Yearn To Travel

I’m not going to lie, I become insanely and irrationally jealous when I read or hear about someone traveling. Maybe jealousy isn’t the best way to put it, because I definitely do not feel any negativity towards the person traveling. Why should I? If they’re having a great time, I am happy for them! I guess it’s just being able to travel in general that makes me green with envy. I am so passionate about traveling to other countries and basking in the culture and festivities of each one, that I try to read as much literature about the country in question until I can taste it.

I want to hike the Alps of Switzerland and feel the coldness wrap around my bones and breathe in the fresh cold air. I want to tread through the Black Forest in Germany and smell all of the flowers and feel the bark of the trees beneath my fingertips. I yearn to walk the streets of Tokyo and observe the people in their everyday lives, and just be able to sit and stare at Mount Fuji for as long as I desire. I want to go to Spain and learn to Flamenco dance and sketch the beautiful Gothic spires of the Sagrada Familia. I want to ride the merging rivers of Malaysia and visit the capital, Kuala Lumpur. I want to roam through thousands of worn, withered books in tiny little bookshops throughout France and Italy. I wish to meditate in India, to ride bicycles with the one that I love in Paris, and to actually see a Panda bear in China – among many other things.

Every single culture is so fascinating and beautiful to me, and it inspires me so much to just get on a plane and go wherever it takes me. Each country holds its own unique and powerful adventure, waiting to be read with the feet and fingers of mankind. Referring to my previous entry, however; I feel chained because money is one of the many factors that keeps me from pursuing my fantasies.

My love for traveling started when I was about nine years old when I was reading about Japan in World War II. This was many years before I found out about atrocities such as Unit 731 and the Rape of Nanking.  My love for history and culture didn’t blossom fully until honestly after September 11th happened. That in itself is a strange story in that I became fascinated with New York City skyscrapers and architecture, which in turn led me to read about other skyscrapers and architecture types in countries around the world. It started out with the 1970’s block-style architecture of the World Trade Center, then on to the 1729-foot Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower), the Art-Decoes: Empire State Building and Chrysler Building, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the infamous Eiffel Tower, it’s red doppelganger, the Tokyo Tower, and many others. Whichever skyscraper I was interested in at the time, I wanted to learn the culture of the country in which it resided. Then, I would become majorly obsessed with consuming everything I could about that particular country.  If I was into a particular country, everyone around me knew it. Anyone who knew even a tad bit of information that I didn’t would be hawked by me, asking them question after question. Some of my friends grew tired of my fiasco, understandably, but others didn’t. Others contributed to my obsession, which I appreciated a great deal. One of my guy friends from my fifth-grade class actually gave to me a tiny gold Eiffel Tower key chain because he knew I would appreciate it so much. I still have that key chain, and I smile and think about that day every time I look at it.  From the time I was eleven, I was fascinated by French culture. I looked everywhere I could to find a classic black beret, and my heart leaped every instance I heard anything about France. I have a huge poster of the night-skied Eiffel Tower on the back of my door as a way to put those nostalgic feelings back in my heart. Over the years I have been completely infatuated with the countries of France, Japan, Malaysia, Spain, Russia, and Germany. Recently, I have also become very interested in Poland.

This little ditty of my life is what has caused me to consider becoming an architect or a linguist. I have loved all kinds of architecture from the majestic skyscrapers of today’s modern world, to the elegant, Second Empire Victorians, to the stately Kirkbride mental institutions planted in the hills of carefully chosen towns, and to the wonderfully powerful image of the Church of Our Lady before Tyn in Prague. The interest that I have for different cultures has also inspired me to learn more than my native English. I am so far teaching myself German, but I know several little phrases and such from other languages as well. It’s just all so fascinating, and it gives me a reason to get up in the morning!

What countries interest you? Can you speak a different language?

Audrey

Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in.” – Andrew Zimmern

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Image credit to ERiN SiTT via Flickr

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A Hello: To Future Readers

As my post header suggests, I do not have any current readers as I have just recently created a WordPress account. I hope to find more enthusiasm to write on WordPress than I did on Blogspot. You may ask, “What’s the difference?” Not much, but starting over on a new blogging platform makes me feel as if I am rediscovering myself again I suppose. I am in a state of myself that is most current and definitely ‘now’, so I do not have to answer to my former self from when I created Blogspot. Let’s just say, I am a bit discontent with myself on Blogspot than I am now. This is not to say that I am dishonest with who I am, because I am very much an open book when someone makes their attention and empathy present to me. I was, however, a bit dishonest when I first created Blogspot. I presented myself as this all-knowing, very stylish fashionista type teenager who was into all of the latest trends, high fashion, what-not. I do love fashion, let me tell you, but I am definitely not one to just stick to the trends and current fashions of the season. I have my own sense of style too, that is beyond the mere subject of fashion.

