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Adventuring since 1986.

February 10, 2014 

I have been really quiet over the last month. I have good cause for the silence — I was avoiding the Internet and genuinely enjoying every second I got to spend in San Francisco.

It was glorious. In a month Karl & I did the following + more:

But, now I am back in Berlin. And, I am so so jet lagged. I feel like all my incredible experiences in the last month have exploded my brain and now all I can do is lay in bed watching Parks & Recreation. 

This last week has been incredibly sunny, though — I have never seen Berlin like this. It feels like Spring has sprung and I think the sun hitched a ride on my plane to Europe. 

I am back to writing everyday too. My new goal is also to read more and speak German to other humans. Dogs and/or Duolingo do not count. I realized in the last year I have become more of a recluse. Especially since Scott and Abby both moved away at the beginning of the summer. I am more closed in and boarded up. Being in San Francisco for a month really helped me come out of my shell more and that’s something I want to continue working on in Berlin.

Today was amazing.

I walked from the Mission to Golden Gate Park, then onto Lands End and back again. It was about 9 miles in total (lots of changes in elevation) and I took the bus home.

San Francisco is very sexy.

On NYE Karl and I ventured down to South Austin for a skating, 80’s party to ring in the New Year. We slapped on some skates, donned our best 80’s attire and had a hell of a night tearing up the roller rink dance floor.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

On NYE Karl and I ventured down to South Austin for a skating, 80’s party to ring in the New Year. We slapped on some skates, donned our best 80’s attire and had a hell of a night tearing up the roller rink dance floor.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Over the last few days Karl and I camped in Big Bend National Park — it was stunning and gorgeous — the hikes killed me, though. So my NY resolution is to hike more and do more long walks. I used to meander a lot — lately my meandering has dwindled. 

Big Bend inspired me to get off my butt and get my feet into hiking boots!

I can relate to that feeling.

Coming to the edge, knowing you have to jump because you’ve gone too far to turn around. But, also being scared shitless and unprepared for what awaits. Totally financially unstable, with one rucksack & lots of unknowns. That was definitely what Berlin felt like when I first landed at Tegel 3 years ago.

Passage from Robyn Davidson’s book "Tracks" - a woman’s solo trek across 1700 miles of Australian outback.

January 1, 2014

I’m in San Francisco, sitting in Dolores Park, looking at the city from my perch up here on this hill. Everything is golden with a slight hazy glow in the distance. A little fog is being stirred up — only a hint but, it’s brushing along the coast. 

It is warm. 60 degrees in January. And, yes that’s in Fahrenheit — I can use Fahrenheit in America without feeling shamed by my Celsius loving friends.

Everything feels good, but I could use some more coffee. Since it’s 6pm I’ll settle for some good tunes and an IPA. 

Holi-daze

December 16, 2013

I’m taking a few weeks off from transcribing all my “write everyday” words here since it’s the holidays and I will be traveling a lot. Plus, I need a break from the Internet.

I am still writing everyday, though — those will just be private entries for now.

I’ll be more consistent with posting after the new year!

Day 18

December 11, 2013

I first saw The Royal Tenenbaums when I was in middle school. I wasn’t old enough to see R-rated movies. I remember that because my friends mom had to bribe the ticket seller to let us in without her.

I fell in love with the Owen brothers, especially Luke. His portrayal of Ritchie Tenenbaum sent my heart a fluttering. I also really felt emotionally connected to Margo Tenenbaum — a moody, probably quite emotionally immature woman who hid away from everyone. Margo and Ritchie were in love. It made sense to me.

I was probably 14 at the time. My friend and I were surrounded by adults — and no one was laughing. To me, the movie was a comedy - dark, but hilarious!. Everyone around me was silent. But, I was cracking up, snorting out my soft drink and choking on popcorn.

The other day I was walking down my street in Berlin and passed by a white building. Inside everything shined. On the window I saw one of my favorite lines from the beginning of The Royal Tenenbaums:

"Dear Eli, I’m in the middle of the ocean. I haven’t left my room in four days. I’ve never been more lonely in my life, and I think I’m in love with Margot." 

