The Thoughts of Others

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” — Mark Twain

It’s no secret that I love to write and I love to travel. But what brought me to both those loves was my love of reading. For me, exploration/ lostness is more than just physically going places. Reading has that great ability to shrink the world and expand it out again, give us access to a million different lives, places, ways of being: more than anything else, perhaps. And both travel and reading challenge us to rethink our ways of seeing the world and perhaps revise our perceptions.

So, I would like to incorporate this love of reading good writing into this blog every now and then by sharing with you when I find a book that is  especially ground-shaking, or that makes me feel like I have gone down a rabbit hole into another world where I can see a side of a place or thing I might not have thought about in the same way before.

In the end, travel, reading, and writing, are all about adventure, really. I think this quote sums it up nicely:

“Adventure is a path. Real adventure— self-determined, self-motivated, often risky— forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and the boundless cruelty of humankind —and perhaps realise that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.”

— Mark Jenkins


It has been a loooong week. Last Saturday we travelled to Wellington for a cousin’s beautiful 1930s themed wedding. Then on Sunday evening Josh and I were lucky enough to both win prizes at the Student City Arts & Culture Awards (Josh in the visual category for that cicada photo you see above, and me for ongoing services in the literary arts). The rest of this week has been chock full of work and study deadlines. Also we started making our plans (work, study, and holiday) for the upcoming summer/Christmas more solid. It definitely feels good to have some tangible goals to look forward to. Just two months and 1 day until I can be sitting on the beach with a pina colada! Not that I’m counting or anything.

I just have three links for you this Friday.

1. “Exhaustion is not a status symbol” by Lillian Cunningham: I need to remember this. For some reason I always feel like I need to rush through life, always have a million things on my plate for fear of falling, somehow, “behind” (whatever that may mean). I am not behind. Some things can be left for tomorrow. Or next week. Or next year.

2. “So where’s home?”: I identify myself as a Third Culture Kid (TCK) and I am actually writing part of my Masters thesis on narrative strategies that may come with this identiy. This video provides a handy intro to what being a TCK can be like, and the questions TCKs might face.

3. “Things not to worry about”: This advice, from Chris Guillebeau, author of The $100 Start-up reminds me not to waste time worrying about the wrong things.

Happy weekend!

I’ve seen a lot of inspirational/ enlightening/ refreshing articles and posts online lately and instead of constantly bombarding my FB and Twitter friends with them (though, I still might do that, sorry) I thought it would be a good idea if I rounded up my favourite ones each Friday on the blog. Have a look, maybe you’ll find something that you like or that makes you think in a new way.

This post by Hadley on Travel Freak examines the French term “dérive” as meaning a kind of mental exploration that encourages us to “take a journey wherever you are.”

Kate from Marshmellow Goodness and her husband are currently working in Cambodia with the Peace Corp. In this post Kate describes what she has observed about being a woman in Cambodia.

Rachel Held Evans is one of my favourite bloggers to read on matters of faith, feminism, and many things in between. In this post she invites a stay-at-home dad to respond to the questions of commentors on his choice to stay home. A thoughtful and challenging read.

Josh and I are both big fans of Stephen Fry. In this video Fry talks about what he wishes he had known when he was 18, including his thoughts on two of my great passions: travel and reading.