Scenes From a Week in Auckland

Charlene vagabonding 6 Comments

Auckland, October 2017 Auckland city probably deserved more time than I gave it, but between volcanic beaches, fifty-something volcanoes in the metropolitan area, and arresting scenery spitting distance from the city center, it was hard to want to be downtown. Having just spent four solid months in crowded, uber urban Singapore, all I want at this point, is space. And …

On returning home

Charlene journal, vagabonding 2 Comments

Singapore Home is so often the hardest place to return to. As I celebrate 4 years on the road, I’ve noted feeling something suspiciously akin to gladness at being in Singapore. This is unusual for me, given the isolation of coming back to empty spaces of friends and family who have left, sets in too quickly, and by the time …

An ode to red rock: Arches and Canyonlands national parks

Charlene journal, vagabonding 6 Comments

I’ve been trying to write this post for a very long time, finding it difficult to articulate the hold that Arches National Park has over my imagination. It is the one national park that I could swear, knows me by name. It’s a ridiculous thing to say, particularly for someone who’s a city slicker to the core. If the park did have a voice and addressed me by …

Rice

Charlene journal, vagabonding 5 Comments

Over dinner, we tell each other about our mothers and rice cookers. I once took a cross-continental flight with a rice cooker on my lap. It was a modest appliance which only cooked for 4, not 7; miniaturized for the student. At the point of departure, having managed to avoid this thing for weeks, my mother foisted it on me in …

Belgrade to Bar, and Back Again

Charlene journal, vagabonding 8 Comments

May 2016, Serbia to Montenegro “Are you looking for something specific?” the big, craggy man sitting next to me wanted to know, having listened to my camera schnicking away since he got in from one of the small towns near the border. “No,” I responded. “Just the scenery. It’s beautiful outside.” “It’s beautiful to you because you’ve never seen it before,” he said, waving a hand at the vista rushing …

The ticketing interlude

Charlene vagabonding 11 Comments

The first thing that hits as you when you enter the ticketing area of Belgrade’s main station is the smell of piss, then the sudden muting of the urban bustle just outside its walls. We walked in, didn’t see any signs we knew how to read, and decided to start at the information desk. “Hello,” I said to the lady behind the counter. “We want to …

Wet Collodion (Belgrade Day 5)

Charlene journal, vagabonding 21 Comments

I got into photography from sheer stubbornness. When I first picked up a camera, people told me, among other things, that I was wasting my time, that I was ridiculous to think I could do it, that photography wasn’t for someone like me. So of course, it became the one thing I had to do. But my entire photographic life has been digital: equipment, education, process, …