Saturday, January 15, 2011

Something old, but something new: a personal post

So I was reading a post by Michelle from Fluttering Blutterflies who mentioned that she sometimes wishes that book bloggers could sometimes step away from blogging solely about books to interject and share something a little more personal about themselves in order to get to know bloggers a little better.

I have to say that as much as I love blogging about books, I found myself agreeing with her, because at the back of my mind, it was always something that I wanted to do. I currently have 3 blogs, 2 of which are personal and one of which is book related.

Frankly, it is hard to manage them all and I have to admit that I’ve neglected my personal blogs. I’ve put off from sharing anything personal because I wasn’t sure if it would be well-received or not.

But, I realised that this is my blog and I know that not all will be interested in these get-to-know-me personal posts, but I’ve made a choice and decided that I’m going to post something personal once a week, anyway.

You of course aren’t obliged to read it, but I’d love it if you did. And don’t worry, I’m not going to neglect my book blog posts at all – they’ll still be as active as ever, if not more, now that I’m balancing it out with something personal every now and then.

So without further ado, here’s a little something that I’ve posted about one of my favourite interests outside of books. I’ve posted it a while back on my personal blog, but have always wanted to share this with readers.

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Something old, but something new

The nomadic lifestyle of the gypsy has always fascinated me.

Perhaps I romanticize the notion of the gypsy life, but there is an untouched and untamed beauty in the lifestyle of wanderlust-filled souls that often makes me long to walk the paths they walk and travel the off-the-beaten track journeys that they do.

That they can take up the courage to travel like that and not worry about what tomorrow will bring (like so many of us do), simply because they're living in the now of the moment, speaks of an unshakeable faith in something that is far larger than the earthly soil that they walk on.

What we label as sheer recklessness, they label as unbridled faith in living every day, one step at a time.

Of course, I'm not blind to the fact that living the lifestyle of a gypsy doesn't come without its perils or without its impracticalities, but I can't help but be charmed by their quaint way of living and travelling.

Over the past few months, I've found that I have fallen prey to that restless feeling that gypsies so often lay claim to.

I've been longing to try something new and to move on to something different. And I've been yearning to leave a physical mark somewhere beyond the borders of the big blue seas. I've been searching for a place under the yellow-hearted sun where my voice could be silent, and yet be heard.

And it's here where the something new comes in. (In reference to my subject title)

You see, I'm quite aware that I'm not within the financial means to get up, walk on out and travel the world (I'll still get there someday) to explore new sights and taste the flavours of a thousand cultures on my tongue.

But - I have always had the makings of a gypsy soul and have decided if I can't physically go where I want go, I'll bring where I want to go right to my doorsteps. (This is after all, a stepping stone toward the right direction, right?)

And all this in the form of a lost, beautiful art that so many people have neglected simply because the world of technology has taken over and started governing our lives.

That lost art is the hand-written letter.

And what better way to get in touch with a world of other cultures and reacquaint myself with the long-lost art of hand-written letters than to join a penpal website.

It's a decision I haven't regretted at all.

It's the meeting of a world of people from countries I've never even heard of and getting that chance to go back to basics of the good old-fashioned snail-mail writing that has brought me back my joy again.

It's the tingling excitement of coming home to discover a package in the post waiting for me, and opening it to unleash the wealth of words from beneath the folds of that envelope…

Most importantly, it's knowing that someone out there, from a different culture and a different background has taken the time out to put their thoughts on paper (and not just a quick hi, how are you email) and is willing to send it across the ocean to share them with me.

Over the last couple of months since I've joined, I've made wonderful new friendships from across the world. Currently I have penpals from the US (Arizona), Austria, Hungary, Holland, 2 from Germany and 1 from South Korea.

 Hearing about the history, culture and everyday lives from friends all over the world has, for me, become a way of travelling the world, through someone else's eyes.

And if I can't travel right now, then travelling through the world as seen through my pen pals' eyes is something I'm more than happy with right now. After all, I've made some pretty great friendships… ones that I certainly hope will last a lifetime.

P.S. Didn’t have time to take photos of my desk or my letters, but I’ll do a post on the interesting things that I’ve received from my penpals and take some photos  then :)

6 comments:

Jenny said...

Oh my gosh that is so fantastic Tammy! I can't even remember the last time I've gotten an actual hand written letter, not a card with a signature, but an actual letter. Not in years and years! What a fabulous way to get to know people in other countries, and who doesn't love to receive a note from someone? Love this post and this idea of a personal post every now and then, I like getting to know my blogging friends outside of their book choices!

Straylights said...

OOH pen pals! That sounds like fun! I don't remember the last time I got a hand written letter either....unless birthday cards count....which I'm pretty sure they don't :(

Loved learning a little bit more about you :D

Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

I absolutely loved this post, Tammy! I love writing and receiving letters because I think so many people forget those small, personal touches these days. A while back, I joined something called Soldier's Angels where I correspond with soldiers overseas and send them words of encouragement, books, all that stuff...it's amazing to know that just a few hand-penned words can truly make someone's day :)

Jan von Harz said...

Tammy, I have always had a bit of the Wanderlust in me too, and hope that perhaps I can sate that when I retire.

My father was a letter writer, and only recently has had to stop due to his age and health. But when I lived half a country away I loved receiving his letters.

I think it is awesome you are using this lovely form of communication and I also am very glad that you have decided to do personal posts.

Aisle B said...

ah ha! I knew you were a gypsy souled girl with pixie wings!

Actually getting a handwritten letter far outbeats the speediness of emails, n'est pas. It is an art form that is quickly being lost since e -tech has arrived. In the shuffle to get everything now or yesterday, we've forgotten the pleasure of seeing a stamped envelope with promises of countries far beyond our reach.

If you like I can send you a postcard via MTL. Just send me your mailing address and you can pop it into your collection.

I can't believe you have 3 blogs! I can't keep up with the 1 I have and you have 3! WOW I am impressed.

Kisses to you from the North where snow reigns and icicles form at the tips of our noses. Brrrrrr...

Clover said...

I absolutely adore this post Tammy. Thank you for writing it. I've always been interested in travelling and seeing the world. I think that wanderlust is in me too, despite being hugely settled in my life right now. But I did move continents at 18 so that aspect of me seriously peeks out sometimes.

I love the idea of recieving a hand-written letter. Such a beautiful and lost art. I had a penpal twice in my life. Once in a middle grade Spanish class, I was assigned a penpal from the Dominican Republic. I was devastated when she never sent a response after the first letter. Just one letter each qualified us both for passing credit, but I wanted to know more about her life and school! :(

Later, I had another penpal. We didn't have similar ideas about what was suitable to write to each other about and it petered out fairly quickly. Such disappointment. I'm not sure I could handle anymore.

Lovely to read a more personal post from you :)