weekly photo challenge: jubilant

Saturday, May 21:  Jubilant is an adjective: showing great joy, satisfaction, or triumph; rejoicing; exultant.  So says the Weekly Photo Challenge: Jubilant, challenging us to “end this week on a high note, with images that say jubilant.”

Here are some jubilant moments from my life:

In Hanok Village, Jeonju, South Korea, some jubilant musicians inspired all the English teachers to join in with the festivities.

jubilant Korean dancers in Hanok Village, Jeonju, South Korea
jubilant Korean dancers in Hanok Village, Jeonju, South Korea

As we took a day-long drive down the King’s Highway in Jordan, my Japanese fellow traveler Minako and I felt jubilant at different spots along the drive.  Me at the Wadi Mujib Nature Reserve and Minako at Karak Castle in Jordan.

The traditional dancers in Siem Reap, Cambodia showed a more subdued kind of jubilation.

Traditional dancers in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Traditional dancers in Siem Reap, Cambodia

I celebrated my 57th birthday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at Yod Abyssinia Restaurant, probably the most jubilant celebration I’ve ever had.

Traditional Ethiopian dancers
Traditional Ethiopian dancers

And finally, on my month-long trip through Spain and Portugal, I was inspired by the jubilant flamenco dancers at Jardines de Zoraya in Granada, Spain.

flamenco dancers at Jardines de Zoraya in Granada
flamenco dancers at Jardines de Zoraya in Granada

travel theme: silhouette

Friday, August 24:  Ailsa’s Travel Theme for this week is Silhouette.  She writes: It fascinates me how a silhouette; a two-dimensional outline of a person or object, can suggest a story just as clearly as if you could see the scene in its entirety. Perhaps it makes our imagination work overtime, trying to fill in the details we cannot see. I would love to see your interpretation of this theme, so if you would like to join in, create your own post, title it Travel Theme: Silhouette and put a link to Ailsa’s page (Where’s my backpack? Silhouette) in your post so others can find it easily.

Here’s my first silhouette, seen while driving home from Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland back home to northern Virginia.

a silhouette of trees against a cloudy sky in western Maryland

At a temple in Kyoto, Japan.

a silhouette at a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan

In Jordan, at Umm Qais.

the ruins at Umm Qais in the north of Jordan

And in Jordan, at Ajloun Castle.

silhouette at Ajloun Castle in Jordan

share your world: cee’s life questions (week #35)

Sunday, August 19:  Cee took a break for a few weeks from Share Your World, but now she’s back with a new set of questions.

What is your favorite comfort snack food?

Cheese and bread or crackers, preferably warm cheese smothered in cranberries, like this goat cheese appetizer at the Left Bank in Muscat, Oman.  As vegans, my sons would be horrified by this revelation, but some things will never change!

Comfort snack!!

At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?

Every time I travel, I feel passionate and alive.  In the RECENT past, I guess it would have to be my trip last November (2011) to Jordan, where I went to Amman, along the King’s Highway, to the Crusader castle Karak, to the Roman ruins of Jerash, to Um Qais, and to Petra.

me feeling passionate and alive in Petra

My trip to Vietnam (Hanoi & Halong Bay) in January, 2011, would have to be the second most recent time.

feeling alive and passionate near Hanoi, Vietnam!

I would say the time in the last several years that I felt most alive was the FIRST time I traveled alone in my entire life, on a two-week trip to Turkey in the summer of 2010.  I never believed I could travel to a foreign country alone, but now that I’ve done it, I actually prefer to travel this way!

alive and passionate in Cappadocia, Turkey 🙂

Basically, I feel most alive when thrust into a new situation, forced to adapt, to go with the flow, to survive!  So of course,  the last two years, living and working abroad in Korea and in Oman, have made me feel passionate and alive (for the most part)!

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

First, being a basically lazy person, it would have to be wandering aimlessly through a foreign city or town and stopping whenever I feel like it to sit at an outdoor cafe and have a snack and a glass of wine.  Wait.  Is that really an outdoor activity?

Any kind of hiking or walking, or even riding a bicycle, outside (especially in a new place) are favorite activities!

ready for an all day bikeride with a Korean fellow traveler in Kyoto, Japan

If you could have your own TV channel, what would it be about?

I know, it sounds like I have a one-track mind, but it would be about travel, about living and working abroad, about different cultures.  It would include programs about spiritual journeys, about personal growth through travel.  It would feature some of my favorite and inspirational travel writers such as Alain de Botton and Pico Iyer!

Related stories:

becoming a nomad… the art of travel

A Jaunt to Jordan

rice paddies and papayas

catbird in turkey