Posts Tagged ‘travel’
HOW CUTE IS HE?
Except that he’s quite the little terror! Sound familiar, cute and mischievous?
This pic was taken on our way up the coast of South Africa in Plattenberg Bay on our way to our safari destination a little further north. This was taken at a little place called Monkeyland. Yep, a real life place off the highway in the middle of nowhere FULL of monkeys. Birds of Eden is another animal park located at this wildlife pitstop.
Some of the little devils are fearless scoundrels! The little lad featured above is no exception.
We stopped to have lunch at Monkeyland and this guy, as well as several of his peers, were on the hunt for leftover scarps on the deck.
As the monkeys are kept in a habitat like their natural environment, you’re not allowed to feed them. These are by no means domestic monkeys either, so while they look cute and fluffy and you want to give them a french frie, they’re pretty vicious from what we were told.
I still want one as a pet.
Well I’ve officially been living in San Francisco for 12 days! Technically, I didn’t really move into an apartment till last Friday, but I’m here. It feels like I’ve been here forever at the same time it doesn’t really feel like I’m here at all.
When you entirely uproot your life, I guess a sense of disconnect is normal. After we spend so many years of getting comfortable in one particular situation and living arrangement it’s hard to adjust to a new one. Hard and yet so easy to do so at the same time that it is almost concerning.
I couldn’t be happier in a place that for me has been like a sacred promise land for months now. San Francisco, a land of greater opportunity.
Anyway, here are some things I’ve observed since being in San Francisco:
- The trend as far as cocktails go tends to be fancier (lots of muddling) and more expensive.
- People LOVE to honk their horns at you. Even if you’re stopped at a red light, they honk.
- Pedestrians DO NOT cross the street unless the walk signal is displayed, even if there are no cars coming.
- Almost everyone is REALLY excited about what they are doing here. Passion drives people, dreams are achieved and new seemingly impossible goals are being reached for.
- Almost EVERY restaurant we’ve been to serves good food.
- Fernet is the most popular thing to take a shot of at a bar.
- The possibilities for where you could end up on a Saturday night are endless- that includes Alcatraz- see tomorrow’s post.
- People are really into networking and helping you get connected.
- Despite the horn honking, I have found people to be friendlier than expected.
- In order to park on the side of the street on a hill you have to turn your wheels so that they are aimed at the curb. (I learned this the hard way- twice)
- I have the greatest friends- all over the country. My friend Mary, who let me crash on her couch and made sure I moved my car on time couldn’t have been more accommodating and helpful in teaching me the tricks of public transportation, where not to walk, etc. And my dear friend Gwen, has been a constant source of support. ALSO- an amazing amount of friends and family who have reached out to make sure I’m okay out here alone and losing my grandmother have really helped me feel loved even across the country.
- Big things are happening around every corner! Just last weekend was the dreamforce tech event, which after I had just seen a ton of people tweet about, got off the Muni, looked up and boom, there it was taking place!
- Running is WAY more of a work out- HILLS.
We spent our last nights of the trip in Park City, UT followed by Reno, NV (which I don’t suggest you visit unless you want to see America at its worst) and Lake Tahoe, CA.
Park City was great, though we didn’t spend much time there we did see some awesome live music and have a great dinner. Reno was like walking into another world. We ended up staying in a casino due to the cost. The place was nice, but it was a little depressing to see over-weight Americans chain smoking and drinking Buds in front of the slot machines at all hours of the day. We were definitely a little out of place when we walked through the casino headed to the gym in our workout clothes. Still, we managed to find a pretty happening restaurant that was as farm-to-table as Nevada gets, which isn’t saying much, but was great none the less. Finally, we ended our trip on Lake Tahoe. We were fortunate enough to stay with friends of Carters at a beautiful spot. It was a relaxing way to end our journey and start our new CA lives!
This letter, sent to me just now by my old college roomie, Kate O, couldn’t be more appropriate for my life right now and it makes me miss her dearly. As she lives in NYC now, we don’t get to catch up as much as we should. However we seem to always be on similar mental wave lengths without ever even having to discuss it. We just know. The link to this article came in an e-mail from Kate with the only other content being the subject line, simply put, “miss you!” How she knew I could greatly relate to this article and pull deep reflective, enjoyable thought from the piece is how I know we will be friends for a long time.
While there is deep tragedy surrounding Hughes life (his wife, and later, his son, both committed suicide) and the content of this letter dips a little bit towards the darker side at times, the note harped on some of the exact sentiments fueling me on my current journey and the need to change major key factors in my life in order to shed that outer armor and feel alive.
In a way I’ve been doing it ever since I was in high school. I started looking for experience by throwing myself into the most challenging and uncomfortable of situations i.e. traveling solo to new parts of the world. The current upheaval seems to be, at times, the most challenging yet. Maybe it’s because there’s so much on the line, or maybe it just feels that way, that as you get older, you feel you have more to lose for some reason. Either way, I know from past experiences, the greater the intensity of the challenge the greater the feeling of reward and success.
