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Things I Miss About Our Country of Origin

Updated: Sep 9, 2023

  • Relatively stable and reliable internet connection

Sometimes I end up in a new location having to use my iPhone as a Wi-Fi hotspot to work. This sounds great unless the country has a data plan which costs an arm and a leg and I have four or more video sessions scheduled that day, each of which eats up two or more gigabytes per hour!

A couple years ago, James and I were living in Muo near Kotor, Montenegro's Old Town, staying inside a house of stone which was more fortress than dwelling with its Sisyphus-size boulder walls. This house had all the charm of a medieval castle without any of the inconvenient moats, dragons or electric eels; although, the landlord's cat, Lana posed a formidable adversary at breakfast time on the outside terrace.

Lana Cat assisting with breaking the fast.

It was as if a mountain had a midlife crisis and decided to relocate. The stones themselves, I swear, were individually selected for their size and weight by a committee of disgruntled dwarves from Khazad-dûm.

For all you J.R.R. Tolkien Lord of the Rings nerds out there, yes, technically the plural form of "dwarf" is "dwerrows" or "dwarrows," and yes Tolkien made a big deal about how the more plebeian use of the term "dwarves" in the plural was "[...] a piece of private bad grammar" in his published letters.

Anywho, the door of this Muo fortress was a true masterpiece —a massive, wooden monstrosity which swung on hinges the size of broadswords. The door locked with a heavy wooden beam the size of a healthy tree trunk. I can't imagine a sorcerer's lair being more secure. You can envision the gymnastics I had to perform to figure out a way to place my phone at the right angle on the right window ledge for any service to make it through at all!

  • A good blender

I embarked on a quest more epic than Frodo's journey to Mordor--The search for a travel blender lighter than a feather, but strong enough to pulverize frozen fruits into tropical oblivion. Days turned into nights, and I emerged from my research cocoon with all the wisdom of a smoothie samurai. Alas, my results proved fruitless. It could not be done. My ego fell through the cracks in the floor as I tasted the bitterness of brutal defeat. What would it cost a girl to acquire Lara Croft's magical backpack which defies the laws of physics!?!

I mean, who needs a Nomatic sledgehammer-proof suitcase when you can stuff a rocket launcher, harpoon gun, uzis, pistols, a Desert Eagle, grenade launcher, shotgun, assault rifle, machine gun a medieval sword, twenty-three first-aid kits, ninety-nine flares and a lifetime supply of ammunition into a tiny backpack? Forget packing light! Whom do I need to speak with to pack infinite possibilities!?! -- Resurrect Carl Sagan? Brian Cox? Neil deGrasse Tyson?

If only there was a way I might pack a blender for my post-run frozen banana smoothies... A nice Vitamix or Nutribullet would be ideal if I could condense them down to the size and weight of a fig.

And, did you know nowadays there exists such a thing as a sound-proof blender!?! I do so desperately miss my morning ritualized pre-masticated vegan banana ice cream smoothies with raw cacao powder, and a serving of Markus Rothkranz's Green Formula. It was the perfect nourishing and hydrating start to the day.

I never know if our next destination will have a blender or not, but I feel like I win the lottery whenever it does.

  • Letter-writing

The art of drafting letters, with eloquent prose and intimate revelations, denoting a profound, sacrosanct connection. The act of penning one's thoughts allows for a depth of expression unmatched by mere conversation. Intricate layers of wit and paradox. Letters, those vessels of our souls, afford us the luxury of time to contemplate, to reflect, and to share the passions of our hearts, as the ink flows like a river of sentiment upon the parchment. In this age of "Instant Messaging," the enduring tradition of letter-writing stands as a testament to the everlasting bonds of friendship, a literary waltz between kindred spirits, where words are not merely ink and paper, but rather the essence of one's very soul, immortalized.

Postcards never have enough room for me to elucidate.

And I do so miss receiving my dear friends' well-crafted communiqué in return.

Scroll through the gallery above to view a few charming missives I received.

  • Dryers

Sometimes, I don't want to wait two days for my freshly washed bed linens and towels to dry on a cumbersome indoor drying rack--if there's even a drying rack on the premises--or hang them from the ends of curtain rods, chair backs, cabinet knobs and shower heads.

  • Air-fryer

This was one of those things I thought was overrated until I got one. I cannot tell you how many evenings James and I partook of homemade oil-free fry dinner over a glass of red wine and sci-fi. Alas, I loved you well Ninja Air Fryer.

