“Going where I list, my own master total and absolute.”

Cultivating a home base for two years has been rewarding, but the universe is calling, like the blossom calls the bee. It’s time to hit the road. After returning from Japan this June, we will pack our things and go. Coincidentally, a friend sent me this poem today, Walt Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road.” I’m sure all travelers can relate…

Why I Might Not House Sit Ever Again

Notwithstanding friends and family, this is our second house sitting gig. It basically involves taking care of a house and usually pets + plants, and instead of payment you get a free place to stay.  While there are many obvious benefits to house sitting, after our experiences, I think the drawbacks outweigh them and I’m…

Seeking to be plausibly ordinary? Get a Canadian passport.

I have two passports, an American one and a Canadian one. Thank goodness, now I know which one to flash when I’m on espionage missions. Canada’s is the passport of choice “for spies, state-sponsored assassins, terrorists and just about anyone else seeking to be plausibly ordinary across a range of languages, ethnicities and religions.” However, the Canadian…

On Mexico: Preliminaries, Previstos…

Leaving for Mexico in a few days, our first trip really (I was there many, many years ago, it really doesn’t count). We are going for 7 weeks, so quite a chunk of time, and spending most of it in a relatively small geographic region. Focusing on the capital, what D.F has to offer, then off…

So About the New Look…

“Drink Vicariously” has been reborn as “Love and Barley.” The inspiration for the new name is from a collection of poems by the Japanese haiku master Basho, who eschewed material possessions and devoted his life to traveling. The new name pinpoints our passions: barley, travel, and writing. Befittingly, the compilation “On Love and Barley” begins with poetry…

Squirreling away for the winter

As we were hiking in Alaska, we saw a mushroom high up in the tree. It turns out a squirrel put it there as part of its overall winter-proofing strategy. Good job. What are you good at squirreling away? How do you maintain a balance between saving and stashing for a long winter and unhealthy…

Is it Possible to Outgrow Our Literary Heroes?

In the space of a week, Maya Angelou died and Tom Robbins published his memoir, signaling the end of his career. Let’s reflect on our heroes. First have a look at this video of Angelou talking about Malcolm X, Dr. King, and W.E.B. DuBois, urging us to stop believing our heroes are “larger than life.” Her premise is that…

Traveling Without Kids

Much has been said about the logistics of traveling with children. Very little–perhaps nothing–has been said about what it’s like to travel as a child-free individual or couple. I’d like to open this discussion. Having children in tow presents some constraints over things like where you choose to spend the night, the activities you plan, where…

The Best Way to Overcome Writer’s Block? Stop Believing In It.

The other day, I heard a guy complaining that he had writer’s block, and I wanted to tell him, “That’s impossible! Writer’s block isn’t real.” Then I realized, it would be like breaking the news about Santa Claus to someone else’s kid. Who am I to mess with the religious convictions of strangers? So I’m going to let…

The Secret to Traveling the World (It’s Not What You Think)

When I first considered living nomadically, my vision was to stay in each place for six months or a year. But it just never worked out like that for Josh and me. Visas always seem to come in the way of staying a long time, especially in the Schengen zone. Sometimes we end up not liking…

Travel Bug is Genetic: A Case Study [Happy Mother’s Day!]

This post was inspired in part by this blog post about traveling with mom. My mom has a serious case of travel bug, and she passed on the affliction to her daughter. I believe it was fate. My mom has two brothers and one sister. They all have Parsi names: Piloo, Adi, and Soli. They all…

12 Rules to Live By: My Desiderata

(All rules subject to change without notice) Be Mindful – Pay attention to the air coming in and out of your nostrils. Smile–now! Take responsibility for your thoughts, which create emotions. Learn to control your mind, and you will have a lot more control over other things in your life. Enjoy Your Body – You…