I am going to open myself up to anyone who is interested to my passions of art, literature, history, philosophy, politics, science, religion, and yes, even fashion.  I have many interests, which in turn has been hard for me in the past to decide on what to do with myself for the next forty to fifty some-odd years. Here is a piece of history of myself: I have always been an avid reader, even by starting out as a tiny little girl who pulled out reference and my parents former text books from the lower shelf just to look at the pictures. My parents actually had to bolt the bookcase to the wall because I did this so frequently. Anyway, my mother had a pretty big book about the human body and all of the different diseases and disorders that were currently founded at the time of the book printing, which I believe was in the eighties. I looked at that book all the time, and to my mother’s dismay actually became tattered from my childish, clumsy usage of it. One day, I came upon the brain stem, and being such a visual person, was very much intrigued by the image and structure. To me, as a five-year-old, it looked like a body-less creature with huge insect eyes and stringy hair. How strange is that? Anyway, as much as I could, I read that it had to do with a part of the brain (obviously.) I decided to myself, and later announced to my parents that I wanted to become a brain doctor. Later, probably about a few months to a year afterward, my mom and I were looking through the book so that she could explain any questions that I had. I pointed to a photo of a pair of bean-shaped organs with long stringy things hanging from them and asked, “What are those?” She explained to me that they were the kidneys, and that they filtered the blood. It was then decided that I wanted to become a kidney doctor (or a nephrologist I later started to say), and it remained that way until I was about twelve. Anyway, during my nephrology-induced fascination, I used to carry around a photo of a set of real kidneys that were taken out for experimentation. I would show this photo to people (without a thought that it would disgust them), and one day, for show-and-tell, I brought the picture with me to show to the class. Most of my classmates were disgusted by the photo and told me to put it away, and my teacher advised to me that the picture probably wasn’t a good idea to show to kids my age. I was disappointed, and confused as to why anyone would disdain from anything so interesting! Oh well…

When I was thirteen years old, I referenced my interest into that much-loved, tattered beyond belief book again. With more understanding, I started to read through the diseases from A-Z, but to acquire in my mind the basics of this world’s ailments. I was also trying to find this certain disorder that I had heard about from a movie called, “Wide Awake,” in which this little boy’s friend would randomly fall and hurt himself. I didn’t remember what they called it in the movie, as I had seen the movie a long time ago, but I knew it started with either an E or I. Determined, yet laxly I flipped through the pages and found a series of pictures of a man falling and seizing. “That’s it!” I thought, and it turned out that yes, it did start with an e, and it was called epilepsy. It was then that I realized I wanted to have everything to do with this illness. It just struck me so hard and so unexpectedly. I read everything I could about epilepsy, whether it was details about the disorder or other people’s personal accounts, to even reading the details of genetics and neurotransmitters that played a part of seizures. I When I was sixteen, I even had a journal I kept to which I wrote my ideas and theories on why seizures happen and how to actually cure the illness. From the time I was thirteen to when I was eighteen, my career-based goals changed from: epileptologist, neurologist, neuroscientist, and then to neurosurgeon with a special interest in epilepsy. Surgeons like Ben Carson inspired me, and I wanted to meet anyone who could enlighten me of my interest in different, more professional ways.

Although I was very much still interested in epilepsy, my possible career-path changed when I was a senior in high school to which I was self-introduced to massive state hospitals and mental illness. I had always been a bit interested in the morbid and human condition, but as I sat at my computer staring at the gigantic, decorate, Gothic architecture of the Danvers State Hospital, I hungered to read about these hospitals more. I read about the Kirkbride plan, frontal and transorbital lobotomies, electroconvulsive shock therapy, schizophrenia, the history of how the mentally ill was treated, and throughout this research period I was both captivated and saddened. I turned my interest to how to help the mentally ill, and I decided to go into psychology after I graduated from high-school. I am still currently a psychology major, but with my interest in art as well I have changed my choices from being a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist, to being an art therapist. I feel that I can help people with not only psychiatric disorders, but with Alzheimer’s, stressful family backgrounds, fine and motor skill deficiencies, and even epilepsy through art. Through the cracks I have thought of other professions as well, such as a teacher, an artist, and coroner, a librarian, and even an architect, but I am pretty content with my choice right now. Hopefully I will not have to change my mind again. Anyway, that is a little about me. How about you? What were your college major or career plans throughout your life? What are you interested in? Thank you for reading.

Audrey

Photo credit to: northsforest via Instagram

Photo credit to: northsforest via Instagram

Leave it to God. It is an astonishing thought. It can become a life-transforming thought … unclench the fists of your spirit and take it easy … What deadens us most to God’s presence within us, I think, is the inner dialogue that we are continuously engaged in with ourselves, the endless chatter of human thought. I suspect that there is nothing more crucial to true spiritual comfort … than being able from time to time to stop that chatter …” – Frederick Buechner