Crooked Trails and Having the Courage to Walk Down Them

I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.  ~ Anais Nin

What makes a person choose the easy route in life?  Are we so conditioned to except the fates dictated to us by society that we can’t break out of the traditional molds of life and choose the extraordinary path when we’re faced with the choice?

A man stands before two paths. One path is safe, well lit, with little flowers and trees and bunny rabbits and he can see all the way down the path, to its point of infinity.  He sees a path with no speed bumps, no twists, no hills leading to spectacular views, no hidden treasures, no scary downhills where you hold onto your ass and pray for the best outcome.  A path devoid of diversity.  A path devoid of challenge.  A path that leads simply and easily to a quiet comfortable life where he grows old and never has to reach outside of his comfort zone. He never embraces those intense emotions of fear, uncertainty, passion and exhilaration.  He simply accepts the easy emotions, the emotions that lie on the surface, that look good in a family album and make for simple small talk over Sunday morning coffee.

I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing.  ~ Anais Nin

And then there’s the other path.  This path has twists.  It has turns, hills, cliffs, bumps and the occasional tree root buried underneath the path that might trip him up if he doesn’t keep his eyes open.  This path has large trees hanging over that obscure the view in the distance.  The path has dark pockets of fog and sections of brilliant light. There are flowers and trees he’s never seen before, there’s foliage that he can’t name but is curious to see what lies beneath it.  There’s amazing overhangs with views that he can only imagine- views that only a handful of people have ever witnessed.  This path is filled with emotions so intense that just taking the first step down that path can cause panic attacks and anxiety that makes the safe, predictable path seem almost rational.  But there’s nothing rational about this other path.  This path is random and its sprinkled with emotions that are so intense that they add challenges larger than any tree root.  This path harbors passion, intensity, adrenaline, joy, fear, pain and the unknown. To experience these emotions takes a strength he’s not sure he possesses, so he looks back at the easy path and thinks, “damn, that doesn’t require any of these emotions.”

But a voice inside him, from somewhere deep inside that he rarely dares to go, says, “Shit, I can’t walk away from this path.  This path is life- this is how we’re meant to live our lives- alive, embracing all the intensity and pain that brings the sheer joy and passion of a life well led. I can see the safe path and its predictable outcome and a lesser man might choose that direction. But I can’t choose that path- I know how that ends and I don’t want to be that man, looking at the end of my life thinking, wow- wish I had taken the unknown path.  I squandered this amazing life and the chance at something extraordinary because I was too scared to try the unknown. And I will never know what the view is like from up there.  I won’t be that man.”

Living never wore one out so much as the effort not to live.  ~ Anais Nin

The view from the overnight ferry deck at sunrise whose engine blew in the middle of the night and left us adrift at sea for a bit.  Manado, Indonesia.

The view from the overnight ferry deck at sunrise whose engine blew in the middle of the night and left us adrift at sea for a bit. Manado, Indonesia.

You can see where I’m going with this.  We all have choices to make.  We all, at some point, stand in front of those two paths.  And our choices, while never easy, will dictate the life that we look back on in our “Encore Years” and contemplate the choice we did and didn’t make. The people we chose to spend that life with and the people we chose to walk away from- because we were too scared to embrace the unknown path with all its intense emotions and unknown outcomes.  I know my path, I chose it a long time ago.  And I can never see what it looks like- but I know what it feels like.  And when I look down the predictable path, the safe path, it sends fear into my soul.  I can see myself sitting in a rocking chair at the end of that easy path looking back on all those regrets, all those moments where I was faced with a challenge and a dark path and took the easy way out.  I can sleep at night knowing that’s not going to be my path.

People living deeply have no fear of death.  ~ Anais Nin

I wonder what this world would look like if more people chose the unknown path. If more people took the risk and more people said, “F*** It!” And walked down the unknown path, just to see what lies around the next corner.

I found the following quote in my early twenties and it become a mantra for my life.

