I spent my birthday in Thailand, fleeing Indonesia for a week in order to renew my visa for the second half of my internship teaching English in Jakarta. In Phuket, I watched sunsets set the ocean on fire. During the days, I trekked along the rocky coasts and lounged amongst the stones, staring at the ocean, swishing my feet in the changing tides to … Read More Jakarta Postal System: 1; Josie: 0
Half a year has gone by since I left Kansas. I’m still learning various currency exchange rates and the metric system, so still going strong (relative phrase). Relativity is a fickle friend. If I think on some of the travelers I have met—Liz and Hadyn in Assisi, who have been backpacking the world since summer 2016, Sara in Mostar, who traveled alone for three … Read More Half a Year Away, Away (and Happy 300!)
The world fills steadily with travel blogs, and my blood pressure—I find—rises alongside. I don’t invest time in browsing through “Top 10 Kiwi Destinations” or “Best Ways to Make Friends in Hostels” or “250 Ways That Travel Changes You”; partly because, being a snob, I don’t tend to like the things that the social people like. Partly because I often disagree with the principles … Read More It’s Not Travel that Will Change Us
Last Friday I, laden with my backpack and some food poisoning, took to the skies from Jakarta and landed 19 hours later in Auckland, New Zealand. The little flight from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was relatively painless, as sleepy Josie conked out folded like a taco against the seat-back tray table. But from Malaysia to Gold Coast, Australia was a 7-hour feverish vomit-y … Read More What are you doing over there?
It’s easy, isn’t it, to read Andre Gide, “It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves — in finding themselves”, and suddenly get jazzed. To throw an assortment of clothes in a suitcase and purchase the cheapest ticket on Skyscanner and just take to it, damn it, “I want to go find myself!”
It was 7:20 p.m. and pouring rain when I ducked out of the Internet cafe. I had spent the last three hours reading Billy Collins poetry and watching Stephen Colbert when the cafe began filling up with screaming children, and I had decided a good stretch and change of venue would be ideal. The rain was thick and heavy but I had borrowed my … Read More Smuggling and Surviving
By the time I reached the taxi stand underneath the bridge, it was 10:40 in the morning and beads of sweat were dripping into all the wrong places. My jeans were suctioned to the backs of my legs and I kept wiping my brow on my flowy cardigan which sort of felt like scrapping sandpaper against damp skin. Little bits of me, thanks to … Read More Blood, Sweat and Tears
Almost every morning I snuggle into cross-legged position with a cup of coffee and write for a while. Clear the cache. Explode a bit. Stream of conscious all the mindless rumblings of my soul until I can begin the day as blank a slate as possible. It’s a form of meditation; I actively practice non-judgment and non-attachment to my thoughts and ideas. I’ve detailed … Read More Time Traveling
Me You hate me for what I did in Israel, and you still harbor anger for the destruction of Japan and Vietnamese children. I hate you for what you did in New York even though you’re half a world away from the Middle East; you’re brown and practice Islam so it still counts.
We learn and master and cultivate passion through practice. We aren’t born with the ability to read. We aren’t born with the ability to do woodworking. We aren’t born with a longing for the perfect cup of coffee. Everything is a practice. Even passion is a practice; we practice and practice and in this manner we cultivate our own passions. We truly can learn … Read More The Art of Sleeping on Public Transportation
Dear Universe, may I never find myself. May I lose myself forever in these reckless rumbling fascinations With those around me and the Friday traditions And a different kind of breakfast and More weather than I know how to talk about. I don’t recall the endings to great adventures— Like A Tale of Two Cities or The Matrix— For the discovering is what interests … Read More Dear Universe, May I Never Find Myself
I write this at my own peril. But, alas, perhaps my end shall come anyways. Perhaps the dawn may never come for me again. But no. I cannot give up hope. I cannot give in to the fear. I must tell my story. You must know. I arose before dawn and after the second chorus of the sunrise call to prayer. The world was … Read More Woman vs. Rooster