Continuing the tradition of taking a month every year to live somewhere else, Kelly, A. and I have just returned from a wonderful month in Prague, Czech Republic.
Previous years have found us in Asheville, NC, Washington, DC, Portland, OR and various parts of Ecuador. As I wrote about last year's trip:
It's just long enough to transition away from full-on tourist mode and get to know a place a little bit more from a local point of view. Immersing ourselves in a new landscape is also a great way to get perspective on the world and the rest of our lives - what we value, what we miss, what we want more or less of and how we might make that happen.
This year's trip was different in a few ways. Our last three have all been in the U.S. so we were excited to again be overseas and where we didn't know the language. It was also very new to do this kind of trip with our 11-month-old daughter. We wanted to challenge ourselves in these ways and while it was hard at times, overall it was a really fun and amazing experience.
Continue reading Living in Prague
I started a map of all the places I've lived or visited. I excluded spots where I was just passing through.
There are a lot of them, and I feel very fortunate to have seen so much.
There are also not very many of them, and it's a good reminder that I have no firsthand knowledge of what's happening or what life is like in most of the world.
May I live long enough to get a few more splotches of red going.
Kelly and I are fortunate to have enough flexibility in our schedules and employment that we've continued the trend of trying to live in another place (e.g. Portland, OR, Washington, D.C.) for 3-4 weeks per year. It's just long enough to transition away from full-on tourist mode and get to know a place a little bit more from a local point of view. Immersing ourselves in a new landscape is also a great way to get perspective on the world and the rest of our lives - what we value, what we miss, what we want more or less of and how we might make that happen.
This year we spent that time in Asheville, North Carolina.
It's a place that I've spent a fair amount of time already - visiting my dad's parents there when I was younger, attending Camp Rockmont for several summers in a row, going on various whitewater rafting/canoeing trips nearby and visiting college friends there more recently - but it was great to experience the city in this new way as it lives into its emerging culinary/artistic/outdoorsy identity. The mountain air, lush woods and trails, flourishing food scene, accessible size, eclectic neighborhoods and friendly people made for a really memorable time.
We stayed at a beautiful Airbnb house near the downtown area, which meant we could walk into town and experience a restaurant, bar, market, sidewalk performance or drum circle whenever we felt like it:
Continue reading Asheville Living
Kelly and I were fortunate to be able to spend a week exploring Colorado this month, mostly around Boulder, Vail, Glenwood Springs and Steamboat. It was a great chance to visit some family in the area, see some different landscapes, hike/bike/raft/etc., and just generally enjoy life at 8,000 feet above sea level. Apparently there's a lot more of the state than one can see in a few days, so I expect we'll be back again soon. Some photos and notes from our trip follow.
Vail is like Disneyworld (but cuter) for people who want to be able to pick up an expensive handbag or some sushi right after they get off the slopes, with everything laid out just so for the optimal outdoorsy tourist experience:
Continue reading Exploring Colorado
Kelly and I had the great opportunity to spend the last few weeks living in Washington, D.C. and exploring the surrounding region. Some photos and a few observations follow:
Continue reading Washington D.C. Living
Five things I learned on a trip to the island of Antigua:
- When the whole island is a cozy 12 miles across, accurate maps and road signs are not much of a priority. Great for locals, not so great for visitors.
- I still get seasick. At least the expert diver captaining our transport boat, who has taken Mic Jagger and Dolly Parton for tours, was kind about it.
- It's worth paying extra for a place with a negative edge swimming pool
- Playing Nintendo games prepared me pretty well for driving on the left side of rough, unpaved roads where a goat or donkey might cross at any second.
- If you go in the off season and don't stay at Sandals, you get entire stretches of beach all to yourself.
Antigua was beautiful. Some photos from the trip on Flickr:
Continue reading 5 Things I Learned In Antigua