Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Travels with Duffy

Hello, and thanks for reading (if anyone is even reading this).  This is the first post of my travel blog while I study abroad for a year in England.  I wanted to do a travel blog to partly keep in touch with friends and family from back home, while also having a place where I can share my European adventures through my photographs and words...which brings me to the title of this blog:  No Reason to Paint.  I know it sounds like a weird title for a travel blog, but I wanted a title that would be a little different from most travel blogs.  I got the idea from an Edward Hopper quote, "If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint."  While I can respect painters of every kind, and don't have anything against the medium, it takes a lot for me to really enjoy or even love a painting.  I lack the ability to appreciate the finer details or work that goes into them since it's not the medium I work with.  Hopper, however, is one of those few painters whose work I love, whether it's a painting of one of his landscapes or of the people who inhabit them, there is always an inherently lonely, and often sublime quality to his work.  However, unlike Hopper, I do have words (and my camera) to express what I am feeling or going through, so I find I personally have no reason to paint.

Next thing that probably needs explaining - Duffy.  I'll preface this by saying I have a strong love for Disney & Disneyland.  I've been raised on it, and it has a deep place in my heart.  Duffy is one of Disney's newest merchandising ideas that they've released.  The story is that before Mickey left to sail around the world, Minnie made him a teddy bear named Duffy to take on his travels so he wouldn't get lonely.  (Now, the feminist that my liberal writing & humanities classes has made me wonders why Minnie didn't get to travel the world with Mickey...but the girl in me thinks Duffy is super cute, which cancels out the need for Duffy's back-story to be p.c.)

This is a Duffy key-chain I got at Disneyland.  He's posing next to my favorite book, Travels with Charley in Search of America.
Which brings me to the subtitle:  Travels with Duffy in Search of Myself.  It's cheesy, I know, but I'm hoping this year abroad will help me decide what area of creativity I want to focus on in the future - photography or creative writing.  As you can probably tell, I love to write, and often go into long-winded explanations of everything...probably not so great for a blog.  (Which means I have something to work on!)  So far I've spent most of my college career focusing on photography since I was able to get into those classes a few semesters before the writing/lit. classes, and my use of the written word has kind of suffered for it.  Hopefully I can take this year abroad to concentrate on my writing to see if there is any hope for me in the literary department, as well as helping me get an idea of what to focus on in my future endeavors.  I also hope to learn more about myself in the process of moving somewhere new, and by challenging myself to start over in a new country and at a new school.  I always feel I learn more about myself when in difficult situations or a new environment.  So hopefully I can learn more about myself, as well as build myself up to be someone better for having studied abroad.

So what you can expect from this blog:
-Lots and lots of photos!  Especially of all the architecture and amazing buildings in Europe!
-Really long, wordy posts (which I will work on making brief.)
-Some advice when traveling/studying abroad.
-Hopefully some interesting, informative knowledge about Europe...but through the eyes of a 21 year old girl, you might be out of luck.

We'll just have to see how it goes!

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