Category Archives: travel

booked.

new york city.

(photo compliments of the beautiful hailey taylor)

cape town townships.

the view from a plane can look so completely different.

and it is with all the excitement in the world to announce that i will be blessed to see both views again this year.
my flights are officially booked!
i’ll have my feet in the big apple may 15-19 before flying out of JFK and arriving in cape town on may 20.

there are so many details to share, without even mentioning the world cup (the WORLD CUP!!!), but for now, relishing in the simple joy of a booked flight is enough.

relish, relish, relish.

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it’s the black lineup that i miss.

ubud, bali. march 2009.

i really, really miss this.

whipping down a busy bali street, feeling the engine shift down as i pull up curbside in front of the cafe.
fitting myself between the lines of motorbikes everyone else is tearing around on. 
getting coffee and doing whatever it is i’d be doing. reading, thinking, sitting.
then getting up, picking the keys from out of my helmet, shoving the kickstand out of place, turning the key and blazing off into the heat…

 

my lumbering snowflakes.

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on a constant diet of apples and folk music, i bussed it up to whistler yesterday.
i stared out the window and all the guitars soundtracked the whirring landscape…i smiled a lot.

we got closer and closer and at one point, i noticed something. something i hadn’t seen in over 10 months (unheard of being from edmonton…) 

snow. it was snowing.
big, fat flakes hiding intricate designs were passing out handshakes with the earth. thousands and thousands of them.
i’m supposed to loathe these things. these little beasts that camp out for 8-months of the alberta calendar year.

instead, my heart wanted to run for the window, like cold little feet to a fireplace. 
i traveled all over the world, on dusty roads and beaches backlogged with sand and tree-lined streets, and all of a sudden the thing that says, 

 

“this, this is what you know. welcome home.”


is snow.
i felt like all those lumbering, beautiful snowflakes were all confetti falling from the sky  part of a party welcoming me back home, back to what i knew. they weren’t distant or foreign or unknown, they knew who i was. 

and shoot, you just hardly ever get that feeling in life, that feeling of being known. 

i kinda just wanted to cry out of happiness. i didn’t. i think i took another bite out of my apple, but the emotion was there, right at the gate. the sound of thousands of snowflakes knocking.

man, it made me so happy.

the undertow.

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being someplace else can be incredibly healthy.
you walk different streets, you eat at different bistros, you drink different beer, you meet different people.
the skies different. it’s all just … not what you know. it’s something else.

kate lives two doors down from modest mouse. it’s a bigger corner house with a mannequin looking out of the top window. it overlooks a park and she can hear them jamming all the time. i stood in front of it and thought, 

“hey, you’re famous. i love your porch.”

seeing where they live made them normal. they make rad music, but they’re no different than anyone else, really. these dudes drink beers and pay their rent and call their friends and have a deer lawn ornament. 

but as most of my thoughts do, the boat caught the undercurrent and i found myself wondering about all the decisions they made to have their lives be this, right here, on this street, at this house. what did they decide that culminated into this?

and that, that undercurrent of thought, is why being someplace else can also just irritate the shit out of settled dust.

it’s kind of annoying. here you think you have a few things figured out and suddenly you stand in front of modest mouse’s house, cock your head to the side, and you feel it, feel something shift. and the dust does a giant, unified grab for the ceiling. f.

rely on their lyrics to articulate it better than i can:

“i like songs about drifters – books about the same. 
they both seem to make me feel a little less insane. 
walked on off to another spot. 
i still haven’t gotten anywhere that I want. 
did I want love? did I need to know? 
why does it always feel like I’m caught in an undertow?”
– world at large. 

holy shit. i don’t know.