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets’ towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come and go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you …— beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.”
Edward Abbey

Restless Feet Syndrome- Diagnose and Treat this Ailment

Overview

Restless feet syndrome is a prevalent ailment among single adults in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s and manifests itself in a multitude of outward symptoms to those afflicted.  RFS can emerge at an early age and is noticeable in children who doodle, daydream and play extensively with matchbox cars, plastic airplanes and spaceships and are constantly running in circles or have creative eccentricities that are unexplainable.  As an adult, RFS can emerge at the most inopportune moments and is enhanced by environmental influences, such as Mercury in Retrograde, full moons, unruly roommates, unsatisfying jobs, disgruntled spouses and the spiteful Monthly Curse from Mother Nature.

While RFS has no true cure, other than extended travel and periodic chaos, RFS can be controlled or at least the symptoms can be managed once you are aware that a problem exists.

Symptoms

  • Clammy palms occur during the following situations; signing a long-term lease, signing your W-2 forms, sending your passport off for renewal, paying for car repairs, home repairs and health care bills with your travel kitty fund.
  • You have heart-wrenching longings when your favorite airline’s commercials appear on your Pandora account, your Gmail account or when their weekly specials are sent to your inbox.
  • You drive to a neighboring city in the hopes that a change of scenery will stop your RFS, only to find as you approach the city limits, you have the overwhelming urge to either, keep driving, flee to the beach or return to where you just left.
  • You never truly unpack your suitcase, it becomes part of your furniture.
  • You keep all of your cosmetics in your travel case, and put them back in the case every time you use them, for months, or even years at a time.
  • You keep your travel gear essentials within arms reach of your bed, just in case.
  • Your wardrobe can be balled up and tossed in a bag, one bag, at anytime. And it all fits.
  • Your wardrobe is compiled of clothes that are functional, can be washed in a sink and air-dry in 30 minutes, are wrinkle free and breathe well.
  • Your favorite clothes have numbers written on the tags in magic marker from the laundry service you used in a third world country that cost you .50 cents a load.  And you smile every time you put them on and see that number.
  • When you get bored or the restless urge overwhelms you, usually the day before a full moon or right before mother nature’s monthly visit arrives, you spend hours checking Craigslist in multiple cities you think it might be cool to live in for rentals.  If your RFS has been present for years, your Craigslist obsession might evolve into hours spent searching for travel trailers and sail boats. You check job listings in your profession in far away cities and countries and think, “maybe it won’t be like a real job and I’ll only stay for a year or so.”
  • Your passport stays in your purse/glove box at all times.  No matter what.
  • When you see an Airstream caravan or a biker gang heading down the highway, you pause, drool and lust after the sheer freedom that exudes from their presence on the highway and the possibilities of their unknown destination.
Hanging on top of a Himalayn ridge with a local sheep herder in Himachal Pradesh, India.  2006.

Hanging on top of a Himalayn ridge with a local sheep herder in Himachal Pradesh, India. 2006.

Treatments

  • Schedule small trips to previously unseen destinations periodically throughout the year until your next major trip takes place.
  • Always have your favorite movies on-hand that depict a previous travel destination that holds a special place in your heart.  Sometimes, a Friday night is best spent with a bottle (yes, RFS requires a bottle, not a glass) of divine red wine, your favorite travel movie and the some outright lusting over distant lands. Embrace these emotions and that wine. Recommended movies; Slumdog Millionaire, Thelma and Louise and anything with George Clooney in a distant land.
  • Be careful when choosing your recreational reading. The occasional travel novel is appropriate and will ease symptoms, but try to choose a classic novel that takes place in a time period of historical reference- preferably some Steinbeck, Keourac, Twain and Thoreau.  Modern travel memiors and novels might be too realistic and thus amplify the RFS to a degree of unbearable longing.
  • When symptoms are truly unbearable, choose a book whose protagonist is struggling with the same inner conflict as yourself- revolving around travel, life commitments and social conformity- and wallow in the fact that this person represents part of you and you are reading this to gain an outsiders perspective- without paying hundreds of dollars to visit a shrink.
  • Talk with your friends who are also travelers- long-term vagabonds and gypsies are preferable.  We’re not talking about your garden variety “I need a vacation” conversation.  We are talking serious, life-altering, “I need to throw myself into the unknown chaos of another culture/community or I will jump off a tall building and poke my eye-balls out due to the sheer inability to handle the mundane, routine engagements of typical social norms.” That’s deep- and only a fellow vagabond or independent traveler will understand the magnitude of your RFS.  And can empathize.  Others will merely tell you to suck it up and get a job.  Which, really, can be the worse thing for those suffering from RFS.
  • Start planning your next journey.  When all else fails, start to plan your next trip. Talk about it, dream about it, start making your gear plans and strategizing about what equipment to take, what shoes to wear and begin shopping for that perfect travel skirt/pants that can be worn every day for 3 months and still make you feel hot and sexy when necessary.
  • Limit your time on Craigslist, Emirates, Orbitz and Amtrak until its truly time to buy your tickets. Yes, it is wonderful to daydream about purchasing that ticket- and when your RFS is overwhelming, by all means, take an hour or two, go to your favorite airline’s website and start looking at all those wonderful, distant destinations.  But tread carefully, there’s a fine line to walk before you launch your RFS into a state of total despair which may not rebound until you jump the big pond.
A view from a billboard in the heart of Ramallah, West Bank. 2007.

