Posts tagged “friends

2014, Mountains of Everything

Posted on 28 December 2014

Dividing the year by months perhaps isn’t the easiest thing to do. This year, more than many others, stretched and shrank; some days did not end and some weeks flew by, for better and worse, all blurry and already past. My brain was not a reliable instrument. Some things it refuses to remember clearly. What happened to me in January, in February? It is hard to say. And then, what in August, in September, in October? Too much to say. Nonetheless, I split the year into twelve parts, simply because I like lists. January. The year turned over grey. February. I couldn’t hide. Everything was bleak was seemingly endless. That’s all I’ll say. March. It began with headaches, but gradually that passed. And I…

Pedal It Away, Pedal On

Posted on 6 December 2014

I have anxiety. Did you know? Not just the usual worries, the occasional nervousness. No. It has colored my life. It still shadows me, and not infrequently do I step onto darker ground. But. I was riding on a train to Klaipėda. I wanted to be there for a few days—enough to bicycle the Lithuanian length of the Curonian Spit. I had spent hours lingering over articles and photos of this place. But I was arriving soon, and I had no place to stay. Klaipėda isn’t very large; Couchsurfing and BeWelcome hadn’t panned out. I wasn’t totally unprepared: I had looked up how to get from the train station to a nearby hostel. And that was it. Maybe I had some little jitters, but…

A Story of Staying, of the Best Hosts

Posted on 19 November 2014

I am currently sitting in a hotel in Boise, Idaho. Hotels confuse me; they put me on edge. I feel kind of like an imposter. “We need to see your ID and your incidentals.” —My what? And I feel isolated. I have an enormous room, bigger than my soon-to-be apartment, and I linger in just one corner. I know there are people around but everyone is in their own rooms, their own strange bubbles. And all hotels look kind of the same. Last night I was in Laramie, Wyoming. The night before, Kansas City, Missouri. All entirely different cities, but I wouldn’t know from my lodgings. This is a result of me rapidly moving—as in, actually moving, my car is packed up with my…

Boggy Roots Hold Tight

Posted on 18 October 2014

Mornings came early. We reluctantly emerged from our sleeping bags, quickly trying to replicate their warmth by pulling on jackets and hats. Then, unzipping the tent and brushing against the dew, we emerged into the chilly Siberian day, still a shadowy grey under the trees. Warm kasha, porridge, of some variety waited for us in a big bucket under the green kitchen area tarp, along with bread, cheese, jam, and meat slices for the non-vegetarians. I fumbled with the instant coffee and topped its bitterness off with an overly generous helping of sgushyenka, sweetened condensed milk, my favorite. My thermos kept this gloopy beverage a little too warm a little too long, and by the end I was gulping it as to not be…

Lessons Learned From Camping In Siberia

Posted on 22 August 2014

Our little camp in southeastern Siberia truly began to feel like a home, like the place I should be. My sleeping bag was a great bed; I was untroubled by camping night after night for two weeks. I didn’t need an inside anymore. I was out in the world, and with a group of truly great people, at that. And if you watch the world, and listen to it, you can learn some things. Here is an assortment of what camping in Siberia taught me. 1. Life can be busy – and not boring – sans technology The camp had no internet, no cell phone reception, and even no electricity (unless a generator was turned on). And I was busy! I honestly found it…