Thursday, August 25, 2016

Travel Tips for the Ages

There are a gazillion blog posts, magazine articles, books and movies out there touting the life-changing potential of travel.  Those who have never experienced the changes must continue to scoff at the concept, because those who have been lucky enough to experience the changes keep seeking new ways to share the same story.  They truly believe in the power of those moments and the importance of having as many people as possible experience them, or they would simply cherish their particular memories without trying to convince the nay-sayers.  I'm a believer, and it's a worthy cause.

As I recently did regarding my experience with the Taj Mahal, let me enlist a second voice in case mine isn't sufficiently compelling.  We're different genders, very different ages, and from totally different times, but Willard Price had the same wandering soul as the global nomads of today.  If we're all on the same page over 70 years later, we must be on to something!

Willard's advice on how to grow, learn, and maximize the opportunities that the world has to offer distill into four rules that are as applicable today as they were a century ago.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The CZ Book Club: 2015 Part II

I have this thing where I can't get rid of a book without (re)reading it, and I'm downsizing my life, which mostly means going through the piles of books that are stacked all over my house.  Funny that just a few years ago, I was collecting any book I could get my hands on while I cherished the dream of one day having a fantastic library room with wooden shelves requiring sliding ladders for access to the top. Then I moved a few times.  And wouldn't you know, books weigh a LOT.  I am pretty sure the total number of book boxes I had to unpack was equal to the total number of boxes for everything else I own.  Not conducive to the minimalist goal of living out of a vehicle!!

Per my own standard, it's going to take a while to get through my piles so I can send them off to new homes.  But there's progress.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Taj Redux

It has not quite been a year since I published a post!  Whew!  I'm less than a month shy though, so clearly an epic fail.  The teaser is that I have over 40 stories that I want to finish and share, so it's not for a lack of adventures and fun and travel-inspiration that I've been a ghost!

First: this blog is not dead.  I don't know for certain what I want to do with it.  I want to change it, make it more of a story-telling forum than a how-to forum, and I want to do a whole lot more with photographs.  But I also have a full-time job that I have not decided to abandon, so I haven't been able to dedicate the time and energy that I want into developing this into my vision.  Yet?  There are a lot of things pulling me in a lot of directions these days, and it is not a pleasant experience.  Something will give way eventually.  I'll be glad if it's not my sanity.

I was recently lost in the bowels of the Widener Library trying to locate books that I wanted to check out for thesis research.  Along the way I found this gem; and how could I possible leave it behind??  The title says it all-- I Cannot Rest from Travel.

The title comes from a line in a Tennyson poem.  The author of the book, Willard Price, was a journalist/photographer/jack-of-all-trades and he published this book in the early 1950s.  It's definitely a book of those times, and there are some cringe-worthy generalities that are an excellent reminder of how far we've come in the last half century.  Anyway, the point is that this man enjoyed some insane adventures.  Sometimes, I wish the world was still wilder, unknown, and mysterious as it was when he was gallivanting around before the ubiquitous digital connection afforded by the Internet and social media.

Anyway, one chapter really struck me, and I wanted to share.  It's unfortunate that I haven't written the many things I have planned and as a result, one of my last published posts was about the Taj Mahal ... because the time lapse between that post and this one is extensive, and that's part of what's so neat about this unexpected discovery!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Favorite Runs: Paul Stock Nature Trail

Tucked away in the northeast corner of the wild open spaces of the state of Wyoming, there is a little town.  It's little by rest-of-world standards; for Wyoming, it's a pretty decent size.

It was born in the late 1800s and named in tribute to arguably its most famous resident ever, the American frontier legend William "Buffalo Bill" Cody.

Cody, Wyoming is Cowboy Country.  It sits on the edge of the Absaroka Range of the Rocky Mountains, and guards the eastern entrance to Yellowstone National Park.  It holds a rodeo nightly during the summer months, and is an embarkation point for hunters in the fall and winter.  It's got high plains dotted with sage and cattle, a sulphur-smelling river that carves its way through a canyon marking the edge of town, and mountain sentinels looming on the horizon.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Taj Mahal: A Moment of Quiet and Solitude in India

India is a country of color.  Traditional clothing favors vibrant hues, especially for women.  Cherry red, fire orange, peacock blue, emerald green, and sunshine yellow collide in a chaos of scarves and saris.  Buildings tend to be grey, brown, and red because of the stone and earth available to use for construction.  Yellow and green tuk-tuks dart through the streams of modern vehicles.  Food is spiced to shades of yellow and red, and markets abound with sandy-looking mountains of colorful precious flavors like saffron and cumin.  Plants bloom in every available space, providing a backdrop of green even in the most crowded, dusty cities.

India is also dirty.  Many roads are not paved, and a smog of pollution and dust permeates much of the country.  Animals freely roam the streets, even in the most metropolitan and modern of cities.  That's just the way it is for this densely populated country, but it creates a sheen of shabby sameness over the riot of colors that is India.

Against this backdrop of crowds, chaos, grime, and hues, the Taj Mahal is a shock to behold.