A view from a billboard in the heart of Ramallah, West Bank. 2007.

Living with RFS

When all else fails, simply buy your ticket- one way- and go.  Just go.  Throw your shit in a bag, put your mail on hold, kiss your doggie goodbye and say I’ll be back in a couple months. Once my brain is filled with new stories, exposed to uncertain situations, once I’ve navigated a few challenges and some chaos, I’ll be back.

In an effort to deal with long term RFS, begin planning a nomadic lifestyle, using “land yachts” or sailboats and be sure your choices in life- where to live and what to do to earn a living- account for your affliction and incorporate the necessary treatments when the RFS is too much to handle.  Those who love you will understand, your true friends will find your RFS and its treatments fascinating, intriguing and may just follow you and those who don’t understand and judge you for your idiosyncrasies aren’t truly worth the effort to keep them in your life anyway.

Embrace your RFS and understand its needs and living with this affliction will take you to destinations you never thought possible.  When you approach the end of your long and interesting life with your RFS by your side, you’ll never look back and think, damn, I should’ve done this or seen that.  You’ll kick your feet back on the hitch to your Airstream or the bow of your boat and think, Damn, that was one hell of a ride.

Touching the Fire and Fueling our Inner-Diva

How often do artists actually analyze the fuel for their creativity?  We artists all have our muses, our inspiration, our motivations that push us to create art.  But how often do we really have the opportunity to truly sit with our emotions and see what underlying feelings fuel the drive that pushes us to create?

Passion.  Chaos.  Fear.  Intensity.  Vulnerability.  Strength.  Love.  Loss.  Rejection.

These are all intense emotions that boil up within us.  They manifest themselves in ways we can only imagine for each individual.  Such intensity drives some people to insanity, others to acts of intense violence.  It forces some people to retreat from the world, afraid of ever feeling those emotions ever again, afraid of the sheer vulnerability that these emotions can produce.  And others create.

I realized several years ago that I love chaos.  Not in the “Desperate Housewives/Bridezilla” sort of personal drama bullshit chaos, but in the “holy shit, that just happened” sort of chaos that happens when you place all the predictable and familiar aspects of your life aside and toss yourself into the unknown.  For the past 5 years, those unknowns have been found in travel- in visiting an unknown place and culture and surviving.  And thriving.

Late night a Shakori Hills music festival in 2006.

Late night a Shakori Hills music festival in 2006.

But in that time, I’ve put those personal emotions that accompany relationships on hold.  I’ve placed them in a box and saved them for later.  I’ve ventured into the dating world once or twice, been burned and retreated.  At that time, several years ago, I didn’t truly understand my creativity nor did I understand or recognize the by-product of these emotions. Its easier to wallow in them, to roll around like a pig in some shitty emotional mud, than it is to take those emotions and channel them into something amazing.

An Inner-Diva to Control My Inner Child

And here I am, a single, fabulous woman, approaching 35 and I think I finally figured out the balance of being an artist.  That’s a bold statement- and I will probably eat those words when I decide love and risk losing again- assuming that happens.  No, I haven’t fallen in love and been dejected recently.  I still wear my single-girl jeans that make my ass look hot and, when coupled with my Miracle Bra, make me feel like Samantha on Sex in the City. But I have dabbled in the realm of personal emotion recently- with all its excitement, thrill, adrenaline, pain and turmoil.  And its distraction.  And while the situation is still slightly unresolved and may still have a happy ending or not- and really its irrelevant for this article- its the emotions and their residual effects that are fascinating.

