I'll be the first to admit it — I don't travel solo, really, at, like, all. I've moved to strange places (which is totally different), I've spent maybe a day or two of a trip alone, but never the entire thing. I have all these questions in my head that seem kinda dumb...and I can't be the only one.
Recently Shannon wrote a piece on being far away from home when her grandmother died. It got me thinking, “are those that don’t travel somehow getting it more right? Are they more in tune with what actually matters?”
“She must have been waiting for you,” distant relatives said softly at the visitation, cupping my hand in theirs with furrowed brows and sympathetically tilted heads.
“I think so, too,” my head would tilt back.
But I didn’t actually think so. In reality, she was already gone by the time my plane touched the ground.
Here are some tips on staying calm and soaring easy as you blast through the air at 600 mph in a giant metal tube with 400 other people. Which, y’know is totally casual and normal and not something to be totally freaked out by.
I hadn’t even brushed my teeth when I got the notification that bombs had exploded in Bangkok.
“Fuck,” I thought, sliding my thumb back and forth over the home-screen. The bright and glassy ‘6:02 AM’ gave me a headache. I locked my phone. “Now what?”
You know the drill. You’re home for the holidays, you’ve already been acquainted with your childhood room covered in hearts and pink teddy bears, you’ve got a big handful of roasted chex mix and a cup of hot cocoa in hand, and when you’re just about to sit back and relax, BAM. Here comes a pro-Trump comment from Uncle Steve with a chorale of nods and “mm-hms” coming from the kitchen. What do you say? What do you do? How much alcohol should you buy in preparation for this?
I love hearing stories about successful people being told "no." My entire life I've had the assumption that pretty much everyone else knows what they're doing and successful people were just born successful. Every time I get a "no" from an editor or a potential employer or, well, anyone, it's because they know better and what I am offering just isn't good enough. I'm very consciously using the present tense here. After all, why would I get so many no's if everyone was wrong?
They say “once you leave home, you can never go back.”
When you come back, you aren’t the person you were. The place isn’t what it once was. The people who were your world have left, passed away, or they themselves have simply changed.
Do you think it’s true?
The older I get, the more beautiful this place gets. Unlike myself, Iowa is a fine wine. I don't know how I missed it for two decades, but I managed. When I think about writing about my hometown, inevitably the first sentence is always something like, "I picture it in shades of brown and gray...
Iowa, I'm sorry.
For years I've written off your people, cursed your winter-torn roads, pitied your empty shopping malls, lamented your land locked-ness, and readily given you the title of "The Land of Missed Opportunity." I made up my mind that you had nothing to offer me; you and I, we simply wanted different things. But for years, it turns out I was wrong.