The Fernweh-farer: Restart

Updated: Oct 24, 2019

So, it has been four months since my last post. What the hell, right? Why? Well, the answer is life dictating behavior. While I began with every true intention, and still intend, to preserve a regular posting schedule, occasionally life sends flashing neon roadside signals that implore, “unplug awhile and get the next few events right.”


What was I seeking to get right? First off, I returned from a six month round-the-world trip to family and friends. These represent highly valued connections I had spent roughly a decade away from on the other side of the country. One of the compelling reasons behind my furlough from corporate life was this reconnection. Given that I immediately embarked on a journey that quadrupled that distance (looking at you Southeast Asia), I knew it only right to devote some attention to those most meaningful to me upon return.  


First things first...Mom's homemade cornbread

I immediately soaked up the experience of attending family birthdays in-person where before I was merely a two-dimensional video presence. I happily joined local restaurant and brewery excursions to verify if our regional cuisines and lagers could spar with the highlights I experienced across the globe - you know, in the name of scientific study!


But largely, I rested. I sat. I observed. I soaked it all in.


The unmistakable beauty of Middleton Place - Charleston, SC

One recognizes the importance of these influencers in your life when great distance creates geographic segregation. As a creator, I am fixed with the desire to share, and to share with those who know you best is both exhilarating and terrifying in an odd way. There is nothing to hide behind as they know your expressions and tone more than any stranger-turned-acquaintance every can.


Another contributing factor to “putting down the pen” is that you inevitably spend the first weeks post-trip reliving those highlights and challenges through shared stories and welcomed Q&A sessions. Trying to couple this with dedicated writing sessions can lead to oversaturation and, perhaps, skew the narrative unfairly.  I hoped to take time away from the last half of the destinations of the journey to soak and reflect on the moments. Perhaps this would lead to a different perspective versus posts constructed so near to the experience during the first half of the trip.



Do not confuse this approach for a lack of documentation. Carved out in my limited carry-on luggage space was a burgeoning collection of physical journals that expanded as quickly as ones waistline in Singapore food hawker centers over five months on the road. These bound collections of hard stock and notepaper will remain one of my most prized tactile possessions that I hope to look back on in later years with warmth and affection. One purchased in a roadside stationery shop no bigger than a studio apartment in Chiang Mai. Another picked up in what I suspect is Tbilisi’s version of Dollar General. A little bit of everything under the Eurasian sun.


Just the physical presence and image of the diaries conjure memories and expectation for what my scribbled notes that accumulated in coffee shops, beer gardens, cathedral steps and plastic metro seats will reveal and refresh for me.


Austin Beerworks taproom

Just as I was ready to ruminate and share once again, life threw another stop sign in the form of a home purchase. The clarity of a desire to build a home base strained my bandwidth in the usual trappings of relocation. In August, I decided that Austin would be the perfect new home for both Tucker and I, and so we made the move to the land where everything is bigger.


We are settled in and I am opening my eyes to what is next creatively. After a lengthy period of living in the Pacific Northwest, a return to the southern half of the country has long been in the back of my mind. The South has always been home and will be going forward. Yet, I remain a traveler and a visual documenter of those travel at heart…and that will only grow in the near future.


So…I rested. I sat. I observed. I soaked it all in. Now, I plan. I create. Stay tuned…

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© 2020 by John C. Jordan Photography