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Monday, October 26, 2009

Crunchy leaves

When you see something everyday, it becomes part of the ordinary. You don't stop and take notice because you believe it has, and will, always be there.

Living in Korea, the sights and sounds of life of Seoul faded into the background as I went about everyday tasks. Whether it was grocery shopping, riding the Metro or just going for a walk around the neighborhood, things that would seem unusual or extraordinary in the West became part of the fabric of everyday life.

Now, looking back, I can see the strangeness of it all and marvel at how that was my life for an entire year.

And so I'm making more of an effort to document those "everyday" things back home. As I take daily walks around the neighborhood, I appreciate the changing leaves and stop to observe the small details that have always been there but escaped my notice.

I've inhabited in four houses in this neighborhood over the past decade and lived my entire life (besides the dorm and apartment in college and flats in London and Seoul) in 11 different houses in DC, Maryland and Virginia within the same 30-mile radius. But rarely do I stop and notice what is special or beautiful about this area.

It's fantastic to walk around, camera in hand, and actually take notice of the scenery instead of breezing by. Certainly a change of pace for someone used to going a thousand miles an hour.


Our trip to Costa Rica is booked! December 11 to 16, the perfect time to escape Washington's cold and get back with enough time to do some pre-Christmas celebrating. We're spending at least two days near La Fortuna to explore Arenal volcano -- our hotel, Arenal Observatory Lodge, offers room views of the volcano. How cool to be lying in bed and watching a volcano erupt! Hiking the volcano is one of the things I'm most looking forward to, along with some whitewater rafting.

And then possibly on to the beach for a couple of days. We're still putting together a list of must-sees so keep the ideas coming.