Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

2015 is shaping up to be quite a busy year and, hopefully, bringing its own share of adventures...albeit more tamer than I'm use to.

Those days traveling, running around and exploring the world have taken a back seat over the last 6 months while I pursue my master's degree and write for my hometown newspaper in Arizona. Pumping out 5000 words a week isn't necessarily a big load for a newspaper reporter, but it's enough to take it out of you and really affect your personal writing productivity.

It comes with its own set of benefits, however. I am getting paid to write, and the more I report and comment on the happenings in my community the more connected I feel with it. I grew up here, but there is so much I don't know about this place. Now I'm given the opportunity to explore and share my city's story. That's something absolutely wonderful and, for the time being, exactly what I needed to get grounded again here at home. 

If you ever want to check out some of the history writing I'm doing, go read some of the Yesteryear columns on the Kingman Daily Miner website. Every week I dive into the museum archives in Kingman and pull up some interesting bits of history. I get to handle newspapers and books over a hundred years old and hear the voices of the past. It's always interesting to see what was important to the people back then, and to read how they reacted to events we learned in history books. 

It's a kind reminder that the writing I'm doing now carries purpose. I'm a journalist. My job is to write the stories of our time. Those last decades, much longer than the lifespan of a blog. It's an honor to write them.

While I'm writing for the newspaper and going to school, I know that my blog will remain quiet for longer chunks of time. Sometimes the moments of everyday life don't merit anything worth sharing with the world. Small moments I share with family and friends are meant to be private and intimate, and there are many more of those in between adventures. 

It's a comfort to know that this little corner of the Internet here still exists, and that an account of the places I've been and the people I've met is available here for me to read. Of course I could never forget, but like most memories you miss out on the little details. The sights, the sounds. The little nuances that compose a scene. I'm not the greatest of writers, but I did a good enough job to journal what I saw and how I felt. When I read those posts, I'm back there again. 

I'll pop in from time to time over the next 16 months to blog for a bit. There are no trips planned for the foreseeable future, and that's ok. Now is the time to put in the work. I'll get back out there again. All travelers do; the great unknown never stops calling us. We all read about how little time we have on this earth, and yes life can pass you by fairly quickly if you let it. But for those who have the drive and want something a little more, there will always be opportunities to go out there and make some memories that last forever.

Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Travel Moms

My mom is one of the strongest people I know. And yes, I think every one of us who love our mothers tend to say that. They raise us, teach us, and are always there for us for the good times and bad. They share in our successes, weep in our sadness, and lift us up when we need it the most. 

But my mom is special. She's a travel mom, and that makes her job much more important to people like me.

Travel moms have a difficult job. When their children leave the nest there's always the expectation that they'll still be there within reach for the important moments. Holidays, birthdays, graduations, weddings; I was raised in a family where any excuse to get everyone together was exercised. My greatest memories are always made with family, and I could travel the globe for the rest of my life searching for what I already have back home.

I've missed a lot of those moments in the past few years. Three of the last four years were spent abroad. I'm missing yet another Mother's Day. That's where the life of a travel mom gets complicated. 

I'm not a mom, but I could imagine how hard it is for a mother to be there for a child from 8,000 miles away. You want to be an active part of their life no matter where they are. You selflessly want them there with you to share in life's moments all while wanting them to go light the world on fire. How do you balance that? 

For my mom, I know I've definitely put her through her fair share of worries. A good chunk of that gray hair is from me, and as much fun as I've had I'm sorry for keeping her up late at night.

So for Mother's Day this year I want to thank you, mom. I want to thank you for always being there for me and always giving me a place I can call home. I want to thank you for the countless trips to the airport and the signs you make for me when I come home. I promise I will always come home. 

I can't imagine how many times you've had to answer the question "Where's Ryan?" and explain why I do what I do. I wasn't joking when I said I created this blog for you. I hope it made it easier for you to share in the adventures I've had the fortune of partaking in. 

Most of all, I want to say that I love you and that you give travel moms a wonderful name. I'm not sure where life will take me next, but I know that it'll be a trip worth taking knowing that you're always in my corner. 

I'll see you when I get home, travel magnets in hand like always. Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sushi and Airplanes

After an eight-month travel drought I am finally getting out of the country for a little while! I'll be in Korea again, visiting friends and relaxing for a couple of months. 

The first hop to San Francisco is complete, and I'm getting some solid grub in before the 12-hour haul to Incheon.

One thing I found is that, when traveling to a general region over and over again, you adopt an airport as your main hub to the majority of your destination. That can be determined by the airline you fly of course (United has a big hub in SFO). Nevertheless, having a familiar watering hole before going abroad is comforting and always something to look forward to.

I am a sushi guy. I love it, and having something not-fried before flying gets me through those long flights. I have two places I always go to, one on each side of the Pacific.

I just so happen to be in one of them now: Tomokazu in the International Terminal at SFO.

No-frills sushi is almost impossible to find, especially in airports. Tomokazu somehow manages to give me simple, delicious sushi for under $10. Not bad for any place, and pretty awesome for a sushi joint in one of the busiest airports in North America.

Now back to grubbing...see ya in Korea!