Open Arrivals by Janine Donoho

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. – Lao Tzu

Infinite perspectives

Infinite perspectives

Seville April Fair

Seville April Fair

Travel tactics adapt well to life in general and writing, specifically. My favorite journeys coincide with few fixed plans and an open view of what can be experienced in the moment. Yes, I relish travel books that highlight the amazing, and even rank options according to what I hope to explore.

Fishermen of the Algarve in Portugal

Fishermen of the Algarve in Portugal

Dependent on the time available, Plan A receives the most attention, then on to B, C…what I call ‘guerilla tourism.’ That equates with focusing on impactful choices first. This approach leaves ample room for unexpected delights and curiosity-driven jaunts, which often lead to the road less traveled along with amazing connections. It helps if you’re open to making animal sounds when language fails.

There have been places where I considered living for a while—say six months or more. Areas of Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Greece, Portugal, and Italy still call to me. Wouldn’t it be exciting to absorb language through submersion? My attitude? Not dead yet, so who knows what the future holds.

Hiking along the Atlantic in Portugal

Hiking along the Atlantic in Portugal

Is there a place you’d like to inhabit for a time? What keeps you from doing so?

Peruvian musicians dressed as North American Plains Indians in Lisbon

Peruvian musicians dressed as North American Plains Indians in Lisbon

Winding through old city Lisbon

Winding through old city Lisbon

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An experience permeated by the scent & taste of mint tea

A Change of State by Janine Donoho

We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls. – Anais Nin

Intrepid Guy hiking the Amalfi Coast

Intrepid Guy hiking the Amalfi Coast

Biglietto to art museumWhen I finally coaxed Intrepid Guy to take a full month to travel with me, we chose a more ambitious route than my BFF trip. Yes, still backpacks, but Italy, Greece, and Turkey via planes, trains, and automobiles.

Capri

Capri

Consider the taxi in Napoli as our driver popped onto and off of active trolley tracks all the while exclaiming, “Is okay, is okay.” Yes, the Naples National Archaeological Museum was worth it. The same can be said when Greek ferry system imploded during a soccer match.

After that, it took us three attempts to cross from Athens to Samos, then on to Selçuk on the Turkish mainland. Along the way, we experienced the plush travel of Turkish buses, 

Gateway to Ephesus' agora

Gateway to Ephesus’ agora

complete with attendants and hot towels, and the disrepair of their 1960’s trains. Visualize a midnight lurch to the bathroom with gaping holes in the floor.

Between worker strikes for trains leaving Italy, taxis in Athens, and ferries running aground, we developed resilience and our senses of humor. As with most pursuits, at some point you consign yourself to whatever passes for a higher power and go with it. Let the joy begin.

Bus to Cappadocia

Bus to Cappadocia

How have you developed hardiness during your travels? What mishaps turned into singular experiences?

Blue Mosque Dome

Blue Mosque Dome

 

 

Ancient kitchen - Pompeii

Ancient kitchen – Pompeii

Mustafa and I - Pamukkale

Mustafa and I – Pamukkale

Passage to the Perseia fountain in Mycenae

Passage to the Perseia fountain in Mycenae

Happy travelers in Pamukkale

Happy travelers in Pamukkale

When a Writer Travels by Janine Donoho

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.Saint Augustine

Hiked along ancient Roman roads through Italy.

Hikes along ancient Roman roads through Italy.

My longest running mantra? Head down and get the job done. Yes, a great work ethic. Now I’m toiling to hone my playful aspect. Really, toiling, which holds too much truth to be as laughable as it should be.

You see, our latest relocation shifted from anticipation to body blow within days. Such is life when those around you insist on feuding like Hatfield and McCoy. My lifestyle choice? Cooperative humanitarian. So yes, trouble from the get-go.

Dragon in Marion Platzer Munchen

Dragon in Marion Platzer Munchen

To carry on, I embraced my fiercer tendencies, even slipping into grim determination at times. I wrote through isolation and completed more work, including Soundings: Water Elemental, all three novels in my Mistborn Chronicles, numerous short stories, and essays.

Productivity and a life well lived don’t necessarily equate and The Move occurred a decade ago. Imagine stunning natural beauty—balm to a conservation biologist’s soul. Then contrast that with irreplaceable friendships and few prospects ahead. See what I mean?

Just before The Move, Intrepid Guy and I returned from an extended journey through northern Africa with stopovers in Paris and then London. To get my groove back, I’m returning to my passion for grand vistas, historic art, and time-honored civilizations. Until plan can be put into action, I’m revisiting previous adventures—and you’re invited. This will be a multipart expedition and mostly pictorial.

So fasten your seatbelts. Our journey begins—now.

What does travel mean to you? How has experiencing diverse cultures changed your approach to life? Does it inform your writing?

Not so still life

Not so still life

Soundings, Water Elemental

LaunchFebruary 27th, 2015
The big day is here.

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