“The eternal traveler syndrome is this feeling you get of not being comfortable anywhere you go because you always want to be somewhere else. It’s the feeling that you will never be happy in just one place. It’s the anxiety that comes when thinking you’re missing out on something…”
This is how Lucia and Ruben, eternal travelers and writers of the blog Algo Que Recordar (Something to Remember), define The Eternal Traveler Syndrome. And while the words aren’t my own, they could have been. As I watched their short film of the same title, I found myself nodding at every thought or feeling they described. It struck a chord, and they so beautifully articulated (and filmed) an emotion I’ve had, but couldn’t quite put into words, for so long.

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Today is World Book Day. It is also the anniversary of writers like Miguel Cervantes’ death, but that is no coincidence. In my struggle to come up with the right words to describe the significance of literature, I came across a saying that goes something like: “When you read, you live a thousand lives. When you don’t, you live just one.” Given that I have just revealed to you one of the secrets to immortality, you may want to head out (or online) and grab some books.

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I have found my favorite photo-editing app. I know, I know, it’s been around for a while you say, but as a non-early adopter of technology, I only recently started using VSCO. It is so simple to use, and makes even the average-joe photos look stunning. Their film presets are all natural and beautiful, and will never turn your photos orange (yes, we’re looking at you Instagram). The best part? VSCO Grid is not a social network. It takes out all the unnecessary distractions like followers and likes to focus on the most important thing: creative photography.

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olend backpack in green

I came across Ölend the way one usually finds beautiful things: by accident. And when I discover something this unique, I go to great lengths to find out all about it. Adriana Dumon and Fran Rios started making backpacks by hand for their friends. They loved doing this so much that they turned it into a business. Ölend is an example of the comeback of slow fashion – a return to small-batch production and the use of locally-sourced materials. The Barcelona natives’ love for the craft is what keeps their young entrepreneurial spirits alive, despite a dismal Spanish economy that does not readily support young business owners. Inspired by the alpinist’s packs of the 50s, each canvas backpack is made-to-order, and all colors and trims are picked by the customer. People are catching on and business is flourishing. Even in the midst of a full schedule of orders, Adriana still took the time to answer my questions.

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There is a scene in many movies where the girl is in a record/book store, flipping through vinyls/books, and some slick guy comes up next to her to start making conversation about whatever title/artist/author she is looking at. If movies actually depicted reality, that scene could happen in The Truck Store. But in reality, it’s a Hollywood fabrication to appeal to all the hopeless romantics out there, because these indie record stores are fighting to survive and increasingly harder to find! If you read my post about Oxford earlier this week, you may have noticed I mentioned The Truck Store. The shop is a rare gem belonging to the dying breed of independent record stores. It’s a place for vinyl collectors, music connoisseurs, people still stuck in the 80s, and those who believe their life is secretly a movie.

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As clearly illustrated by the New York Film Academy, only 8% of directors of general feature releases are women. And so, in response to this evident disparity, the Birds Eye View Film Festival was created, which began as just an hour-long event filled with shorts by emerging female filmmakers. Twelve years later, the festival continues to champion some of the brightest female filmmakers of our time.

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With a Friday off work, and an urge to explore, a friend and I decided to spend the day in Oxford. We got on a bus from Victoria station, and headed north-west, into the green English countryside. It felt good to leave the grey chaos of London behind, and slow down from our usual walking pace. We wandered through one of the most visited cities in England, though trying to appear as local as possible.

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GOOD READS Everywhere

A word of caution: none of these books are new. Nor are they on this year’s NYT best sellers list, or on the entry table as you walk into your local bookstore. They are, as the title simply suggests, good reads. And while they may not be the hot pick for book clubs this month, a good read is always a good read; worth revisiting if you’ve already shelved them.

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MONDAY TUNES: #7 Everywhere

I like songs with a story. Maybe it’s because I like writing them. Stories, I mean. I also like music videos with a story; these short films that reveal a song’s narrative. And then there’s our story; the one that we think about when we hear a song. There’s always a place where we first heard the song, and the people it reminds us of become the characters. It turns out there can be several stories in just one song…

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We’re looking forward to longer days and pushing the clocks ahead this weekend. We’re looking at a diary full of summer plans, future travels, and a best friend’s wedding. We’re looking forward to a Barcelona music festival in May, and the beginning of Texan heat in June. We’re anxious about graduations, finishing a chapter, and opening new books. We’re looking forward to family visits in London and August in Madrid. We’re looking at our emails for promising results; looking forward to hearing back from that writing contest entered last month. We’re looking forward a lot lately, because sometimes seeing what’s ahead is the only way to stay calm in the present. Looking ahead shows us the point of not giving up today. Where we are now is the only place that will get us to what we’re really looking forward to.

[Photo credit: c/o Carmen Gonzalez]
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