Attributed to http://www.npr.org/programs/snap-judgment/

Homecoming – Radio Recommendations

Snap Judgement is something that I’ve written about before. Soulful storytelling + mad sick beats = Snap Judgement.

One of their newest episodes is Picking up thePieces. Its about restarting and mending relationships. Just like every week the episode opens with an autobiographical anecdote by the host, Glynn Washington. This weeks opening reflects on a problem all travellers encounter.

Arriving home isn’t always easy. As a traveller you’ve experienced so much that no one around you can relate to. Soon your stories that always seem to begin with, “when I was in…” will become boring to others. Sometimes coming home is a shock to the system. Sometimes coming home doesn’t doesn’t actually mean you’re home.

This little piece of radio illustrates that exact point.

On a closing note, Snap Judgement is hosting a Kickstarter campaign for their 6th season. By donating you can get your hands on some very cool public radio swag so I suggest you check it out.

Check it here Snap Judgement – Season 6 

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Ribs I’ll never get over

One of the best things about travelling is that you can experience so many different tastes and smells. One of the highlights of my trip to America was a massive batch of ribs I ate in Memphis. These ribs melted off the bone and were drenched in a BBQ sauce that came directly from the heavens!

You might think that having a worldly food experience like this would be a massive benefit to ones life. Wrong! This food experience has tarnished all other rib orientated food experiences that are to come in my life.

Imagine experiencing your dream job when you’re only 15. By the time you’re 30 your dream job has become boring and monotonous, because you’ve been doing it for a decade an a half. You’ve reached your peak too early! This is what all of my rib orientated dishes are like from here on out.

Where to now? The thing is I don’t know how I’m going to get over this. The way I see it, the only way I can get over my amazing Memphis rib experience, I need to hunt out all the ribs across the world. That way I can find a rack of ribs that will be reminiscent of those amazing Memphis ribs.

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Just don’t ask me for money

We’ve all done the dance around a charity worker. Often this dance involves trying not to make eye contact, or maybe looking at your phone, sometimes you might even speak to them with a blunt “I don’t want what you’re selling.”  I’ll even fess up to doing the dance. For example, there was this one time when I was in Montreal. A charity worker asked me something in French. Thinking I’d get out of it Scott free I simply said, “sorry I don’t speak French.” Before I had time to congratulate myself for this great escape plan, she replied in English, asking me to sign some partition. GAH you can’t escape them!

But what if I told you sometimes they’re not that bad? Would ya’ll believe me? Recently I found myself in a situation where I was talking to a charity worker. He was nice. He was from Ireland and thats about all I can remember. However, in the 10 minutes that we spoke we bonded on a human level. We spoke about TV, about the environment, politics, travel, and student life. I’m far to skeptical to believe that he had any interest in my life, but it felt good to engage with a charity worker for once, instead of fleeing their clutches.

All was going well in out conversation until he started the conversation of money and donations. From the very beginning I knew this conversation wasn’t going to lead this way, thats why I politely declined stating I support other charities and I didn’t have available funds to give any more. Then this bloke started really begging hard, using things we spoke about in our conversations against me. So I walked.

I know it is the charity workers job to help raise money for a cause, as well as raise awareness. However, I feel that maybe the two need to be separated. Of course what I’m going to propose would only happen in a world where charities would have enough money to run full operations and investigations all the time (If only we could live in this dream world). If we had charity workers who lobby the public and help inform and sway the public as well as a bunch of money grabbing soul munchers, maybe we’d have a much better opinion of charity workers and charities in general?

I mean its a farfetched idea but ideas start conversations and I’m 100% pro conversation (you could even say that I’m a conversationalist). If we had more conversations over things that matter to this world then we’d have a better informed world, a stronger opinionated world, and a world full of people talking. The more people talking, the better.

Wanderlust

Before my visit to the USA, I never believed in such things like Wanderlust or the Travel Bug. Then again before the USA I’d never travelled as extensively as I did in those 7 weeks.

My symptoms of Wanderlust include, absent mindedness, day dreams, loss of appetite (excluding American food), and continuous stories beginning with “when I was in…”. Another effect of this crippling, debilitating ailment is a feeling within me that I need to be constantly saving my money.

Not all of the symptoms mentioned are bad things. I mean I’m eating different things and introducing them to my friends and family, my imagination is on overdrive and my productivity is doubling, and well my bank account is slowly fattening back up. However, some of the negative side effects are making me feel lethargic towards certain aspects of my uni work, and my part time work as well (maybe I need a new job?).

