March 19, 2013


This blog is about to get (long-term) sporadic. At the end of March I'm heading to Georgia to begin thru hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Everest Base Camp was just a warm up. I tried out my gear. I worked out my hiking style. I stood floored among mountains.

The AT is over 2,000 miles long and I'm giving myself six months to complete it. Essentially I'm looking at this as more of a move and less of an adventure; I'm moving into the woods.

To document, I'm doing something I've never done before. I'm going to be a part of a group blog. None of us have discussed the format for which we'll update, but the content should be a steady stream of tomfoolery from the woods. That's the kind of people I roll with.

The monkey business begins in the title:


It surprises most people how little I actually know about this trail, or about hiking 2,168 miles. In fact, all I really know is how much food to show up in Georgia with and where I can get my next resupply. I did my gear research. And I've got a good crew of friends alongside, including a male who has thru-hiked the Appalachian trail before.

He has a beard, so I trust him on how to behave in the wilderness.


I did it. We did it.

5365 meters.

Telling the trekking story could take ages or be squashed into a few minutes. I'll save the details and bedazzle you with photos because details are obsolete when you've just experienced views like this.

January 21, 2013


In 4 days I will be in Nepal.

It's real and it's not. No trip is ever quite real for me until I land. Through the goodbye's, security and take off, I feel like I'm dreaming. After the slightly questionable airplane food and the packaged peanuts, after the mini bottles of Jack Daniels and cheap wine, after the naps, the M&Ms, the what-the-hell-time-is-it fidgeting, the iPod shuffling and the sporadic book reading, it's not real until I hear the wheels disengage from the airplane and I see land that I realize, holy shit, I've just flow across the planet Earth. And suddenly I walk right into my body again as if the new location is where I've been all along. It's the strangest thing. Though I long and yearn for it, the reality of leaving is incomprehensible to me until it's finished. I totally bypass all emotions leading to the climax.

Until now, when I'm worried.

When it comes to my body I like to call the shots.  That's the muscle-flexing, emancipating, false promise I clench to as a youngester: I am young and able-bodied, therefore I can do anything and I am invincible.

In this scenario, erroneous mind-fuel is moot. My body is in control on this trek. I'll be willing it along as it wishes and mindful of it's tolerance, but ultimately perseverance and determination aren't active players in in the midst of acclimatization and altitude sickness. Substitute: Intuition and Judgement. Those will serve me well. The consequences for negligence aren't pretty.

Some people think I'm overreacting, and that's okay. I overreact. I spit and talk with my hands when I'm angry. I exaggerate in honor of a good story. But whoa, I'm granting myself a Get Out of Jail Free card on this one folks, because Gracefully Serendipitous Mara is a bit scared.

For me, Everest Base Camp isn't about fulfilling a dream. I've also decided that it's not a test of endurance. To me Everest Base Camp is a series of beautiful mountains that I hope blow my mind. I've searched for an intention, or perhaps a set of thinking topics or mind games I want to tackle on this trek, but I'm unaccompanied by focus. Perhaps that's why the whole trek feels a little.. erratic.

The little man in the back of my brain, the one who fires the engine of serenity when I start hurling Rocks of Doubt toward the propeller blades, has been on double duty this week: Board the plane. You got this. Board the plane.

Open your Self. This is new and it's okay.


January 15, 2013


but I'm going to give you anyway:

"Learn to like what doesn’t cost much.
Learn to like reading, conversation, music.
Learn to like plain food, plain service, plain cooking.
Learn to like fields, trees, brooks, hiking, rowing, climbing hills.
Learn to like people, even though some of them may be different…different from you.
Learn to like to work and enjoy the satisfaction doing your job as well as it can be done.
Learn to like the song of birds, the companionship of dogs.
Learn to like gardening, puttering around the house, and fixing things.
Learn to like the sunrise and sunset, the beating of rain on the roof and windows, and the gentle fall of snow on a winter day.
Learn to keep your wants simple and refuse to be controlled by the likes and dislikes of others."

       -Lowell C. Bennion

That last line. I keep reading it over and over again.

I'm gritting my teeth and waiting. I'm so excited to get back to Asia. I've found patience in routine. I'm focusing on keeping my anxieties under wrap. I've never been so thrilled and nervous to do anything in my life.

It's also downright blissful that I will be reunited with two great friends. In Nepal. And then I get to venture with one of them to Thailand. Do you know how good that first drink is going to taste from my hammock, knowing good and well the thousands of meters I hiked just a few days prior?

Yep. Damn good.

January 2, 2013


Sometime in the last five years I plucked this comment off a friend's blog and onto a sticky note. I continually wish I would have recorded it's author to give he or she due recognition. This gentle truth has breathed serene acceptance and confidence through my veins when I've felt painful uncertainty.

"Just know there are no wrong choices. Everything is neutral, and it's up to you in the present moment to determine the quality attached to any experience or situation."

In other words,

January 1, 2013


New Years Resolutions piss me off because they suggest that we are in some way faulty; that we have been missing a problem's quite obvious solution. Or that the elements of time can demolish desire. As soon as the clock strikes midnight, we are suddenly anew and elevated of our inclinations to, OH, I DON'T KNOW, eat cake and skip the gym in favor of 5pm cocktails.

I like cake and I'm not silly enough to swear I'll be at the gym every morning to tone my abs (because, sue me, I like cocktails).

I don't have anything to resolve (and neither do you, you gem), so instead I like wishes.

The truth is simple, this year was outlandishly fantastic. It was completely full of blessings - love, financial stability, emotional stability, travel, family, friends and a balanced mind.

I've decided to keep with the usual - I'll do whatever it is that I want to do.

2013, you're going to be fun, because frankly, I'm through living any other way. I ask for intuition, health, endurance, transcendence, patience and as always - love and plane tickets, so that I'll continue to be afforded a life that looks quite similar to this:


December 25, 2012


That's not an option, that's a noun. My grandparents winter in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

You could blink and miss it, but you wouldn't want to.

Beyond the gorges, mountains and dessert, it's home to

The World's Largest Tiedye Underwear.

These were made by an interesting guy named Dukatt. If you have tie dye needs, this is your guy. I wisely decided to take off my leggings after taking this photo for him to work on until morning.