I encourage all to read the letter and sit and ponder what Hughes has to say. I greatly enjoy this excerpt from the letter:
“And so, wherever life takes it by surprise, and suddenly the artificial self of adaptations proves inadequate, and fails to ward off the invasion of raw experience, that inner self is thrown into the front line — unprepared, with all its childhood terrors round its ears. And yet that’s the moment it wants. That’s where it comes alive — even if only to be overwhelmed and bewildered and hurt. And that’s where it calls up its own resources — not artificial aids, picked up outside, but real inner resources, real biological ability to cope, and to turn to account, and to enjoy…The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.”
May we all continue to find the courage to live boldly enough. It is surely not easy, but the benefits, the feeling of being alive is the ultimate goal, no?
I recently read an old NYT opinion piece by, none other than Ben Stein- yeah, the Clear Eyes guy. Someone shared it with me and thought I may like it, or dislike it. They couldn’t decide. Keep reading and you’ll see why.
The op piece deals with the Economics of Love. Turns out it leaves me reeling in questions more than anything.
It got me to thinking how frequently I DON’T think about decisions in life with an economic and long term investement type mind set. I tend to be overly rational in the day-to-day decisions, but extremely UN-rational in larger, game changing decisions.
I’m convinced this stems from the disease of too much choice that plagues our generation. When there are SO many options, how do you decide which ones are right? Especially when it comes down to the big life decisions. It becomes much harder to never say “what if” because there are a 1,000 other “what ifs!”
I too frequently act on what feels good or what looks good at any particular moment- for better or worse. Though often I find it to be for the worse as it can be emotionally exhausting and even cripling at times to act on feelings in any given particular moment. Alas, that’s what makes us human, and ever so capable of making mistakes. It is feeling after all that sets us apart from robots. However, what does acting on feelings in the now mean for the later?
In a world where I desire success, a.k.a. earning a means to live comfortably, travel the world, have fun and raise a family, do I really have time for feelings right now? Or do I just need to learn how to manage them better? And if so, how do you do that?!
Feelings make things so much more complicated! They make us slow down, something I know I’m not too partciularly found of, yet they do get the better of me and it does happen. I tend to stop and overanalyze WHY I’m feeling a particular way. But does it REALLY matter? Further, once you have those unreal moments, those seemingly perfect days, how do you go back to living a “normal” life in the next day? Naturally we are greedy when it comes to feeling good. It makes sense. Why WOULDN’T you want to feel untouchable every day?
Does this mean I currently only have two options? Option A being the rollar coaster of highs and lows or option B, a calculated, somewhat steady existence.
Can you have both? Can you manage your feelings and emotions and only allow for the good emotions to come through? Can you train yourself to black out or to ignore or to just work through or to simply not even have bad moments? Does this calculated type of living prevent you from really enjoying the good moments?
I wonder. Experimenting now in affect. Stay tuned.
In a globalized world, does technology and advancement make us more independent or more dependent?
I believe the answer is both.
People are becoming more independent in MANY ways. It has become social norms to travel solo to another country for a semester abroad or to start your own company or grow up (or NOT grow up!) and have a child on your own or to sell everything you own and move to San Francisco or to travel to a third world country just for fun and/or to live for a year teaching English. These are all things that people do every day that before were not be as socially acceptable or as easy to do.
I love this. I am all about experience. Experience is: free, invaluable, fun, challenging, educational, strengthening, humbling. It’s what makes us into more understanding human beings.
However, I also believe that our globalized world has created for an independence struggle namely due to technology and lack of separation from a group.
Technology has made it ever so easy to be part of a hundred different kinds of groups and to be able to be connected to your friends at all times.
What WAS life like before cell phones? Before iPhones? When you just made plans to meet someone somewhere at a certain time. People still gathered for social events and had fun. When you weren’t checking Instagram or Facebook or searching the web for sites displaying collections of pretty things- what did you do? People read. They went for walks. They had conversations with other people. They listened to music- just listened to music. How often do we do that now? Sit down and listen to an album while not doing ANYTHING else?
Take a look at how many people CAN’T sit in a room for several hours without checking their cell phone. They have to see if Jane replied to their text message about how crazy Mary got last night or to see what Timmy wrote in response to their Facebook comment or how many people liked their most recent Instagram picture. (side note: no one names their kid Mary, Jane or Timmy any more instead we see Ava, Ella and Aiden. I’m fascinated and perplexed by how people decide to name their kids.)
I’ll admit, I’m just as guilty of technology dependence at times as much as I dislike it. Luckily, my boyfriend has a mild panic attack every time I pull out my phone when we are together. This causes me to check it less.
I believe a part of growing up in a globalized world means that people become more dependent on the need for affirmation of being part of a collective. Furthermore, I think that people are getting that collective affirmation from technology instead of real human contact. It scares me that most people don’t stop and ponder this and what that means for the future of communication and human connection.
Will we be able to balance our use of technology and still make room for real human connection and contact?