I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the relationship between family, livelihood, purpose, and travel. Sometimes all four seem to get along, but more often they’ve been clashing like rival siblings on a long car trip. I’m a little adrift in uncertainty right now, making decisions about where I want to be and what I want to be doing. I turned to my family for some insight about my nomadism.
The best way to approach Art in Paradise is to check your cynicism and inhibition at the door. Yes, you’ll look ridiculous as you pose for these photos. Yes, the photos themselves will be super cheesy. And yes, this place is great for kids — so unleash your big child-sized imagination and just have fun with it!
One year ago today, I boarded a plane to East Africa on a one-way ticket. I had stowed my stuff away in four storage bins, said my goodbyes to Colorado, and packed my bags for a drastically different and unknown part of the world.
I’ve experimented with three different tools to make my newsfeed disappear but keep pretty much everything else. They’re browser extensions, so they only clean up my Facebook page on Chrome (my default). If I’m really craving the newsfeed, I can just log on through a different browser. But now that the habit is broken, I rarely do.
Travel writing tends to err on the side of over-sweetened. A “feel-good” slant promises travelers what internet porn promises teenage boys: pure fantasy. The occasional “bad news” piece is limited to comedic annoyances, like the shrinking of airplane seats or the banning of selfie sticks.
While I’m living here in the Eastern Hemisphere, one goal is to do some exploring. For two months this spring, I’ll be taking a break from expat life in Addis Ababa and doing the digital nomad thing in Southeast Asia. What, exactly, is a digital nomad? It’s someone who has mobilized her income and chooses to work remotely from anywhere in the world.
Before I moved to Addis Ababa, I could count my visits to a spa on the unpolished toes of one calloused foot. Today, eight months later, my spa habit is fully formed. I’ve lost track of all the haircuts, styles, pedicures, and massages I’ve indulged in here. How did this happen? How did I get hooked? I trace my habit to the things I discovered about spas and salons in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Chris and I both have holiday-season birthdays to celebrate, so we’re going big this year. We’ll be traveling by train from Madrid to Marrakesh, then exploring the medinas, mountains and dunes of Morocco from there. Why Morocco? The trip was inspired by Chris’s mom, who will be joining us on the adventure. She dreamed it up based on the 1969 hit song “Marrakesh Express”.