… and probably still am. for your amusement, while you wait for this blog to be healed (again! how often does this happen?!) here’s an image of me i found while checking whether google searches about me actually point to me again, not to those sites the hackers had redirected them to.
i’ve had some problems with this blog – it got hacked and diverted a lot of the traffic to other web sites. i’m slowly getting things up to snuff again but it may take a while. in the meantime, enjoy the new look – it won’t last long 🙂
those of you who have been here often may have noticed that i’ve become somewhat quiet lately. here’s why.
i’m trying to revamp my life a bit. bringing some things to a close, shedding others – basically making room for something new. what that new thing is, i don’t know (i guess that’s why it’s a “something”). i also am experiencing a time when i often don’t have a lot of energy.
trying to post less on this blog has been an interesting experience. writing these regular entries here has mostly been very positive – it’s honed my ability to quickly throw down a few words on a topic in such a way as to express myself at least somewhat clearly. it’s given me a structure to write on a very regular basis. perhaps most of all, it’s connected me to YOU – a wide variety of interesting and insightful people.
so why would i slow down when it’s such a great thing? i guess it’s what is sometimes referred to as a “luxury problem”: too much of a good thing is still too much. in fact, it may not be the writing and connecting in itself that is too much but the expectations i have around it. must post at least 4 times a week. must answer comments. etc. i’d like to experiment with wrenching myself away from these expectations and see what happens. probably some of them are good expectations (like answering comments). others might not be so useful.
the other thing that has been rattling around in my head lately, more than usual, is the whole concept of “improving on silence.” is what i am saying really that important? is the world truly a better place for me adding my voice to the 15 thousand gazillion voices already out there? i need some time to think about this.
i’m not planning to abandon this blog at all. however, i’d like to relax on how often i post, and maybe also on what i post. i’d like to stop or at least put on hold the construction project of building the ego-gratifying self image of “isabella mori the blogger.”
so let’s see what happens …
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today, a guest post by larry blanken
travel is a major activity in the lives of modern people. some of us travel by choice as a source of pleasure, while others only venture away from home when they are forced to. regardless of individual motivations, the act of traveling can have a deep psychological impact on those who engage in it. oddly enough, the same elements that bring excitement to one person can bring dread to others. these distinctly different responses are driven by very similar forces of human nature.
as evidenced by the billions of dollars spent each year in the travel industry, the world’s population is on the move. there are millions who scrimp and save for traveling, constantly wishing they had more time and money to explore strange new parts of the planet. for these folks, each trip becomes an adventure and experiencing travel embodies dreams being fulfilled. among the greatest goals for some people is to go to places they have never been.
there are others who simply accept it as a permanent or temporary part of daily life. because of professional, educational or social necessity, they regularly wake up each day in a different location and give little thought to what it would be like to live a stationary life. an international businessperson, an airline pilot or a truck driver might view travel as just part of the routine. travel for some is just a chore required to get from one place to another.
at the other end of the spectrum are those who feel apprehension at the mere thought of straying from their own doorstep. they have built their own ideas of comfort zones that rely on familiar spaces to give them a sense of safety and security. for this group, the unknown is a threat to be avoided. they are perfectly content with remaining in their own backyards.
what are the basic motivations that make people crave or shy away from travel?
while the impulses that make people want to travel or stay at home are complicated and unique to every person, there are underlying characteristics that are similar in all personality types. the most fundamental of these has to do with self-esteem, along with our definitions of achievements and rewards. essentially, travelers usually place greater value in experiencing places and things than in possessing them. however, both are actually manifestations of control over one’s life.
humans have a basic need to feel better about themselves and elevate their self-image of who they are. naturally, everyone will have their own yardstick by which they measure their accomplishments. we all have our own methods to prove our self worth in our own eyes while we strive to gain the respect and admiration of others. the avid traveler will generally see their journeys as evidence of their ability to set and achieve their goals. those who do not care for travel have similar desires, but keep them close to home.
in this sense, traveling fulfills the same needs that growing a garden, owning a boat or building furniture might do for someone else. it is a way to replicate something we have given importance in our own minds in order to associate ourselves with it. travel also gives us the opportunity to get close to things that we have decided to identify with for the same reasons. it is a another way of transforming a mental image into actual experience.