  • Instant Pot

Hummus in a bowl.
Delicious hummus; albeit, I do prefer mine not swimming in olive oil.

This Instant Pot is another one of those kitchen gadgets which seemed overrated until I used it to make the perfect pot of rice and cooked some dry chickpeas without having to soak them overnight. Any contraption that turbocharges my hummus habit deserves a standing ovation in my culinary circus!

  • Being able to read ingredient labels, menu items and food packaging

I used to be fluent in "Ingredientese" back in the U.S.A., and I don't much fancy playing culinary roulette. As a vegan of over a decade now, my gastrointestinal tract has become more sensitive to sneaky meats and meat byproducts, like gelatin (an ingredient often used as a thickening agent), which comes from animal collagen made from animal skin, bones, hides and sometimes fish. For example, those marshmallows you're roasting for your S'mores around the campfire--their secret key ingredient is gelatin, which acts as scaffolding to keep the sugar and flavor in place, giving those 'mallows their pillowy, stretchy hallmark traits.

Marshmallows made from gelatin.
Roasting gelatin on an open fire...

Thankfully, the vegan alchemists of the world have hacked a way to concoct gelatin free, vegan marshmallows, so I don't have to stare wistfully into the dark of night, abstaining from indulging in this nostalgic treat from my childhood next time you invite me over for a bonfire.

I digress.

Being able to read ingredient labels, food packaging and menu items is critical for me, as well as for my vegetarian-since-birth husband. If there was an Olympic event for reading tiny fonts on the back of protein bars, soup cans and bouillon cubes in English, I'd be the reigning champion; yet, in spite of my carefully honed superpowers, I still run into some trouble abroad.

I've found some clever hacks along the way, like V-Cards or the V Cards: Vegan Abroad free iPhone or iPad app, which translates in simple and easy-to-understand terms what food ingredients are unacceptable for those living a vegan lifestyle. There are roughly 107 different languages, including Esperanto, Arabic, Zulu, Afrikaans, Shona, Maori and more! Whip it out and show it to your server. Download an offline version of the V-Cards PDF or print out the page of the language you'll be needing for you travels if you aren't certain you'll have internet access. This has spared me many-an-evening of worshipping the porcelain throne with my liquid laughs and technicolor yawns due to miscommunication.

Fish is NOT vegan!
No meat here....Totally vegan...

One time, In South Korea, when asking for a dish to be prepared without meat, I was told it would include fish. The server said, "No problem. This is a good meal for you. Fish is not meat."

An opportune moment to have one of these handy V-Cards to show the server!

I miss the level of understanding I once took for granted. My limited linguistic skillset is especially unhelpful when my translator decodes menu items with comical and sometimes alarming inaccuracy.

Funny menu translation from Arabic to English.
"Excuse me, waiter, how much pineapple do you put in your *B*tch Koller*? I really love pineapple."

Hilarious Arabic to English menu translation.
"Pardon me, Sir, but which urines do you currently have in stock?"

Funny Thai to English packaging translation.
If this is how the back of the package translates, what hope have I of accurately assessing the ingredient list!?

  • Being stylish and dressing up

It’s not feasible to pack all your fancy garments into a 78L Nomatic suitcase and 40L backpack. Shallow as it may sound, I miss having unfettered access to my full wardrobe; however, I simply cannot justify lugging all those extra pounds/kilos of fabric with me. I donated or sold a good portion of my clothes through the dumpster fire nightmare which is FaceBook Marketplace, but kept some sentimental pieces in a dresser given to me by my mother in a storage locker somewhere out in the Midwest.

My style may be simplified, but my longing for a fanciful fashion revival is perpetually in heat. Alas, if I happen upon a garment which catches my eye, I ask myself the all-important nomadic question: Do I want to carry this around for the rest of my foreseeable future?

A couple hundred grams here, a couple hundred grams there really adds up, and pretty soon you've surpassed 454 grams (roughly 1lb), which is the equivalent of a light dumbbell hand-weight! Every gram of fiber must earn its place in my polycarbonate turtle shell.

Look at me! I used to be a real fancy lady! Oh, well.

  • Consistent income

Yeah, this one pretty much speaks for itself. Working for yourself has its pros and its cons. While I'm afforded a great degree of independence, creative control and flexibility to deliver patient-centered care, I, along with my husband are pretty much the everything of my business--provider, scheduler, marketing department, Human Resources, administrative department.. No employee benefits, retirement plans, paid time off or vacation days. If my boss is a slave driver, well, she is me. Taskmaster extraordinaire.

