• Adventure,  Lifestyle,  Travel,  Writing

    2016 in review

    I had some big goals for 2016. Most of the goals were reasonable, but still some entirely unreasonable ones snuck in. These were the goals I wasn’t going to hold myself to because I had no control over other people’s actions, but I couldn’t help but keep these outlandish expectations as a yardstick. Maybe I watched too much Parks & Rec because I made a binder for my Writing Year, made quarterly goals, and decorated it with stickers. Some of my goals I now see as unrealistic (like blog 4 times a week. Who has time for that?), and some of them I forgot to write down, because I didn’t…

  • Inspiration,  Lifestyle,  Travel,  Writing

    Joy(us)Adventure: The End

    I got home, at last. When I arrived at the Atlanta airport, I’d learned there was a bombing in Brussels.  That explained the heightened security the night before, when we left Buenos Aires.  I texted my people–I was safe.  Nothing doing in ATL. I tweeted, too, just for safe measure. I was groggy with my little. yellow. pills.  that I had obtained from the pharmacy in Buenos Aires, and trying to swig down some black tea before it got cold and lost the efficacy that was curing my chest and throat pain.     The Savannah flight was mercifully shorter than even I predicted, and I was at the airport, with…

  • Inspiration,  Lifestyle,  Travel,  Travel,  Writing

    Joy(us)Adventure: day 6

    I need to insert a quick note here, at the top, where you are more likely to read this.  Most of these pictures have been my own, however, as the days wear on, much of the pictures I am posting are from a fellow traveler on the trip, Paul Stark.  I don’t normally credit the photos individually, but his skill and effort have made these entries more spectacular than if I relied solely on my pictures. Thank you, Paul, for the use of your work.  I hope you can tell how much I love what you have done, and that you were willing to share.  Onto the last morning of…

  • Dogs,  Inspiration,  Lifestyle,  Travel,  Writing

    Joy(us)Adventure: day 5

    This was the last full day on this island. Funny how small this place would get if one lived here.  How cramped 15 miles could feel, watching the buzz of tourists replace themselves, wandering the island with cameras that are phones, oblivious to the irony of privilege that allows them to come here, but not allow those that live there to leave with the same sense of ease. But I am the tourist.  I have my iPhone, snapping pictures of the giant statues, the uninterrupted vistas of waves, marveling at the well-natured stray dogs that amble through town, alone and in packs. That’s me. I’ve been here a handful of…

  • Inspiration,  Travel,  Writing

    Joy(us)Adventure: day 4

    The only way I can describe a day like this is to say, in the least dude-bro way: Epic. I want you, dear Reader, to experience this day the way Mary Joy and I recapped that particular day’s events: with a nice bottle of Chilean Carmenere.  Curl up on your twin beds in your pjs with short glasses of wine, giggling about the handsome Rapa Nui dancers, expressing disbelief at the actual physical location of your body on the planet, and marveling at the hundreds of scattered stone statues that most people only ever see in National Geographic.  Get your glass, join us. So.  Epic.  Today.  Why so much epic?…

  • Rapa Nui Easter Island
    Inspiration,  Lifestyle,  Travel,  Writing

    Joy(us)Adventure Day 3: Easter Island

    Easter Island is not big.  15 miles long, and 7 miles wide, its closest neighbor is Pitcairn Island (home of the descendants of the mutineers from the Bounty) 1,289 miles away, as the crow flies.  Not that a crow would fly that way, because its all vast Pacific ocean, with no place to rest.  That’s one dead crow. There’s only one flight a day, back and forth from Santiago, but the plane is nice, with those fancy self-tinting windows, since there is nothing to look at but water for four and a half hours. We were met with fresh flowers and our local guide, Sofia.  We drove through Honga Roa,…

  • Lifestyle,  Travel,  Writing

    Joy(us)Adventure: day 2

    Day 2: No Blink Goes to Waste Exhaustion. Mary Joy and I both arrived just after 9:30 am local time at the Santiago airport, her from Houston and me from Atlanta.  The airport also took in full flights from Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, and Barcelona at the same time. Baggage claim had been empty when I first entered, but quickly filled with people. The exit through Customs became a snaking line that resembled more of the Ourobouros symbol than a rational method of granting entry into Chile. I spotted Mary Joy as she picked up her heavy duffel bag at the Houston baggage carousel, and I was in one of the many…

  • packing
    Lifestyle,  Travel,  Travel,  Writing

    Joy(us)adventure: day 1

    Luck finds you anywhere in the world, except it isn’t always called luck. Fortune, blessings, karma, answered prayers, all of these found me once more in the company of a woman I have looked up to my entire life. And, just as we had done four years prior, we were again in far-flung reaches of the world. Mary Joy, my aunt and my father’s sister, was my partner-in-crime for twenty-two days in the Southern Hemisphere. We share a middle name, as do many women in our clannish family, but we do not look alike. When meeting us for the first time, many people cocked their heads in examination, looking in…

  • Inspiration,  Lifestyle,  Writing

    Travel Writing

    I stand at a precipice of truly fantastic vacation.  Cue the whining.  I know. Believe me–I really do know how fortunate I am, or lucky, or gifted, or blessed, or whatever words you want to use when you mean “bewildered and envious.” I leave next week for a three week vacation that includes a sojourn to Easter Island before heading to Patagonia. I live in the South. I know what you really mean when you say, “Bless your heart.” In fact, I think I’m hearing it right now. Part of the preparation for this trip, which is not insignificant, has been trying to figure out how to write about it, during…

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