on latitudes, longitudes: aide-mémoires + other travel essentials

i discovered latitudes, longitudesan online travel magazine and creative platform for lifelong travelers—early this year when a close friend of mine (a girl who stuns with her wonder-drenched way of traveling) began contributing. the gorgeous photos, kindred souls shamelessly in love with wandering, and beautiful, lyrical prose captured me at first glance.

i was just weeks away from my second trip to india, and today i am so excited and honored to join L&L’s vibrant, well-traveled team of aesthetes with the release of my first piece:

tiger balm, clementines, aide-mémoires (and other travel essentials)

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international airspace | 3:00 AM

long flights, tired eyes, clementines. a tiny spray of citrus oil bursts into dim air as i pierce the thin peel. the plane hums in silence; most are asleep. the tang and sweet on my taste buds slows my breathing as i lean back against the stiff seat and close my eyes. this tiny fruit survived two weeks at the bottom of my pack, and the familiar flavor is comforting. india is four hours behind me but i’m not ready for home yet…

Click here to read the full piece on Latitudes, Longitudes

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freedom

stop complaining, explaining, and apologizing for being. banish guilt, all kinds of guilt for every reason; never let it cross the threshold of your heart. if you’ve wronged someone, admit it to them and be courageous enough for vulnerability. let yourself move forward–always move forward. life is too short to dwell on anything that is not lovely, pure, or true. there is no such thing as forbidden food. eat ice cream, french fries, and bread with joy. cellulite is normal. work hard at loving yourself, and sustaining yourself will begin to come, quietly and without fanfare. happiness is not your highest goal. you were made for progress and championing and to accomplish things you didn’t think you could, so set goals but set them kindly and pursue them with open hands. happiness is a choice. don’t concern yourself with things you can’t change. put them from your mind; they suck energy. harness tenacity, innovation, and compassion for the things you can. you can change a lot. honor your energy by spending it only in positive ways. you are powerful. know your boundaries and don’t be ashamed of them. talk to God about everything, no prayer is too small. be kind, be genuine. be kind. freedom is yours if you chase it; settle for nothing less.

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“i don’t broadcast every high & i don’t hide every low. i’m trying to live. i’m not trying to convince the world i have life.” – unknown

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daytrips / love notes / 2 years / rain dances / so much rain / lifebar / open spaces / selfies / practice / stay light-hearted, y’all

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purpose

engraved in the human heart is a longing for which the japanese have a single word: ikigai, n., “one’s reason for being.” in japanese culture, we each have an ikigai, and those with the grit and the patience to search will find it. the japanese consider this journey of self as one to be taken very seriously, believing that only those who have discovered their ikigai will live a life of meaning, satisfaction, and joy.

earlier this month—may 2014—psychology researchers patrick hill and nicholas turiano published a study in psychological science, in which they asked 6,000 participants three questions to measure their sense of purpose, and twelve questions to measure their positive and negative affect (“during the past 30 days, how much of the time did you feel… “cheerful”, “in good spirits”, “extremely happy,” “satisfied,” “so sad nothing could cheer you up,” “nervous,” “restless or fidgety,” “worthless”…)

the three statements that hill and turiano used to measure sense of purpose in life were the following, for which participants were given the choice to agree or disagree in varying strengths (strongly agree, agree, unsure, disagree, strongly disagree):

  • “some people wander aimlessly through life, but i am not one of them”
  • “i live life one day at a time and don’t really think about the future”
  • “i sometimes feel as if i’ve done all there is to do in life”

after 14 years, hill and turiano accessed national mortality data to determine which of the study participants had died, controlling for other physical and psychological factors known to contribute to an individual’s risk of death. decedents scored significantly lower in purpose in life than did survivors, but did not score differently in positive or negative affect. in other words, the experience of positive or negative feelings did not necessarily predict longevity, but having a sense of purpose in life did. as the study authors put it, “the benefits of purpose cannot be explained by psychological and affective well-being.” 

ikigai is, literally, a combination of the words life + value. it is the undercurrent in your work and your play. it propels you forward, infuses meaning in the mundane, and affords balance and rest in your everyday. and, as hill and turiano discovered, it feeds the force that keeps your heart beating.

what is your ikigai?

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PHOTOS TAKEN FROM TUMBLR, UNABLE TO LOCATE ORIGINAL SOURCES