People Plan, God Laughs

People Plan, God Laughs

When I arrived in Belfast and met Mike’s parents almost three months ago, his mom said this phrase that I have thought of every day since: People plan, God laughs.  As you’ve probably noticed, I am not a religious person, but this motto is so apt given how my travels have gone.  Plans I made never seemed to work out the way I wanted them to, so I was able to find the humor in this little saying.  

An Exchange of Inspiration

An Exchange of Inspiration

I’ve always thought of inspiration as going one way – from one person to another, rippling outwards from the source.  However, it’s become clear that inspiration can, quite often, become an exchange benefiting both parties rather than one person’s takeaway from the other.

Extreme Hill Walking

Extreme Hill Walking

Last weekend, Mike’s friend Dave flew over from Wales and the three of us drove to the Mountains of Mourne, located about 45 minutes southeast of us.  Ireland has proven to be relatively flat compared to my native New England, with low, wide hills at most.  Mike has also referred to his “hill walking club” […]

My Unintentional Irish Home

My Unintentional Irish Home

I have found myself in many extremes in the last seven months, but this one is, perhaps, the most unexpected. It started back in January when I made a decision that completely changed the course I had been on.  I was originally planning on heading to Australia from Bali and keeping myself busy (with a […]

The Face-off

The Face-off

It’s never a good sign when the local men are screaming. I had pulled over to let them pass me on their caravan of motorbikes and this is their reaction to something only ten feet ahead of me.  It’s nighttime.  I’m alone in the mountains of Bali surrounded by jungle.  What could possibly illicit these […]

The Other Room

The Other Room

There is a pool of sweat under me and I can’t feel my arms or legs.  I hear the vibrations of the traditional music around me and the occasional voices of people around me calling out, chanting, or breathing heavily.  My breath is speeding up and I have to remind myself, “You’re in control.  Slow down.”  And I […]

The Memorable Ones

The Memorable Ones

You meet some real characters when you travel.  And given the breadth of locations I’ve spent time in over the last 5+ months, I have met some quite fascinating people.  Let me tell you about some of the most memorable ones. I met the daughter of the artist who wrote “Champs-Élysées” (da da da da da). […]

Spirit Animals

Spirit Animals

Back in November, I visited Chiang Mai, a city in the mountains of northern Thailand.  Chiang Mai seems to be the darling of Asia – everyone loves it.  And I did too.  It’s such an easy-going place: authentic but tourist friendly, plenty to do both inside and outside the city, surrounded by a moat.  It’s pretty […]

The Lost Generations

The Lost Generations

I’ve spent a significant amount of the last months pushing out of my comfort zone, which has proven to be both empowering and rewarding.  I am regularly taking inventory within my existing feelings of discomfort, trying to distinguish what is ignorance and what are acceptable personal limits.  Honestly, it’s never really been clear.  I try to have […]

History Catches Up

History Catches Up

It’s hard to forget where you came from.  And sometimes it’s scary to also. In my case, where I’m from, what I’ve done, and the life I lived up until leaving home in August – it’s all been pretty great.  I’m incredibly lucky.  However, I have one of those personalities that causes me to constantly […]