Thursday, March 19, 2015


San Francisco - Istanbul - Skopje!

In just a few short weeks I will be gazing out of an airplane window at the shrinking, glittering cityscape of San Francisco, most likely with the most idiotic grin plastered on my face.I don't know why, but whenever the airplane begins to speed down the runway and I can feel the bumps of the tarmac in the pit of my stomach, I get a crazy-good rush of adrenaline and I just can't help smiling ear to ear. I have to admit, those have been some of my happiest moments, but mostly I've traveled alone, so its remained a secret. Until now. 
Ohrid, Macedonia; 2007 - The morning I took this photograph, I woke up before dawn, packed a ham and cheese croissant into my purse, grabbed my pencil and notebook, and hiked all the way to Saint John Kaneo church to watch the sunrise. Alone. If I had not been alone, I probably would not have this beautiful picture.
 When I was young and foolish, I would hop on an international flight back to my second motherland and spend three or four months there just on a whim. In my early twenties, I was struck by such an overpowering sense of wanderlust that it nearly drove me mad. I was ostracized, criticized, and misunderstood by many of my peers - for some reason when I was younger it was much more difficult to find a travel companion in one of my friends, who were arguably less worldly than I at the time. I encountered many souls that were perfectly content not leaving the town they were born in, let alone the country. This made me feel even more alone and even stranger than I initially thought I was. I may be biased, as I was barely in diapers when my parents began taking me on their dangerous escapades in the Eastern bloc, but I wholeheartedly believe that travel is a truly transformative experience. 

Some of my best memories and most enlightening experiences have been during my travels, alone. People are so afraid to be alone, with their own thoughts, without a human crutch of some sort. I don't mean to sound self-righteous by any means, but I have never been afraid of being alone. Observation is such a powerful form of discovery - of others and of self. It is so important to have time by yourself, unattached and completely independent, to devote to creating a collection of memories. Some memories are clouded by the regret, sadness and bitterness. Memories that you make alone are so important. Please, take some time - alone, single, maybe even a little bit afraid - and go somewhere strange. 
 Comrade Von Pussycat

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