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the porch across the street.

falling in love with mothers bistro and stumptown and…

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so i’m back. and i missed this here little blog.
that’s not to say i wish i would have been writing it instead of walking down burnside or watching the bridges break to make way for the barges or apparantly doing exactly what donald miller does,

“if you want the best food, I’d take you right back to Portland. I’d get us a morning table at Mothers Bistro, and I’d have them bring out the French toast. Then I’d watch you fall in love.”

i read that on his blog this morning and laughed. i just did that. twice. sat at the bar with brandon and jon, a spanish coffee with stupidly dense whipped cream and a plate of their french toast wrapped in corn flakes. pear compote sitting on the side while we relished in portland mornings spent under vintage chandeliers.
i did fall in love. with the french toast, with mothers bistro, and even further with portland.

on the train ride there i wrote. on the train ride back i wrote even more.
and it will undeniably leak onto these pages, but right now, i’m just going to adjust myself back to canadian air and keep my nose in my brown stumptown coffee roasters bag filled with organic ethiopia mordecofe.

if there is one thing that is absolutely certain, it’s that the smell of stumptown will solve anything.

anything.

onward, to portland.

i have a black duffel bag slung on the chair next to me. thrown on top of it is a pack of djarums, 15 US dollars and a train ticket. if a 6-pack of beer was poking its head out of the zipper, i’d think my packing was done.
i actually think that’s the makings of a hobo’s bag, or a fugitives. ha, maybe i’m both in some sense. 

at any rate, i’m off to portland tomorrow!
it’s only for 3 days, but even in that, it’s a reprieve from routine. and the short timeline cannot pop my party balloon. i am stoked.

it started out as a trip for writing project research (basically holing up at powell’s books for an entire day) and tumbled into seeing oregon’s truest son, ryan, and my dearest, dearest friends that i met in bali in march.
as soon as word was out that i was coming, melissa and brett offered up their guest room and a keg and brandon and jon were ready to wear their bintang t-shirts and write “reunion party” in permanent marker in their wednesday. 

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i love these people.

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i love these people.

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i love these people.

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and i love portland.

tomorrow i’ll pull up to main street station early in the morning, grab my black duffel and hop onto the amtrak cascades to chug, chug, chug my way down to oregon.

freedom comes in all shapes and size. mine looks like a train right now.

adios.

these places waiting to be claimed.

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there was this one day in sydney.

nobody knew where i was.
but i was walking along the sea. for a long, long time.
and suddenly the path ended, the fence made you turn around and go back from where you came. i had walked pretty far and wasn’t happy to have to swing a 180 and retrace.

i looked around and saw that about a quarter the way up the sharp cliff was a little nook. a little scoop in the stone that looked perfect for sitting. i glanced around, weighed the option of smashing my head on the rocks if i fell and not trying at all, and started scraping my way up. my little black sneakers quickly saying hello to the dusty, layered rock.

i maneuvered myself into the groove and sighed out loud. i was pretty pleased. i watched as a few other tourists came to the end of the line, looked out for a minute or two, then unquestioningly turned around. had they only known other things could be found if they just went up.

but other than a few tourists, it was just me.

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i sat by the swirling sea and admired all the colors of blue it had picked that day.
i turned my head toward passing birds and stared straight into the sun. 
i sipped away at my orange juice and played song after song after song…

it wasn’t about anything or for anything. i had nowhere to be and no sense of time. it was just one girl, one sea, hanging out.
and when do you ever get to wander around on the other side of the world…to sit in a scoopy cliff…with orange juice and music…with the sea as your rug…and just let the minutes bother someone else?
never.

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i just took my battered travel journal off its shelf to see if i had written anything this day.
sandwiched between postcards and a picture of my grandpa was written a long entry i had written at a restaurant on the other side of the harbor that night. it ended with this:

“how do some young women not crave an adventure of their own? to get out, get lost, get known and put under the light…
this is where you find bits of yourself. in far-flung places, in side streets and unknown corners. as though these places were waiting for you to get there, waiting to be claimed.” 

february 11. 

i think those sentaments are the closest thing i have to a personal hymn. in them is a desire carved onto the palms of my hands.