world and heart, explorer slender; tracing lines both true and tender

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take two

Posted on June 22, 2014

Whew, okay. Got that last post out of my system. Sorry about that; that was pretty rough. I swear that I am not having a perpetual pity party all the time. This is the third day in my travels so far, at least, that I have insisted on beginning rather wretchedly, and which has ended with some sort of miraculous turnaround, no thanks to me. I should take the pattern to heart and learn yet another lesson: it’s not over until the fat lady sings. Er, patience is a virtue. How about trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding? My heart gets tired pretty easily, so I spend time by myself, or reading my bible, or mostly, by emailing…

q & pray

Posted on June 21, 2014

I’m sitting at a kitchen table, drinking Irish tea with Irish milk, on the smallest of the three Aran Islands, off the West coast of Ireland. It’s beautiful here. My pizza is almost done in the oven. The people in Ireland never seem to shut their windows, no matter how they might complain about the weather. Also, I love how much people drink tea over here. And lattes are barely more expensive than coffee in Europe. However, instant coffee is all over the place for some reason.  I’ve had a fun few days. I took two bus tours: one for the Ring of Kerry (a well worn circular route around one of the most beautiful counties in Ireland), and one for the Cliffs of…

ground gain

Posted on June 18, 2014

When I was younger, I loved reading Choose Your Own Adventure books. Control or curiosity, for better or for worse, I would always read through every possible story until I knew all the endings. I suppose one could argue that it’s a waste of time, but I often like to play out in my head the possibilities of paths not taken (I imagine most people do). For me at least, I think it helps me figure out the path that I did, in fact, take. Where would I be if I had chosen to travel abroad the hundred other times I had talked about it? How glad I am that I didn’t stay with the Italian guy in Dublin, and met a girl who…

little victories

Posted on June 15, 2014

Realizing that my backpack is a greater weight on my mind than my shoulders, and sending home even two pounds of stuff is like floating. Coming to settle on the notion that I do in fact really want something, and allowing myself small detours and splurges to go ahead and buy a dang chocolate bar. And then eat it voraciously and without care on the sidewalk while people do double takes at the little American. Putting one foot in front of the other no matter how many new aches I am feeling in my feet, legs, back, and heart. Writing! Blog, personal journal, postcards, emails; I like it all. Standing resolutely in front of the subway map for a good ten minutes until I…

growing pains

Posted on June 15, 2014

Finally! I think I might be getting the hang of things. I might feel the most stable I have felt so far. Hallelujah. Shaking eliminated? Check. Tight pains in chest? Sporadic. General attitude? Come what may. (I’m shooting for bring it on.) Oh, so I went to the Louvre. Guess what. I was waiting in line and a woman who was leaving held her ticket out in front of her and waved it around like a blind person until she stopped on me. Save 12 euros on admission? I’ll take it. Museums make me tired, though. Especially the labyrinth that is the Louvre. Maybe that’s what they should rename it. And the tagline should be, Go Here To Completely Drown In Culture! I don’t…

rolling

Posted on June 10, 2014

Woah. Today I felt both the worst and the best since the beginning of my trip. The first half of the day was spent at the Musee d’Orsay, looking at all the Impressionist paintings I studied in high school, like Degas and Monet and Van Gogh and Renoir and Cezanne. There they are, a mere arms length away, hanging so casually! Like they are no big deal or anything. Hmph. Although to be honest, my favorite paintings were not the famous ones. Who decides which ones get all the acclaim, anyway? I have two questions. First, does anyone still paint like the paintings I saw today? Grey beards so wiry and black eyes so shiny you have to lean in close to make sure…

phase 2 lockdown

Posted on June 10, 2014

Two things I know for sure: I am flying to Ireland in two days, and I will be hanging out at a summer house on the Black Sea on the coast of Bulgaria in July. Not bad, eh? These past two days I have taken it a little bit easier. Mostly I’ve been looking things up online to decide what the heck I would like to do next. Ireland, apparently. It will be my first experience with the ultra-budget, mucho infamous airline, Ryanair, where you can find flights within Europe anywhere from one dollar to fifty, or perhaps a little more, at the risk of getting slapped with tons of fees if you mess anything up. Fingers crossed. I’ll probably couch surf for a little…

high dive

Posted on June 7, 2014

Well, it’s been an almighty walkathon these past two days. I would be curious to do the math and see how many miles I’ve walked total. I believe my calves would say infinity. In part, I like going slow, but the other half is that I’ve acquired a pretty seriously resolute determination to spend as little money as possible. But then again, I’ve always had a hard time justifying money in my own name.  However, I did eat three very grand things today: a smoked salmon sandwich with dill spread, a cafe au lait, and a freshly pureed juice of oranges, strawberries, raspberries, and cherries. Yikes.  As promised, I went to Versailles yesterday with my new friends from the hostel. They insisted on giving me…

debut

Posted on June 5, 2014

I made it to Paris with little incident, though my sleeve has a lot more snot on it than I would care to admit. I am currently sitting in the colorful lobby of my hostel (Le Montclair Hostel, if you’re curious), which has very American radio playing and chalkboard walls. My feet hurt, in a good way. I marched up and down the cobblestoned streets of Montmartre today, saw Sacre Coeur and the Moulin Rouge (the former full of breathtaking hymn-singing, the latter being completely anticlimactic and somewhat lame). At the highest point in the city, I searched the skyline for the Tower, but to no avail. I feel pleased that so many people approached me with questions that they didn’t hesitate to pose in French,…