New Journeys and Lessons in Kinetic Sculpture

It is time to celebrate a change.

After years 5 and a half challenging years of graduate school for me, I am ready to be off to somewhere else, doing something besides reading, writing, and teaching for a little while.  Preferably while exploring cool places, seeing gorgeous sites, meeting new people, trying new food, and all around stretching my horizons and my legs in new directions.  Luckily, I now have the chance to do just that, and with my best friend and sweetheart, Toby, who has been my dear buddy for going on 9 years, since we were freshman at Middlebury College, and for whom I am grateful every day.

We have recently moved out of our home in Ithaca, where we have been for 3 and half years (me at Cornell, Toby working as a software engineer downtown), and intend to move to New Jersey later this spring.  From there, we will return to work and research, and settle into exploring a new place and phase of life away from Ithaca and Cornell.

But, for now!  We are going on an ADVENTURE!

We have decided to become nomads for a few months of travel, exploration, relaxation, and mind-opening awe.  We will be heading to the other side of the world, with approximately 3 weeks in Indonesia (various spots in Bali and Java), 2 weeks in Australia (Cairns, Sydney, and Canberra), and 3 weeks in New Zealand (all the way from Queenstown to Aukland, with numerous stops along the way).

This should be awesome.

And a bit of a challenge, I daresay.  We are not exactly used to the nomadic lifestyle.  Toby has done about a month’s worth of straight-travel in the past at a time, under the guidance of a high school study abroad program to Russia, along with smaller trips primarily across the US and Europe.  I have done the same, but replacing Russia with Japan.  More usefully as background for this upcoming adventure, I spent half a year living in Italy with minimal guidance from my school, along with a few shorter trips back to Italy at later times for research and classes.  A major difference here, though, is that I had a central home base while studying abroad, and did numerous short trips off of that launchpad – and on this trip, we will stay in a single place no longer than somewhere around 5 days at a time.  Much more nomadic.

But hey, I am a believer that the only true constant in this world is change itself, and although I do quite enjoy the comforts of nesting in familiar spaces (all the comfy pillows, books, artwork, and clothing that we recently struggled to pack up certainly attest to this), I think it is time again to focus on the journey and the moment and the new, to celebrate change.

My mom has often said that kinetic sculpture, which our family collects, reminds her of the ever-present change in the world, for the mobiles keep on spinning: and that because everything changes, when things are bad, you know you can get through them because the bad won’t last forever, and when things are good, it is important to appreciate them for what they are, because the good won’t last either.  I find comfort and gratitude in this idea, and it is with this in mind that I’m stepping out on this new journey with my sweetheart, Toby, to make it through new challenges, and to celebrate the wonder of this world.  Together.


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