  • My brick and mortar private practice office

She was pretty, wasn't she? Ah, the traditional Victorian psychoanalytic-inspired office, I poured my heart and soul into creating this haven for my patients, and even invested in a chaise lounge with a swan neck! What is a psychotherapist's office without a couch of sorts?

My office was filled with more than mere furniture. It was a transportive portal, markedly different than anything my patients would have seen locally. A strange new realm. A regal statement attesting to the importance of the work to be done within the confines of these walls. A thought-full space. The artful arrangement of books (not pictured here), the rich gold and scarlet colors on the walls, a nautical hourglass, a phrenology head, an illuminated diffuser for aromatherapy, a mirror on the back of the door so my patients could ready themselves before re-emerging into the world beyond the sanctuary... painstakingly arranged and meticulously stapled intake paperwork, forms, screenings, assessments, homework assignments in a locked filing cabinet. A handmade broadside of Don Quixote de La Mancha and "The Impossible Dream" inked with handset lead characters I made during my time working in a typography laboratory... A painting of...

and the Priestess of Delphi (1891) by John Collier, showcasing the Pythia, the Oracle of Delphi, sitting on a tripod with noxious vapors rising from a fault in the earth's surface. The Oracle beckons those who seek her wisdom to know themselves.



The brilliant and strong, courageous, author of Becoming Bulletproof and former secret service agent, Evy Poumpouras explained it well:

Know Thyself” (Γνώθι Σ’αυτόν) is an Ancient Greek saying that was etched into the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. It served as a reminder to all those who entered that the answers they were seeking came from within.

I deeply believe in this. That everything always comes down to the self. Yourself. How you interpret, interact, and respond to the world is your choice. And your responsibility.

This blueprint, what I call the Mastery of the Self, is what I hope will guide my daughter to find and know herself as she grows.


Your value comes from within. No one can take this away from you unless you give it to them. It is yours alone to create, cultivate, and care for. Never surrender this gift to someone else to manage. Then become angry when they don’t manage it well. Your worth is not defined by someone else’s opinion of you.


You control how you respond to things; from people to situations to obstacles. You will be tested, challenged, and provoked. Never blame others for your lack of internal governance. If you are easily triggered, then you will be easily manipulated. Learn to have agency over your emotions and behavior.


You must honestly take inventory of yourself to consistently grow mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Hold up the mirror and allow yourself to see the truth. Don’t bend or blur your image to make yourself feel better. Own your mistakes. Mend your flaws. And acknowledge when you’ve hurt others.


Your time here is fleeting. Think about the impact you want to make while you can. It’s not about the money you will earn or the things you will buy and accumulate. It’s about the legacy you will leave behind. Your father and I have dedicated our lives to being in the service of others. To protect people. To run toward the fight. To try to create light in darkness. Find your own path to give back. Leave this world better than when you found it. That is why you are here."

In my office sanctuary, such unspeakable energies were exchanged. Psychological defensive mechanisms were dismantled, egos crumbled, tears were shed, hugs were given, high-fives, handshakes, some long bouts of intense eye contact and hearty laughter. Core memories.

I am painstakingly aware of how even the smallest of details can have a profound impact in session--lighting or lack thereof, windows, an office's location on the ground or an upper floor, plant life, an object between the patient and the therapist, such as a desk or clipboard.

Before I entered into private practice, I knew this and always tried to incorporate evocative and symbolic objects with qualities of abstraction about them.

Some of my offices in former places of employment.

Few things can compare to the soul-draining experience of stepping into a cold, antiseptic, monochrome, sterile psychotherapy office space. It's like walking into a prison for your emotions, where even your feelings have to wear straitjackets to fit in. With walls so devoid of color, even a chameleon would throw up its hands in surrender, unable to blend in or escape the unrelenting blandness. A chair, so uncomfortable, it's clearly designed to make you squirm, while the therapist's desk appears to have been borrowed from an accountant who specializes in tax evasion. In this room, even the plants look like they're plotting their escape, and the clock on the wall has clearly stopped caring about time altogether. In such a room, you'd half-expect the therapist to offer you a pamphlet on the benefits of laughing at your own misery. I worked in a couple such office spaces---in a psychiatric ward, in a methadone clinic and a residential rehab facility. Thee MOST uninspiring wall colors I've ever seen in my life. And don't get me started on the methadone clinic. My first office was literally a closet filled with towers of chaotic unfilled manila portfolios of patient chart data.

