Internal Conflict and Cat Memes


Chinese symbol for internal conflict

So well, I have a very small problem.  I no longer know whether I have a travel blog or a blog about the world I am seeing.  Since I began my serious traveling in August 2014, I have been writing mostly chirpy stories. Travel makes me happy.  Although I have seen hardship, I guess I saw it through my own optimistic lens.

And then in January, travel led me to some of the most important experiences in my life and many are hard to wrap in optimism.


Life jacket graveyard on Lesvos, symbol of hardship and injustice and war

So over the past four months, I have described some difficult truths about the circumstances of the refugees and the fucked up politicians one day, and on another day I have shared happier stories about Lesvos and Greece and Armenia.

This week, the back and forth felt really extreme. One day, I wrote about Sayed’s traumatic journey to Europe. And the next day, I described an Armenian cook’s failed attempt to make pad thai and a great salmon dinner.  It was just too much dissonance.


Where Armenia and America meet at the intersection of frivolous and clueless

Thinking about it, I decided will have to be more Buddhist about it and accept that there is so much good and so much hardship in the world. And just be grateful and mindful and compassionate about all of it.

So the next time I describe something that seems (1) important but very troubling or (2) happy but arguably trivial, you will know that I am not forgetting about the one while I am writing about the other.

And just when I thought I had this all worked out, my new friend Emmanuel put it all in perspective with this posting on Facebook:

When it all gets to be too much, cat memes.
“should you be on the computer?
” what are you doing with the vacuum cleaner?




  1. So your blog will reflect the contrast between the light and the dark, the tragic and the ludicrous, and the sublime and ridiculous parts that compose both ourselves and our fractured world.


  2. Kim,
    Your blog, *all* of it, has been a wonderful gift for me so far.

    Whatever it covers, it’s really about you, and who you are comes across as a consistent,wise and very decent whole. Cat memes, fine, but you don’t need them. Your truth is clearly truth, in a world where truth gets scarcer by the day.

  3. Thank you for putting all these feelings into perspective. It’s an important part of life if we are to thrive.

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