IMG_3391 IMG_3389 IMG_3385 IMG_3392 IMG_3394 IMG_3396 IMG_3408 IMG_3414 IMG_3416 IMG_3410 IMG_3404When I went to Inle, I packed only a tiny bag, my camera, and a phone. I think I brought the wrong lens with me, because the beauty of all of Inle cannot be captured fully with a 50mm lens.

On my last day in Inle, I rented a bike and ended up deep in the hills. It was not in my original plan for the day, but I often think days spent doing something unexpected are far more rewarding in the end. After several sweaty hours on the bike, I found the Red Mountain winery and fell in love. A French winery in Burma = heaven.

The view was striking, the wine was decent, and the conversations and laughter shared with new friends was memorable to say the least.

For now, I’m back in Yangon with lovely company, a new place to rest my head, and so much to look forward to!

These days have been happy ones.

IMG_3084Back in Yangon after a terribly quick, but beautiful two days at Inle Lake.

I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go after all the time spent in Yangon, but realized I needed to be around water. I woke up the other morning and decided Inle and booked a bus a few minutes later. I packed only a tiny bag and left everything else in Yangon. It is a strange but comforting feeling to know you’re completely free and open to anything life throws at you.

It was a good decision. And I’d recommend the place to anyone.

For now, its back to Yangon and to the city I’ve learned to love. I must admit being able to tell direct a taxi to an address over an hour away felt quite rewarding this morning.

This last week will be crazy and filled with trying to squeeze everything in and learning how to come to a good stopping point. . . I’m still learning that. . .

IMG_2833 IMG_2902 IMG_2907

These are the places and spaces I spend my days here.

I really can’t complain much – there’s an endless supply of tea and snacks and smiles.

“Just as appetite comes by eating so work brings inspiration”. -Igor Stravinsky

IMG_2744 IMG_2741 IMG_2750 IMG_2754 IMG_2761 IMG_2759 IMG_2804 IMG_2778 IMG_2770 IMG_2776 IMG_2801 IMG_2799 IMG_2816

If there is one thing I can count on these days, is that eventually the rains slow and there will be a brief moment each day when it becomes a slight drizzle or simply stops. I find those moments to be the most quiet in this city. Everyone knows the rains will start back soon enough and there is a gentle calm that overtakes most everyone. All of these photos were taken during that in-between time.

The rains have become routine, expected, and daily. I have grown to like them (in part) and am thankful that despite the constant wet, and constant damp, the heat doesn’t overpower and the cooler, rain-weather normally wins.

The streets have started to flood and there have been more reported cases of people getting sick and dengue fever (this becomes far more prevalent during the rainy season).

Even in the in-between rain moments, most people still walk around with their umbrellas open. Although I’m not particularly tall by most standards, I’ve had one too many jabs and pokes to the head and face, and cannot handle it anymore. I’ve learned to patiently wait for the crowds and their open umbrellas to pass before I make my move, or be bold and make it clear that a taller person and her umbrella are also trying to make it through. I feel that there is a certain bond with all the other umbrella holders (most everyone) when a crowd tries to pass through a narrow sidewalk at the same time. The taller people raise their higher and the shorter ones lower. Often, this nonverbal communication between strangers works and most people pass what feels a good deal like a gauntlet.

All this to say, life in Yangon is filled with meetings, short-distanced taxi rides (*but, ones that involve a long-time sitting in traffic), long walks with heavy gear, too much coffee, and trying to find creative ways to make everything in my life less damp (no solutions yet).

IMG_2487The other day I posted this photo and it got me thinking about just how true it is.

If you want an uncomplicated and straightforward life, don’t travel.

Travel, I find complicates everything. It makes you question all, makes you want to live in a bold new way, and makes you want to make lasting changes. If ever I feel that I’m stuck or in need of new inspirations, I travel. Travel ruined me and ruined me at a young-ish age, but its something I wouldn’t ever want to change or take back.

Travel doesn’t have to be far or involve multiple flights. Just the act of moving can become a sort of mediation and a way to clear the clutter from my mind.

These days, I have found that I find inspiration in the simplest things. I haven’t been able to sleep through the night in over a month because I lie wide-eyed in bed and start thinking of all the things, projects, people, etc.

I want to see and experience and touch all of it and I don’t want it to stop after these three months of summer traveling.

Over the past several years of my life, this has become a sort of routine –> find something, pack a backpack, leave for Asia for three months (sometimes more), get overly inspired, return home –> repeat.

For now, when I think of the future, it involves living much as I am now –> New languages, sights, sounds, tastes, and nights spent not sleeping (solely because I’m just too excited to go to bed). After all these years of traveling and living like this I was afraid that this summer would finally break me, I’d be done with it, and want to embrace the uncomplicated. If anything, the opposite has been true and Burma has reminded me once again of how much I love this life and this style of living.

“I don’t believe in originality. You take inspiration from whatever moves you and you find your voice in those things.” – Tim Walker

I’d give up a good night’s sleep and fast internet any day if it meant I could feel this alive and this much like myself.

IMG_2019 IMG_2067 IMG_2064 IMG_2104 IMG_2084 IMG_2075 IMG_2109 IMG_2135 IMG_2146 IMG_2150 IMG_2136

This is the Chauk Htat Gyi pagoda, or reclining Buddha of Burma.

I like to think of it as the glamorous Buddha.

This lovely statue has pink nails, pretty blue eye shadow (or as the two Thai women I met there said, it is a “pretty-eyed Buddha”), and is clothed in glittery gold robe.

The afternoon I went to Chauk Htat Gyi, I didn’t really mean to end up there, but I did. And, as it turns out,  the moment I arrived, the rains started and didn’t stop for the next several hours. Camera and I waited out the rains and I can certainly think of worse places to spend a few hours. By the end of my time, I still couldn’t come to terms with how grand, beautiful, and overall, quiet this place is.

IMG_2238 IMG_2231 IMG_2236

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,078 other followers