Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

It’s become one of the things I look forward to—exploring Vancouver on my birthday.*

* It may also be something my friends dread, because I check in with the Gowalla app about 13,792,232 times.

And when I say exploring, I insult the memory of Sir Edmund Hilary and Neil Armstrong, to be sure, but I do so with the best of intentions.

No, my exploration this year took me to Metrotown, to buy gold shorts for me to wear on my Monday night ultimate team, Golden Girls. It’s a mixed team, but we’ve got spunk.  And now, we have a middle-aged guy in American Apparel gold lam? shorts.  I’m really hoping others can be convinced to wear the same.

But, short distance and commercial theme aside, it was an adventure. I haven’t been to Metro town in years, and have never ridden the Skytrain there, and if you’re poopooing that, well, guilty as changed, but when was the last time you went to a live theater performance or visited the Museum of Anthropology, or Iona Beach, or the George C. Reifel Bird Sanctuary?

And when you did that thing you rarely do, what did you think about? Where you were going to eat dinner after, and how much time was left on the parking meter? Or did you think about what you’re going to do with your life, or what the total value of human labour is that went into creating every single item in the Metrotown mall, or about the odd slice of humanity that works in an American Apparel store?

Adventure to me isn’t just about the total distance from where your usual bed is, or your height above (or below) sea level.  It’s about the attitude, that feeling that you’re doing something new, that you’re discovering something about the world and something about yourself at the same time.

It’s about savouring the potential in the every day, appreciating the sunshine and the breeze and the smell of Chinese street cart dumplings wafting down the escalator into the Skytrain, and saying: that’s what I’m having, now.

I was talking to a woman recent about traveling alone, and how, for the first little while, and intermittently, you might feel alone, but soon, you discover that you’re surrounded by so much, and the adventure you have will be all the better for being yours.

It’s been a hard year.  Not hard like last year, which had the personal and professional upheavals and the loss of important people in my life, but hard in the most ordinary sense of the word: I worked hard, I didn’t get much rest, I traveled a lot, I strengthened some weakened relationships (or tried to), made some new friends, and it was hard work handling it all.

Interestingly, this birthday comes at the end of a long busy time, and I am so looking forward to the next few months and spending time with the people most important to me. And the next few years. And the many many years after that. Life is long, and I don’t know what 2010-11 is going to be like, but I know what I’m going to try to make it: an adventure.



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Flying Back from Swan Lake

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My Basement Had Sewage In It


“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?




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