A friend once let me in on her secret to traveling abroad for periods by herself. “I think of traveling alone as an occasion to pamper. So I always make sure to book a time for just that anywhere I go” she counseled.
What a clever concept, I thought.
Even in a lively city, moving from sight to scene alone can oftentimes feel lonely. It’s a sad reality, but one I’ve taken to heart and now feel more prepared for. In the instances in which I visit a non-English speaking country, it becomes immediately exciting to take in the sound, the color, the kindness of strangers. But whenever I seek a more lasting comfort, I do something I call full body immersion.
I book a massage!
I’d like to think that when feeling lonely, caress is the most straightforward way to express affirmation and affection. It’s amazing how human touch affects the body after long days in a new place.
Another way to ease the muscles and mind is to run a hot bath in your hotel room. You can lie down with a book about the place where you are (I bound the cover of A Moveable Feast and brought that to Paris last summer so I could fully absorb Hemingway’s Europe without the embarrassment of feeling cliché!). And so there you are, exploring from the comfort of your tub.
Last winter, a band of my foodie friends recommended I check out Chef’s Table. I did and was immediately drawn to Fäviken, Magnus Nilsson’s restaurant. I dreamed about the quiet Swedish winters, tender game and briny vegetables, the mountains and the rivers.
My boyfriend and I were very lucky and managed to book a table (or rather, two seats at the communal table) for the first evening of the summer menu. And so, off we went to Åre, Sweden! Here are some pictures from our May trip, if you’d like to see…
Continue reading “Our trip to Fäviken”
We are perpetually made aware, necessarily so but perhaps more than we’d like to admit, of our ultimate loneliness. This is not a generational problem, though how equipped we are currently of handling the realization of our singularity is questionable. In the contemporary age, we all share on social media. We pin and request, email and message and seek to bridge all digital platforms. Collectively, we open our lives to the larger world and foster the internet of things. This connectedness is undoubtedly a feat, but it can prove to be concerning. With wide technological reach, there is need to generate higher and more sophisticated privacy settings. Data must be protected and our daily interactions with software distributed to a network of powerful albeit privilege parties. We can argue that it is by the sheer existence of security infrastructure that we latently sacrifice a sense of control.
As bell hooks argues in All About Love, privacy is easily confused with secrecy, that privacy and secrecy are now becoming more and more akin to one another and that the strength of one enhances the strength of the other. As technology grows and broadcasting more and more authorized, defined and protected, we naturally will see a heightened sense of secrecy. This argument follows:
Continue reading “manifesto”