I've never expected my patients to do anything I would or could not do myself, and if I'm desiring to encourage them to bring their most authentic self into this shared space, I better show up and mirror that.

I believe we strive to create worlds around us to serve as are extensions of our inner life. We're not always aware in doing so, of course.

As a psychotherapist, it can take a while for practitioners to develop their own personal styled voice after so many years of training and so many forebears' teachings rolling around in our heads.

The objects I chose allowed me to tap into different elements of values I wished to embody at any given time. They served to enhance my work, and invited curiosity and wonder--two key elements one hopes to foster in their patients throughout the therapeutic process.

Photos from my old private practice office spaces, as I began the preparations of seeing people for the first time on my chaise.

Much can be gleaned from an office space, as over 95% of all communication is non-verbal. There is a rich complexity between what is shown and that which is concealed. How one presents oneself and why.

I now resign myself to looking at psychoanalyst office porn online and lusting insatiably.

During the pandemic, with its severe travel restrictions, I splurged on a treadmill with a 40% incline capacity and ability to travel virtually through foreign lands with interactive workouts to keep myself from going stir crazy. If I couldn't go to the mountains, I decided to bring the mountains to me.

Our Icelandic wedding photographer, Lárus Sigurðarson (LalliSig) extended an invitation for a 12k/7.5 mi trail run to me next time we're in Iceland. I knew I ought to get more serious about running then and there to keep up. I ran nearly every single day, rain or shine. My favorite iFit trainer, Dr. Tommy Rivers Puzey--or "Rivs" as he's more commonly known in the iFit community--in my ear, guiding me through exotic places, inspiring me to be a better human, teaching me to take better care of myself.

Here is some wisdom from Rivs from an iFit Costa Rica run:

“I told you that story about growing up in the back of that classroom, where my mother taught art at the university. Being that little kid just throwing clay against that wheel that I was spinning around with my foot, I remember those images, those thoughts, those concepts. Specifically in my home, learning about art and art history. These incredible artists, Michelangelo, specifically.

Remember, we talked about him? Talked about his ability as a young child, growing up as an apprentice, learning and understanding that process where these huge blocks of marble were hewn out of the mountain, taken down, and Michelangelo slowly, painstakingly, creating this masterpiece, based off of that solid mass of rock.

Remember he was asked, ‘How is it that you can create such an incredible piece from just a piece of rock?’ Remember what he said? Guys, this is a quote that I've had bounced around in my head my entire life. What he said was, ‘I see the angel in the rock and then I carve until I've set that angel free'. Voilà. ‘I see that angel in the rock and then I carve until I've set that angel free.’

That’s such a powerful image to me. This idea that he sees something in there that nobody else sees. He sees the potential of that big giant stone; he sees in his head that image; that's the goal. And then what he would do is just carve, just one hit at a time, with that hammer, using that chisel, to slowly carve away all of that excess, trimming away everything he didn't need, everything he didn't want, everything that impeded his eye from seeing what he'd envisioned. That angel that he describes being there, hidden in the stone, and his job as the sculptor removing every little bit until he created and found and left only what he had in his mind.

I think about that all the time, not just in running, but in life in general. I think about the areas that hold us back, the things that keep us from becoming our true potential or who we would like to be. What we would like to become. Think about the things that might be holding you back, whether it's relationships, whether it's negativity, whether it's this tendency to just talk crap about people or to think negative things about yourself...

Whether it's things that exist in your diet or things that exist in your lifestyle... Maybe it is the fact that there's not enough balance between your sleep and the amount of work that you try to put in in a single 24-hour period. It can be anything. Just think about that analogy, and then realize that you can apply this to absolutely anything that you want.”

I completed every Rivs' iFit workout on my old NordicTrack treadmill, and it changed me irrevocably for the better.

I still have the iFit app downloaded to my phone and whenever a new Rivs series drops, I'm as good as there--even if it means climbing up and down stairwells in a commie block, watching and listening along a riverbank stroll or commandeering a treadmill on a cruise ship in the early hours of morning, setting up my iPhone with the iFit app playing and pretending I have my old faithful back.