I smiled so big & snapped a picture. It felt really whimsical reading that, sorta running into it on the street. A little piece of a memory from America showing up in Berlin.

Day 17

December 10, 2013

I want to talk about Robyn Davidson - The camel lady.

I learned about her from Abby - of course. My travel partner/ nomadic spirit guide soulmate. Abby sent me the trailer for the movie based on Robyn’s 1977 9 month trek across the Australian desert.

Damn this lady is fierce. And, I was so surprised I had never heard of her. She’s still alive and has three homes (see she’s a nomad at heart and can’t just pick one place to stay) — a home in the himalayas, Sydney and London. So quaint.

In 1977 at the age of 27 (my age now), she took four camels and her dog on a trek from Alice Springs in the middle of Australia to the Western Coast. It took 9 months, a lot of sweat, blood, tears and serious strength. She did it alone, with no help and made it. She more than made it.

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I admire her so much — she reminds me of another idol of mine, Beryl Markham. I first read about Beryl while I was studying abroad in Spain. My dad slipped “West With the Night” into my backpack before I hit the road to Madrid and said “read this, you’ll like it”. I did and I loved it.

I think it kinda added some fuel to my travel fire — it sparked something. Beryl was an Independent, badass woman just like Robyn. She was the first person (man or woman) to fly East to West over the Atlantic and in her late teens she was a champion horse trainer. She then learned to fly and helped track large game for hunters in Africa.

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These women have something in common that makes me chomp at the bit - an utter thirst for adventure and freedom.

I like this quote from Robyn:

‘I’ve chosen, I guess, freedom over comfort, which means that I’ve often been uncomfortable”

Ain’t that the truth.

It’s something that I think of all the time. Sometimes I hazily dream of having a home and getting cozy, but then I realize I would lose so much of myself in the process. I’m just not ready to settle down yet. If I ever had a home that felt more than semi-permanent, I’d need another home to escape to and maybe another after that…and that just brings me back to where I started. A woman, uneasy with settling down and staying in one place for too long. I’m like a shark in the water, I have to keep moving or else I’ll expire.

So back to Robyn and her camels and her journey alone. It inspires me to no end. She struggled, sure — it wasn’t always easy, but in the struggle she grew so much as a person. She proved she could do it, because why not! She said she could and she trusted her gut.

I often think about doing something similar. Maybe not with camels, but a solo journey off the grid. But, a piece of me is a little scared. Clinging to the part of me that can’t entirely let go of controlling everything that happens. A piece of me that needs to know what’s coming next.

My inner dialogue says “but, that’s what adventures are all about, my dear.” 

I guess that is something I’ll just have to let happen, though when the time comes.

Let go, take on challenging adventures, learn everything I can & be free.

Day 16

December 9, 2013

(drawing by Maggie Tang)

It’s raining again in Berlin. I think I saw the sun a week ago, but I can’t keep track anymore. I sound like an emo teenager, but I’m not trying to — I just can’t remember the last time I basked in the suns rays. I always remember “basking” (especially in Berlin) and my memory is cloudy around when that occurred last. Cloudy like Berlin, maybe.

Two weeks until I’m in America and I can’t wait. I feel like I need a little break again from the Internet, if not for a week. I will do that soon.

Then, I’ll have a little more time to think and write and take pictures. Maybe even finish another book.

I am trying to talk myself into finishing “the art of travel" and "the power of habit,” but I always end up watching “the office” on Netflix instead.

I listened to Ray LaMontague all day today while it was raining. He sang about how New York was killing him. He just wanted to go back home to the country and hide away in a cabin with his lover and a bottle of Whiskey. Away from the lights and sounds and people. I can relate, Ray.

It’s a recurring theme in my life, but I’m feeling the itch to get away from the city again. Or at least away from the gray. I am hoping that San Francisco brings a bit more light and some new sounds and feelings.

I hope it snows again soon. White blankets of snow are so much better than sheets of rain.