A Wandering Month

April 26, 2017

I've gotten quite comfortable in my little corner of Thailand the past couple of years. It was time for that extra push to seek out new challenges and spend time disconnecting from distraction. 

Climbing in Laos it was. 

Thakhek is surreal. Driving out of town, past rice paddies and stopping for cattle to cross the road, we were we greeted by massive limestones (and banana-stealing goats). There was no construction, no condos, and no shortage of friendly faces. 

Feeling like I can breathe a little deeper after this trip.

Ton Sai

We climbed, trekked through the jungle, hung out in a cave, pet loads of cats, drank strong coffee, made up songs, then sang them out of tune.

Living back in Thailand has been pretty dreamy. I just returned from a four day climbing trip with my friend Jill. Ton Sai is an island that draws climbers from all over the world. The views from the routes are unreal. 

Thanks, Jill,  for your patience and trusting me enough to climb with you- we'll add a little DMX to our playlist for next time.  

Randyland

What does one do while in Pittsburgh? Well, that's what I wanted to know. It just so happened I struck gold in my search. 

My dear friend, Jooyoung, came to visit while I was there and we went on an adventure. I read about Randyland on Atlas Obscura and needed to check this place out. This art oasis is in North Pittsburgh and is open to the public. We walked in the backyard and I immediately got stimulation overload. So. many. colors. 

Randy meandered out a couple minutes later, and yelled "Is anyone out here?" That's when our minds were even more blown. This man is magnetic. He's super passionate about telling his story that includes bouts of homelessness, random jobs, community struggles and finally finding his path through art. He's a wonderful human and provided so many laughs and smiles throughout our conversation. 

So...if you ever find yourself in Pittsburgh, go high-five Randy.

LA

Screw the celebrity component- the everyday energy of LA makes this place pretty great. The food options are plentiful, the sun shines most days and there is a neighborhood to suit every interest. This weekend was a welcomed getaway from the Seattle overcast.

Thanks friends for being awesome and welcoming me to your city with open arms!

Cuba

This place.

Cuba has been at the top of my travel list for many years. The colors, the food, the people, the music- all of it was more than I could have ever imagined. A special thanks to my travel partner, Leslie, and to our Cienfuegos friends for making this trip even more amazing.

This country is on the cusp of major transition. Looking at the buildings, cars and ration cards, time seems to have stood still. However, signs of change are becoming more prevalent. Cubans are slowly starting their own private businesses and the internet is becoming more available (although wifi spots are usually only in parks). As the embargo is almost certainly going to be lifted, change is inevitable. I'm both excited and nervous for this to happen. More freedoms will give people chances to express themselves but I also hope that the influence of increased tourism and commerce doesn't dilute the vibrance of the culture. Only time will tell. 

I have made a promise to myself to come back within a year to explore more of this beautiful place. In the meantime, I'll be practicing my salsa moves. 

Leslie in Seattle

This weekend was spent with my first visitor to our new home. Leslie flew up from LA to hang + make travel plans. She is such a radiant woman,  and one of the kindest people I've ever encountered. 

I love how this friendship (which was made on the opposite side of the world) continues to grow. Here's to countless ventures with lifelong friends!



Minneapolis Hangs.

After a few years of moving around (and probably more to come), it's comforting to know that I have people in my life who are nothing but the raddest of friends- regardless of our locations. 

Jenna Rae is one of those humans. She is a kindred spirit, with a heart of gold and thirst for adventure. We're forever dreamers and the best of travel partners. When I was back in Minneapolis, we decided to explore the city on a sunny, Friday afternoon.

Cheers to you, Jenna, now come on over to Seattle and let's find some more margaritas and ferris wheels!



City by the Bay.

What a city.

San Francisco is oozing with charm. Trolleys, ornate row houses and friendly folks made for a great weekend. There's plenty to do in this city and also so many natural elements of epic proportions just a few, short hours away. Time was spent roaming around Chinatown (which happens to be the largest in the US), catching a sunset at Big Sur and viewing the cityscape and Golden Gate from a nighttime boat cruise. I'll be back for sure- there's just too much goodness to squeeze in one weekend. For now, I'll think of that sunshine and serenity when I bundle up for what is hopefully the last arctic blast in Minneapolis. 

Ooo La La

Dreamy. This is Paris. I just returned from France today, and would have been more than willing to stay longer. I get such a giddy feeling when it's time to pack my bags and dig out the passport.

My French is nonexistent, but I managed to get by just fine. All of my days were spent strolling around neighborhoods, and occasionally pulling out the map. There is so much history, beauty and decadence in France. I went to a few museums, strolled in the parks by the Louvre, chatted with some lovely locals (including Amah in the portrait below), drank a minimum of three cappuccinos a day (paired with desserts, of course), took a day trip to Dieppe and most of all- enjoyed being out in the world.

What a trip!