Sunday, August 28

Jolly good!

I'm in England, drinking tea, eating buttered toast with strawberry jam, looking out a huge window... and the street view reminds me so much of the animated 101 Dalmations movie. Classic London architecture and leafy green trees.

My journey was uneventful until I arrived at King's Cross Station and discovered my destination tube stop, Angel, was closed. I conferred with a policeman who said, "you look tough," and decided to walk. With 130+ pounds worth of luggage. Up what I can only assume is London's only San Franciscan hill, because London is always flat when I'm not acting as my own pack mule.

Friday, August 26

Mountains, banks, & cheesecake

Today I'm waiting on UPS to deliver my passport and UK visa. And then I'll buy a plane ticket, hopefully in time to avoid the hurricane.

The past two weeks have been chaotic. But chaos energizes me. I kind of love it. A few days ago, after I'd applied for my visa, I started getting stir crazy. By noon on Wednesday, I'd almost booked a plane ticket back to Wyoming so I wouldn't miss Signal's annual Christmas party. (It's an old tradition, having Christmas on August 25 when everyone is together. It started in Yellowstone, but we do it better.)

Taken from here.

I miss the mountains. I miss my mountain friends. I wish I could stay there forever - or at least for the rest of the season. 

But London awaits me!  

Can we pause for a moment to count the ways in which London is the complete opposite of mountain life? 

Restaurant work, investment bank. 

Hiking boots, high heels. 

Black bears, black taxi cabs. 

Millions of trees and less than half a million people in the entire state of Wyoming; millions of people and itty bitty green spaces. 

But I love city life. It'll be nice to have dozens of ethnic restaurants in my neighborhood, to walk everywhere, to catch buses, to see shows and museums and street theater, to stay in on rainy days with a cup of tea, listening to the comforting hum of the street below my window. And pubs. There are pubs everywhere. And meat pies. And bookshops.

I'm also excited about working in an investment bank, primarily because I never, ever thought I would ever work in an investment bank. A brief explanation: I'm part of a business internship program that helps Americans find jobs in London-based companies. Technically, it's not a "real job" because I'm not getting a paycheck, but practically, it's a real job. I'll be working full-time in the bank's risk management department. Didn't I major in English and history? Yes, yes, I did. Do I know anything about finance? Not very much, no, but I have been paying more attention to NPR's finance features. That's a start, right?

I think this job will be a huge and satisfying challenge. Lots of people quit jobs like these and embark on round-the-world journeys and call that the adventure... I'm doing it in reverse. And if I'm awkward and awful in investment banking, if I hate it after 12 months, I can dislike - and avoid - the industry for the rest of my life, knowing that I gave it a shot.

Kind of like I do with oysters.

And who knows? Maybe investment banking will be like cheesecake. I thought I hated it for years, and one day I tried it. The rest is history.

Sunday, August 21


On Wednesday, I said goodbye to the mountains...

...and am headed to London some time this week!

What a whirlwind. 

Teton photos, London updates, and stories in general to follow shortly.

Monday, August 1

20 mile hikes

Twenty mile hikes are good for the soul.

Here's part of the gang on the Mary Mountain trail in the heart of Yellowstone, sharing a gorgeous green hill with a lone bison.

A couple of friends took some great photos I'll share in a few days. Have a happy Monday!