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travel

Travel

What I Learned Traveling 20,000 Miles of America

bison yellowstone

The bison of Yellowstone

This year I’ve seen 20,000 beautiful, ugly miles of America.
13,500 from the window of a car.
6,500 from the window of a train.

In 23 states
I saw the endless cattle that feeds us
The horses that serve us
The bison that inspire us
The birds that supply us our daily soundtrack.

In 12 national parks
I saw the bones of dinosaurs
The sacred grounds of the Indigenous
Golden, slithering plains
And snow-capped mountains enveloped by big blue sky.

Across this great, awful nation
I saw families asking to make American great again
Or believing that we are stronger together
Or wanting a political revolution.

Throughout these 20,000 miles
I saw moments of weakness
Of fear
And of hope.

Like the people of Timber Lake, South Dakota, population 443
Who insisted we join them for Thanksgiving dinner
On our way
up to Standing Rock.

Like 84-year-old spitfire Winn Bundy
Who (more…)

Hipstercrite Life, Travel

How Traveling the U.S. Made Me F’ing Love Our National Parks

I must admit: Up until this year I didn’t think much about our national parks.

As a person who appreciates nature, but often stays clear of destinations that draws large crowds, the national parks fell roughly between “meeting Danny DeVito” and “petting a sloth” on my bucket list. (Meaning “nice-to-haves,” not “must-haves.”)

That all changed this summer when a I traveled 5500 miles by car across the great United States of America simply because I’m terrified of flying. And when I say terrified, I mean the last time I took a flight — 3 years ago — I had:

  • Two Xanax
  • Three cocktails
  • One activity tracker that kept telling me my heart rate was over 200 beats per minute.
  • The realization that I was not going to die because of a plane crash but because of a massive heart attack.

Ever since that day, I swore off flying and have strictly traveled by car or train. (You can read about my train travels here.)

So when my mother, a citizen of New York, (more…)

Hipstercrite Life

What I Hope To Find During My First Trip to Europe: My Boyfriend, John Stamos and Cheese

My post over at CultureMap today…

Today my boyfriend leaves for a three-month stay in Portugal. I’m not happy about it.

I’ve spent the past weeks devising a plan to run screaming out onto the tarmac in a rabbit costume before his plane leaves the gate. I figure that a rabbit costume is not threatening enough to get me detained but disorienting enough that the pilots will feel compelled to take reschedule the flight for the next day. Since I won’t want him to leave the next day either, I’ll have to keep doing this every day, which will be how the myth of the human-sized bunny of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport will emerge.

The one good thing about him heading to Europe is that I will have an excuse to visit, if I have the money.

Currently I have a mouth full of cavities and self-employment taxes I need to pay, but I think my mouth and livelihood can take a backseat to Europe, right? I mean, I’m young and I need to take these opportunities while I still can — even (more…)

Hipstercrite Life

The Winter of Wanderlust

During the holidays, we drove through West Texas and New Mexico. A trip I’ve done before and a journey I never tire of.

It had all the makings of a romantic anecdote.

Four of us were nestled in the body off an all-terrain truck. We listened to country music from the 1950s. We marveled at the thousands of wind turbines, the out-of-commission gas stations, the dead deer and the pink skyline. I drifted in and out of sleep comforted by the fact that I had slipped back into time.

Driving through West Texas and New Mexico makes you feel like you’re cool as shit. That you’re the only person brave enough to step foot into this frontier. For the duration of the drive, you entertain moving to a town called Milagro or Truth or Consequences and you know that you could be happy there. You’d grow your hair long, make art out of found desert objects and create a shrine to Georgia O’Keefe.

As we made our way into Santa Fe, I took note of the sand colored pueblo-style houses with splashes of (more…)