Tommy Rivs continues inspiring me through his own gentle spirit, proficiency and seemingly limitless kindness, to perpetually strive toward expanding not only my physical strength and speed, but also my mindfulness, curiosity and self-awareness on those longer endurance runs.

On an evening stroll with the man closest to my heart, I regaled him with my inner findings: “I think Tommy Rivs is teaching me balance through a sort of forced meditation. He’s a good counter to David Goggins (author of the remarkable and inspiring book, Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds) who had me ready to duct tape my legs and run with stress fractures and shin splints to the brink of irreparable brokenness. I love Goggins, but I need to take better care of myself and be more careful.” James could not have agreed more: “I think meditation needs to be forced on you,” he said, with that wise and patient smile I’ve grown to love even more throughout the years.

One of Riv’s most notable catchphrases he gently reminds his trainees of on runs along beautiful and enticing precipices or vast farmlands with ferocious shepherd dog guardians is, “Don’t get dead.”

Que no te mueras.

This noble man and his light helped and continues to help me see reality more clearly. This humanitarian-doctor-trainer-ultrarunner-husband-brother-son-father of three always strives to create a culture of compassion.

Learning from a good and kind teacher, and iFit trainer, Tommy Rivers Puzey: Give your body the materials it needs to heal and recover. Don’t deprive your body of fuel to make the changes necessary to strengthen.

As Rivs is always reminding me, while channeling George Eliot, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” We’ve run a heck of a lot of miles together, Rivs--virtually, that is. And now I find myself a stranger in strange lands, running in your footsteps. This time, stronger, faster, wiser.

  • People I love

The freedom we so savor comes at a price. A double-edged sword. A transaction of sorts. To unlock a world, it costs a world.

Some speak of a liminal space overdose, and warn it's psychologically damaging for human beings to be suspended in uncertainty for prolonged periods of time. Perhaps that's true to an extent, but it's also true a mind, once expanded cannot revert back to its previous dimensions.

Below is a smattering--and not in any way exhaustive photographic exhibition--of people whom I love and miss from the U.S. of A.

  • Being able to express myself eloquently

Having an elementary understanding of a foreign language severely impairs my ability to communicate as deeply and expressively as I might prefer. In my native tongue, I can trust I will be generally understood, that I can have a certain degree of persuasion, influence and artfulness woven into my written and spoken words. As language is a means of self-expression, and words are very much like spells; they do have an impact in changing concrete reality and inspiring people toward or away from certain decisions, I often find myself frustratingly stifled. I may want to effusively thank my host for their genuine lovingkindness, for giving from what little they had in the name of hospitality, for taking in a relative stranger and treating her and her husband like family. Sometimes, all I can do is place my hands upon my heart, bow and say, "Thank you." But charades will only get one so far.

My words often don't carry the same weight in foreign lands. Because I often find myself limited in speaking the native tongue of a place I'm relocating to, I will be viewed through the lens of "foreigner," the anthropological term, "other," "farang" in Thailand, странца in Serbian or "străin" in Romanian (Roughly translating to, "Stranger or alien"), "gaijin" in Japanese (Roughly translating to "outsider" AKA "barbarian") or "Ajami/أعجمي" in Arabic (Which translates to one who does not speak Arabic or the one who does not speak eloquently).

It's difficult to be handicapped when expressing my love, support, gratitude, grievances, opinions and curiosities

My ego is perpetually humbled as I find myself unable to articulate thoughts and ideas with the eloquence I'd grown accustomed to. It hinders me from participating more actively in conversations and engaging in meaningful discussions.

And it seems as though just as I've advanced to the next level of understanding the rules of a particular country's language, I am uprooted and transplanted to another land with another alphabet and a completely different set of grammar rules and social customs.

On more than one occasion, I've caught myself speaking Greek in North Macedonia, Latvian in Lithuania, Hungarian in Romania, Thai in Serbia or Japanese in South Korea.

  • Operating in one time zone

Did you know some countries switch their daylight savings time on a different day than the USA? I didn't, but learned quickly upon missing a scheduled session with a patient due to my egregious error! Thankfully my patient was both forgiving and understanding, but I still felt positively dreadful for the accident and for wasting about an hour of someone's life, leaving them to twiddle their thumbs wondering where the hell their therapist was! I was both embarrassed and mortified and vowed to never to replicate that mistake again. Also of note: There are occasions I've conducted sessions at midnight or 0300!

