Day 26: An Old Photo of Me

 

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How’s this for a really old photo of me? I’m the one on the left with the huge grin on my face and those are my sisters next to me. I must’ve been nine or ten. If you look closely there’s a band-aid on my left foot. I’m sure it was from climbing a tree or falling off a bike or some other craziness I used to get into.  And the smile? Well, it was certainly a more carefree, innocent time, wasn’t it? Childhood. *sigh*

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Day 25: Minimum of 5 Fave Blogs

Five more days to go and this is probably my favorite post so far! There are tons of incredible bloggers out there and these are just five of my faves. You’ll notice that they’re all women and represent very different backgrounds and demographics. I follow a lot of male bloggers too but these women happen to be on the top of my list.

PS I’m on My Way  A little over two years ago I was doing some heavy research on solo female travel in Latin America when I came across Trisha’s blog.  I not only found a plethora of information but a sense of connection to the author herself and her adventures.  We share common roots in our birth place, the struggles of holding a limiting passport, and the obsession for travel. Although we grew up in very different backgrounds, I definitely feel that if I could relive my 20s I’d be taking a lot of cues from her brave, unapologetic travels.

Tiny Wanderer As a tiny woman myself, I was thrilled to find Ying’s blog a few months ago and have enjoyed her travel stories since then. I love it when women (or anyone for that matter) break through stereotypes and follow their hearts desires no matter what others (even your own family members) say.

Bani Amor What a kickass inspirational person! Bani uses they/them pronouns and is a queer travel writer who touches on non mainstream topics and “decolonizing travel”.  I had never heard of the latter term until I started reading their blog and have been seriously provoked to rethink my values as a traveler.  I don’t hold a US passport and I’m not white but (thanks to the colonization of our islands) I speak with an American accent and have very Western proclivities. Do I contribute to the colonization of travel? This is but one of many thought-provoking questions that following Bani’s work incites. It’s such a breath of fresh air to hear a voice different from and outside of the mainstream.

Brown Girls Fly I love the “melanin-infused” travel perspective these two sisters share through their website. A cursory search for the best travel bloggers will, more often than not, yield a very racially homogenous  group (i.e. white). This is an empirical fact; it’s not meant as a racist statement. In general, I follow blogs based on content that’s inspiring, useful, and resonates with me on some level. I am brown. I don’t hold a first world passport. I am often the “random check” at airports. And I don’t let any of that hold me back from traveling or living my life. It is heartening to read about other people of color with similar experiences and who are challenging preconceived notions about travel.

Nomadic Chick  I’m not quite forty yet but Jeannie’s blog doesn’t just ease my fears of entering another decade but also makes me look forward to it. She’s been following her own rules and dispelling myths about solo female travel for years–especially about older solo female travel. For some reason western society has a very negative view on getting older and older women particularly aren’t celebrated or recognized in the travel genre. As this badass nomadic chick says: “Nobody should ever feel wrong to be their natural selves. No matter what your age.”

 

 

 

Day 24: My Favorite Childhood Book

Oddly enough I can’t think of any books I read as a child which is probably because books were really scarce on the island. I remember in fourth or fifth grade my best friends and I got into the Mandy books. We went to a Seventh-Day Adventist school so all the literature we had access to were Christian based. I remember in science class we skipped three or four chapters of the textbook because it had information about dinosaurs and evolution and such. But I digress…

If I were asked what my favorite children’s book was I’d definitely say any of Dr. Seuss’ books. And if I absolutely had to choose just one, I’d say The Lorax.

Day 23: Dream job

I’m one of those people whose dream job changes almost as frequently as I change clothes.

As a child I wanted to be a professional ballerina, so I took up ballet and that dream fell away almost as soon as I put on those toe-breaking shoes!  Then as a (somewhat) sensible college student, I wanted to become a lawyer–specifically a woman’s rights or environmental advocate. I went into law school wide-eyed and hopeful.  I came out jaded and spiritually battered.

Still hoping to do something that’s helpful to the greater good, I became a kindergarten teacher but that lasted all of two years. Then the thrill of the SCUBA diving industry beckoned and the idea of getting paid to do what I loved seemed like a dream come true. It was, and then it wasn’t.

