My vacation and travel plans are very different now that I have kids. I suppose that’s stating the obvious. But I love to travel and experience new places, and I miss it! I travel for work (both in the US and abroad), but I rarely have the time as I did in graduate school to really immerse myself in other cultures. That’s in part because my primary responsibility is not as a researcher anymore, but also because I’m always in a hurry to get home to my family. For my admission essay to Temple University’s PhD program I reflected that I take better – different – pictures when I have time to engage. Most of my pictures these days are of my kids, which is as it should be! But nonetheless I do take great pleasure in taking and curating the pictures from my travels. Some of my most memorable (and beautiful!) trips are collected below.
In my role at ZS Associates, I typically travel a couple of times a year to Pune and Delhi to visit team members and leaders there. Oftentimes we work long heads-down days, and there isn’t as much time to be social as I would like. But every once in a while I have a trip that bridges a weekend, and in those cases my team members have been gracious guides and hosts. Because my undergraduate degree was in Religion & Biblical Literature (with a focus on the traditions of the Indian subcontinent), I really enjoy the opportunity to experience the culture and the religious history that was so central to my undergraduate education. In the past few years, I wrote one post about my visit to some of the temples around Pune, and I also posted some photos of the new Mumbai airport and a purification ceremony on my Tumblr site, faeriewigs.
In 2010, I had the opportunity to travel to Tokyo for the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC). It’s hard to imagine that almost 20 years had passed my research in Bali! It was such a pleasure to travel with other anthropologists and once again learn and explore another part of the world. By this point I had two small children, and the time to really document and share my experiences was fleeting. Nonetheless, the Japan tag captures some of my favorites images and moments from that trip.
As part of my Masters degree in Whole Systems Design, I traveled to Bali Indonesia in 1993. I lived in the compound of a family that owned the Anoman Weaving Factory, which produced handwoven ikat fabric. It was my first real immersion experience in a foreign culture, and one that ultimately led me to the field of anthropology. Pictures and some excerpts from my fieldnotes are available using the Bali tag.
In 1991 (not long after the protests in Tiananmen Square), I traveled to mainland China with some of the classmates in my Masters degree program at Antioch University Seattle. It was my first experience in a third-world country, and it was life-altering for me. We spent nearly a month there, during which time we saw the sites in and around Beijing, traveled by overnight train to Seattle’s sister city Chongqing, and then back to Shanghai. I shot 24 rolls of film (yes, it was a long time ago!), and as an impoverished graduate student it was months until I had enough money to develop them all properly. I’ve collected some of my favorite images into a few blog posts, which you can explore using the China tag.