The Road West

IMG_2033 IMG_2042 IMG_2043Just now settling back to life in NC after a wild week-long journey West.

From Monday – Monday, I was in Colorado and Utah. I took time off my normal life and routine here, packed my backpack and went with the full intention of some self-care. I left my computer and work at home, and traveled to a new state (Utah) for love and exploration and time in the wilderness.

I hiked,  snapped a few photos, and even chipped a tooth!

Enjoy this pink sky from a drive across I-70. More to come someday.


“It should not be denied… that being footloose has always exhilarated us. It is associated in our minds with escape from history and oppression and law and irksome obligations, with absolute freedom, and the road has always led West.” – Wallace Stegner


 

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Celebrating July 4th (*Nepal Style)

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Yesterday was ridiculous in the best ways possible.

We planned on celebrating America’s birthday to the fullest for nearly a week and yesterday did not disappoint. It was filled with fun.

When we’re completely honest with ourselves, we all tried pretty hard to get out of work, but ended up working on the field twice. *And enjoyed it in the end.

We spent the hot hours of the day down by the river because what Independence Day is complete without water? Rapids//drinks//good books to read//the hot sun. All good things. After the river times, we did some more work and this time around got distracted by the poisonous snakes in the field.

The night ended with beer//funny conversations//lots of dancing and even fireworks (*It turns out fireworks are highly illegal in Nepal, but our dear friend Ganesh went all the way to “little India” to buy us some!).

I have felt so extremely out of touch America and most of the rest of the world these days, and I’m okay with it. I feel that I’ve missed a lot of world news//big events. I feel that all of this is quite normal when internet access is limited and you’re living someone new// different.

I also realized yesterday amidst all of the ridiculous celebrations, I have a diminished capacity of feeling pride or great love for America. Granted, I am very blessed and privileged to be from such a place, but I have never had great pride in my country and I don’t know why. In trying to explain the concept of why we celebrate “America’s birthday” to our Nepali friends, I had to laugh. It all sounded entirely ridiculous and strange. We ended up settling the whole thing and told them that this was a day in America where it was okay to stone British people (*Like our lovely Immy) and the night ended with everyone being just as confused as ever.

It all turned out to be one memorable 4th and a nearly perfect day here in Letang.

[Photos: July 4th in Letang//Grace Farson]

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“It would be good to live in a perpetual state of leave-taking,

never to go nor to stay, but to remain suspended in that golden emotion

of love and longing; to be missed without being alone, to be loved without

satiety. How beautiful one is and how desirable; for in a few moments

one will have ceased to exist.” – John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez

Thanks Steinbeck.

[Photo: Notes from the road. Somewhere in NC//Grace Farson]

Thoughts on being an American

First, an explanation.

This photo was taken on one of my last days in Indonesia this summer. This particular photo goes out to Nicole and Tom who put me up to it. Tom uses this lovely American flag as his beach towel. When he whipped it out of his bag, Nicole and I went crazy. Before I knew it I was hitching a ride on some sweet Indonesian kid’s ATV and going for a joy ride, flag, smiles and all.

I often joke  that I possibly make one of the worst Americans of all time. I don’t vote as often as I could, I’m apathetic and I prefer to spend my days abroad, learning about new places, new people. And yet, I have it so good. Being an American is something that I do often take for granted.

On my flight to NYC from Dubai this summer, I sat beside a special guest to the United Nations from Tanzania. He was a remarkable individual and we got to talking about travel, experiences abroad and most of all, being AMERICAN. I told him I didn’t make a very good American and I always feel more like myself during my stays abroad.

What he said in response to that has really stuck with me. He told me that overall, “You have it good. You have an American passport, but you are a global citizen.” I like that. And, it is true. I should consider myself a global citizen with the blessing of American nationality. And that’s that.

During my stay in Indonesia this summer, I also read through Tracey Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains about Paul Farmer. I wrote this quote down in my journal and just found it the other day –

“I think that the rich can always call themselves democratic, but the sick people are not among the rich. . . Look, I’m very proud to be an American. I have many opportunities because I am American. I can travel freely throughout the world, I can start projects, but that’s called privilege, not democracy.” – Paul Farmer, Mountains Beyond Mountains

C’est tout.

[Photo: Depock Beach, Indonesia//Grace Farson]

midnight at waffle house

after the fabulous black keys concert saturday night, these lovelies and i went to get midnight biscuits at waffle house.

thanks all for the laughter, the stories and the memories. this past weekend was just what i needed in life.


“when we die, these are the stories still on our lips. the stories we’ll only tell strangers, someplace private in the padded cell of midnight. these important stories, we rehearse them for years in our head but never tell. these stories are ghosts, bringing people back from the dead. just for a moment. for a visit. every story is a ghost.”

– chuck palahniuk