Everyone seems to be saving the world. Meanwhile, here I am, a social worker in a mountain town, living paycheck-to-paycheck, wandering through the desert on a Saturday morning and worried about the gas money that it’s going to take to get me back home.
Everyone I knew who had gone to culinary school told me not to go. Yes, yes; I knew working in kitchens was stressful, physically demanding, and exhausting. I’d done a bit of it, I could deal with those things.
I moved to Paris. My five month intensive cuisine program passed quickly and painlessly enough.
When I returned home, having completed my expedition, I found that this part of my experience struck a chord with lots of people – what is it that keeps us going even when we know it is impossible to continue?
But traveling for the sake of traveling isn’t enough. It should be for an honest appreciation and willingness to learn from different cultures, not to tally up a travel list. And certainly not for the gratification of taking a yoga-pose picture with an orange sunset sinking into the horizon.
“The eruption has started,” says the Reykjavik Excursions guide as our bus pulls up to Landmannlaugar where we will begin our four-day hike on the Laugavegur trail. The bus passengers begin to exchange uneasy looks. Obviously, most of us do not hail from an ever-changing island made completely of volcanoes and lava fields, fire and …
Nancy Maxwell is the owner of Phoenix Racewear, a new brand of women’s motocross gear out of Denver. She launched the company after a frustrating episode of trying to find gear that she liked — as any girl who takes part in a hobby off the beaten path will tell you — it’s a struggle. …
“I need help,” I said, trying to keep my voice even, trying to jam my foot even harder into the mud so it would hold. It was hard to admit out loud, hard to say to the mountains, that I had reached a spot I couldn’t move from and would need someone else’s hand to pull me through.
Boasting over 20,000 participants, GirlTrek is explicitly rooted in community and pays homage to the women who have come before them. As the organization’s website puts it: “When Black women walk, things change. When Harriet Tubman walked, things changed. When the women in the Montgomery Bus Boycotts walked, things changed. And when we walk, things will change!”
As we were sitting, appreciating every sip of the ice-cold coffee, I had a moment to think this unplanned rest in our morning and what it meant to me as a traveler. In hindsight, perhaps, I later realized how sporadic those kind of moments are back home. I live, undeniably, in a culture where time is linear and worth is marked by accomplishment and the amount of one’s “doing.”
I pull my mud-splattered Subaru into the garage, my panting, wet dog sitting shotgun beside me. I can feel the satisfaction beaming from her. For the last two hours, Cholula has been bounding after squirrels and splashing through mountain creeks, wagging her white-tipped tail like it’s her job. I followed blissfully behind, lost in my …