“I sound my barbaric YAWP over the roofs of the world.”

Life brings me once again to stand atop mountains and scream at the top of my lungs, and to sit upon summits in a quiet repose.
The long and skinny picture below is a panoramic view from the summit of Monte Tamaro, Switzerland, August 2011.
The picture above is an image of a beautiful day. 

The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me—he complains of my gab and my loitering.

I too am not a bit tamed—I too am untranslatable;
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.

 The last scud of day holds back for me;
It flings my likeness after the rest, and true as any, on the shadow’d wilds;
It coaxes me to the vapor and the dusk.

 I depart as air—I shake my white locks at the runaway sun;
I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.

 I bequeathe myself to the dirt, to grow from the grass I love;
If you want me again, look for me under your boot-soles.

You will hardly know who I am, or what I mean;
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.

Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged;
Missing me one place, search another;
I stop somewhere, waiting for you.

—from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (1900) 

Tags: travel life


Anne Deriaz is a sweet elderly woman who wears loose & layered clothing and makes delicious chai tea with sweet berry crumble cake. She is a Swiss-French writer, famous for her dedication to the late Ella Maillart. I met her last year in Chandolin, Switzerland, October 2010 when she treated my group to a whole day’s worth of writing workshops — focusing on the art of travel writing. A unique exercise which she practiced with us incorporated “word associations” to bring out the truest, uninhibited, instinctual voices in our writings. She emphasized how traveling is experiential, and experiences are felt through the senses, and so to be a good writer one must be a sensory writer.

Above is the home of Anne Deriaz — strewn with Tibetan Prayer Flags — and also the image of the sun through one such flag, and the scenery of the mountainsides from four different vantage points all surrounding her house. 

I’ve started blogging down my travels — going through my past and recording thoughts and photographs, in preparation for my future of more world-seeing. It’s nice to have one place to go to where I’ve kept a log of all my travelling experiences, to look back, reminisce, and re-live some of the wonder of life.



Valedictorian Speaks Out Against Schooling

Now she’s traveling the States and writing about her encounters & experiences.

(via ver2go)

"The only true voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but in having new eyes."

— Marcel Proust
"In Search of Lost Time; Vol. 5: The Captive"

"I am a passionate believer that one of the better ways of learning valuable life lessons is to travel the world. It can be fun, at times unconventional, and travel definitely broadens the mind. There is something about finding a way out of our comfort zones across the vastness of the world that titillates my mind…"

—Leon Logothetis, a man definitely worth some further blog-reading & video-watching & adventure-following.

I first came across his name in this coverage of a random do-gooder passing on acts of kindness to strangers in L.A. 

The quote above is from his blog post on the greatest classroom of all, filled with some of the lessons he’s learned and the experiences he’s had while traveling the world. They’re interesting and inspiring, for sure (particularly his tales of living off of $5 a day and the kindness of strangers), but the thing I appreciate most about his writing is that it’s truly personal. He speaks with I and my, and it makes his stories easy to relate to on a human-to-human level. So many times people share their wisdom in a preaching manner, to you. This isn’t always a bad thing, and can be used as a powerful literary tool. But as a reader, if I am directly addressed by what I’m reading, I can interpret it as a challenge or an attack: I don’t like to be told what I’m feeling; I’d rather read about what you’re feeling and relate to it.

This guy Leon Logothetis is incredible at relating to people. He wrote this series of articles about an Advice Booth he opened up on the street in L.A. — “The Amazing Adventures of the Traveling Advice Booth,” Part One, Part Two, & Part Three — and in them he answers some questions I’ve been struggling to answer in my life: questions about connections and communication between people.