I was thankful that Lonely Planet did not name their awards for travel bloggin something clever like “the Bloggies.” Or even worse: “the Troggies.” There always seems to be some over-clever person at the root of these online awards. I appreciate LP’s straightforward decision to keep it simple and call the kettle black: the Travel Blogging Awards.
The awards were held at the modern-quanity upscale sports bar Pete’s Tavern across from AT&T Park in San Francisco. There was free booze and free food - and many happy people. It is always a lot of fun for me to go to events where everything is about travel: the people are interesting, the conversation is always good and I never fail to have a good time. I most definitely feel in my element - and I think many others share that feeling. Part of the reason why the travel community is so vibrant is this community togetherness, the feeling that we are all doing something we love. Its definitely a blessing when you can participate in something like that.
As I was filming the awards - which were mostly videos since the travel bloggers were obviously spread around the world - I came to appreciate the breadth of the world once again. There are so many people communicating out there, sharing their stories. And there are also tons of people listening, commenting and creating conversation. It is truly an awesome world we live in. Overwhelming, but awesome. As we jumped from country to country among the many categories. I think the awards did a good job at instilling this duality in the audience. We realize that the world seems simultaneously easily accessible and dangerously distant.
It is a worthy re-realization, something I am reminded of constantly as I travel. Sometimes I am shocked at how similar we all are, and then five seconds later the strangeness of what is unfolding before me rips me away from the fuzzy sameness I was feeling only seconds before. The harsh reality of travel is why it makes us feel so alive - it is an award in and of itself. And I hope that many other bloggers continue to share this award, because who knows - maybe you will be nominated for a LP Blogging Award next year!
This has been going on for a couple of weeks, but I haven’t really had the chance to blog about this. And here I am, procrastinating editing my second video for STA Travel’s World Traveler Internship…but at least I am blogging about it!
STA Travel is sending two people around the world for 3 months in their WTI program - free trip and then all you have to do is blog and make videos about the experience! As if that wasn’t a full-time job on its own…but its a great opportunity to not only expand my audience and skillset, but also to travel around the world once again! That would make it twice in 3 years…and I am supposed to be in San Francisco to “settle down” for awhile!
But I wont count my chickens until they hatch. I have to edit this film first and make it awesome. Then we will see if I am going around the world again. In the meantime, if you would like to read more about the program and watch other finalists’ videos, check out the STA Travel Blog: http://tinyurl.com/cm29hs
And don’t let me hear you ask why a college graduate should be applying for a lowly inernship. Times are tough, people - don’t you read the news?!?!? if every internship were this amazing, you can bet that no one would be clamoring for real jobs anytime soon.
You have to see Philip Marsh’s documentary, MAN ON WIRE, about Philippe Petit - the ropewalker that tightroped across the World Trade Center towers. It is an amazing story of dogged pursuit of dreams, interpersonal relationships and the effects of a stunning feat on the world. It is also a stunning film visually, with great reenactments, marvelous found footage and beautiful composition.
It is also a story in which the World Trade Center plays a primary role - a role made more prominent given that they do not exist anymore. Watching footage of the iron beams being welded in place, and seeing the extensive aerial footage and photography of the actual tightrope walk is unsettling. This were the very beams that melted in heat to casue the collapse; thousands of workers are shown putting up this tower that is no more. At one point there is a shot of Petit on the rope and a plane flying overhead. A striking contrast because the plane looks just like it could be 9/11, yet here is a man accomplishing this wonderful and mysterious feat. This film inspires wonder and evokes terror, especially when you compare Petit’s “conquering” of the towers to the mentality of the terrorists that conquered the towers in their own way. Two different interpretations on what those towers represent, and two different outcomes.
Petit immediately dreams about walking across the WTC Towers when he reads about them in a newspaper, before they have even started building them. He is driven to accomplish this one goal, this dream. And he ends up doing it successfully. A man who knew what he was on this earth for, and a man who was supremely talented. Petit has made me dream, and has made me feel like anything is truly possible if you become it.
Just like the terrorists - a dogged pursuit of something you believe in is the surest way to accomplish it.
"Sarah Morgan has added you as a friend on Facebook," the ominious email shouted at me this morning.
My mother has joined Facebook.
And I am struggling. Part of me thinks it is no big deal, and that a whole generation of kids are going to grow up with their parents watching them on Facebook. But do I really want my mother to know what me and ALL of my friends are doing? To be able to comment on my pictures, some of which I get tagged in and that I may not want to have to explain? Should I even be worried? Because if I have things on FB that I wouldn’t want the rest of the world to see - including employers and snooping others - why would I be bothered if my mother can see it?
There is just something about knowing that your mother is reading everything that creeps me out. I know that my friends and acquaintances read my updates, but they also have other things to do. I am not being FB stalked - but I know that my mother would check all feeds every single day. Do I really want her commenting on pictures? Do I really want to explain myself to her? Or would it be easier if she is on Facebook - she would be more in the loop and I wouldn’t have to worry as much about keeping her updated. Just like most of my friends - we follow each other on FB, keep tabs on each others’ lives even though we rarely talk on the phone. So maybe having her on Facebook would be a blessing in disguise, as she will feel connected to my life and I will have to feel less guilty about not keeping in touch as much.
But there is still that teenage son in me, that protective, private child that does not want their parents to know anything that I don’t choose to tell them. Accepting my mother’s Facebook friend request will democratize the information flow in our relationship and I am not sure if I am prepared for that. I would lose complete control.
But what am I afraid of?
Its not like there is anything on there that she doesn’t know already. And I know that she would really enjoy “getting to know” my friends that she has never met. Learning who her son is hanging out with, getting a feel for his life. I can imagine as a parent, when your child leaves the house, it has to be quite hard. All of a sudden they have their own life and you only know what they choose to tell you about it. You are essentially cut off from what was a significant part of your life. As a parent, your life goes on. But with Facebook, you can still kind of feel like you are there. A virtual relationship with your child. Which is not that bizarre, given that many of my relationships with good friends are primarily virtual since they are spread all over the planet.
So. I guess I am going to accept her friend request. Do I really have the choice?
Scam. "Urgent Response Needed.....Cleaner Still Needed"
I love new scams!!!!
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