Posts Tagged With: Adventure

The Perils Of Packing, Or Having To Admit To Myself That I Once Listened To The Backstreet Boys And I Want That Way…

By Kiki Keane

Wow! Nearly two weeks since we lasted posted anything. I will admit that, per usual, part of the reason is laziness and/or avoidance. However, I can also say, with much relief, that mostly the absence is due to trip related business. I wish that I could spend the time to write at length and post some links, but I am stretched thin.

I am amazed at how much time it takes to pack 28 years of a person’s life into a large duffle bag, a small briefcase-sized bag and a backpack. I am still not done. I have packed and repacked a dozen times at least. Adjusting, refolding, taking out and putting in. Should I assume that certain necessities are available wherever it is I end up? Are they really even necessities? How can I live without cocoanut Jelly Bellies and Reese’s peanut butter cups? Then there is the question of books. How many do I take? Which one’s should I take? Should I bring my favorites or take a chance on new ones? Uplifting or depressing? Fiction, nonfiction or poetry? Classics or contemporary? Tennyson, Keats or Naruda? Homer, Dickens or Gaiman? And why doesn’t Las Cruces have a copy of Zorba the Greek?

I have to admit that I am excited to embark on this new and adventurous life, but I am also scared shitless. I am not afraid of the physical risks I will be taking once the Egypt leg of the trip is over. I am not worried about where I’ll sleep or if I will have enough to eat. I am a bit freaked about the great potential for complete and total failure. However, today I learned that you will receive what you need when you need it. I received two things today: 1) A gift of great value both literally and symbolically and 2) a bit of wisdom or, if it is not exactly wise than at least something I can cling to when I feel like jumping of cliff when this adventure turns out to be a disaster. It is from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and it goes like this: “But the person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing. All we know about the future is that it will be different. But perhaps what we fear is that it will be the same, so we must celebrate the changes because as someone once said, “Everything will be alright in the end and if it’s not alright, than trust me, it’s not yet the end.”

We have about a week until we leave for Cairo. Hopefully one or both of us will be able to at least do some short posts before we go.

Categories: Adventure, Books, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

On Leaving

By Kiki Keane

A family member recently asked me, “Why can’t you stay home?” I know she was really asking me, “Why do you insist on going to places that are so dangerous?” I have a number of set speeches, which I recite passionately and which she rejects with equal passion. But that question–“Why can’t you stay home?”–has been nagging me for weeks. After delving into my past I came up with the following: First, I don’t really have a home. I have moved 20 times in 28 years and I’m about to move again. I am both an island girl and a mainlander and I don’t really fit in either place. I’ve lived in small towns and small cities and big cities and foreign countries. When people ask me were I’m from I say, “Well, most recently…”

Secondly, I’ve got the bug. Not just the journalism bug, but the travel bug. I get happy looking at a map the way other girls get when there’s a shoe sale. I get this wonderful ache in my knees when I trace the outlines of countries on my globe. The only thing on my Bucket List are places (except for the item “Read Anna Karenina”, which I have never been able to get through). Leaving and the idea of leaving is so much a part of me that the idea of staying anywhere for a long period of time makes me claustrophobic. I get sick and distant and, at times, down right mean. I have to keep leaving because staying might actually kill me.

Third, I like that I can shed my past every time I go somewhere new. If I don’t like who I am I can leave that person behind like so much sloughed off skin. Travel lets you reinvent yourself and, if you do it right, you will be changed.

I’ll end with this: “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Some News Items:


Egyptian elections and the ‘coup’

China’s first woman in space

And here is Richard Engel’s latest Hidden Planet (North Korea)

Categories: Adventure, Journalism, Life, Nerd, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tracks and Scientific Inaccuracy in Songs

By: Rachel Womek

I was supposed to put this blog up last night but the ol’ laptop was less than cooperative. Fortunate for you Dear Reader, for you’ll now have the pleasure of two blogs in one day. This solo blog entry by Yours Truly and later on a joint blog entry.

Captain’s Log, Stardate 11021.5

I recently finished reading the wonderful travel book : Tracks by Robyn Davidson. The book follows Robyn during her trek over 1700 miles of Australian wilderness in 1980; alone except for the company of one dog and four camels. Robyn has great skill as a writer. This, combined with the tactile realism of her account and the sheer force of her will, made the book a joy to read.  As our own trip draws closer more apprehension will no doubt build but this book has given me a hope that with courage and tenacity Kiki and I will prevail. This is also a great book for the lover of other animals. It made me want to rush out and buy a few camels!

