Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A lesson in camping...

This weekend, my friend Sarah and I decided to check out a little music festival in Floyd, Virginia.  Months ago, it had great promise as one last event before we both left the country this fall.  The Lumineers, John Butler Trio, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, and Old Crow Medicine Show were all headliners we were excited to hear.  We pictured a beautiful, sunny weekend camping in the Virginia mountains, listening to incredible music.

That was before The Rain.

An aside:  summers in the south are known for being scorchingly hot, brutally humid, with occasional thunderstorms - quick, powerful, punctuated with blasts of lightning and sharp booms of thunder.  We don't tend to have rainy versus dry seasons.  Rather, we get three true seasons (spring, summer, fall), with maybe a few weeks of winter each year.  Until this year.  It has rained almost every day for the last six weeks.  And not just the occasional quick thunderstorm.  These are long, drawn-out bouts of dreary rain.  Multi-hour thunderstorm beatings.  Cloud cover for days.  The upside?  I don't think we've had a single day in the triple-digits - something more than typical this time of year.  Instead, we're left handling monsoon season, and we've all been a little grumpy about it.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

On travel companions...

While I may be embarking on a solo round-the-world adventure, I have enough experience and research to tell me that more likely than not, I won't exactly be alone all that often.  I will likely pick up short-term travel companions along the way, whether synching up with another solo traveler, or joining up with a group of like-minded travelers.  With that in mind, here are some important things to remember when traveling with other people:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


You know that feeling when you’re a day or two away from a long weekend?  Or a week-long vacation?  Spring break perhaps?  It’s a struggle to focus, stay on task.  Your brain is already mentally sitting on that beach, sipping that cold beverage, and mentally filing away work to be done later.  The only productive thoughts in your brain are what bikini you’ll pack, what time you’ll leave town, if you remembered to make that extra run to the store for provisions…

Now multiply that feeling times eleventy-billion.

Every thought running through my brain has to do with cleaning out closets, selling furniture, deciding what to pack, what to store, what to take home to my parents.  They’re concerned with visas and budgets and immunizations and insurance. Timelines, last-minute embassy runs, and how I want to spend my last few weeks in town.  Endless to-do lists.

I’m doing what I need to get by at work, but it’s a little hard to focus on the answers to my mid-year review and my “development plan” when all I want to put as long-term goals are “see the world”.