I’ve had a few other jobs–in banking, hotel management, restaurant, call center and legal. Currently, I’m teaching English as a second language.  So far I’m really enjoying it and love that it helps me afford a life of travel. Is it my dream job? Hardly. Like any other  line of work it is exactly that: work.  You put into it as much as you want out of it, and sometimes it doesn’t even balance out. Some days it’s can be incredibly fulfilling and uplifting and joyful.  Sometimes it can be mundane or stressful or soul-sucking.

So I guess what I’m saying is that my dream job changes.  The same way I am always changing, always growing, always evolving.

What’s ideal for me depends on who I am and where I am as a person. At this particular time in my life, I’m drawn to writing. Someday I’d love to get published. Maybe write a short story or even a book. But then again all that can change, can’t it?  🙂

 

Day 22: Best thing to happen this year

There hasn’t been one great event or a life changing moment this year, but then it’s only May.

2017 didn’t exactly start out so great, and as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been kind of in a rut lately.  My itchy feet want to pack up and head to a new destination but I can’t quite do that yet. So life’s been a bit of a routine. Nothing spectacular.

But I am a big fan of Tao teachings and have been trying to apply this very zen philosophy about my current state:

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Actually, the full quote is:

Sit quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.

I’m sure everyone has their own interpretation of this, but I take it to mean that things will happen in their own time.  Fretting, stressing, bitching about it isn’t going to make things happen the way you want them to.  Although it certainly helps to vent and release the negative build up sometimes.

I’m not a patient person. I’ll be the first to admit that. But I’m working on it.

So what’s the best thing to happen this year? Let’s see, shall we?

 

Day 21: 10 Favorite Foods

Only 10?

I’m going to have to really think this through because I love food!

  1. Sushi. Hands down my favoritest food in the world! I prefer the authentic kind, obviously–nigiris, sashimi, hand rolls–but if someone puts a California roll in front of me, I’d eat it.
  2. A traditional Palauan meal. What I love about a traditional Palauan meal is the simplicity.  Brak, dryland taro, cultivated and prepared by a mechas, old lady or grandma; smoked or fried fish caught off the reef the same morning or the night before; a little soy sauce (adopted into the diet from Japanese colonial times) with local hot peppers. Sometimes it’s accompanied by some sauteed kankum, local spinach, and/or billum, grated tapioca/cassava wrapped in dried ti or coconut leaves and boiled.
  3. Bagels with cream cheese and lox. I developed a taste for them while living in Boston. It’s hard to come by anywhere other than in the U.S. and a rare treat.
  4. Tamales. Many Latin American countries have their own version but so far I’ve only tried Mexican and Costa Rican.  Apparently the types of tamales out there are unnumerable and I must try all of them!
  5. Pancit. This dish conjures up childhood memories of my mother preparing it in the kitchen and me helping slice the calamansi, tiny local lemons, for garnishing.
  6. Pho. I haven’t made it to Vietnam (yet) but I already know the pho there is unbelievably good. Every bowl of this flavorful noodle soup I’ve had (all outside of its motherland) has been out-of-this-world!
  7. Hawaiian poke. I. Love. Tuna. Which causes a huge moral dilemma for me because I believe in the preservation of our marine animals and many species of tuna are going extinct.  Now I only ever have poke when I’m back in Palau or if I know for sure that the tuna 1) isn’t on the endangered list and 2) it was sustainably caught.
  8. Croissants. Especially chocolate or almond. Yuuuuuuumy!!!
  9. Ice cream. Who doesn’t like ice cream???? Even the lactose intolerant or vegans have their version of these frozen nectar from the gods!
  10. Chocolate. Come on, you knew it’d be on the list. I’m surprised I didn’t put it as number one!

Adrift

The Daily Post’s prompt for today is Adrift and I think it’s appropriate that I post about my blog name.  Anne Adrift describes me and my life as it is right now.  I am a drifter, in the very best sense of the word.

I have never felt like I belonged to one particular place in the world. I’ve been traveling since I was two years old, lived in six different countries, traveled extensively and have no plans to stop any time soon. I am unanchored—meaning that I have no one and nothing to compel me to stay in one place or to influence my freedom to roam. I am afloat; buoyed up by the possibilities and adventures that this incredible planet has to offer. I am adrift; flowing along with the currents of life and wanderlust.

I am adrift. As we all essentially are.

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