Sunday, March 10, 2019

Guest Bloggers Wanted


This year, I’m taking an extended blogging hiatus to walk El Camino, a 35-day pilgrimage across Spain. So I’m planning some buffer time before and after the trip so I won’t have to stress about keeping up with my blog. Not that I don’t like blogging—I do! I just don’t want to promise a post when I don’t have time to write or when I may be without internet access.

Speaking of travel, I will not be posting next Sunday (March 17th) either.

During the buffer time for my extended trip this spring, I’d like to host some more guest bloggers. Without further ado, please welcome the theme for April’s and May’s guest writers:



Books about a journey.


Whether it’s a dwarfish quest to reclaim their homeland from a dragon or a road trip to meet up with family, tell me about your favorite books with a journey. Fantasy or contemporary, fiction or nonfiction, all are welcome!

Travel writing.


What does it mean to live out of a suitcase? What do you refer to as home when you’ve moved your whole live? What is the difference between being a tourist and a local? How do you share seemingly exotic or ordinary places with people who’ve never been? Whether you’ve travelled your whole life or never left your own country but are an expert on the local haunts, tell me about your experience and your tips for travel writing.

Other.


The topics listed are mere prompts. If you have an idea for a post that doesn’t quite fit these categories, feel free to pitch your idea. I’m open to suggestions.

Are you interested in writing a guest post? Feel free to get in touch! Contact me by commenting on this post, sending me a message on Twitter, or by filling out the following form:


Sunday, March 3, 2019

Poem: Romantic (Video)

If you haven’t already guessed—from the globe of London in my cover photo to my poems and posts about various places—I like to travel. There are many things, though, that they don’t tell you about in all the pretty little brochures. Culture shock. Jet lag. The disillusionment of place. Just to name a few.

I’m not saying that people shouldn’t travel. I’m just saying that every time I go someplace new, it’s never quite what I expect, in good ways and bad. I didn’t expect Germany to have so many immigrants. I didn’t expect Italy to look so dumpy. Then again, I didn’t expect to enjoy visiting the German bakeries every morning any more than I expected to start drinking cappuccinos in Italy.

Travel changes people. It teaches us about the world and our own cultures and selves. Despite Italy’s run-down nature, it is one of the most recycle-enthusiast countries I’ve visited. Because Germans’ often stoic behavior and brutally-honest words, I have learned to appreciate honesty even more.

The following poem contains just a few of my thoughts on Venice. You may recognize glimpses of the city in a previous poem, “Shadows”.



Romantic

People romanticize the canals
and arching bridges of Venice,
but have you ever gotten yourself lost
in the sticky, humid heat
down an alley that stinks of urine?

Don’t get me wrong,
I enjoy the way I stumbled
across a bookstore with volume
after volume laid out in rows
within a bathtub, within a boat
for when the city floods.

I relished watching the glassblower
tug at the liquid fire and mold it
and pull until he set a little red horse, solid,
on the table.

But try finding a place to park
outside the city inside a garage
where your car is no longer a car
but a sardine packed among sardines.

I would rather take the train
and not have to worry about driving
with these maniacs who don’t signal—
I would rather be told to stand
at the wrong platform—
then rush back
down the tunnel, up to the right platform
and board a train with cracked windows
and humid air. Pounding hearts. Less stress.

Is it worth it all?
Taking the time to travel
to walk the trash-lined streets,
sail under the Bridge of Sighs
taste the bread topped with olive oil and rosemary
smell the salt of the Mediterranean,
feel the cool water lap at my feet
as we escaped the throngs of people and pigeons.

The towers are crooked here,
but even in leaning, there are blue skies.

***

Let’s chat! What are your thoughts on travel? What’s the last journey you took? What did you think of the poem?