In my quest to figure out what I'm doing, I got excited and couldn't wait until my first interview is ready, so I spent my wild Friday night making this episode for your pleasure and mine. So much to learn! This is my first time making and mixing music with the audio. Fun stuff. We'll see if I can get it to publish to Apple Podcasts as easily as the Squarespace help pages make it seem.
This episode features a recording of the first live storytelling event in which I participated.
Here's a transcript of the Adult Story Hour story that I told:
"Well, since we’re here for storytelling about travel, I thought I should start by telling you: all of my stories about travel are really, really boring. I’ve taken my share of photos of the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, and I’ve strolled along the Seine from Le Tour d’Eiffel to La Musée d’Orsay, and I felt so worldly speaking in French in Paris to my hotel bartender.
I read a paperback on a fenced-in beach at a resort in Puerto Vallarta, and I went horseback riding on a very bored and slow-moving horse through the mountains, and I laughed at the jokes of the tour guide when we passed the local prison with the crowd of visitors outside waiting to see their loved ones, and he told us, 'We’re so proud to have the most exclusive hotel in the region with people lined up for days waiting to get inside!'
But these were all safe travels. They were all comfortable journeys. And I’ve come to a time in my life where I realize that I don’t want 'safe' and 'comfortable' to be the adjectives that I use to describe my life. I want to choose from a much broader vocabulary.
I went camping for a week by myself not too long ago, and it rained the entire week, completely soaked everything I owned. Nothing went according to plan, and it was perfect. One of the mornings when the rain slowed down, I went kayaking on the lake, and I watched individual raindrops land on the surface of the lake and float there, and they sparkled like jewels before they sank into the surface of the lake and disappeared. And I looked across the surface of the water, and there were millions of them, glittering. And that was just for me. There was nobody else there. And I saw a great blue heron, and I got within about 10 feet of him, and he and I looked at each other a good long time before he finally took off. And when he did, a single blue feather drifted down to me. It was like a gift from him to me. And in that moment I realized: I can have adventures!
When I was 14, my father and I took a trip to Belize. We were there for 2 weeks. It was not long after it had stopped being British Honduras, and now and then, when strangers would yell at us, 'Go home, Limeys!' I’d notice there were a lot of shades and colors of skin in Belize, and not a lot of them matched the shade and color of my skin, and I realized: I was the stranger.
And I remember we went hiking in the jungle to an archaeological site. It was a Mayan pyramid that they were just reclaiming from the jungle that had covered it up for centuries, and we hiked there with some Belizean kids. And all of a sudden they all whipped out their machetes and went dashing into the forest, and I thought, 'These are kids my age! And they have machetes!' And they’d seen a 10-foot constrictor going by, and with the joy and glee of childhood, they hacked it to pieces.
And I remember climbing up the rocks in the jungle and leaping out into a bottomless blue hole, and swimming out, and climbing up, and leaping again. And I remember World Cup football was going at the time and the passion the people had for football, and it was such a different kind of football than my people had in Dallas. And I remember my first beer. It was a Belikin beer, with the Mayan temple on the label, and to this day, it’s the greatest beer I’ve ever had because I’ve never tasted it again since. And it was infused with the taste of chicken neck stew from Corozal and the smell of the open canals in Belize City and all the flavors of that completely new world that I’d never experienced before.
And there’s not one way to look at the world. There aren’t a hundred ways to look at the world. There are 7 ½ billion people in the world, and there’s 7 ½ billion ways to understand the world. And travel is the only way that’s open to us to leap out into that bottomless diversity and experience those small joys and fears and pleasures and struggles that we all have in common and see the ways that all of the 7 ½ billion people are truly family. And I think that’s the world really needs right now. Thank you."