like many other human activities, travel is a way of expressing individuality by re-creating and sharing the acts of others. when we stand on the same spot where kings stood, touch the eiffel tower or cruise the caribbean, we are participating in the experiences of those who have gone before us. these things become a part of us and expand our identities. in this way, we are able to somehow share the the accomplishments of the people we observe.
in fact, traveling is something almost everyone does for much the same reasons. if we remove the factors of distance and location, travelers and homebodies are essentially striving for the same things. in most cases, the basic difference is only a matter of the proximity of our connections to what we desire to be identified with.
for example, a fan of emeril lagasse will eagerly travel to the kitchen to recreate his cooking feats. some people visit their gardens to enjoy their collections of plants and flowers. others journey to the park to feed the pigeons and watch the people. however, when we take a plane, train or automobile to experience these same things, we call it travel. we all are curious about the world around us and want to repeat the actions of others who fascinate us to express our own self worth.
some of us simply prefer to do it in las vegas, hawaii or spain.
larry blanken is a freelance travel writer and semi-retired english instructor living near lexington, kentucky. in addition to teaching writer’s workshops and creating web content, his passions include creating travel articles.
i just made my first comment on a german psychiatrist’s blog! to celebrate this, i’m translating this joke here, which was one of his blog posts.
back in december, the hospital hired three cannibals as janitors – john, frank and randy. it’s so difficult to get good help! on their first day, the human resource manager shook their hands and said, “welcome to the team! you’ll make good money, and the cafeteria has good food, so please, no need to get too interested in your co-workers.” that was fine with the three.
four months later, they were asked to see the human resource manager again. “you’re all doing very good work, and i’m very satisfied with you. only one small thing: one of our nurses has gone missing. do you know what might have happened there?” the cannibals said no, no idea.
after they left the room, frank hissed at john and randy: “which one of you two blockheads ate the nurse?”
randy slowly raised his hand. frank tore in to him, “for four months now we’ve been eating nothing but hospital managers, and nobody noticed it. and now you idiot have to eat a nurse?!”
hey everyone – if you’ve been wondering why i haven’t done lots of updates lately, it’s because i was getting ready for what is the most significant voyage for me since 33 years ago, when i took my 4-year-old son and emigrated from germany to paraguay. my mother is moving into a seniors’ home and i’m going to germany to help her. such a big change. she is getting older and ready to let go of a lot of things. she will move from a huge apartment in which she has lived for 52 years into a tiny little apartment, fortunately just minutes away from it. hopefully we’ll find a good home for my father’s gazilion pieces of artwork which he left behind. going to germany is always very strange for me – so well known yet so far away, and not just geographically. usually when i come back from germany i’m utterly exhausted emotionally. my hope for this voyage is that i will go there with a servant’s heart and deal with all the physical and emotional work there happily and lightly, that i will have lots of deep and loving connections with my mother and dear friends and family, and that i will not have any panic attacks on the plane. fortunately, capt. tom is helping me with the latter. so – i’ll be away for four weeks. don’t know how much opportunity i will have to blog. let’s see, shall we? i’m sailing into a lot of unknowns …
for many, many years, my aunt has been sending me the calendar of the german youth hostel association. for every two weeks, it has a little saying as well as a beautiful photograph (come to think of it, that’s where my love for wordless wednesdays may come from). the photograph can be separated from the saying through perforation, and then the photograph serves as a postcard. my house is littered with postcards and little 1×5 cards with the sayings. maybe i should start throwing them out … but not before i translate and share some of the words with you! below are a few, written by people that you may or may not know, so i’ve added links.
how bald and miserable many a piece of land would look were it not for the weeds growing on it
i can tell you, my friend, who to believe: believe real life; it is a better teacher than speechmakers and books
work as if you could live forever; live as if you were to die any day
giovanni don bosco
nobody has ever learned to love the truth by being beaten for telling a lie
the thrill of the forbidden can only be tasted by going after it immediately. tomorrow it might already be allowed