Something happens to my voice when I travel alone.
Moving all day and saying no words – jetlag – sleeping in hostels – filling up on street food and beer – all the words you hear are new – all the people and buildings you see are unfamiliar – your phone has no service – you get used to being lost – get used to sore feet – get used to others’ eyes scrutinizing your foreign clothes or foreign body – get used to cold grey skies – muggy air – cobblestones – crowds.
When I do open my mouth to speak, my tongue is slack and swollen.
I’ve become too used to listening. Too submerged in the morass of whatever new environment is around me.
I stutter, embarrassed for my mispronunciation of a language that sits clunky in my mouth.
I love this.
The exhaustion born after a hard day of discovery.
I love the relief of being alone in a group of strangers wrapped up in their own lives.
I love the elevated, out of bounds space on trains and planes and ships where you are no one place and with no one who knows you.
I’m moving to Ningbo, China tonight and I plan to be there for fifteen months.
This blog is an experiment.
I will be posting expressions born from my travels in China and around Asia – as well as from my life in places I’ve been before.
I’m bored reading typical travel writing (ex. visit this restaurant, stay at this hotel, don’t fall for this scam, etc.), and I’m bored writing it.
When I’m in a place, I get dizzy with its spirit. Intoxicated by the tempo of its people, the pulse of history in its veins, the colors of its sky, and the flavors of its air.
This blog will be made up of what I think expresses the spirit of a place. Poems, stories, love lists, songs, films – whatever I can make to express the essence of my experiences in places.
Follow along to travel with me.