Moving day has arrived. It will be stretched over a 3-week period. That seems like something to be grateful for. Little projects here and there, trips to the Hardware Store, mixing cleaning solutions. A busy day that has me so damn exhausted, but I am so grateful.
So many new thoughts, so many new questions. How much should I worry about dusting the top of the kitchen light fixture? Is climbing up on the counters to get to the cabinet’s top, back corner with my sponge worth it? What should I do with this ugly Direct TV satellite?
So many new questions. Each one I am grateful for.
This is the final of five posts about travel that celebrate the launch of my online class, Manifest Money for Spiritual Travel.
I was already uneasy on the train, because only a few months before a train crash has killed 13 people and the locals were still talking about it. Yet, I was determined to see as much of Sri Lanka as my short visit would allow and I was willing to push through fatigue and fear to get to Adam’s Peak, to see the purported footprint of Buddha. A friendly young Buddhist monk sat next to me the first half of the trip, making friendly chit chat and recommending a meditation center outside of Kandy.
“It’s peaceful there. You can relax,” he said. Why would I stay in one place when there was so much to see?, I asked myself.
The guy who slid into the seat after the monk seemed unassuming enough; his curiosity towards me was no more creepy that any of the men I attracted traveling alone. Still, my guard was up because after six months in India and Sri Lanka, I knew what could happen. A motorcyclist cruising by reaches out and grabs my breasts; the guy in the bus seat behind me grabs my side through the gap between seat and window; anonymous men in a crowded train thrusting their growing erections into my back; a guy on the beach posing as a jewelry vendor sneaks up to fondle me before running away laughing. I was tired of all this, but I wasn’t letting it stop me. I couldn’t. That felt like giving in.
This is the fourth of five posts about travel that celebrate the launch of my online class, Manifest Money for Spiritual Travel.
The follies of youth never hurt when you are living them, its when you look back and see how incredibly stupid you were that the real pain sets in. Reliving how careless you were with the gift of a good, easy life is enough to make you blush with embarrassment. Yet, deep in that red hot ball of shame are the embers of fearlessness, which is what got you in all that trouble in the first place.
I was 20 years old, living in a frat house on the MIT campus for the summer, and funded by a research grant from my lovely Alma Matter Miami of Ohio. In between shifts at HMV, daily runs along the Charles River, and evening soaks in the rooftop hot tub, I was interviewing social service agencies and collecting data on how welfare reform had impacted their clients. (This was 2000, five years after Wisconsin Works had been introduced by Tommy Thompson and was spreading nationwide). I was taking the bus all around Suffolk County, equipped with a legal pad, a few pens, and a backpack full of naivete.
Naturally, I was lost like 95% of the time during these research trips. One time, flustered after getting off on the bus at the wrong stop, I walked into a Dunkin’ Donuts and asked directions. The cashier had no idea how to help me, and I was feeling hopeless.
This is the third of five posts about travel that celebrate the launch of my online class, Manifest Money for Spiritual Travel.
Traveling back home after a long absence can be as disorienting as leaving felt in the first place. Everything seems different, but you are stuck wishing it felt familiar.
When Diene and I traveled back to Senegal last, it was the first time he had been back home since he moved to Wisconsin. In most ways, he seemed as at home as he did when I first met him. But a few things had changed: he was more hurried then before, our pace of life having picked up dramatically in the US, and it was taking both of us a few days to shake that off. Impatience, a relatively American quality, was something we both had to work on overcoming now.
His family was doing some home improvement projects which required us to make several trips to neighboring cities for supplies. We rented a neighbor’s car to go to Mbour to get wire casing, but they didn’t have the wires we needed. So we continued on to Saly, where we got the wires, but came up short on the mortar. A trip to Joseman proved fruitless and by this time, it was too late and we’d have to continue tomorrow. The next day, we made four different stops before we found all the paint we needed. Continue reading