I live in a geographic anomaly. That is all.

My time in California has been characterized by a series of wrong turns. Wrong turns, literally speaking, only. Metaphorically, all turns have been spot on. But yes, literally speaking, I’ve made so many illegal U-turns that I’m surprised I don’t have a mounting pile of tickets. Well, I do have a mounting pile of tickets…but not for illegal U turns. The parking here is beyond me.

Anyway.

I hail to the Golden Coast for all usual reasons, and I face all the typical difficulties one faces when coming to the Bay. In no particular order, I came work…for adventure…for life. I hoped that 3000 miles, reaching a grand finale at a cold, rocky coast would inspire. It did. Traveling renews a sense of life. The world is exciting and ripe for exploration. Humans, regardless of age or race or occupation, are all very much the same. There is a Oneness with the earth that is achieved. It is what inspired poets and song writers. Loneliness has lost its sting. And I am afraid of very little.

To East Coasters, the West Coast serves as some Final Frontier. Two weeks in and I’ve only just begun.

So from the other side of the country….which sometimes feels like the other side of the world…where we’re all just looking for a rent-controlled apartment…and a warm day in August..

-ka

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California, Here We Come

Two weeks before the next move. I suppose this is the time when people get accounts in order—catch up on car maintenance…apartment research.. But that sounds tedious and not fun. So I decided instead to finish reading five books prior to August 11th…and work through a Netflix mini series. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance has been added to my current list of reads, and much to my delight, it’s kindled excitement for the 44 hour trek that awaits.

I’ve made this trip before. Starry desert nights in December are breathtaking, and the Grand Canyon at 7am, covered in frost, is lesser known and, perhaps, more epic. This is a journey that’s good for the soul. The knowledge that one has traversed a continent with sheer will power, $500 in fuel, and a solid playlist recognizes strength and independence. A few things in life become less frightening. I now believe in travel whole heartedly.

This time we take the northern route to avoid excessive heat. I’ve discovered there is no way to circumvent Nevada in August. At the advice of my well-traveled cousin, “Make sure your tank is full, you have water, and your phone isn’t dead.”

So with 2 weeks, one desert, and 2800 miles ahead, California, Here We Come.

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Love, Respect, Honor: The Things I’ll Carry Home.

It’s been quite a long time for this young gypsy. Texas is behind me and I’m in Delaware, refreshingly surrounded by family for the first time in nearly a decade. This too is temporary. Soon I make the laborious cross-country trek to the Golden State. Annnnd if I don’t find a companion for this road trip, I may be writing future posts entitled “Only Fools Drive Cross Country Alone.”  It may happen.

In between this and that, I find myself in a Dallas coffee shop sipping the best cup ‘o joe I’ve had in this Great State and de-briefing from a few days in Jamaica.

First, a HUGE thanks to Dana’s company for inviting me along. Second, a thanks to her coworkers for including me on all inside jokes, inappropriate comments, and opportunities to quote Cool Runnings.

Jamaica we got a bobsled team.

It’s been years since I’ve been in an all-inclusive resort. There’s a certain sadness that accompanies it’s boundaries…as if I’ve been provided with a slice of Jamaica that’s deemed acceptable to outside standards. But a culture that’s evolved organically, amidst periods of struggle and success is far more beautiful. The unfiltered provides a set of observations from which to build a formula to understand society. Why do they hide this from us? I want to know what makes the world go round. That is why we travel, after all.

We picked the mind of resort staff, picking up lingo and meaning along the way. Our catamaran guide Captain Johnny said Jamaicans are different from neighboring islanders. Johnny says they’re in love with life. I chose to believe him.

So from Dallas, 24 hours post-Jamaica, and shortly en-route to Delaware…Love, Respect, Honor.

-ka

On Sunday Afternoons, Little Flowers, and Big Lakes

Sometimes I go to bed at 7pm. I do what I want, in the words of my overly assertive 5 year-old student. Actually, I think the statement was, you’re not the boss of me. You get the point…

My lifestyle allows utter freedom and copious amounts of alone time. I confess, I love it very much. I’ve developed some hobbies in the name of personal betterment (writing, photography, watching Netflix..), but if at the end of the day I want to go to sleep at 7:30pm, I’ll damn-well do it.

I’m not posting about my odd sleeping habits. Onto something new..

Sunday afternoon I headed west. Sixty mph in Texas hill country to Canyon Lake. It is exactly what it sounds like. A lake. In a Canyon.

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Rustic and rocky and all-around lovely, the outing could only have been bettered by a cool beverage and a clean car.

Just a few more things. First, Texas litters. Sorry Texas, but seriously. IMG_1258

Second, I’m on a furious Bluebonnet search. I thought I had found one. I was wrong. If anyone knows where the Bluebonnets live, please share.IMG_1286

Finally, the trees in Texas are incredible. More to come on trees.IMG_1156

-ka

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from the perpetual “new girl”

First, this is what birds do in Texas

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Also in Texas….I have become the perpetual “new girl.”

  I love the rush of a new job…new apartment…new location. I love the idea of the “unknown.” It’s refreshing to regularly be granted a clean slate in the workplace…to realize no one knows your weaknesses and to determine you will be better this time.

The life of a perpetual ‘new girl.’ “I’m so sorry, I’m new,” is always an appropriate excuse. And, “Apologies for being late. I’m got lost.” is also acceptable.

But there’s some not-so-fun parts as well. The ‘new girl’ constantly must prove herself professionally. She will meet colleagues fond of a professional “hazing.” And she will constantly feel lost (in all concrete and metaphorical senses…).

A word of advice: Enjoy the wandering.

-ka

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