Vorfreude


Vorfreude (noun) Origin:  German | The joyful anticipation that comes from imagining future pleasures.

Two more weeks and I’m off on vacation!  Woot Woot.  I have built in a couple of mandatory road trips.  Last year, I flew in and out of my home town with the expectation that I would take a short road trip during my time with my family.  2020 ended up being all about dad and due to him being sick, it never happened.  So this year, I am flying in and out of Seattle which will force me to  drive from Seattle to Spokane.  It’s a great 4-5 hour drive through some beautiful country.  Valley to plains to mountains to rainforest to ocean.  My second trip will be to Oregon to check out some areas for future reference.  No solid plans, just a solid plan to hit the road with some fun tunes and a carful of random gas station snacks.  Nothing makes me happier.  I mean in general.  A lot of things make me happier but road trips top the list.  From childhood to my most recent years, they are my favorite memories.  I can’t wait!

“Map out your future – but do it in pencil. The road ahead is as long as you make it. Make it worth the trip.” – Jon Bon Jovi

“Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.” –Jerry Seinfeld

“I get emotionally attached to the cars ahead of me on long road trips.” – Unknown

“That’s why I love road trips, dude. It’s like doing something without actually doing anything.” – John Green

“It doesn’t matter how old you get, buying snacks for a road trip should always look like an unsupervised 9-year-old was given $100.” – Unknown

Vorfreude:  Imi; moom; Andreas; Ab; lauren; sexy; moms; 365reasons; glen; raeventure; stephen; Faye

Sprachgefühl


Sprachgefühl (noun) Origin: German | A person who has the feel for a language.

This literally translates as ‘language feeling’ from compound nouns combining Sprache (language) and Gefühl (feeling). Basically, this does not only refer to a person who has a good understanding of foreign languages but also to a person who has intuitiveness for what is linguistically appropriate.

The truth is, I have no real understanding of foreign languages.  I do have a good understanding and am very intuitive to what people are saying, meaning, or wanting though. I’m perceptive to the needs of others.  Not always accommodating but very perceptive to what they want or need.

I have taken both Spanish and Nepali courses for work.  Nepali was easier for me because it was completely not logical and did not even use the U.S. alphabet but an easier form of Hindi.  I was also able to learn the Korean alphabet when I was in Korea. However, the Spanish language was and continues to be a struggle for me.  There is something about learning a very hard language that makes the teachers a little more forgiving and makes the learning more memorable.  

As you can see, I was a very diligent student.  However, few of the measures I took helped me learn the language.  I just do not have a mind for this type of thing.  I enjoyed the role playing, the music, the movies and I could always get the gist.  But the memorizing of nonsensical words in nonsensical sentences didn’t help me at all.  It was exhausting.

After 7 months of Spanish, a few weeks in Ecuador in a language program, and many folks doing their best to help me out, I was still confusing past, present, future, imperative, gender, words in general.  I think because Spanish is everywhere and you can make out so many of the words, i felt it would be so much easier.

For me it was not.  I cannot tell you how many times I would be telling someone a story about my childhood in Spanish, and the person would look at me and say, “Wait, me?  Wait, you?  Wait, who are you talking about?”  My feelings were that if you did not understand me completely, you should at least understand if you or I had done something.. work it out man.  When i tell you a story about being attacked by a seal…. do you really have to ask “who” was attacked by a seal? I mean, unless you were actually attacked by a seal then yes, that is a great question.  Anyways.  

Once I completed my language classes, I completely enjoyed every country I visited.  I loved being able to even partially communicate in any of the languages of the countries I visited.  It completely changed the travel experience. 

Also, even though I did not quite know all the words, I was able to tell jokes, laugh at jokes, sing along, and carry on broken conversations with just about anyone. I think that having a “feel” for a language is sometimes more important than to be able to speak it perfectly.  Sadly my bosses do not always agree with my philosophy .. and sure they are at least partly right.  I do know that I had fun and I do know that people had fun with me and sometimes at my expense for my communication errors.  In my world, that means total success.

I have been to many countries at this point and in many of the countries I never spoke the language at all.  I think if you looked at all of the pictures below, you would not be able to know which countries I understood and spoke the languages and which ones I did not.  For me, the understanding came with the smiles.  It came with laughing over common states of being.  It came from eating and drinking the same food and realizing that we all had some of the same joys and some of the same sadnesses. 

I am definitely classifiable as a Sprachgefühl … if that is even a classifiable state of being.  See, not even sure if this is a real word, but you feel me, right?

what does the dog say?   Rochelle; Ibonoco; varnika; Rosie; Troy; Debasis; Jim; Rebecca; helen; annette; libertatemamo; albigensia; Cherie; suzanne

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;

Day 23 ~ When we all were black and white


When I think of black and white photos .. I think of the olden days.. like… you know.. my mom and dad’s era and before.. A romantic period of time that was all black and white. The photos were glorious in that you just can not determine when they were taken.  There is something so special about them that it makes me want to go back to that time and meet all of the folks in the photos.  I think that black and white photos are more interpretive.  When photos are in color you can often guess the era and sometimes even the location the photo was taken.

“I think it’s because it was an emotional story, and emotions come through much stronger in black and white. Color is distracting in a way, it pleases the eye but it doesn’t necessarily reach the heart.” – Kim Hunter

I think that is why I love black and white photos.  With black and white, you can get away from the distractions and focus on the content.  It’s like an Alfred Hitchcock show.  When you are not allowed to see all of the details, your mind has to make up what is not obvious. It’s more attractive and more mysterious in my opinion.

A final few of my favorites from the past.  Just can’t get enough of the black and whites.

Reflections of myself in others


When someone smiles at me, I realize that I am probably smiling at them. One of my highest priorities in life is to see people smile back at me.

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Only when I am surrounded by my sisters and my daughters can I truly be myself. When I watch them, I am watching myself.  When I see them laugh, cry, be goofy, be angry, I am seeing a modified reflection of myself. I am a part of them and they are all every part of me.  Even when I am not with them, they are with me.

“She was beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines. She was beautiful, for the way she thought. She was beautiful, for the sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. She was beautiful, for her ability to make other people smile, even if she was sad. No, she wasn’t beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful, deep down to her soul. She is beautiful.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fun with friends is when I am also most myself.  Smiling at others to have others smile back at me is what makes me feel most myself.

“This life is for loving, sharing, learning, smiling, caring, forgiving, laughing, hugging, helping, dancing, wondering, healing, and even more loving. I choose to live life this way. I want to live my life in such a way that when I get out of bed in the morning, the devil says, ‘aw shit, he’s up!”

― Steve MaraboliUnapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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