Thursday, December 30, 2010

Real Travelers

Up here in Northern California, Brian's relatives are real travelers. Many of them have spent years living and working abroad in remote and foreign locations. I have so enjoyed hearing their amazing stories about Sumatra, Madagascar, Malaysia, Japan, etc. Talking to these folks makes our trip seem very status quo. Of course we are dropping everything and traveling for a year, that's what one should do! It is a very different experience to talk about this trip with folks who have lived what we have done and more.

One comment I have been hearing from a number of these travelers is that once they returned from their long journey, hardly no one wanted to hear about their trip. I found this hard to believe? I can't get enough of the stories these folks have to tell. And how their travels changed them.. Like their difficulties in comprehending and viewing the choices we have in our supermarkets compared to the limited resources in most of the world... Their difficulty once back in the Western world readjusting to the first question asked of them always being "what do you do" instead of anything else.... The strangeness of the materialism we embody in our nation, when all one really needs to live a happy good life can be carried on one's back.... And that the worst culture shock of all was always returning to America, not leaving it....

One tradition in the family up here is to draw "angel cards" on New Years Eve to suggest to the individual a focus for the upcoming year. I drew "expansiveness"and Brian drew "depth". :) Sounds good to me...

I am realizing that I am struggling a bit with the documentation of this trip. My goal is to stay present as much as possible and I don't want this blog to get in the way of that goal. I catch myself thinking about how best to capture what I am experiencing, slight frustration if I can't blog for days at a time, and that will just not do. I think I need to let go of the idea of being able to share most of what I am seeing, experiencing and feeling with my friends and family with this thing. I need to come to it when it is time, and put it aside when it is not. I hope that is acceptable to all of you....

Already I feel like I have missed the window of opportunity to talk about the beauty and expansiveness of Golden Gate Park, the brilliant youth play of Siddhartha we saw last night, the amazing ethnic cuisine I have been consuming, and the nasty cold I have. The strange new rhythms of travel, the enormity and mystical nature of redwoods, the complex and sometimes overwhelming experience of family, the sensation and joy that comes from the presence and reciprocation of unconditional love, and the smiles and acceptance that seem to emanate from Californians.... There is so much here, there is always so much in every moment. A distillation of all I am thinking and feeling is necessary to keep these entries manageable :)

I wish to all of you a new year full of presence and awareness, joy, warmth, love and beauty. Happy 2011!


  1. It was so good to see you two while you were in NorCal! it has been such a blessing to reconnect with you after so many years of distance. I am really looking forward to reading about your adventures this next year but I can see how managing this blog could have the potential of pulling you out of the experience. How can you possibly capture in words what you experience in your whole body and being? I'm sure you will find a balance and a rhythm as the trip progresses. Blessings on your journey!

  2. Unless we follow you on your journey every step of the way, we will miss part of the story. That being said, hearing only snippets that pop at that particular moment is the essence of being present. Personally, I feel this journey is for you both; the blog is to inspire others to find their own adventure, whatever that might be.