The Streets of Washington DC

Charlene journal 7 Comments

I have a funny relationship with cities. I was born, raised, and have lived all my life in cities. I find them visually intriguing for their grit, geometry, tightly packed chaos and human contradiction. But I also associate them with a certain kind of perspective on life that drives me up the wall, and makes me want to run screaming into the wilderness. I always end up returning to cities though, because they possess a particular variety of richness that is found nowhere else.

Reflections on Junction

Charlene journal, vagabonding 7 Comments

Let me stake a claim about landscape/nature photography here: it does nothing for me. I can, and do, appreciate landscape photos from a technical perspective. But emotionally, they leave me cold. There’s something about the perfect beauty of an excellent landscape photo that seems to shut my engagement down. I’m compelled by imperfection for reasons I’ve never looked into, but they are doubtless why I thrive visually on gritty environments/things and misshapen industrial vessels. In mid-May, I got on a Greyhound to Lubbock, Texas. I was looking forward to finally meeting Jerod Foster in real life after a few years of chatting with him on Twitter, and attending his much talked about Texas Tech photography workshop in Junction, which is basically… …wait for it: An …

Invoking The Magic Of The Open Road

Charlene journal, vagabonding 19 Comments

Magic comes from what is inside you. It is a part of you. You can’t weave together a spell that you don’t believe in. ― Jim Butcher April 2013 3 weeks. 4500 miles. A car that started out black and came back grey-brown from a solid caking of road dust. A 901st birthday, and the sort of landscapes that didn’t exist in my reality until then. Being able to drive endlessly again, winging down open New Mexican highways with a Jedi time lord and the soundtrack to life. 

Three months of travel: a reflection on old Mexico

Charlene journal, vagabonding 16 Comments

I’ve been on the road for three and a half months at the writing of this post. There have been surprises around every turn. I never thought I would gather up enough guts to do this solo travelling thing, and truth be told, I’ve been scared everytime I’ve had to pack up and get myself somewhere: Seattle, La Paz, Mexico City, Albuquerque. My fears were realised during the last border crossing from Mexico into the US at the start of April, which had me convinced, at certain points, that I wasn’t getting into the country. 

Home: who your heart’s with (part 2 of 2)

Charlene vagabonding 15 Comments

“I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.” ― Jon Katz Amigo/Amiga de corazón. Friend of the heart. This phrase was one of the first I learnt in Spanish. It’s a beautiful way to refer to one’s true friends.  

Row Row Row Your Boat

Charlene journal 106 Comments

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you will know I dream about tugboats sometimes – granted, dreaming is about as much as i get to do about them these days. I like all sorts of boats though. I like the way most of them smell – of brine, fuel, fish, rotting seaweed, barnacle, wet rope, rusting anchors and other things. I love the shape of them, the way they move in the water; some, foursquare and unshakable as anything, others that roll and pitch in a ripple, and still others that skim the surface with sheer contact, like sea birds. I don’t know much about boats; they simply appeal to the aesthetics of all my senses (except perhaps taste; i’ve yet to go that far). …

Chasing Bridges

Charlene journal 17 Comments

Brilliant stuff, going bridge hunting in Putrajaya while the rain roared down. I was impressively assisted by my sister that night. She who did the splash and dash out the car with the umbrella for me, making sure me and my gear were as dry as possible in the monsoon downpour. Thanks sis! Did I mention Putrajaya has some gorgeous bridges? We finally got to the Seri Wawasan bridge (from the last post) after ages of driving around, losing bearings and everyone having to give in to my my constant-distraction requests “ooooooh can we stop for a second to check that out?” I was quite mesmerized by it all. If you google this bridge you will find some spectacular photos of it. It’s a beautiful …