I’ve stayed put here in the South East for a couple months and am starting to land some commercial multimedia projects that are promising and have the potential to fund more travel in the fall.  And it has me thinking of pursuing more of this type of work as its interesting, profitable and I’m very good at it.  Yet, in doing so, I feel the creativity that I cherish so much going slowly dormant.  Not in a bad way- my multimedia projects tap into that creativity- even when they are for commercial outlets- and I love producing them.  But the raw, unhindered, unaltered creativity that is all mine takes a step back when I become a multimedia producer.  It just happens. But with the last couple weeks and the whirlwind I threw myself into, and the subsequent emotions it generated, I feel that my brain- almost instantly- has righted itself and found the equilibrium between the chaos of intense emotions and the creative channels that emotion manifests itself into.

This morning, I received a little closure to a personal situation (in a good way) and after swallowing the inner-child who wanted things to go her way, this inner diva emerged and said, “well, why this personal situation isn’t resolved- but makes more sense in this moment- let’s take all the emotional intensity it created and place it into your creativity and your multimedia and lets just be fabulous.”

Seriously, I now have an inner-Diva to control my inner-child and I feel at ease for the first time in several weeks. This inner-Diva is going to be the master of these emotions- and she’s going to place them in the proper places at the right moments, so that I don’t turn my back on the paths in life that I see myself walking down.

So, I guess this article is part emotional release and part call to action.  We artists possess this ability to live life at levels of intensity not normally experienced by most people.  We can’t really expect others to understand this, or know how to deal with a person who lives this way. Really, everyone possess this ability, but few are strong enough or prepared enough to handle the by-product of embracing such intensity.  Most of us, and sometimes even the artists, choose the easier path because not being able to channel the ill effects of these emotions is not a good place to be.  That doesn’t end well.

But those of us with the fortune (or misfortune- depending on your perspective) to understand these emotions- or at least where they came from and why, and then channel them into the beauty we create are blessed.  And cursed.  Because the fuel we need, the muse we crave sits at the edge of a fire. Its the intensity of those flames that gives us the fuel.  We know this, and we walk to the edge of that fire anyway.  We have to, we need it.  And sometimes, we get burned.  And sometimes, we create a beauty that is unparalleled.  And sometimes, we find the balance to pursue the path we are meant to travel down.

A shoe tree in Quartzsite, AZ. 2003

A shoe tree in Quartzsite, AZ. 2003

Passport Renewal and the Ensuing Separation Anxiety

Sending my Precious to the Land of Red Tape…
Separation from the passport, for any duration of time, can be a debilitating event for an independent traveler. Yesterday, with a heavy heart and sweaty palms, I double-wrapped my passport in a weather proof envelope, triple checked the envelope for the necessary proof that I exist, tucked the package in the priority envelope and slapped a delivery confirmation on my precious document and wished it a safe journey as it heads onto the State Department.

Why can’t my passport be good for 30 years, like my shiny new Arizona drivers license? I wouldn’t have to needlessly suffer every decade as my ticket to other worlds leaves my possession and enters the dark, surly world of federal bureaucracy. Poor thing.

In a moment of panic, I called the State Department to confirm the length of separation and the lovely lady on the end of the line assured me that in the event that I need my passport sooner than 6 weeks, I can call, cough up 60 bucks and they’ll push my little Precious on through the reams of red tape and get her back in my hands ASAP.

Such an attachment to a travel document may seem strange, but for the nomadic soul its a necessary requirement to feed an obsession of experiencing unknown destinations and unmitigated chaos. I carry my passport with me at all times, if I leave the house, that little document is tucked inside my purse. Without question. My justification- if I happen to be strolling down the sidewalk and someone stops me and says, in an urgent, authoritative manner, that I must catch the next flight to Tunisia and here’s the ticket, I can fulfill my obligation. I, at any moment in time, can hop on the next plane across the pond and be in a distant land.

That, dear friends, is the insane train of thought that runs through my thought bubble as I leave the house. Every time.

So, here I am, in the redneck Rivera, a place one would flee at a moments notice to any other destination, foreign or domestic, without my Precious. Without the document that says, “yes, I’m a real person, I’m not an ax murderer and my visit to your country will be beneficial to all of your residents,” or something like that. Oh, and my poor little truck has a broken axle and drive shaft, so I literally am stuck. Here’s where I get twitchy.

