“…in Iceland, eating strange cheese” and Other Thoughts on Travel
As I write this, many of my friends and acquaintances are in Iceland, eating strange cheese and sleeping in hostels. Our wonderful Marla, who has allowed me the opportunity to write a guest blog here, is packing her things for the international adventure of a lifetime. My sister has just begun a summer job in Alaska.
This is the first time in several years that I haven’t taken a big, exciting trip in May. It feels strange not to be packing my essentials into a carry on, not to be arranging for someone to water my plants. I miss the exhilaration of travel, and even the exhaustion. Exploring places I haven’t been before energizes me. I love to learn how the roads are carved out through different cities, how erosion has shaped land on different continents. Travel teaches me more about the world, the people in it, and my place in it.
In the absence of a big trip, I’m trying to take this time to more thoroughly explore where I can be: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I moved here for graduate school almost three years ago, and will be moving away again in a couple of months. Pittsburgh now feels so familiar, so comfortable, that it’s woven into me. I rarely have to think about where I’m going, because getting there is instinct. Before I leave the city, I want to actively find the things I don’t already know. I want to discover different neighborhoods, new coffee shops, and untrodden trails in the nearby park.
This morning I took the bus downtown to run an errand. I almost never venture into downtown Pittsburgh. I went to school in the East End, have lived in the East End, and work on Mount Washington, so downtown mostly pops up as a skyline in my life. As I walked along Smithfield Street, I realized how much there is here that’s still unfamiliar to me. I sometimes forget that Pittsburgh is an actual city. The parts I move through are so residential that it feels more like a large town. And yet, there it was, the reminder that this is also a place of buildings so tall that the streets feel like canyons.
I have two months left in Pittsburgh, and I hope to uncover more secrets to take with me.
How long have you lived in your current town or city? Do you still find new places and experiences there?
- About me (Caroline of Currer and the Bells)
- I’m a writer and editor from Maine, living in Pittsburgh. I miss the ocean. Currer and the Bells is what I’d name my indie folk band; it would be all girls in glasses, and the lyrics would be packed with words like “avuncular.”
Want more Caroline? Do like Marla does and go obsess over her blog for awhile: Currer and the Bells
Traveling Marla is unplugged for three weeks while she prepares for her move to South Africa. She put out a call for guest posts (see original request here), and is grateful to receive so much support! Please see the full list below.
Please support these writers by reading each of their guest posts and checking out their own blogs!
Thanks, as always for taking time to read my blog and comment. Although I’m offline right now, I will return in a few short weeks when we’re settled in South Africa and I promise to read all of your comments!
Love, MarlaBaz – The Landy (Out and About and Having Fun) Brandon: my quirky, brilliant, dashing nephew Dallas, of Crazy Train to Tinky Town CultFit Caroline, of Currer and the Bells Dakota Garilli Trophos, of The Dancing Professor Leo, of Doggy’s Style Kayla, of Encounter Peru Benjamin Prewitt – Expression of my life – An evolution of art Kriscinda, of Heavy Metal Homesteading Lynne, of Home Free Adventures Jeff: my witty and hilarious ebberlubbinbrudder Jody, of Human Triumphant Julie of J-Bo.net Ingrid, of Live Laugh RV Ned Hickson of Ned’s Blog Rose, of On the Go Fitness Pierr Morgan Leslie and Amanda, of Survival is Relative Colin of Uber Beast Mode Robyn, of You Think Too Much