30 January 2010

season of looooooove

One of the most annoying aspects of my life is people writing me off as soon as they hear I've been somewhere awesome. Anywhere other than the states that bound Oregon. Which is a grand total of four, if you were counting.

The problem with this is that my travel defines me.

For example, one day I felt beautiful:

It was a sunny July day in Barcelona. B and I were walking back to our hostel from the beach, our hair damp, our skin tanned by the Riviera rays. We were walking through Badalona and a man stepped out of a shop. He was lighting up a cigarette, but he was entirely still for a moment as he looked at me. I was salty from the Mediterranean, but I wore no makeup. He looked like Sergio Ramos.

I think that what sticks with me is that he made me feel beautiful without ever uttering a word. He was in a hurry, but not so much that he didn't notice me.

I don't have to be pretty all the time. Being appreciated is nice. And let me say that I miss Spain once in awhile.

21 January 2010

Sometimes people are embarassed by me

Keep in mind that these pictures are from my New Zealand/Hawaii trip three years and I have honed my skills* since then. ;) I also ditched the bangs. Which you can't see in these pictures (I win again!)

We had a bunch of picky eaters along for the ride. That was just too bad for them in New Zealand, but during our two days on O'ahu, we were taken to the Ala Moana mall and told to fend for ourselves. The first time I ate Hawaiian food, the second... well, we decided to wander off to the beach and sneak back before our meet-up time.

I met this palm tree. It could not withstand my super powers.

Then we went to the Big Island. We were taken to the Halema'uma'u Crater and lectured on volcano trivia. I tried to take notes, but I was swallowed by the earth.

At Akaka Falls State Park, since I hike more than some people on the trip, I was back in the parking lot following the waterfalls loop hike sooner than they were. This picture is just good location and timing and the sneakiness of my friend Jeff.

Apropos, n'est-ce pas?

Now do you see why some people pretend not to know me?

I also recently learned that the more random a file name I use for a photo, the more ridiculous the search is that leads people to this blog. Things that have absolutely nothing to do with what this blog is about. It's a sort of poetic justice, I would say. Hello, random Google readers! Please don't be scared!

*Said skills include wildly erratic behavior and making my mother pretend she doesn't know me.

16 January 2010

Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.

Something that's been close to my heart for awhile now is about to go big. I began following The Buried Life after I read an interview with them in brass magazine in February 2008. The Buried Life is four young men who decided that life is more than a rat race, made a list of thing they wanted to do before they died, and set about accomplishing those things. Now they travel the country asking strangers "What do YOU want to do before you die?" and they've partnered with MTV to share their exploits with the world. The Buried Life premieres Monday, January 18th at 10.

Part of the awesomeness of it all is that for everything they cross off on their list, they help a stranger with theirs. For what it's worth, here's mine.

1. Sing 'Waltzing Matilda' at an Australian rugby match
2. Go to a World Cup soccer game
3. Spend a summer volunteering in a third world country
4. Dive and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef
5. Drive a bobsled
6. Learn to surf big waves
7. Ride in a bulldozer scoop
8. Write down my grandfather's story and the story of the SS Star of Oregon
9. Live in another country
10. Become fluent in at least one other language
11. Skydive
12. Fly a helicopter
13. Go rock-climbing
14. Go on an Athletes in Action soccer mission trip
15. Learn to salsa dance
16. Roadtrip down the Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible with a friend
17. Marry the man of my dreams
18. Wear a really big hat to the Kentucky Derby
19. See the running of the bulls in Pamplona and drink sangria at a bullfight
20. Learn basic car maintenance
21. Be a Soldier's Angel
22. Graduate nursing school
23. Owe nothing to anyone by 2020
24. Learn to listen like I'm the only other person alive
25. Hike the Patagonia
26. Mine for rubies
27. Climb Denali
28. Design, make and sell a line of clothing
29. Volunteer at a USO or a VA hospital
30. Date a professional soccer player
31. Jump a horse on a cross-country course
32. Go ice-skating
33. Get a tattoo
34. Grant a child's wish
35. Go back to Queenstown and do the Nevis Highwire Bungy
36. Interview a soccer player for publication
37. Visit the Devil's Swimming Pool at the top of Victoria Falls
38. Walk all the way around an island
39. Go waterskiing/wakeboarding
40. Work on a Hollywood film
41. Attend a major sporting event (TOUR DE FRANCE)
42. Touch the World Cup
43. Celebrate Carnaval in Brasil
44. Cruise the Mediterranean on a sailing ship
45. Learn to snowboard have a go at heli-boarding
46. Party with rockstars
47. Kiss Ben Barnes
48. Find a way to help provide underprivileged kids with soccer opportunities
49. Own a pair of Christian Louboutins
50. Write a book for my future children
51. Publish a photograph
52. Learn ballroom dancing
53. Jump off a waterfall
54. Give the commencement address at a graduation
55. Take a boat trip down the Nile
56. Drive the 007 car really fast ...the Aston Martin Vanquish
57. Visit Alaska, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware... the four states I have yet to see
58. Re-enact LIFE magazine's picture of the sailor kissing the nurse on V-J Day 1945
59. Visit every continent
60. Go backstage at a big concert
61. Ride in a hot-air balloon
62. Model on a runway
63. Learn to play an instrument
64. Drive a tank
65. See the new Seven Wonders of the World
66. Help build a house... even if it's just painting
67. Taste Dom PĂ©rignon
68. See a Shakespeare play at the Globe
69. Ride a (really big) roller coaster
70. Do a back handspring
71. Hang glide
72. Stay in a hotel on stilts over water (Bora Bora or the Maldives)
73. Learn to read and write Arabic
74. Attend a fashion show in Milan, Paris or New York
75. Dance with a celebrity
76. Take up archery
77. Sponsor a needy child
78. Help someone out through Make-a-Wish
79. Go four-wheeling on sand dunes with my brothers
80. Help put my two youngest siblings through college
81. Commit random acts of kindness every day for a month
82. Feel the heat on my face from a space shuttle launch
83. Stand in each of the world's major seas
84. Spend a summer in Spain and Portugal with Melanie
85. Adopt a "grandparent" in a nursing home
86. Ride a motorcycle
87. Start and maintain a travel blog
88. Yodel in the Alps
89. Fly a fighter jet in Cape Town, South Africa
90. Talk to a politician in Pig Latin
91. Spend a night in the Ice Hotel in Sweden
92. Participate in a flash mob event
93. Read all the way through Shakespeare's canon
94. Get my carry permit
95. Backpack Europe on my own
96. Get over my fear of public singing
97. Learn capoeira
98. Contribute to research on breathing disorders/kick asthma's butt
99. Play paintball
100. Meet a Medal of Honor winner
101. Call Jake Owen
102. Convince a local Italian boy to take me on a moped tour of his town
103. Participate in a hash
104. Go the Oberammergau Passion Play
105. Play swamp soccer in Finland

What do you want to do before you die? Wanna help me with my list? I'll return the favor. Anyway, check 'em out on Facebook. They're cool.