lifestyle, Personal, relationships, Travel, United States

artifacts.

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The sky is a sorbet of bright white clouds and silky grey with strips of unripened blueberry through the tall, secret-telling windows of our new apartment. I hear only the whirr of the washer and dryer, every so often interrupted by the shriek of a seagull. I’ve spent the past few hours sorting through the boxes stacked high against the cool concrete walls. Piling up dust blanketed books and milk glass to haul to Goodwill, sifting through ancient Sharpie covered CDs scattered among ink filled day planners, and tossing stack upon stack of irrelevant business cards. While I’ve moved seventeen times in the past ten years, I somehow manage to hold on to some impressive memorabilia.

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Personal

Blindly.

AJ Ragasa Photography

I can’t be sure if it’s the glowing orb of a moon hanging in the sky like a bowl of gold, Barcelona radio playing in the background, skimming through my amazing nephew’s recent travel photos (Luke Mattson), or being surrounded by moving boxes again that has me feeling overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with gratitude, overwhelmed with wonder, overwhelmed with questions, overwhelmed with histrionics, overwhelmed with my surprising ability to be so surprisingly present in the simple moment of now.

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Expat, lifestyle, Personal, Travel, United States

Fear, Type 1.

Last week my storage unit was broken into and left void of more than half of its contents. Since my car window was smashed back in February with a suitcase full of items taken, it feels like I’ve been targeted. I know that’s not the case and it just happens to be a bad year for me and robberies- but I can’t help but feel a little (a lot?) less safe in this city I’ve just only returned to. The welcome wagon strikes again!

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Cambodia, Expat, lifestyle, Personal, Phnom Penh, Travel, United States

Instant gratification.

Des Moines

I’m sitting in my muggy office under fluorescent lights, coconut to my right, sketch pad to my left, and the Tonle Sap directly ahead. It’s a far cry from where I was only weeks ago working out of various hotel rooms with the air conditioning on full blast while wearing my satin pajamas, and even more different than the space where I worked in New York overlooking Central Park, the bustle of the city never dying below.

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lifestyle, Personal, Travel, United States

The punches.

The bridge

The blue hour varies from place to place, from time and from space.

To know this is a gift, a blessing and a curse.

Wouldn’t it be easier to release my hold on the world that I wish I knew?

To eat that proverbial oyster and swallow it hard along with my pride?

Is it pride or is it the need to fulfill my wanderlust?

Will that wanderlust fail me?

Did it fail my parents?

Did it ever leave them?

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Personal

Wait.

Sunday nights have this aura about them. They’re the entryway to the coming week- full of unknowns and possibilities- and a moment to look back on the one you just had. Tonight is the first time I’ve experienced the feelings I am now since I’ve been in New York, maybe even in the United States since I’ve been back. Now that it’s the eve of the 20th and a week or so before I go back to pack up my life, yet again, I’m starting to feel the weight of what it’s going to be like to start somewhere new again.

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Personal, Travel

New place.

Photo: Luke Mattson

Photo: Luke Mattson

It’s curious, being in this new place. There’s so much I’m unfamiliar with. Walking lightly cobbled streets that the soles of my shoes have never touched, ghosting my way under street lamps with a Cheshire small spread thick across my lips, scuttling down the subway steps in a false hurry to another new place.

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Expat, Personal, Travel

Calm waters.

Photo: Roberto Echeverry

“We thought we had found the loves of our lives, but we hadn’t.

We were still young; barely out of the sweaty grasp of puberty.

Still surprised when we bled,

At the shadows on our faces when the clock struck five.

 

Our scabbed knees gave way to leather pumps,

Dandelion stained Levis to chiffon dresses,

White Hanes to laced slips of fabric.

 

Our hearts ached for everything and everyone,

Each dog getting struck by a car reason to kill ourselves,

A kiss worth jumping off a bridge.”

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Cambodia, Expat, lifestyle, Personal, Phnom Penh, Travel

The Best Coast.

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I’m sitting at my wonderful desk with my Panpuri diffuser wafting lemongrass into the air, the kittens are making their rounds about the apartment- mewing here and pawing there- and rapid fire video game noises and cliché phrases are overtaking the living room thanks to Call of Duty. There isn’t anything all that out of the ordinary. The smells are the same, the sounds are generally the same (although the headphones are about to go on for some Lana for some, you guessed it, West Coast)- but the general aura is different. How come?

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