Never have I thought so much, never have I realised my own existence so much, been so much alive, been so much myself... as in those journeys which I have made alone and afoot. Walking has something in it which animates and heightens my ideas: I can scarcely think when I stay in one place; my body must be set a-going if my mind is to work. The sight of the country, the succession of beautiful scenes... releases my soul, gives me greater courage of thought, throws me as it were into the midst of the immensity of the objects of Nature... my heart, surveying one object after another, unites itself, identifies itself with those in sympathy with it, surrounds itself with delightful images, intoxicates itself with emotions the most exquisite. - Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions
Amen. Throwback to when I was out breaking trail on a mountain pass, delightfully called "Rabbit's Ears", just 20 minutes' drive from where I live in Steamboat Springs. I had gotten back to town just several hours before, after having been away for almost a month. Oh, the delicious solitude, having the snow laden boughs of evergreens all to yourself! We had to break trail. Am presently in California, having arrived here last night, after being in Washington DC for work the past couple of days. I was told by a gf this morning that we will be hiking Crater Lake in Oregon this Friday. Woot! What are you up to this weekend? Photo credit: @lindseysimbeye. #projectbeauty#mountain#mountains @top.tags #toptags#mountainview#mountainlife#mountaintop#mountaineers#mountaingirls#mountaineer#mountainliving#mountainworld#mountainhigh#mountainlove#mountaingirl#mountainporn#mountainclimbers#rockclimbing#climbing#bouldering#girlswhoclimb#climblikeagirl#explorer_girl#skiing#winter#snow#love#winters
"Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart." - Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
How true. Throwback to when a group of us went trekking up to a glacier beyond the well-trodden Triund in India. How lovely to catch up with friends at the summit. But memories can tear you apart: watching my friend break down last week at the thought of not seeing his children again for some time. I was in London for a conference, and while there, I did my bit to help my friend claim asylum from the Taliban. This is serious business and he had been injured in a vehicle explosion set up by the Taliban in 2012. It killed 22 people and injured 67. But I was disappointed with several of my peers who doubted his claim of death threats by the Taliban, and assumed that life would be easier for him in the UK. It frankly isn't: he will not be allowed to work until he receives refugee status, if he gets it at all but it appears he has a strong case. I helped fill up the form to apply for long-term housing and financial assistance while he waits for the outcome of his claim. If approved, my friend will get a paltry £36 a week (US$46) and will have to live in shared accommodation with at least 3 other men. After receiving refugee status, he is not allowed to visit his home country for 5 years, so it will be some time before he sees his family again. Please let us not harbour prejudices against those seeking refuge from harm. They could have been you or I. Photo credit: Akash V. #projectbeauty#travel#traveling#India#hike#hiking#mountaingirls#mountaineer#mountainliving#mountainworld#mountainhigh#mountainlove#mountaingirl#mountainporn#mountainclimbers#rockclimbing#climbing#bouldering#girlswhoclimb#climblikeagirl#explorer_girl#Triund
"Laugh, even when you feel too sick or too worn out or tired.
Smile, even when you're trying not to cry and the tears are blurring your vision.
Sing, even when people stare at you and tell you your voice is crappy.
Trust, even when your heart begs you not to.
Twirl, even when your mind makes no sense of what you see.
Frolick, even when you are made fun of. Kiss, even when others are watching. Sleep, even when you're afraid of what the dreams might bring.
Run, even when it feels like you can't run any more.
And, always, remember, even when the memories pinch your heart. Because the pain of all your experience is what makes you the person you are now. And without your experience - you are an empty page, a blank notebook, a missing lyric. What makes you brave is your willingness to live through your terrible life and hold your head up high the next day. So don't live life in fear. Because you are stronger now, after all the crap has happened, than you ever were back before it started." - Alysha Speer
Yes. I am a little tired from a whirlwind last several days but am grateful for having been given the opportunity to represent the Global Diplomacy Lab at the Paris Peace Forum. It was opened by French President Macron on Sunday, in the presence of Russian President Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Naive me, I think I've heard it all, but then I listened to the stories of those involved in trauma-related work and working on healing communities in Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya, and my heart feels such gratitude. Thank you Angi and Kaltuma for the work that you do, especially as women in an environment that is not always easy. As always, I feel grateful for the ever talented @elsamariedsilva in making teamwork so smooth. The picture above is our attempt at finding a reception last night which seemed to have mysteriously moved without anyone's knowledge! But we of course entertained ourselves with a lovely dinner. What are you grateful for? Photo credit: @elsamariedsilva #projectbeauty#travel#traveling#ParisPeaceForum#Paris#ig_shutterbugs#photographer#pic#pictures#photoart#photography#snapshot
"Be thankful for everything that happens in your life; it’s all an experience." - Roy T. Bennett
Amen. So being a true blue Star Wars fan, I dressed up as Queen Amidala yesterday to go trick and treating, my first time ever. I had long nursed this goal, wanting to dress up as this character at a work dinner and dance back in 2005, but I was summoned to Moscow for a business trip at the last minute. I was sad about that white face paint that had to go to waste! I had a ball last night. It warms my heart how safe it is here for children to wander about at night to get treats. It is how as it should be, but please do not take it for granted. Scroll to the left to see my companion Darth Vader, and us being photo bombed by a cheeky lil' Ewok! What did you do yesterday for Halloween?