When I stopped blogging, I halfheartedly told myself that I’d start up again, although I knew even before I stopped that once I did it would be over. My blog had been perfectly organized for something like over twenty months: I always provided pictures to match my words (sometimes only pictures if I was lazy), I split up larger entries to make sure no one was overwhelmed by massive rolls of text, I updated every week, or every five days, or every three days, like clockwork, never missing a post. It was perfectly organized and five months into the project I was bored and kind of hated it but kept at it thanks to the force of momentum that was carrying me on, even as, with a couple of exceptions, the posts themselves began to lack any love or really any sort of notable effort at all; they grew stale and uninteresting and by the time I quit, with fifteen posts still in the queue, it felt more like I was putting the old thing out of its misery than taking an unfortunate but necessary break, as I pretended.

But in a sense the structured layout of my blog’s previous life reflected the (relatively) organized travel that I was recording. Either I was working, or studying, or executing and enjoying six weeks of meticulously planned travel. I was not doing what I am doing now. I am not really sure what “what I am doing now” even is yet.

Right now, I have no pictures to share (they are on my camera and will remain there until I return to the States). You will probably be overwhelmed by massive rolls of incoherent text. And I can make no promise that I’ll write again in the next week and certainly not in the next three days. But I hope that I can bring back some of the honest passion and storytelling that inspired me to write in the first place.

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This is an announcement of a hiatus.

While I love this blog and have put a lot into it over the past year and a half, suddenly being back on campus again — and having to squeeze in a year’s worth of academics into a semester while somehow maintaining something that resembles a healthy social life — has forced me to realize that I really ought to cut down on my responsibilities. This is something I’ve never done before — cut down, I mean — which can mean one of two things: 1) I have matured over the past year and have a better awareness of my capacities and more importantly, my limits 2) I really went for it this semester (and we’re barely into week 2), which is seriously saying something, because I’m a lot of things but a wimp when it comes to a challenge isn’t one of them. I don’t know which one of those it is, nor which one I want it to be.

You’ll see me again as India grows closer — and I still have a lot from this summer that I want to write about — but for the next couple months, it’s crunch time!

I can’t say I’m fond of the expression “hidden gem” and how it seems to be overused in travel writing (“this place is totally a hidden gem which is why I’m writing about it and now it won’t be hidden anymore!”) — particularly when I see it misused, as in “gem in the rough”, talk about mixing your metaphors — but I have to concede that if we were to take the idiom and apply it to national parks, White Sands would fit nicely. Each time I go all I can think is along the lines of WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE KNOW ABOUT THIS?! More importantly, why isn’t EVERYONE clamoring to be here right now!?

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You can’t tell me you can look at that — miles on miles on miles of white sand dunes, soft and cool over your feet, absolute silence in a form we modern people rarely if ever get to find, and here, the sunset approaching in the distance — and not see something spectacular, even on the scale of America’s beautiful national parks.

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