My summer, on the halfshell

Well, this is awkward. Been a while. I said I’d write. I didn’t write.  Didn’t call…eh..

It wasn’t that my summer was boring and there was nothing exciting to blog about; nor was it that I was so busy doing awesome things that I just couldn’t find the time. Those would be what we call “excuses,” not to mention, lies.

The truth is, I had the most beautiful time this summer in Woods Hole, MA, USA, Earth, Milky Way, etc., but I never had the urge to write.  Not to mention, it’s sort of a travel blog, isn’t it?  Even though, I guess, going to Woods Hole counts as traveling, and it is quite the photogenic dream.

But I know why I really didn’t write.  It occurred to me on my last day in the place I had called home for 5 months.  As I sat by Eel Pond, looking at the lovely Woods Hole skiffs and Boston Whalers, I felt the twang of realization pulling at my brain strings.

I’ve been lacking a certain sense of passion since I stopped traveling.

(photo by Meren)

(photo by Meren)

Sure, waitressing is fun and lucrative, and working for a “hands-on marine biology discovery cruise” gig had it’s moments, but for the most part my time had been consumed with purpose, not passion.  I imagine the Monty Python scene at the bridge as the Knights near the end of their quest for the holy grail.

“WHAT is your purpose?”

“Um…to make money for my next trip?”

“And WHAT is your name?”

“Jeez…that’s a hard one. Lisa? Anoush? Miss Step?? Elizabeth!”

“WHAT is your favorite color?”


I was on a quest of my own this summer, with what I imagine carried as much pressure on me as those dudes who searched for the grail. Make money. Save money. Stay in one place with the person you love. Make friends. Grow a garden. And so on.

It was truly lovely, each and every moment. But you know, it’s hard to live and work and love in a place where you’re missing that essential thing that makes you tick.  Surrounded by scientists and fishermen and sailors each sustained daily by their passion for what they do, I drifted about sort of without any place in it all. I felt like I didn’t belong in any one group, as I was just sort of there because I wanted to be.

Alas, the current wave that my life is riding has me stuck in “explorer” mode. Some of you might not understand what I mean by this so called exploration, so I’ll explain it as I know how:  it’s not about places I want to go so much as the people I yearn to meet, and all of the subtle things to learn along the way.  The pure serendipity of each moment, is exploration of its own kind. Ultimately, the best aspect of it is that it’s my experience. The unique and lovely things that happen to me are things that I’ve somehow managed to come across, which is such a beautiful thing in itself, considering that I could very easily not be experiencing any of it if I were doing anything else at the current moment. See?  It’s all chance, and it’s all so exciting.

So this is what gets my gears moving these days, and without it, I was sort of…well, lame.  And while Woods Hole now owns approximately 70 percent of my heart, I know it will be there when I get back.   I decided to go abroad again, to fulfill that wanderlust.  And now, I’m writing this from the airport in San Pedro Sula, as I’ve regained that desire to write from the wonder and awe-of-novelty that surrounds me.

Simply being in a new place–a place with different routines, different ways of walking and talking, different standards of hygiene, different priorities in life–is what gets me to this place of equilibrium in my self that I can’t find anywhere else. And the lovely thing is, I can find it anywhere. It’s just a function of being boundless.

But now, I would like to summarize the highlights of this summer:

We made homemade sushi.

(photo by Meren)

(photo by Meren)

I had dinners and play dates with lovely friends.


We got a wooden boat, and painted it pink.

(photo by Meren)

(photo by Meren)

We caught zero lobsters in our traps, but I caught many fish. Meren caught a shark.

No photo of the shark, sorry

No photo of the shark, sorry

I bought a sailboat.

(photo by Meren)

(photo by Meren)

I didn’t learn how to sail.

(photo by Meren)

(photo by Meren)

We had a couple laughs, the kind that make your belly ache.

(photo by Meren)

(photo by Meren)

We traveled to Colorado.

(photo by Meren)

(photo by Meren)

We traveled to Maine and New Hampshire.

(photos coming)

We saw a Moose, who was majestic as fuck.

(too majestic to be captured on film)

I spent my birthday on the Appalachian Trail.


And other days on the trail, too.


Meren thought he was funny.


On the way to the airport, an owl swooped down in front of our windshield with a very confused and panicked chipmunk in its grasps.

I watched some movies that amazed me, most notably the Machinist.

It was all so lovely.

I feel so lucky to be able to daydream of “home,” now, which is a place filled with a culture of its own.  From thelazy mornings at the local coffee shop to the sunset skiff rides, Woods Hole is an amazing place to call home.  I grounded myself with a sense of place this summer, and that’s such an important thing for me to have gained.  It’s enriched my travels like I couldn’t imagine…being able to leave a place with the intention and sincere desire to return.

Now, with the same songs on my iPod, the same bounce in my step, and just a little more weight in my heart this time around, I’m on my way.  I’m off to Utila island, where I will dive every day and take my dive career to the next level:  Open Water Scuba Instructor, and then Master Scuba Diver Trainer.

I have less plans than I did in SE Asia, this time deciding to truly go with the flow. I know Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Costa Rica are nearby, but that’s about all I know for now.  I also know that I want to go to Turkey in March; that’s a trip I’ve been waiting for for too long!

Oh, and to my great surprise, I can actually speak Spanish when I need to. Although I’ve learned very quickly that if I can’t remember a word in Spanish, substituting the word in Portuguese and crossing my fingers only results in further bewilderment from the person with whom I’m trying to converse. Anyone who says they’re practically the same language sucks.

2 Responses to My summer, on the halfshell

  1. Fiona

    I missed reading about your adventures!! Being home doesn’t mean it’s less of an adventure but I get what you mean, it’s not the same even though you’re at home in a beautiful place compared to being in the unknown. I just got home a month ago from a short backpacking trip and people always ask where to next. At the moment I just want to hang on to my pillow and hug it daily before the wanderlust sets in
    I think it’s easier for the Portugese to understand Spanish than the other way around :D

  2. Tabs

    3 things most important. 1. I love you 2. I am so sad the moose was too majestic to capture on film but I understand and chuckled out loud when I read that. 3. I will be in Istanbul the first week of April (dates are roughly either March 29-April 6 or March 31/April 1-April 6) to visit Alana and her sisters and I would like nothing more than to see you. I don’t know if your dates are set in stone but I am definitely going and that is the exact time I’m going since I can’t go any other time. Lets have an adventure together!? If you do go earlier and need a place to stay let me know because of course you can stay with Alana and her sisters and I know they will gladly show you around/take you out, etc. But if you can push it back and lets be friends in Istanbu!
    <3 <3

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