What do a tattooed Hell’s Angel, a parachute, a shot of whiskey, a motorbike, Jimmy Carter, and a cockroach have in common?
image via Flomenhaft Gallery
Jeremy over at Lifestylism tagged me with the challenge to list five things you wouldn't know about me:
- I am a parachutist. Whenever I feel “stuck” in life, I go jumping. It makes me feel free, and the view from on high helps to put my petty problems into perspective.
- For a couple of years, my only means of transportation, summer or winter, was a Suzuki 450 motorcycle. (Or, as they say in the UK, “motorbike.”) I wore a leather jackets and boots, and under my helmet, everyone thought I was a guy.
- I once quit my 10-year career to take off on a year-long trip across the US in my little Honda Accord, with my tent and sleeping bag in my trunk. I stayed at State Parks, and slept in hotel parking lots, and hung out at beaches and old, country diners. I visited wineries, southern mansions, and bat-filled caves. I learned that America is not a scary place. Don’t believe the news. There are a lot of good people in the United States, especially if you don’t judge by appearances. At one state park, a greasy-haired man covered in tattoos and who looked like a Hell’s Angel, gave me pointers on how to stay safe as a single, traveling female, and then let me hold his two, tiny, pet chiwawas.
- I once had dinner with former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Roselyn in Americus, GA. Volunteering for a year with Habitat for Humanity, my housemates and I had befriended them during our work with the organization. During dinner, a cockroach crawled across the kitchen counter behind Roselyn’s shoulders. Jimmy, who was sitting beside, me, noticed it, too. No one tried to kill it. We all just let it go on its merry way.
- Several times during the four years that I lived in Bolivia, I drove my 1978 Toyota Landcruiser on the Yungas Road, what National Geographic calls “the most dangerous road in the world.” It is a 40-mile, 12,000 foot decent into the jungle from an Andean peak near La Paz with 1,500 foot drop-offs. Over 100 people fall to their deaths each year, many of them still in their vehicles. Best suggestion? Drink a shot of whiskey before you begin. It calms the nerves. A jumpy driver is worse than a sober one.
Tish at Love and Hope and Sex and Dreams
Expat at Expat Nomad
Terry at I See Invisible People and her alphabetial five.
Michiel at Musings from the Void
Moon at Moon River
Thanks for playing.
Despite the insights, it makes me wonder all the more how a girl growing up in an ultra-conservative Mennonite community ended up as such a thrill-seeking globetrotter.
Posted by: Jeremy | Monday, 05 February 2007 at 05:27 PM
I still haven't figured that one out.
I credit the "traveling genes" of my two grandfathers, parents who broke the mold within the established church bounds and moved the whole family to New York State for a few years, a solid public education (which most staunch Mennonites don't get), and the hundreds (may thousands??) of books that I secretly devoured from the public library. Being raised without a TV gave me lots of time to hide in my room reading long into the night about strange, exotic lands while everyone else was asleep.
And then there's the theory of the soul: that our personality has little to with our surroundings and upbringing and lots to do with that "personality" or "soul" that we're born with. My sister and I, close in age and raised in the same environment, are as different as night and day.
You'd be surprised at how many expats come from small towns and are the ONLY travelers in their families.
We're always trying to figure out why this is so! :-)
Posted by: shamash | Monday, 05 February 2007 at 07:34 PM
i'm getting to be your greatest fan!!!
what a life!
you don't stop amazing me dear shamash.
and i wonder, when is it that you'll get into writing a book about all of this!
Posted by: moon | Thursday, 01 March 2007 at 09:35 PM
just wanted to say, wow. I am really impressed with your spontanious attitude and your 'carpe diem' approach to life. quitting your 10-year career and traveling is an amazing feat, I think, and I just wanted to say congratulations for seizing the day, and that you are an encouragement to people trying to just that!
Posted by: nat | Friday, 15 June 2007 at 06:04 PM