Why I Travel

Why do I breathe?  I breathe air in order to sustain my life.  I drink water to stay hydrated.  I eat food to gain nourishment.  I travel to feed my soul.  Walks to the park or down the street offer one kind of solace in the everyday poetry of a day spent outside.  Local museums and shops give a sense of place, and cuisine contains a more palatable type of style.  While there is always something new to discover in a hometown, the experiences one can have traveling abroad are unparalleled.  The mechanics are the same: the food, the shops, the people going about their day.  And yet, the soul is different.  Every place has its own footprint, and these footprints leave marks on your being.  They change who you are.  By traveling abroad, I become who I will be.  Life is the sum of one’s experiences, and I plan to experience as much of the world as possible.

The Artist’s Daughter: the girl behind Hokusai’s prints

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ouihokusai

Hokusai Katsushika is known throughout the world for his masterpieces such as The Great Wave off Kanagawa, seen on many a dorm wall, and his Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji. He is the ‘father’ of Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, and can be credited with popularizing the Japanese art form in the West during the 1800s.

But it’s possible that the prolific artist had help from one of his daughters, who was also a talented ukiyo-e artist in her own right. Read on for a look at some of her spectacular pieces.

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Haters Gonna Hate

I went out with some friends last night, and two of them decided to start bashing people who grew up in my hometown.  Another guy and I who were born and raised here took offense at being called a town of self-aggrandizing bastards.  The two town-bashers said we didn’t count because we moved away for a while and it “changed us.”  I said I wasn’t ever the type of person she described, before or after moving.  She made a face and moved on to a different topic: woman bashing.

Yes, another young woman decided to bash other women.  While this wasn’t my first time dealing with a female misogynist, it was very disappointing to hear it from someone I would categorize as a decent person.  She is in her early 20s, so I decided to consider it partially a younger woman’s naivete in order to still feel comfortable being around her.  Still, I have met older women with the same values, and, unless something dramatic happens to change their minds, this negativity towards other women tends to remain.

I must have made a face or said “what” or something, because she decided to explain by saying she was like Robin from How I Met Your Mother: she doesn’t like women when she first meets them.  She said she didn’t like me when we first met, either.  Then, she and the guy who were bashing people from my hometown proceeded to say how shallow and self-absorbed women are, etc. etc.  I’m glad one of the other guys started a movie to break the mood.

It’s amazing how she and other females who “hate women” don’t understand how horrible their negative attitude is towards the betterment of women as a group.  We need to lift each other up, not tear each other down.  Why can’t they reserve judgment until they get to know someone?  Isn’t that a basic social consideration a person should have for every type of person?  I know some of the negativity is rooted in jealousy and a desire to belong to the “popular” boys’ club–a need to belong to a group with perceived power.  Also, some women do experience emotional scarring at the hands of other females in grade school, which turns into “I can’t deal with other females because they are horrible beings.”  However, boys pick on other boys, and they can still be friends with men when they grow up.

I think, as women, we should learn to reserve judgment until we learn more about the person.  Yes, sometimes I have been guilty of judging other women based on superficial things, but I think trying to keep an open mind is an important goal.  You can learn a lot about someone if you give them a chance.