  • Well-stocked cleaning supplies

In the age of a pandemic, not having three barrels of Lysol wipes and UV Light Wands for committing germicide on hand is an inconvenience. I miss the smell of orange oil polish for wood, baking soda, lemon essential oil, and gallon jugs of vinegar on-hand for accidental spills. The best spagyrics to have for homestead sanitation.

  • Miscellaneous tools and office supplies

Perhaps I might like to craft a playful ransom note or leave a dead drop or a collage for a friend. It was much easier when I had a shelf full of children's picture books to choose from, adult-size scissors, tape, glue, colored pencils, markers, and a drawer full of pencils and erasers. And what if I wanted to pen a letter with calligraphy to a kindred spirit? It's not practical to lug an inkwell and volumes of parchment stationary along with me wherever I go.

A random sampling of some of my past handiwork for kicks.

  • Tea light candles

Before we would sleep each night or rather, most every night, James would light a row of tea lights on glass holders to set the mood and emanate a warm glow. As you can imagine, it's not so practical to be carrying around a suitcase filled with sconces or candlesticks and thousands of tea lights.

  • Hair curling iron / dryer

My mum bought me the most fabulous hairstyling tool--the Dyson Airwrap. At first I thought it a needlessly expensive luxury gift...but my resistance proved futile, as I used it nearly every single day. My hair had style back in those days. I still carry two attachments from the Dyson Airwrap with me and use them as a tiny hairbrush and volumizing brush.

  • Real books

Having worked in a typography laboratory for a spell, my love of books is rich and deep. When James and I first moved in together, one of the very first decisions we made was the artful combining of our libraries.

When I was a young and mousy shy friendless girl, bullied mercilessly by cruel grade school children, I sank my consciousness into cahoots with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allan Poe. My imaginary friends were Sherlock Holmes and Don Quixote. I never wanted for a book as a child and Mum always seemed genuinely pleased when I would, of my own volition, take delight in one of the classics, analyzing it all to pieces.

I suppose I do that now as my profession, don't I? Imbibe stories and analyze them all to pieces, extracting meaning and value and helping others to do so.

  • A separate room

I hate studio apartments. Yes, they can be more cost-effective, but hear me out:

I'm on of those people who needs a private space to focus, to concentrate in order to work optimally. Not to mention, when I'm conducting a psychotherapy session via telementalhealth, I absolutely cannot function or think clearly with another person in the room who is not my patient or patients or a consenting party. Not even if the other person has noise cancelling headphones and is listening to some groovy tunes or an engaging audiobook or rewatching the entire Sword Art Online anime series. There have been times, and I'm not proud of this, when I've relegated my husband to go and sit in the bathroom with his book and/or a laptop and noise cancelling headphones because I cannot have him anywhere within my potential line of sight and get super paranoid about confidentiality being breached for my patients. I know if I were a patient, I sure as heck wouldn't want my therapist's spouse listening in on my sessions.

You're still wondering why I sent my husband to go sit in the bathroom with the door closed, aren't you? Remember when I said I sometimes conduct psychotherapy sessions at midnight or 1:00 AM? What reputable business within walking distance do you suppose is open at such hours for him to pop over to? And as for taking a walk outside for an hour--sometimes that can be downright dangerous or there are so many mosquitoes out it places his vegetarian status at risk, as these pesky flying Draculas will fly right into your mouth, land on your eyes or position themselves to be snorted!

  • My husband's guitar

I'm not musically inclined, but I do miss when my husband use to serenade me weekly with his attempts at murder ballads, covers of The Avett Brothers, David Bowie, Johnny Cash, Nirvana, and Cracker's song, "Low."

  • The Renaissance Faire

I am not ashamed to admit it. I miss the Renfaire. I find myself pining for the sweet melodies of minstrels, the fire-eaters, sword swallowers, jousting knights, faeries, mermaids, elves, pirates and steampunk-clad denizens assembling each themed weekend.

I miss the camaraderie with strangers and a shared vision, the elaborate costumes and gawking at pretty ladies. Every visit, a transportive experience. A glimpse into a world where even the most mundane aspects of life took on a touch of enchantment. Artisans plying their crafts--glassblowers, leatherworkers, scribes, fortune tellers, smiths, bakers, weavers, painters, puppeteers and alchemists.

A land in which adults have not forgotten how to play,

and imagination hasn't yet been slayed!

Scroll through some of these Renaissance Faire photo highlights.

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