Also this week I was pondering why popular songs aren’t more Scientifically accurate. I was thinking of that song:  “One is the Loneliest Number” by Three Dog Night. One is the ONLY real number, I thought, so how can it be lonely? (All other numbers in the real world are simply groups of ones) but the song is actually addressing loneliness in humans, not to say that an actual number is lonely. The number represents a human therefore the line should state: One is the loneliest quantity of humans. Catchy, right? How about “Save The Best for Last” by Vanessa Williams? “Sometimes the Sun goes ’round the Moon?” Hmm…Somehow I don’t think so. Can anyone else think of some Scientifically Inaccurate songs? We can fix them and make a hit album.

Well that’s it for now. Check in later for a joint post featuring myself and Kiki!

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A Little Note on Sir Richard Francis Burton, or Who I Wanted Be When I Was 10…

By Kiki Keane

A few days ago, I bought a biography of Sir Richard Francis Burton. I’ve read several biographies on the man. I have loved him, respected him, admired him and wanted to be him since I was ten. I spent many sleepless childhood nights wishing and dreaming that I could be brave and adventurous just like him. My fingers would dance along the classroom globe, tracing the routes of his adventures.  As a child, I thrilled at his adventures and exploits. Later, I learned to respect and admire his scholarly contributions.

It has been a long time since I’ve thought about him. I wasn’t looking for the book or anything like it. I just happened to notice it as I walked by. It’s been nice to visiting an old friend…

In case anyone is interested in the book, it’s called: Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton: The Secret Agent Who Made the Pilgrimage to Mecca, Discovered the Kama Sutra, And Brought the Arabian Nights to the West, by Edward Rice. Don’t take this a recommendation.

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By Kiki Keane


Okay. I’ve never been very good at this blogging thing. I have started a half-dozen and have never posted more than once or twice. I find it…weird. But, here I go…

Good Things That Have Happened This Week:

1) So, I got a job! Yay! Check that off the very, very, very, very long list of what I like to call: “Things That Need to Happen Before We Embark On Our Adventures (or Fall Flat On Faces)!” So excited! Well… Okay. It’s not the job I was hoping for, but it is a job and I am grateful for it. Also, I now feel less like a bum.

2) Rachel also got a job. It’s a part-time holiday job, which we hope will turn into a permanent position.

3) In addition to my new job and all the planning I’m doing for the trip (my brain never stops when it comes to adventuring), I am also in a monthly book club. I have succeeded in reading exactly 10 pages and 5 sentences in this month’s selection. That may seem like no big deal, but considering that this might be one of the worst books ever written, I would say it is a pretty amazing feat, equal to, say, climbing Everest or colonizing Mars.

4) Met some new people and reconnected with some old friends.

5) The following bit from The Big Bang Theory made my week: “Oh no! They sent the wrong Spock! Live long and suck it, Zachary Quinto!” — Sheldon Cooper.

6) Discovered that Murder, She Wrote is on TVLand.

7) Named Rachel’s new puppy (she says she’s not keeping it, but I know better). I call him Riker. As in Will Riker. Because he’s a lady-killer.

Okay. I’m going to stop now. I promise to write better posts in the days to come.

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Job Hunting and the Art of BS

By: Kiki Keane and Rachel Womek

In today’s economy, finding a job is like being in an endless parade of circus freaks and you are the clown. You have to put on your clown makeup and smile your phony smile and hope you don’t end up with elephant poo all over your face. There are a lot of clowns looking for a tiny car to squeeze into and we didn’t even graduate from clown school. After a few rounds of this endless parade, we have come to the conclusion that Bullshit is the primary skill sought and if you aren’t fluent, you don’t get the car.

Certain jobs require more Bull than others. The larger companies are especially fond of it. What is worse is that they don’t really want Bull about you, they want you to regurgitate the Bull they feed you in some twisted bid for confirmation about the validity of their existence. They want to hear their own overbearing notions repeated back to them with overzealous enthusiasm, as if there was a possibility of authenticity. In desperation we seek to fulfill their every desire. We stroke their inflated ego and silently appeal to the universe for employment in their cookie cutter institution. And what is worse, we are grateful for the opportunity.

We mention this because we are on a quest to fulfill a dream–a madcap adventure to the Middle East and Africa to try our hand at Freelance Journalism. This, of course, depends on the accumulation of cash and thus we posture at the whimsy of corporations. Our future success will validate any ass-kissing and soul-selling we might presently engage in. We hope.

Stay tuned for updates on our adventures and misadventures!

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