Taking Off

Why a blog?

… Don’t worry, it’s a question I’ve asked myself plenty too. For a few months now, actually.

In short, I decided it was high time after even my 92-year-old grandma (who I’m pretty sure has not looked at one herself, but still) told me I should write a guidebook. Best friends, my parents, and my gut have all said the same.

But, um, I think I’ll save the “book” half of that word for later. Which, as I write this, gives me the oh-so-dorky term for what this project will actually be:  a “guideblog.”  (Same number of letters, folks – I’m brilliant!)

So, then, why a guideblog?

Turns out, some of my supreme joys in life are wandering, exploring, learning – often with the power of my legs, and frequently fueled by great urbanscapes, landscapes, and people I encounter in each.  (Another “joy” = writing long sentences.  My apologies.  I’ll move to lists instead.)

More specifically, some of my favorites over the years have been:

  • Traveling pretty much anywhere. Yes, a week in Idaho holds a spot in my list of top vacations thus far.
  • Finding my way around / getting to know new terrain. The first thing I did during my first trip to NYC was just walk for a few hours to get my bearings and see the city that way.  (Don’t worry – I caught the Statue of Liberty last fall, on my 11th trip to town.)  Super proud moments?  1. Getting asked for directions the second day there.  2. Knowing the answer.
  • “Urban hiking.” Turns out this is a real term, but I thought my dear friend coined it just for me.  (I’ll still go with the latter.)  I’m known for walking inordinate distances, up and down hills, for pretty much no other reason than the experience of it.  Usually in the 5-15 mile range around town, though I bumped that up to 27 on a gorgeous day this May.  I’d do it every afternoon if I could.
  • Taking pictures. Flash off, slyly as I can, as often as I can.
  • Giving advice. Feels funny to say, but I realize this is the element that ties it all together, so I’ll just go ahead and admit it.  Yes, I get great joy out of thinking of all the details, taking mental or even physical notes, and figuring out how to pair these with the needs of others.  This has led me to write inordinately long emails with neighborhood/hike/city/great beer bar/etc. guides, complete with links and photos, of course.  And I find that fun.  I do hope that it’s also legitimately useful to others.

So thanks for indulging me, and sit tight for some of those notes and reflections on my favorites – be it random neighborhoods, urban hikes, rural hikes, or that great deli around the corner (called Deli-icious, I kid you not).

In the meantime, I guess I just need to find the joy and ease in… writing.  (I even had to coax myself into this post by first writing it down in my trusty journal.  Oh well.)

Why today?

Well, one year ago today, my boyfriend and I set out on one of my favorite, most exciting (etc. superlative) travel adventures thus far – a move across the country.  For no better reason than adventure, really.

I’d lived in the – admittedly wonderful – San Francisco Bay Area all of my life, and had meant to set out to explore long ago.  Once I found out that my partner in crime was on board, it was just a matter of where (amazing question to ask yourself, by the way).  To skip ahead many discussions and hours of research on el Internet, we (still semi-randomly) settled on Boston.

Good ol’ Boston has history, is very walkable, and offers mechanical engineering opportunities aplenty (for him, not for me.  I chuckle at the thought).  It’s a city, and a super walkable one.  Near nature, and New York.  And even, ever so luckily, houses some very dear friends.

So, cheers to California today. But also to taking off.

Thanks for reading.

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