I live in the future

Cambodia and Thailand are 11 hours ahead of home. I live the whole day before the people I love have even woken up. So I wrote this poem about the way I feel here in the future.

I live in the future
And in the future
I lean out of windows
Gazing into the heat
Letting my hair cascade into the past
For my friends to use
As a ladder into my mind

In the future
I go fast
Kicking up the dust in my lungs
And the tuk tuk drivers
Make me feel safer
Than my last love ever could

In the future
My heart is steady
It doesn’t get dressed
Or put on makeup
It simply is fully loved as herself
Warm and beating
Basking in the sun

 

In the future
I am so free
And the whole wide world
Will watch the sunrise alongside me
And the sunrise
For all her heat and struggle
Will let me through the clouds of doubt
And she will hold me close
Letting me love her
In my broken way

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Dear California,

I woke up this morning with California on my mind, so naturally, I wrote it a letter.

 

Dear California,

You are magic. I bet all the girls tell you that. But it’s true, and I mean it.

I’ve been thinking about the first time I ever saw your Sequoias. I was only eleven or twelve, and it is one of the only things I remember about being that age. I was a small child and there was so much snow that I thought I would disappear into it. But that was nothing compared to how small I felt standing next to the trees. They were impossible, and yet I was looking right at them.

I think one of my favorite things about you is your transience, or my ability to be transient while I’m with you. I can have my pick of landscapes: desert, city, sandy beach, rocky beach, mountains, forests. You have all of it. You’re dusty and massive, quiet and dreamy, minimal and contrasting. I welcome every change of your landscape. It is an echo of the ever-changing nature of my own heart. We are both fickle in our own ways.

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When I was in university, I would sometimes tell people, “I’m from California.” A lie, of course. A nice thing to pretend, at least. At 22, I rented a car and drove up highway 1 in pursuit of clarity and romance. I don’t remember if I got either of those things, but I do remember that I pulled over every fifteen minutes just so I could run to the sea shore and stick my toes in the water.

The last time I was with you, I was heartbroken in my own small way. I stayed with you for a while and let your magic heal me just a little bit. There I was, traveling up highway 1 again, farther this time and not alone. With every turn there was something breathtaking. At times like that you have to be careful and make sure your heart’s still beating. We came to a cold, rocky beach near your northern border and I listened to the ocean flow through me. I explored caves and cliffs. I climbed up and down every rock that I could. And I discovered your redwood forests for the first time. I think you might be hiding fairies in there.

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It’s been almost two years since I’ve seen you. I don’t think about you every day, though maybe I should. But I think about you when it matters, like right now, on a cloudy Thursday. And I think about how we are both living lives of movement, and even with all the dust that shakes up, it’s a beautiful thing.

 

Hope to see you soon,

-ee

 

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Balkan Adventures

A couple of weeks ago, I rented a car and drove with some friends to Matka Canyon in Macedonia and Rugova Gorge in Kosovo. It was glorious. Cars are wonderful things.

(Here are bits of a poem I wrote last week)

We shake too much.

That’s our problem.

My breaths

My knees

Your hands

The rental car

 

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There’s a canyon just outside the city.

“Let’s go” I said.

You wove the car through narrow roads,

following the Macedonian signs.

There was a mosque

(with double minorets!).

You braked so I could take a picture.

 

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The canyon was cold.

We walked the path along the water’s edge

stopping every few feet to gape at the mountains

“Around one more bend!” we said,

over and over again.

You like to have a destination,

I don’t.

 

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The rental’s tire was shaky

so we turn back too soon

before we reach the valley,

and before we reach the wild fields that slope out of Kosovo

and roll eventually into Montenegro

 

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But the canyon is enough for me,

Because it is just cold enough

to make me shake.

 

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I’m going to be traveling in England and a tiny bit in Paris over the next two weeks! Be sure to follow me on Instagram (@elizabeth_ee) if you want to keep up with my adventures :) Happy holidays and happy travels!

-Eliza

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Montenegro Part 2: Podgorica

Crystal and I were incredibly sad to leave Ulcinj, but she had a flight out of Podgorica, so we took a beautiful bus ride along the coast and through the mountains to Montenegro’s capital city. I had read before hand that as far as cities go, Podgorica was pretty dull. I get that. There’s nothing much to see there really (except giant transformer-like sculptures everywhere…?), but the river and the surrounding mountains make it beautiful in its own way. Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset We stayed in a great little apartment-turned-hostel with the friendliest and most helpful owner. We found a sushi restaurant which was heaven, and we also found a thrift store which made Podgrocia the most wonderful city in the world to me at that moment. IMG_5269 IMG_5276-1 The best thing in Podgorica through, has to be the cafe/bookstore, Karver. It is situated by the river and underneath a bridge, surrounded by green space and beautiful blooming trees. There was cool, colorful graffiti covering a lot of the bridge which reminded me of the Atlanta beltline. The cafe itself is actually an old turkish bathhouse that has been converted into a coffee shop and bookstore. It is the loveliest. I went there three times during my brief stay in Podgorica. One night was their anniversary so they had live jazz and a very young eclectic crowd. It’s a fantastic place. IMG_5264 IMG_5262 IMG_5257 Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset Thanks for being you, Podgorica.

Where I stayed: Hostel Podgorica

Best place I ate at: Wasabi Sushi Bar

Favorite Cafe: Karver

Favorite thing I did: Thrift store shopping (there are several in the city center)

Montenegro part 1: Ulcinj