So, in honor of my Precious and her well-earned visa stamps, I would like to wander into the social ramifications of the passport.  Spawned, in part, from the most recent edition of Adbusters and last night’s Daily Show, so hold onto your panties- its a rant!

Why More Americans Need to Ship Themselves to the Developing World…
Landing in a strange land can be jaunting, at best. Odds are, you’ve just spent 14 hours or more crammed in a tiny little seat trying desperately not to sleep so hard that you cuddle up to your seat mate in your dreams but trying to at least drown the cries of the screaming infant three rows over with a few hours of sleep so you can speak coherently to the customs official who determines your entry to their country and hail a proper cab.  Your food was slightly runny and distinguishing between chicken and carrots was an unsolved puzzle and brushing your teeth in the airplane bathroom makes you want to vomit. So, needless to say, you’re exhausted, your stomach is growling and gurgling and you have three inches of fur on your teeth.

Once in the airport, as you try to fight the odd sensation of the swaying beneath your feet, you shuffle underneath a sign that states that you are definetely not from here.  You wait patiently as the stark, serious faces of customs agents inspect travelers documents, bags and faces for signs of ill-will or intentions of staying in country past their visa expiration. You glance around and see a melting pot of faces, a veritable scene from “Its a Small World” playing in real time right before your eyes. You glance at everyone and see these colorful little books in their hands. Everyone has one, they all have different colored covers and emblems and look so damn official. You share a common bond with these folks. You feel privileged. You feel special. And if you’re American, you think, damn, this little book is the most valuable piece of paper in this joint. Short of a diplomatic passport or paperwork indicating you are a decendent from the Monarchy.

Yep, even with the tarnished international reputation that the moronic W. administration provided for Americans, our passport is the most valuable one to hold. Obtaining a Visa from a country while holding that nice, dark blue passport is a simple endeavor with little questions and minimal fanfare. (I will leave my border crossing experience in Israel out of this article, for that would fill volumes and negate my previous point- but that country is its own little world, where logic is optional)

Back to my point. As you stand in line and see the value of the passport and all the people that hold one, you have to wonder, “why do only 30% of Americans hold a passport”? That statistic makes me want to weep. I get that not everyone is an international traveler, but what if someone just wants to take a jaunt to Canada or a tropical island? Or what if a person, on a whim, wants to visit the homeland of their ancestors in a distant land? And, truly, we are a privileged society, shouldn’t we embrace the freedoms others would fight and die to obtain and get the damn passport- just because we can? Isn’t that the American way?

Ask any Palestinian about a passport.  I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear their response. I met a Palestinian man who had to go to the police department in his local town EVERY morning to obtain permission to leave the city and travel one hour to see his wife and children- and they never let him go. Think about that for a minute. I met Tibetans who will never, NEVER, be able to obtain a passport. They don’t have a country. Imagine that. And here we sit, the most privileged country in the world (though, that’s debatable) and only a small fraction of our population every bothered to obtain a passport.  Much less use it.

A Bedouin child with her family outside of Jerusalem. The children play as the parents talk with us about the encroaching settlements and the loss of their mobility and freedoms.

A Bedouin child with her family outside of Jerusalem. The children play as the parents talk with us about the encroaching settlements and the loss of their mobility and freedoms.

I turn on the news and I look at the people making headlines- screaming, angry faces with tea bags hanging from their earlobes, costumes of colonial era patriots covering their white bulging waistlines carrying signs of hatred from a long ago era, that apparently never truly died, and I pause.

Seriously?  Have you people ever been to foreign land and witnessed another culture? Do you even hold a passport? Have you been in a developing country when the government collapses and social services, like trash collection cease to operate? Have they ever seen a city park turn into a landfill overnight, with mountains of trash, in 90 degree heat causing a cholera outbreak. I have, and it stinks. That’s what happens when you’re government goes away, nothing functions.  And the shit turns rank. Is that necessary?  I’ve seen what happens when children don’t have health care- its not pretty!  Is that what we want for our children?

