song of the moment…

this is probably the best cover of a song i’ve ever heard…

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Vancouver…

View from our friends apartment where we are staying…First snow on the local mountains…time to get outta here!

(journal excerpt): We arrived in Vancouver safe and sound on Monday and have been very busy visiting friends and family since our arrival.  As I expected, time here has flown by and its crazy for me to think that already tomorrow there is a very long plane ride ahead of us (11.5 hours).  We are staying at the apartment of a very generous friend who has opened her home to us.  It’s so great to have a base from which to visit people-assumedly the last “home” we will be staying in for a while…

I am underdressed and cold here because we didn’t want to carry a bunch of heavy winter clothing that we won’t be using in a week or so.   It’s damp and rainy here as usual but with a few clear days which is more than I was expecting.


I was curious to see what my reaction would be to coming back to Vancouver and so far I havent really felt any emotional connection to the city itself.  Maybe I haven’t been gone long enough? I have been appreciative of the opportunity to see its natural beauty with fresher eyes (which is common for me after I leave here for a while) and it’s nice to walk around and see what has changed and what has stayed the same but I can’t say I feel any sense of “this is my home”.  Is that weird? While I can see the familiar as comfortable and simple, I’m glad I am learning that this sense of home and comfort that I may think I need is within me at all times wherever I am and that steadfast unwavering can be accessed when I need it.  “I am here” now and tomorrow I will be “there” but I am always “here” and that’s okay.  Perhaps this comes from moving around so much growing up, but I’m learning to be okay with feeling displaced or maybe I will say “in place”. 

The BKK flooding situation is one that is becoming increasingly an issue as our flight there is currently scheduled for November 4th.  This weekend should be a critical one for Bangkokians as they wait to see if the levees will hold and the highest tides of the month will inundate the city.  We may need to reroute our flight or, if the airport stays open, fly out again from there.  Time will tell.

Source: google.com via Angela on Pinterest

 

For now, onto Seoul where we look forward to a big city with neon, questing for vegetarian food and seeing an old friend…

things i’m loving…

This is our last day here and it’s a mix of emotions.  I am excited to see my friends and family in Vancouver and happy to visit some old haunts while I am there.   I am looking forward to good sushi.  I am excited to go to Korea a few days later.  I am sad to leave my family here.  I am nervous about Bangkok and the state of flooding there and wondering if we will need to either change our flight or fly out again once we get there.  But time will tell.  That situation is changing by the hour and we have just been keeping up with the tweets on the subject as it is the most up to date.  Without a doubt, it is flooding there.  But we have two weeks till our arrival there so who knows what can happen.  Here are a couple of things I’ve stumbled upon in the past few days that have caught my eye:

Ofra Lapid-This guy is crazy! Apparently this guy found a bunch of photos on the internet by an amateur photographer in South Dakota.  The photographer had a series of photos of abandoned decaying buildings.  Ofra Lapid then reconstructed the buildings out of paper and re-photographed them.  Out of paper! Click the link for more amazing images.

I’m a sucker for vintage saucy photos.  No interest whatsoever in similar photos of the modern-day but something intrigues me when I see pornographic photos from back in the day.  It makes me wonder about the individual and her story.  Click here for a series of photos from the Red Light District in New Orleans circa 1912.

I’m sorry? Is this seriously a custom-made macaron knuckleduster ring? Why yes, it is! I want this.  If I had an address to send it to, I would buy it now.  Check out this girls etsy shop for gorgeous eye candy. 

one week…

Image courtesy of Flickr/erinbarker

Today marks one week before we leave the prairies and take what is our first of many flights in the next little while.  I have been spending a lot of time reflecting on the summer and feeling a little sad and nostalgic for all things I am leaving behind.  All in all, I had a great summer.  In the end, what amounted to very little emotional sacrifice, resulted in huge gain for M and I.  If we hadn’t come here, we couldn’t have saved the money for our trip, and for that I am truly grateful.  

I have faced criticism from friends and family over the past while about our choices and our “unconventional” lifestyle and I have been struggling with ways to meet this criticism with open heart and compassion.  It hasn’t been easy and oftentimes resentment wells up in me when I think of things certain people have said to me, when I know I haven’t ever verbalised my criticisms of their life, to them-ever.  

“Why are you doing this?” “What’s the appeal?” “Aren’t you nervous?” “Sounds like a lot of work.” 

But in the end, I have to remember that these people are motivated out of concern for me, and by their own exposure and experience and I have to understand that many people are not going to be able to relate to me and the things I choose to do with my life.  Perhaps my choices are sometimes dangerous and foolhardy to some, but if we are all meeting the inevitable death on the horizon, why not meet it doing what we love all the while, instead of attempting to escape it by standing still, hoping It won’t notice us.  I’m not suggesting that’s what the people around me are trying to do, or that my choices are any more noble or better than anyone else’s.  We all need to live our own life and not through the filter of someone else’s experience.

“Travelling” is not the same as taking a vacation.  There are more challenges, risks, illnesses, inconveniences and problems.  Particularly when you travel on a tight budget, things aren’t always comfortable and it takes being able to step back sometimes, to realize why you are doing what you are doing and that you are going to be okay. My goal on this trip is to be more open to these challenges, resist less and to be able to “step back” for perspective more easily than I did last time.  I remember losing my patience many ‘o time-trains not running on time, parasites, bedbugs, ripoffs, scams.  But the rewards are there, and for me, they far outweigh the inconveniences.

We spend four nights in Vancouver, visiting friends and our old haunts and then it’s off to Seoul, Korea.  We are looking forward to visiting with a friend we met in Berlin, who later came to hang out with us when we were living in Prague.  That was 2007/2008, which feels like a long time ago now.  Our next adventure awaits and I am nervous, but ready!

In related news, I crumbled and bought a new backpack, same brand as M just got.  Huge expense but with a lifetime warrantee, it just makes sense.  My last backpack was purchased over twelve years ago for a trip by train across Canada.  A backpack I just grabbed off the shelf, I had no idea that they were meant to be fitted for you, based on your height and specific travel needs.  This one feels SOO much more comfortable, has an attached day pack and is (gasp!) smaller than my old one.  Time to downsize that toiletry bag!!