This week, I decided to change the name and feel of my blog.
I started it as “Smokey Drives a Cadillac” two years ago while I was working with the US Forest Service.
Working on the Hiawatha National Forest
I wore the Smokey Bear mascot uniform that summer, and I drove my mom’s 1995 Fleetwood Brougham Cadillac. The two had an element of nostalgia and felt like a great name for a place to experience chapters in life.
Last summer, on one of my days off while I was working in Michigan for the U.S. Forest Service, it was exactly 90-something degrees and approximately 80% humidity. It was my week to rove the campgrounds and cruise the forest roads, so I had already spent the majority of my week trudging through the humid continental jungle in a polyester-blend uniform, slapping mosquitoes the size of small children. Needless to say, I tossed my hiking ambition into the pending box for just one more day and sulked in the A/C, flipping on the Food Network.
Being from a place with a population of 2,500, you can imagine that I didn’t grow up surrounded by a lot of outside culture. Most residents had either Finnish, French-Canadian, or Native American ancestry, and 99% of the people were white. Since we were a three-hour drive from a big city (Green Bay, Wisconsin), it cost quite a bit more to get food and supplies to our neck of the woods, let alone more ‘exotic’ tastes. Continue Reading
As my undergrad career came to a close and I burrowed in academic research, the unique way that experiences translate in my mind began to make much more sense: I have a thing for nostalgia.
Everything I see and participate in somehow transforms into a massive chain of memories, thoughts, and sensory experiences that trace to various other experiences in my life, or imagined experiences that I would like to have.
When I travel, I obsess with the heart of place and people, spending my time unstructured, wandering, meeting, talking, discovering, observing, and feeling the pulse of the old soul buried under a modernized image.
I’ve grown obsessed with nostalgia, and hope to get you hooked, too.
Finally, I have my first publication, and on my favorite topic! It’s entitled “Nostalgia: A (post)modern journey through Europe.” EntreMares Magazine was absolutely wonderful to work with, and they have a great purpose and vision for their publications. All of their material is fantastic.
I invite you to read my essay and browse through the gallery of select photos of my travels to get a taste of how nostalgia drives my travel experiences. I welcome your comments.