But seriously, would there be so much hatred, so much bigotry, an over abundance of racism and intolerance if Americans obtained a passport and traveled to the countries they bomb, berate and belittle on a daily basis. Would we have so many battles over oil and the possession of natural resources if people disengaged from the “Second Lives and Worlds of Warcarfts and cable television news” and engaged in the First life, the one they are living?  Would Americans not stand up and demand peace and sound governance if they had left the couch and traveled to a country with over a billion residents all fighting to put food on the table or a country where the government just collapsed?  Would we fight so hard for the right to consume if we could witness, first-hand, the effects of our unnecessary consumption on other cultures and children in a distant land?

Maybe we should demand that in order to hurl racist slogans and carry signs of ignorance and bigotry, you must hold a passport and travel to a distant land, first.  Then protest. Maybe we should gather all our Senators, Congressmen and administration officials and send them to the countries they seek to control with wars, violence and unsustainable means of production.  Maybe we should gather all the CEOs and stockholders of the major corporations- and their lobbyists; Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Agri, Wall Street and the military industrial complex and send them to the refugee camps that litter the borders of the countries with the puppet governments they install, manipulate and support with cold hard cash and see if our current foreign policies withstand their travels.

And well, I’m sure there will be opinions on this article, so fire way…  Keep it civil though, and slightly intelligent.

Sleeping with my Atlas? What a single nomad does when the travel bug hits.

Yep, it happened.

Last night, as my eyes were closing and my brain was still giggling at Jon Stewart’s depiction of the Fox News logo being a subliminal representation of a Hitler poster, I placed my brand new shiny National Geographic Atlas in the empty spot on the bed next to me.  As I leaned over to turn off the lamp, the thought occurred to me that I just tucked in my Atlas. I paused for a second, not knowing whether to laugh or cry at this odd behavioral act of a 34 year old, single nomad.

Really, it is rather funny.  In a twisted way.  Who sleeps next to their Atlas?

An election billboard in Madaba, Jordan.

An election billboard in Madaba, Jordan.

I guess a wanderlust does.  Someone who relishes layovers in foreign airports, who yearns for the intoxicating smells of a street vendor’s delicacies, who longs for a cafe filled with an indecipherable language but cheap and delicious frothy caffeinated goodness.

The twitchy, restless “I have to leave this place now or my head will gyrate like the girl in the Exorcist” feeling reared its head last week, so I drove to the behemoth of all bookstores, found an atlas on sale and brought it home to live with me.  The act of seeking the atlas was spurned, in part, by my dear friend in Pakistan who is itching to leave her conflicted homeland and travel to some other destination of wonder and chaos.

After a frantically exciting exchange on the Google Chat, we decided to spend a summer in the Middle East.  Ahhh, falafels and hummus. Mmmm, coffee that makes your hair stand up and your eyes bulge for hours.  Ohhh, yummy, fruity hookah goodness that spawns hours of civilized conversation and lively debate. Yes, I’m in!!

So, I am in the throes of planning the next Walkabout and writing furiously to pay for my plane ticket. I am engaging in my ritual of bag packing daydreams, you know, the one where the multimedia journalist plots and plans endlessly trying to cram all her belongings in one backpack while still having the capacity to shoot video, stills and audio and produce from the road. Yea, that’s a losing battle. This journalist is contemplating a world of only black and white film (with a point and shoot for this blog, of course) and a small little net-book to write my prose from any remote coffee house in the world. I will figure this out, it is my mission!!  And yes, it might just be a simple camera, or two, or three and a net-book.  A girl can dream!

I am also planning a different blog.  The storyteller blog will still be rolling along, complete with stories from exotic lands and encounters with the normal, the abnormal and the downright insane.  But I’m feeling the need to launch something a little smaller, with short, quirky entries and lots of photos. Something that doesn’t require long periods of time for the readers to engage with the content either and large amounts of espresso to write the entries.

A book will be spawning itself from the first walkabout here shortly.  I’m writing this, in part, to motivate myself to actually design it. I will be placing all the stories and entries along with lots of the Crackberry photos, into a book format for my friends and readers who are, like me, trying to disengage a little more from their electronic worlds. I’ll keep you posted, you keep me motivated!

So, I hope everyone is enjoying this lovely spring time weather, if you’re not, you should be.
And I will keep you posted on the next wave of adventures for the Storyteller.  I’m sure there will be tons of stories to share!