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.
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.
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.
Sehnsucht (n.) – Origin: German – Definition: The inconsolable longing in the human heart for a far, familiar, non-earthly land one can identify as one’s home.
I spent 3 years teaching English in Korea. My youngest daughter lived with me for the first year. I homeschooled her and she would often come into my classroom and “assist” me in teaching the kids. My oldest daughter came and lived with me for a bit, and then off on her own for a bit teaching English herself.
During both of their times in Korea with me, we hiked, went to mask festivals, tea festivals, ate, ate, and ate more than you can imagine. We volunteered at an orphanage and at a soup kitchen. My kids volunteered on the set of a “movie” once and we participated in a variety of artist events.
Sometimes I feel a bit of sehnsucht for this special country and often consider it my second home from home. I will sometimes dream that when I am done doing what I am currently doing, I will go back there once again and resume my previous life. I know they say you can never go home again. I hope that is not true. I will forever hold Seoul in my heart as one of the most special times in my life. My daughters both agree that if I were to go back, this is the one place they would follow me to if they could.
“I felt a pang — a strange and inexplicable pang that I had never felt before.
It was homesickness. Now, even more than I had earlier when I’d first glimpsed it, I longed to be transported into that quiet little landscape, to walk up the path, to take a key from my pocket and open the cottage door, to sit down by the fireplace, to wrap my arms around myself, and to stay there forever and ever.”
― Alan Bradley
As much as I love to travel. As much as I love new experiences. As much as I love a variety of food and drink. As much as I love making new friends. As much as I love the open road. As much as I love flying. As much as I love taking the train. As much as I love new sceneries. As much as I love the sounds of an unfamiliar culture. As much as I love who I become in a new surrounding. As much as I love the view of an unfamiliar landscape from an open hotel window. As much as I love everything about every other place in the world….
There is nothing I love more than home.
“Maybe you had to leave in order to really miss a place; maybe you had to travel to figure out how beloved your starting point was.” ― Jodi Picoult
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
Port Ordaz/Ciudad Bolivar/ Playas/Chichiriviche Cerca de Morocoy/ Santa Theresa/ Avila/ Caracas
Catatumbo/ Delta Orinoco/ Los LLanos / otres partes
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.
Annu Miarabilis (n.) (phr.) – Origin: Latin – Definition: A remarkable or notable year in history; a year of wonders and miracles, used to speak hopefully of the future.
The year 2020 has brought us so much negativity and bad news. The world news corps sharing their 24/7 pandemic of fear. COVID-19, an actual pandemic, has caused millions of people to lose their lives or at minimum, their way of life. Fire, politics, racism, riots, masks, online education, all followed by memes to mock it all.
Based on the above negative aspects of last year, I have decided on a new personal writing/photo challenge for 2021. Words – happy words, weird words, words relating to travel, words that sound funny, words that represent my identity, words that I have never heard of before, words that might very well be made up.
So here is a toast to 2021 with the hope that it will take off in leaps and bounds, turning into an annus mirabilis. With love and memories to all past travels, smiles, hugs, and kisses and hoping all of these things can resume!!!!