Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Summer 2014: UPDATE

Usually, this is the time of year in which I am finalizing my summertime-epic-adventure-plan. Reading sordid tales of debauchery on Hostelworld... regarding my places of residence for the next several months. Repairing my backpack. Preordering the necessary flag patches. Booby-trapping my many travel wallets. Relating on more than a vague nostalgic level to the writings of Paul Theroux.

Not this year! For the first time in almost a decade, I will be spending a summer predominately in sunny Washington, DC. Sweating. With the politicians. And my cat.

I keep on getting the usual question:

"Where are you going this summer?"

And my answer:

"McLean (work.) Clarendon (home, many activities.) Rinse and repeat."

Sometimes Georgetown (campus,) sometimes Vienna (other activities.) I feel fantastically weird about it, of course. But May was a wildly transient life period in terms of finishing my masters, beginning the shift to a different position at the office, searching for meaning in non-academia-centric existence, and a number of other Big Things--and so it just didn't seem like the right time to up and voyage to South America/Southeast Asia/etc. for three months... like it usually does. For my personal life, or my continuity of paycheck. (Let's be real, mostly the second one.)

And thus, here I am. Tentative long weekend trips to Nashville, Seattle, Portland, and Disneyworld--essentially another country, arguably all countries--on the docket. Getting to know good old America.  Celebrating the 4th of July here... I don't even remember how people do that anymore. Something about fire. Very strange. I do intend on doing a trip abroad later this year; I've applied to multi-week photography workshops/residencies in Cambodia and Bangladesh, and I'll probably throw another few applications in for good measure. But right now, there is very little travel to recount. This will force me to take better pictures of America. To find stories in America.

If this sassy broad I captured in Southern Virginia some years ago (more from this series here) is any indication of the opportunities that await me here, in the United States...  well, I am ready. I was born ready. 

(And in the United States. Convenient!)