Choices

Is anybody else ever saddened by the fact that by the choices you make and opportunities you take, you’re by default losing out on other choices and opportunities? That it’s impossible to live in or even visit all the countries that exist, meet people from every cultural group (some countries having a very large number of subcultures), learn all the world’s languages, work all the types of jobs you want to try out, take all the courses you want to take, obtain an in-depth knowledge of all the topics that interest you, have all the experiences you want? To me, this realization is crushing.

Why You Should Visit Charleston, SC

I just got back from another trip to Charleston, SC. Charleston is one of my favorite cities to visit, for many reasons. Although it attracts many visitors from near and far, there is a lot more to Charleston than cheap tourist attractions.

First is its historical relevance. Charleston played big roles in both the Revolutionary and American Civil Wars. The oldest museum in North America is the Charleston Museum, located in the heart of the city on Meeting Street. The small entrance fee is well worth the experience you get perusing the amazing exhibits. You can also tour many old houses. For example, I’ve toured the Edmonton-Alston House. Not only was the architecture interesting, but the house looks out on Fort Sumter, where the “shot heard ‘round the world” that started the Civil War, was fired. The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon is another highly historical institution that offers guided tours for a small fee. Visitors can also tour the USS Yorktown, which served as a WWII battleship/aircraft carrier. The Battery is an enjoyable part of the city to walk around. It was used as defense for the city during the Civil War.

Shoppers love Charleston! The City Market has been a venue for buying and selling produce, wares, and (more recently) souvenirs since its inception in the 1700’s. It is actually the most popular tourist destination in the city! There you can also buy sweet grass baskets, for which the Gullah people of Charleston are so well-known.

Because of Charleston’s long and interesting history, there are many places there deemed to be haunted. Whether or not you buy into that sort of thing, the ghost tours available are definitely fun to experience. Angel Oak has been a beloved resident tree of Charleston for all of its 400-500 years. Many people believe they have seen the ghosts of enslaved people floating around the tree at night.

It is hard for me to keep from taking too many pictures while I am there. I find myself considering everything picture-worthy. Both the uniquely-Charlestonian architecture and the natural beauty of the ocean, lakes, marshes, gardens, Spanish moss, and wildlife are captivating. This makes Charleston a great place for professional and amateur photographers, alike!

If you’re into outdoorsy activities, the city has many islands with beach access for enjoying the water. Paddleboarding, kayaking, boating, bicycling, swimming and fishing are all popular sports here.

One thing everybody can agree on enjoying is food. Charleston is known for their soul food and seafood. Bessenger’s BBQ, Swig and Swine, Hyman’s Seafood, and Charleston Crab Shack are some of my favorites.

Every time I go back to Charleston there is more to see and do. It truly is a magical city, and I would highly recommend it to anyone, as it has something for everyone to enjoy.

Starting a Postcard Collection

Deltiology is the study and collection of postcards. I have been playing with the idea of starting a collection, myself, although I’ve considered myself a minimalist for eight years now. As a child, I collected stickers, stationery, beanie babies, troll dolls, and My Little Ponies. However, I haven’t been a collector of anything in several years, especially anything non-consumable (for example, I have several bottles of different nail polish colors).

Some people collect postcards that have been sent to them by others. Some collect antique postcards they happen to find while browsing antique shops or specifically set out to find by browsing eBay or other online sites. Others enjoy collecting postcards from a specific niche or subject area, such as funny postcards or postcards that showcase teddy bears.

Still others enjoy collecting postcards from their own travels as mementos from the trips. It is a goal of mine to travel more frequently (I know I am hardly alone in this), and I think it would be a neat idea to write travel memories on the back of postcards I find during those travels. Although postcards aren’t the most unique travel souvenir, it’s not surprising why so many people collect them. They are easy to find, cheap, light, compact, and can be easily stored or displayed. They could also act as an homage to my love of writing.

Do you have any collections that are special to you? Why did you decide to collect what you collect?

Enjoying the Present Instead of Documenting the Past

I used to be an avid amateur photographer. Whenever I traveled somewhere new or did something new or exciting, I’d make sure to bring my camera along and get pics of EVERYTHING (and multiple angles of each, in some cases). It made a time I should have been having fun and enjoying myself a little less enjoyable and relaxful and a lot more stressful and onerous. Finally, I realized that I was spending my time documenting the past, as the experiences I photographed are technically part of the past once they’re over. I decided to begin soaking up each experience and participating in it fully by putting the camera down and living in the present. I achieved two things: 1) I now enjoy each experience much, much more and 2) My memories of each experience are much more pleasant. I haven’t stopped taking pictures, but I’m happy getting a few, and taking them with other people as opposed to scenery/landmarks.

In which ways have you been inspired to live more in the present?