Waking up to the dulcet tones of Soterios Johnson, my morning routine is always the same: listen to the news of the day and wait until he tells me the current temperature in Central Park, for only then will I get out of bed. From there I pad down the hall to the kitchen to make coffee before settling down in my office to write.
February 1, 2013. A day that centers around two New York historical figures — legendary mayor Ed Koch who died today and Grand Central Terminal celebrates its centennial.
Grand Central with all its opulence and grandeur. The turquoise fresco that draws your eyes up to the heavens where celestial bodies watch over passengers as they bustle through corridors to train platforms or out onto 42nd Street. When I lived in New York I was fortunate to work on 42nd Street and thanks to the 4/5/6 train, I could enter/exit Grand Central Terminal on a daily basis if I wanted but usually avoided due to the crush of people (opting instead of a small exit down on 42nd and 3rd). Just standing in the main concourse of Grand Central you can feel the electricity in your bones, the spirit of how train travel used to be (one could say the same of Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station and part of Washington DC’s Union Station).
Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are more conducive to internal conversations than moving planes, ships or trains. There is an almost quaint correlation between what is before our eyes and the thoughts we are able to have in our heads: large thoughts at times requiring large views, and new thoughts, new places. Introspective reflections that might otherwise be liable to stall are helped along by the flow of the landscape.
— Alain de Botton The Art of Travel
I think I may have started this blog post 5 different ways. I mean, how else could I fully capture the BlogHER ’12 experience? After all, prior to attending I wasn’t a part of the BlogHER community. As a PR gal I’d heard of the conference as the perfect avenue to reach women bloggers, but it never occurred to me to actually go. I have a small, travel-centric blog; a blog that really serves as a place for me to share my writing with others instead of keeping it tucked away into my trusty Moleskine. So the possibility of joining the ranks of fellow bloggers was slightly intimidating.
But as luck (and my new job would have it), the opportunity presented itself…a week before the conference began.
After what appeared to be a relatively long bout of writer’s block, I’ve managed to find my way through to the other side. And what did I find? A draft blog post with one lone sentence. Oye. Wish it was better than that, but it is what it is.
In the month I took off from blog writing, I’ve managed to become fully integrated into my job as Director of Communications for HealthyWomen, watched my brother get married in Colorado and traveled to Boston for work, New Hampshire for pleasure, become an avid beach volleyball player and a triathlete-in-training. All of this leaves me pressed for time, but with a lot of great content to write about.
Enter BlogHER 2012. For the first year I’m attending the conference. I’m there in a dual-capacity: on the one hand to meet health bloggers that I may want to connect with down the road for my job and the other is to learn more about blogging: how I can improve my site, from HTML to design, what new tools I can add to my blog, and more importantly to meet and learn from other bloggers. I’m excited about the prospect of what awaits me and feel like the possibilities are endless.
I’m afraid it’s finally happened.
I have crossed over to the age where you cling to nostalgia and wonder about those halcyon days when life was simpler. A time when we played outdoors until the street lights came on, beckoning us home to dinner. I fear the technological advances we’re now accustomed to have dulled our senses to our natural surroundings. It’s true this happens to all generations, my parents often regaled us with stories of an idyllic childhood similar to the Leave it to Beaver culture of the 50s (confession: I adore this time period of Americana) when we would dare to play Colecovision on a sunny 70 degree day in Southern California.
There is something delightful about air travel. From closing my eyes and feeling my spine gently press into the seat back as the plane tilts for take-off to peering out at the patchwork of fields below, the idea of being in transit thrills me. You’ve left behind one destination and what waits for you is a complete unknown. In fact, as I write this, I’m en route to Colorado, 35,000 ft above the Eastern half of the United States, hurtling towards the Rocky Mountains for my brother’s wedding.
But for me, the best part about the plane trip has to be the concentrated quiet time to read, listen to music or watch a film. When I pack my carry-on bag for a trip I find myself bringing the must-have entertainment items (a.k.a. reading) to keep me enthralled for the duration of the flight. So what did I bring this time around?
A little over a year ago, an event occurred that changed my life. Or at least it changed my writing life.
The New York Times Travel Show, the veritable institution of journalism excellence brought together the best and the brightest from the travel industry to share with commoners (like myself) and members of the travel media (of which I aspire to belong). Sitting in the travel media sessions, learning about cultivating your persona (or brand) online, I realized that my first foray into blogging didn’t really seem to have a strong purpose and direction. Sure, it was fun to write stories about my life in NYC, but it was a bit insular and only of interest to its participants (but dang, it was funny).
Sitting in the basement of the Javits Center, listening to noted travel bloggers and writers talking about their websites and online “presence”, I was inspired to begin anew. This time, focusing on my love of travel and writing. It seemed easy enough. Thanks to WordPress and some creativity I had a place to begin. Or so I thought.