Quote of the Week

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Find Emerson’s Essays at your local bookstore

Mug available from AlexisScottDesigns on Etsy

Pink and blue sunset over a suburban street

Why Do We Create?

A tiny gold sculpture of a goat
A small gold sculpture of a goat, discovered during the excavation of Akrotiri

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Akrotiri archaeological site on Santorini island in Greece, along with a couple of museums housing works of art discovered at the site.  Observing items that were created thousands of years before the common era led me to think about humans’ desire to make art.  The pieces on display were not limited to pottery designed to hold water and foodstuffs, nor to religious symbols.  There were elaborate wall paintings and meticulously crafted sculptures of animals and human figures.  Like other artists throughout history, these people of the distant past devoted time and scarce resources to producing beautiful objects that served no obvious utilitarian purpose.  Our drive to make things that we don’t really need is unique to humans and appears to be deeply ingrained.  Why do we do it?

Read more

How to Pack for a Two-Week Vacation with Only a Carry-On

A carry-on-size suitcase, tote bag, and water bottle - all you need for your vacation

In response to my last post, several people expressed surprise at my ability to pack for an international vacation with only a carry-on suitcase. As a follow-up, I thought I’d share some details about how I pack. Most of my longer trips have been in the summer, and some of these tips apply best to warm-weather travel, but others are useful year-round.

Read more

The Unexpected Benefits of International Travel

Sun setting next to an Ancient Greek temple to Poseidon
Poseidon Temple, Sounio, Greece

I’ve been lucky to have had a number of opportunities to travel abroad, starting with a school trip to Europe when I was 15.  So far, I’ve traveled to locations in North, Central, and South America; Western Europe; and Australia.  There are many, many more places I hope to go.  Travel is expensive, but to me, the experiences are well worth making sacrifices in other areas.  The world is a big place, full of beauty and adventures waiting to be had.  In addition to the obvious, here are a few less expected benefits of traveling.

Read more