Having travel plans can be great, as it gives you something to look forward to for the future. Alex and I discussed this same idea recently, how it’s been awhile since we’ve traveled to one place and we ought to focus more on future events, saving up our money, and spending on big trips together. Weekend outings, whether to big cities or just into New York or Stamford, would be totally more common than they currently are. Even though I live in Stamford now, I feel acquainted with the city but not necessarily super familiar with its intricacies. It’s not the same as I felt living in Northford, where I knew every street and could tell you who lived in certain houses just based on the last name on their mailboxes. It’s a different feeling entirely, but not necessarily a bad one, just a different one.
Travel plans, though, spice things up. They add to the excitement of daily life. For example, Alex and I are planning on visiting my friend Greg in DC in February perhaps. We’re thinking about taking Presidents’ Day weekend to explore the city, explore another big convention, and meet up with an old friend. It would be really wonderful to experience all that together, and to have that to look forward to for the future. Instead of waiting for travel plans to kind of fall into our lap, like we may have done in the past, this time we’re being more proactive, taking full initiative over the situation and making the plans ourselves. It feels much better than it did before, and I think it will do wonders for our general happiness.
As you might know, I love traveling and could picture myself never staying in one place for long. All of this is right up my alley.
This blog chronicles pretty much everything interesting I do. Sometimes I struggle coming up with ideas to write about because I don’t often do interesting things; most of the time I’m sitting on the computer, waiting for something interesting to show up in front of me. Ironically, writing blogs is a form of distraction for me; when I decide to log into WordPress, it’s usually because I have nothing better to do and I need to occupy my time with writing. Sometimes that’s because I have the opportunity to write, other times I make the opportunity myself.
The point of this is, I don’t often do interesting things or travel very much, even though I love travelling immensely. So when Alex and I decided to book a trip to Boston for later in the month, we did so while looking forward to getting out of the apartment and exploring the city on our own.
We love Boston, and we have memories there. Alex spent two and a half months of an internship living in Boston. I visited every weekend or so, and we made sure to explore as much of the city as we could. We even found local spots, such as Coffeebreak Cafe and Acapulco’s, places with a unique, captured magic that we just wish would be replicated in Stamford. There are some places in Stamford that have their own unique magic, though, such as Corbo’s and the mall. But Boston still remains dearly in our hearts, partly because of its connection to our friends, also. I have friends who live in Boston that I still haven’t seen in ages, and I look forward to meeting them again when we take our trip.
Overall, the trip is going to be one for the ages, and there’s no doubt that it’ll be worthwhile.
Having a dog has been so good, I decided to write another blog post about the experience, this time centered around everyone’s favorite group exercise: dog walks. Angus has proven to be a wonderful walking companion, from time to time, and I feel the need to share some thoughts and details about these experiences.
Walking the dog is like taking out the trash, except with an excitable partner by your side whose safety you need to constantly be attentive of, especially when cars, dogs, or other people wander by. Dogs command a lot of attention, but they also have a very limited attention span (so do I!) and thus, they get distracted by fast-moving objects or potential friends across the street. Alex and I have gotten better at handling the leash so that Angus knows how and how not to behave around these things. His improvements have made the regular dog walk more bearable and less of an obedience-building exercise, though at times he does slip back into his older ways.
I always feel bad yanking too hard on the leash, if Angus is really going out of his way, but I know that it’s worth it for the obedience training and negative reinforcement conditioning. Otherwise, he’d command the leash and we’d have no authority over his whereabouts, left helpless to his spontaneous whims. And boy are they spontaneous. As we walked to the park on Sunday, Angus sniffed every trash can and parked car on the way, but he didn’t stop to sniff the gross old banana in front of us; in fact, he didn’t react at all. It shocked us that he would deny sniffing food, even if it technically is no longer food. On the second half of our trip, on the way back from the park, Angus showed much more patience, and again ignored the banana on the road. His tremendous snout eluded him this time.
Michigan, a new frontier. Not moving there, but we are exploring for a few days while we can. By this point, I will already be in Michigan for the first time, my first romp through the midwest. An inaugural trip lasting four days long. Michigan state, Alex’s home, is elusive to me, as the majority of my knowledge about it consists of Frankenmuth, Detroit, Flint’s water crisis, the great lakes, and the most recent midterm election. Go Whitmer! Make people feel proud again!
