the walls, the old airplanes outside the window, the blue skies, and lazy clouds floating by, it dawned on me .. no it hit me. I am still that child.  The sense of adventure swelled and I wondered where would I go next.  What would I be doing?  Who would I meet?  What would I be eating and drinking? Sky-Way-Cafe-Spokane-Valley-Restaurant-600x800

You need not even listen, just wait…the world will offer itself freely to you, unmasking itself. – Franz Kafka

We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open. – Jawaharial Nehru

The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper. – W.B. Yeats

Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun every year. – Unknown

It doesn’t matter where you are. You are nowhere compared to where you can go. – Bob Proctor

It is probably a pity that every citizen of each state cannot visit all the others, to see the differences, to learn what we have in common, and come back with a richer, fuller understanding of America – in all its beauty, in all its dignity, in all its strength, in support of moral principles. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Moment

Poem by Margaret Atwood

The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe.

No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.