I search for reasons for why Wanderlust hits us. Is it because our lives are so tedious compared to travelling? Could we miss the people we met whilst travelling? Maybe it is some chemical imbalance that is caused by flying long distances?

An answer that I will offer forward is that Wanderlust is a motivation. A motivation that you can use the take yourself places, give yourself reason for stupid things like selling all your items and hitting the road. It drives impulse, thrives on spontaneity, and motivates the impossible.

For the moment being I’ve let Wanderlust guide me. Of course common sense hasn’t given way (I would have sold all my stuff, dropped out of uni and quit my job if I didn’t hold onto my common sense). But for the time being I’m handing myself over to Wanderlust and I’ll see where it takes me.

Monument Valley

#NorthAmerica

After being home for two weeks now I’ve finally been able to fix up and add photos to all the posts about my trip to #NorthAmerica.

Check them all out. Consider the new updated blogs the director cut versions of the trip.

Downtown Los Angeles – Day 1

Hollywood – Day 2

Studios and the Coast – Day 3 & 4

Viva Las Vegas – Day 5 & 6

Grand Canyon & Rural Arizona – Day 7

Monument Valley – Day 8

Quaint Little America – Day 9 & 10

On the Road Again – Day 11 & 12

Texas Time – Day 13 & 14

Swamp Places – Day 15 & 16

4th of July in New Orleans – Day 17

Walking In Memphis – Day 18 & 19

Tennessee Wilderness – Day 20 & 21

East North East – Day 22 & 23

Washington D.C. – Day 24

D.C. To NYC – Day 25

Islands & Games – Day 26

So Much Cake – Day 27

Live from Central Park – Day 28

We Went to the Theatre – Day 29

Cya Later New York – Day 30

Bustin’ Open Boston – Day 31 & 32

Oh So French! – Day 33 & 34

A Tasty Version of Canada – Day 35 & 36

A Nicer Version of NYC – Day 37

What Up Toronto? – Day 38

Not Just Your Average Waterfalls – Day 39

The Luther, Oh Cheesus & The Boarder Crossing – Day 40

The Last Bus Day – Day 41

Another Food Safari – Day 42

Chicago State of Mind – Day 43

See Ya Later Americator – Day 44

Chicago Skyline

See Ya Later Americator – Day 44

To say the least I’m pissed off to be going home. America has produced some of the best memories, experiences, foods, and people that I’ve ever met and now some idiot had booked me a flight home (please note that that some idiot was me).

My last day in the States was spent wandering around Chicago in the morning. I took a cup of Freedom (Starbucks) and walked along the Chicago river. In the 1880s the Chicago river was filled with so much waste that it was starting to poison the people who lived in Chicago. So some bright spark decided to reverse the river, it would now flow away from Lake Michigan and towards the Gulf of Mexico. This was a massive and unimaginable feet at the time. Even today as I wander up and down the river it is hard to visualise the amount of work that has gone into this great city.

Last lunch was a reuben (I’m gonna miss these guys) followed by a walk out to the Adler Planetarium to get a snap of the endless Chicago skyline.

Chicago Skyline

At the beginning of my trip I sat in traffic at LA and now I’ve sat in traffic in Chicago. After taking an hour to drive 20 miles I think I’ll happily take LA traffic any day. We spoke to some locals in the bus to the airport. They furthered my point that this stereotype around obnoxious is incorrect. Most of them were from cities and they were perfectly nice. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that across the trip I only have one memory of a cranky person, and he was a New Yorker (who are notoriously cranky people).

The airport security was slow and very American. Shoes off, pat down, metal detector, metal detector wand, bag searches, and then finally we were through. I said my goodbyes to Alice (one of my Contiki friends) and then I started my 23 hours of transit home.

Landing in LA I was reminded why LAX is actually one of the worst places in the world. Walking out of the arrivals terminal I had to find the international departures terminal. This is easier said then done. I was tired (I was used to east coast time and by now it was well and truly past my bed time), I was hot (it feels like LAX traps all the humidity and all the pollution of the city in the airport), and I was getting irritated by the noise (SO MANY CARS).

As soon as I sat down on the plane I fell asleep (later on I questioned why I didn’t see the safety demonstration only to remember that I slept through it). As soon as the engines kicked into gear I woke up, just in time to see the last lights of LA and America.

I’ll be back soon to embraces the freedom, devour the greasy foods, walk when I’m not supposed to through Time Square, and to hopefully not loose my passport.