Michigan reminds me most of its neighboring states in the midwest, but I feel strong Connecticut vibes from Alex’s descriptions. The strip malls here are a bit different, but the state turns into a wintery hell during the right season, and I know what that feels like. Snow so high your eyes need to adjust, towering far above you. But on top of that, Michigan has a rugged, rustic, against-the-weather reputation to it that must resonate with central and western Connecticut’s general attitudes. It’s difficult to describe, but rest assured that both sides enjoy their fair share of rustic expats from the south. Connecticut is a bit too small for the size of its ego, though, and Michigan is more appropriately sized. In the former state, Dunkin Donuts abound every five miles or so at least, often with a smaller range than that. In the latter state, you can drive for miles through blizzarding conditions just to get to the nearest grocery store. There are definitely some unique comparisons to be made between these burgeoning states.
Michigan is where some people belong, a home away from home that invites, excites, and brightens the way for visitors, too. I am looking forward to my trip there, and I hope for the best. I’ll review the trip with some level of detail in a future blog post, depending on when I feel like writing about it. Usually the topics I choose are that simple!
The Traveler is both a character and setting in Destiny 2, serving as the spiritual deity for the guardians. The name “Traveler” comes from its exploratory nature, and the fact that it moves throughout the universe. It also provides the Light through which guardians find and harness their power. As guardians are the playable characters in this game, players have a close connection to the Traveler when they embark on their missions. When the Traveler disappears at the start of the Destiny 2 campaign, the guardian loses their hope, spirit, and magic. The idea that magic originates from a planet-sized celestial that bestows it upon players is fascinating to me, and provides for a thought-provoking story about dependency and spiritual growth. The characters are made to reckon with the idea that they cannot survive without this being.
In reality, traveling is distinctly non-celestial. Yet it bears some of the same magical effects upon us. The act of traveling can cause us to gain hope and strengthen our spirit. There is nothing inherently otherworldly about traveling, and yet it is like discovering and embarking on a journey into another world. When traveling to a foreign country, for example, the differences in cultural norms, proclivities, even geography can be jarring at first if you are not sufficiently educated on the new place you are exploring. Traveling allows you to take on whatever new magic is in the atmosphere of this new place. When I traveled to Paris, I felt a magic in the air that was unlike any other city I’ve been to. Historical, cultural, national pride exuded through every part of the center of the city. And new places have new magic to explore.
This past weekend, I traveled quite a lot, taking four different methods of public transportation to make it to New Jersey to hang out with a few old friends. It was late at night, approaching midnight when we arrived at my friend’s place, and I could still barely contain my exhaustion from all the walking, waiting, and sitting around. The darkness outside added to the somber mood of things. It often does, even without thinking about it much.
Send me to the Sahara
To the rain forests
To the grandest canyons
The vilest slums of London
When I find our new world
You’ll see it too
With your mind’s eye
From the words of a diary
A train pulls into station
Emerges in another realm
Mind and body unrecognizable
A new animal is born
Follow the moon
From on earth I
Soar through dark and distant time zones
Can’t see the sun
Life is tragic and beautiful
Take the sky from me
And I regress
Paradise’s out there
Realms of all manners await
I’m not alone
In London every street has a name
(although it’s hard to tell)
And every train station has a train
usually within a minute at least
In London every palace has at least seven bedrooms
one for each day of the week
And every king or queen has distant family members
in every other European nation
In London every homeless stranger asks for money
but in the most polite way
And every empty plastic cup feels like a dagger
in my heart
In London all the bridges have names
some more exciting than others
And all the streams connect somehow
to the vast river in the center
The world is made of matter
Matter made of atoms
And atoms are made of themselves
The world is home to life
Which demands self-satisfaction
Leaving traces of the alive and dead.
The world is home to chaos
Chaos full of fear and hatred
And riotous greed with dedication
The world is home to peace
Peace as an absolutely goal
The releasing of pain and pleasure
The world is home to order
Order reaching nowhere and everywhere
The authoritarians thrive.
The world is home to the world
And without a home no one really lives
And without life, there’s no world.
So I guess everything depends
Upon each other’s jobs, responsibilities
In order to create the complicated ecosystem
We call Earth
But know as home.