Monday, April 1, 2002

Brief autobiographical notes on the broad

I grew up in one of those typical American middle class families whose financial obligations and frivolous spending sprees never seemed to include funds for a proper vacation. Going to Disneyland a couple of times as a kid counts for very little as you enter your teenage years and your friends around the block are gearing up for skiing in Chamonix, hiking in the Bavarian Alps, or snorkeling and volcano exploration in Hawaii. Unable to fathom a life unlike that of my parents, I imagined weeks at large overseas to be largely out of reach and forever over budget. Plodding along in this frame of mind, I finished college and entered the working world. Swept up in the excitement and riches of the dot-com economic boom, I found myself with enough excess income to take that real vacation that I'd been so sadly, tragically denied in my acne-prone youth. First Hawaii, then Europe. And then something truly wonderful happened. I lost my fancy job and padded paycheck and used nine boss-free months to mull a fork in the road. Along the way I'd rediscovered old interests (calligraphy and photography), developed new ones (book arts), and accumulated sufficient compliments on my artistic endeavors to warrant their pursuit more seriously. So I chose the road less traveled, a sizable pay cut, and a flexible job to bankroll my monthly expenses and annual excursions. Et voilà. C'est moi.

Correction. C'était moi. Maintenant, the arrangement is a little different. Or a lot, actually. As of December 2007, I opted for a new day gig (which I'm loving, by the way) to fund the artistic endeavors and world travels. I am happy to report that my latest source of bacon is travel-related, although it does not afford me to actually travel for work or nearly as much, for pleasure. Though I tried to negotiate a similarly flexible paid, plus unpaid leave package for myself, I was unsuccessful. 12 days paid leave per calendar year. 15 days paid leave after three years with the company. Period. Which is to say, more work, less travel. Not an ideal vie, but c'est la vie. For now. And not such a bad vie, at that. Overall, still pretty magnifique.


  1. I see some similarities in my own travel love bio with yours. Much like yourself, I came from a middle class family that could afford all the things except the time to go on those Euro vacations. I had the friends who were going to Paris, London, Germany and Italy for summers with their families. Minus the highjinx, I wanted a Griswold style Euro family vacation. I would open books about Paris and marvel at the architecture and art, vowing that I would one day see it all with my own eyes.
    When I became an adult, left college and moved to California, I got so wrapped up in work that I could only take weekend trips, hardly the weeklong or two week variety that you seem to need to really feel like your on vacations.
    Alas, it was a trip to Sedona, AZ in 2007 that re-awoke my love of photography, which in turn made me desire to travel and see the places I dreamed of. I took a huge paycut and lifestyle change to follow my dreams. Three years and 20 new countries later, with a camera in hand, those dreams are coming true.
    Nice to read a fellow dreamer who enjoys sharing the same loves as myself.

  2. Thank you for your note, Fidel. The feeling is mutual: It's nice to read (and "meet") a fellow dreamer who shares some of the same passions - a love of travel and photography. So pleased to make your acquaintance.

    As a lifelong California girl, born and raised, I should really know my state better. I'm aiming to take more weekends away (or even for the day) to get to know my state and, hopefully, get inspired to take more photos here at home. We'll see if I can make that happen! I have a trip to Santa Barbara before the year is out, which I'm really looking forward to. Until now, I've only ever spent an afternoon there and hardly saw anything.

    My dad and I were just talking about Sedona earlier today. He was remembering a trip he took there, fondly (he'd lost some pictures of the trip when a hard drive corrupted). I've never been, but it's definitely on my list of places to visit.

  3. Well I lived in So Cal for almost nine years. There is so much too do in San Diego, O.C. and LA alone that it is hard to get to other places when you have a lot of variety within an hour drive.
    During my last year in Cali, I managed to take a "I'm driving til I feel like stopping" day trip from O.C. to San Luis Obispo. I made stops in Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, Santa Barbara and this cool beach town with sand dunes (I think it is called Guadalupe). That was a trip I wish I had made many more times after.

  4. Wow. Nine years in SoCal? I wonder if we were there at the same time! After my four years at UCLA, I stayed on one additional year for a job and then moved back up north to the Bay Area. Somehow, I managed the impossible during my five year tenure in LaLa - I never made it to Tijuana, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, or to a lot of other spots that most people who live in L.A. have been. But I'm trying to correct that error now, starting with my week-long trip later in the year to Santa Barbara.

    I did once do the drive with a friend from Los Angeles to the Bay Area up the coast on Hwy 1. We stopped at lots of cool little beaches and random towns, and that was neat. Very pretty drive.



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