Traveling alone

I took a plane east last week, and landed for the first time in New York City. My backpack was filled with art supplies, several books that I stupidly thought I would get through, and my trusty notebook (Harriet the Spy anyone?)


It was my first time really traveling alone. I didn't know what to expect from New York. I was brimming with excitment to see such an iconic city, but at the same time utterly in knots because multiple people warned me to "stay out of allies" and "don't go out alone at night". Would I be safe traveling on my own? Was I going to get mugged... or worse?

But once I walked out my hotel the first morning and into the "fresh" air of Midtown, I felt my insides settle. It was exactly how I pictured it! Locals dressed in an unlikely combo of corporate work attire and bright nikes on their way to work. The markets on every corner had an array of the most interesting foods and plenty of vegan options to satisfy my breakfast rumblings. And the trees... the trees were all in bloom! I passed a couple parks on 5th avenue on my way toward Central Park, and I could feel that New York was going to treat me just fine.


I ate at vegan cafes and painted in every urban park I stumbled upon. I walked the highline, I stopped in the Chelsea market. I talked to some people playing chess about bullshit degrees that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I gawked at the designer window displayes like a kid in an 80's movie. I pretended I was a hippie, and pretended I was a New Yorker, then I pretended I knew where I was going, and I also let myself get lost. I preteneded I was Harriet the spy, writing down descriptions of Subway characters and rants I heard out on the street. But after all of this, I left New York for my humble apartment in Sunnyvale Calfiornia and felt the playful elation slip away.

It was non-stop bliss in New York, but when I came back I was forced to aknowledge everything I left behind for that week. I had errands to run, papers to fill out, bills to pay and work to do. I also had familiar questions about what I was doing with my spare time and where I was going. I was shaken up by noise and city lights, and now here I was, quiet and in the dark.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

That's what I've learned. New York sent me on a wild ride, and I'm still trying to shake off the dizziness. Getting out of your comfort zone is not easy, but it's necessary. I know this, and yet...


I keep telling myself the dizziness will pass. It's a contant push and pull inside. A fight between young and old, but my older self doesn't like to listen. Deep breaths and long walks are common around here, which isn't a bad thing....

I guess I'll have to travel alone more often ;)


It's been a strange week.  I had an adventure on the Caltrain up to San Francisco and haven't shaken it off yet.  Also- I've been more tired than normal.  All of us at the office have felt the same and are resorting to handfuls of candy and coffee.  It's dangerous but oh so good.  

Everyone, I find is nerdy about something.

I came across this link on Designer News: Link.  It occurred to me that I can't think of anything I'm truly nerdy about.  There is a fanaticism that people have when they nerd out, and usually acquire grand amount of knowledge on the subject.  I can't say I'm nerdy about drawing either.  I remember friends from college owning books of other artist's drawings, and pouring over them with a certain jealousy.  I am getting closer to this as I get older.  Most of the time I like to wander around outside and explore.

Can you "nerd out" on exploring? Is there an app for that?  In all honesty, you can, and there is, but the kind of exploring I like most is the kind without any planning or agenda.  

One thing I always did love was looking at other people's sketchbooks.  There's a book I sought out pretty hard because it was a collection of artist's sketchbook journals.  It's called "An Illustrated Journey" by Mr. Gregory. One of my favorite things to do is take a drive somewhere alone and draw in my journal.  This book is full of other people just like me. 

If I could, I would love to read minds.  I would love to collect other people's journals and read them.  I'm a little bit of a creep, I admit.  There are nerds, and there are creeps.  Ha.

What are you nerdy about?  And why?  I can't read your mind so please, share!