Natsukashii


Natsukashii (Adjective) Origin: Japanese | A happy recollection of an event or memory.

The adjective originally described wanting to keep something close or wanting to express fondness for something. Over time, this term was used more to describe happy reminiscences, leading to the modern meaning. Take note that this is different from a nostalgic longing, but more of joyous remembrance of a past memory.

I was trying to find a single picture to go with this word.  I could not.  I have more joyous remembrances of times past than nostalgic longings.  I tend not to focus on the things that went wrong.  I do sometimes miss what is no longer there but I can honestly say that I would generally never want to go back to any period of my life.

I have no regrets. Do not wish for do-overs.  I believe in the butterfly effect.  If you were able to go back and change just one thing.. what would be different now? You could not guarantee it would be better.  As a matter of fact, it would likely be worse. (you really should watch the movie) I love the journey.

I’m not trying to say it has all been good.  I have had some extreme rough patches in life and at times I have been quite devastated by the twists life has presented.  However, even those times have shaped me to be the person I am today.  The one thing that stands out when I look back on my photos is that at every point in my life, even the worst of times … I smile.  I smile and it’s genuine.

When I was about 13 or 14, one of my best friends in junior high gave me a birthday card that read, “The one who laughs… lasts.”  (Thanks JoNelle) It was true.  I did. I still do.

It’s great to reminisce about good memories of my past. It was enjoyable when it was today. So learning to enjoy today has two benefits: it gives me happiness right now, and it becomes a good memory later. George Foreman

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Happy memories:  Arristela; paradise; nzain; vrunda; Jane; plaridel; Brendan; Teresa; reluctant; Jaya; Tim; wandering; sakshi; supreet; chinhooi; scribble; hope

Saudade


Saudade (noun) Origin: Portuguese | sɐw’dadə A nostalgic longing to be near again to something distant or someone that is distant.

I am nostalgic about almost every place I have ever been.  I miss the memories of the traveling I have done, of the places I have seen, of the people I have met.  I took a trip to Croatia with my youngest daughter a few years ago and it really was an amazing time.  Sure there were the mommy/daughter moments that were outrageously annoying.  However, I prefer to only remember the best parts of that trip.

I think it’s easier to remember … and to forget the annoyances of traveling with family than it is regarding issues that arise while traveling with friends. For me, it is because family has known you forever and you have your patterns and histories of the good and the bad.  For every bad there is a good.  Especially with your children.  My dream has always been to show my children the world.  Luckily for me, I have been pretty successful at that.

Though I do love traveling with friends.  There is always a feeling of saudade when my children or family are not around.  I feel like I have let them down by not having them participate in my adventure.  The re-telling is never the same as the being there.  Also, there is a freedom of being able to comfortably be at your best, your worst, your goofiest, your happiest, and even your saddest.  I am looking forward to more travels with them, more memories with them, and really, just being nearer to them.

“That strange sense of being different stays with you. You long to be with people who are more like you. Similarities are what bonds humans than differences, Beevitha.”
― Husna Mohammad

Saudade:  Irina; Iamfierce; candk; seeking; julia; zeki; simon; Asakura; agogo; chronosfer;

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

Sehnsucht


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.

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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.

Korea – Rolling; avagal liz; corvec; zhenya; graeme; naomi; charlie; fugitive; sofie; joseph; hab; kaja; secretmoona; margaux; bamculture; stephanie;

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