Yay!  Another set of questions from Cee: Cee’s Life Photography Blog: Share Your World (Week 16)!! I love her questions that make me think about things I don’t normally think about… 🙂

If you had a choice, which would be your preference: salt water beaches, fresh water lakes, hot tub, or desert?

I love fresh water lakes.  They’re so refreshing and lovely, surrounded as they often are by trees and lakeside cabins.  I love floating docks and canoes, motorboats and sailboats.  Back in the day, I went often to Lake Gaston, on the border of Virginia and North Carolina, and stayed at a year-round tent my friend’s mother had set up on a lot there.  We used to play card games, sunbathe and swim from the floating dock, and water ski during the days. When night came, we would go skinny-dipping; usually we could be counted on to get into some kind of trouble. 🙂

me, Rosie, Louise and Charlene at Lake Gaston in 1973.  Best friends then and still great friends today... :-)

me, Rosie, Louise and Charlene at Lake Gaston in 1973. Best friends then and still great friends today… 🙂

Last summer, between working in Korea and Oman, I went with my family to Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland.  The boys went wakeboarding and waterskiing.  We played games, took the motorboat around the lake, sat in the hot tub, ate homemade ice cream and walked around the lake.  I love lakes!!

Deep Creek Lake, August 2011

What book do you think everyone should read and why?

The Art of Travel is a wonderful book by one of my favorite writers of all time: Swiss writer Alain de Botton.  He writes about various subjects in a philosophical manner, focusing on the subject’s relevance to everyday life. In The Art of Travel, de Botton explores why we should travel and how we can be less miserable and unfulfilled as we do so.  Traveling can be uncomfortable; it takes us out of our zone of familiarity and thrusts us into a strange world that can be disorienting.  But it can also teach us about ourselves, prod us to push the outer edges of the envelope of our lives.  Travel can be a discovery of who we are, the good, the bad and the ugly.  In all our questionable glory…..

He talks about travel from the first inkling that comes to a person.  The idea of a place takes hold of a person, then germinates.  There are dreams about the culture, based on something that has struck a chord, possibly a book, a movie, a documentary, music, a painting, a photograph, a person met at random.  Imaginings take hold.  He talks about how travel can be a disappointment, troublesome, irritating, highly uncomfortable and inconvenient.  Yet.  It can also be exotic, delightful, poetic, seductive.  Longings are awakened.  Curiosity blooms.  Boredom happens, but in the midst of boredom, awe and nostalgia and a new way of seeing are brought to life.

I write about how his book inspired me to be a nomad in my blog titled: becoming a nomad … the art of travel.

What’s your favorite way to wake up and what’s the first thing you do?

My favorite way to wake up is with the windows open, curtains billowing into the room, in a strange town.  I love to stretch my body every which way and imagine the whole day ahead to explore this new place. Then I like to lounge around in my pajamas for a bit, drink some coffee, and plan my adventure.

one of many favorite places to wake up ~ Siem Reap, Cambodia

one of many favorite places to wake up ~ Siem Reap, Cambodia

“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” 🙂 ~ Freya Stark (my heroine!!)

What do you do to relax?

I will squeeze in a relaxing activity at any spare moment I can find.  I have relaxation down to an art, and I can think of any number of ways to soothe my soul.  Writing my blog and reading, mostly fiction or travelogues, rate at the top of the list. Lately, I love taking walks anywhere with my camera in hand.  Having the camera along helps me to really SEE what is around me.  I love to watch movies, especially romantic comedies or sweeping historical romances like Doctor Zhivago, The English Patient or The Painted Veil. I adore pedicures and any kind of massage or body scrub at a spa. And I love browsing on the anthropologie website.  I find dreaming about and planning my travels relaxing. Last, I love to have a glass of wine or two at a nice bar where I can listen to live music, especially with someone dear to me.

To see my extensive reading list, check out goodreads: cathy’s books.