I'd be lying if I said I wasn't at all skeptical of finding the actual building in which my father was born. He was born a Baby Boomer in St. John's, Newfoundland, outside the nation that raised him, to an Air Force officer during the nascent years of the Cold War.
Kandinsky's abstract forms burst into concrete shapes for the briefest of moments, flickering in reality like fireworks before disappearing, lost again in the unconscious, like a dream forgotten upon waking.Read More
Do you ever get lonely?
All too often.Read More
It might seem out-of-place to feature this video on a "travel blog," but before any conclusions are drawn, hear Amanda out at the 9:30 mark:
Through the very act of asking people, I connect with them. When you connect with them, [they] want to help you…it's not easy to ask. Asking makes people vulnerable…"celebrity" is about a lot of people loving you from a distance…but this is about a few people loving you up close, and about those people being enough.
I've found the art of travel in the state of being vulnerable, and by being willing to ask a stranger for something. For an overwhelming majority of the time, people have been good, kind, and hospitable to me. The best journeys are the ones when I let others be responsible for my voyage, delivery, and activity. Wherever I go, I go as a disciple of that place and the people I find there.
And disciples tend to ask for a lot of help along the way.
The first time I went looking for it, I overshot the turn-off for Punta Jesús Maria by about 15 kilometers, which is a lot of distance to overshoot something on an cantankerous two-speed bicycle with knobby tires. Especially when the island being pedaled across is only 30 kilometers to begin with.
I've been a little quiet on Sparkpunk for the last few weeks—not because I've lost interest in the website, but as I approached my one-year anniversary on Tuesday, I thought a lot about the energy and emphasis of each piece, and I'd decided to pare it down to one of two things: either an aesthetic feat (like Travel Candy), or a more longwinded piece that explores the raw, beautiful heart of travel.
This piece from Candice Walsh popped up on my RSS feed during a time I was contemplating this re-focus most, and as I read her quiet narrative I could sense the fire within: the struggle with ambiguity, with not-knowing, seems to be a default setting for real travelers. But the way she expresses hope amidst this—even at her worst—is a story for all of us.
…for other waters are continually flowing on. —Heraclitus
I returned to Florence in the summer of 2008, a year and a half after my first extended stay abroad there. The city was exactly as I'd remembered it—maybe less scaffolding this time around—but I couldn't shake the feeling that it had progressed beyond that which I'd known. I'd spend the summer reacquainting myself with its roads, museums, and people, only to uproot once again in August, to return home to my job after my grant research had completed.
In 2011, again I noticed this weird undercurrent of an ancient city in flux—but the buildings hadn't shifted, and the streets still led to where I wanted to go. Franco the waiter was showing his age, but the tables at his restaurant hadn't budged an inch. Nothing looked different, but nothing felt the same.
But it wasn't in the city I'd noticed the change: it was in the man I'd become during those years. The act of journeying morphed into the art of pilgrimage, and in the quest to find an answer, there I was: already a part of it.
It's the obscure that beckons us.
According to lore, the chasm that created El Portal del Infierno in rural Honduras opened up at once—seemingly in an act of defiance of the nearby priest, who was in the act of blessing the ground for a good harvest. Geothermal vents boil the adjacent river, and steam constantly pours out from both sides of the cave. To the superstitious, the landscape is terrifying, a harbinger of doom brought about by the dark forces obscured by the vapor.
The cave is too unreal to leave alone, though—places like this summon the splinters of intrepidness in all of us. We couldn't help but to explore a little, and wonder at all of it.
When was the last time you were drawn to something because of its mystery?
Just over one year ago, Ted Talks published this video featuring Kevin Allocca, the trends manager for Youtube—he's literally paid to watch Youtube videos, as he'll point out at the :20 mark. His job, essentially, is to monitor what happens when videos go viral, and to utilize that data into relevant cultural information about humor:
Unlike the one-way entertainment of the 20th century, this community participation is how we become a part of the phenomenon…(speaking in reference to a number of viral videos) communities sprouted up that brought [these instances] from being a stupid joke to something that we could all be a part of, because we don't just enjoy now, we participate.
And participate I did: yesterday at D & D Brewery, the owner—a friend of mine—coordinated a massive Harlem Shake video (if you haven't seen one yet, this is as good an example as any), featuring a professional juggler, a horse, a tuk-tuk, a man in a tree, a smattering of beer kegs, and yours truly.
Can you spot me amidst the chaos?