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This blog has moved! October 19, 2009

Posted by tracybarnett in Uncategorized.
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Thanks for visiting Roads Less Traveled. Please see http://tracybarnettonline.com/blog for my new and improved blog, and keep an eye out for an exciting new project that will be launched in the weeks ahead!

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Symphony on a ski slope August 22, 2009

Posted by tracybarnett in Food, Uncategorized, Utah.
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Park City had taken a quick detour into winter when we arrived; temperatures hovered around 45 and threatened to plunge into the 30s that night. This wouldn’t be a problem if we’d planned to cozy up at the fireplace of the rustic chic Stein Erikson Lodge and enjoy the abundant amenities – but our hosts had quite a different plan for us.

Volunteer from Fort Worth, Texas

Volunteer from Fort Worth, Texas

“You’re going to the symphony tonight? You will be miserable!” fretted a Park City Houstonite upon learning of my plans. That’s because the Utah Symphony plays at Deer Park Resort under the stars – a romantic setting unless your chattering teeth are drowning out the percussion section.

Surely our hosts had made other arrangements, I thought – disappointed because the star of tonight’s show was none other than Elvis Costello.

I needn’t have worried. The Park City Chamber, which hosted our visit, pulled out the stops to make it happen, and in high style. The sun soon came out and the cold spell lifted. And our hosts came armed with fleeces and blankets, a plastic tarp for the grass and comfy folding chairs. There were bottles of pinot noir and super-luxe picnic baskets with truffle oil salami and brie, smoked salmon and chocolate raspberry tarts and enough savory distractions to almost make one forget the symphony, much less the cold.

Gourmet picnic

Watching the crowd gather under the suspended ski lifts was a sight to behold in itself. But once Costello walked onto the stage, this colorful spectacle and the gourmet feast quickly faded into the background. The lighting crew and the Utah Symphony wove a magical backdrop for a spectacular performance, with Costello covering an enormous range of styles, from jazz standards to punky alternative to wacky country tunes. My favorite was a yet-to-be released Costello composition telling the Christmas story from Joseph’s point of view.

UTAH

More pinot, anyone?

More pinot, anyone?

Zen stories for travelers July 20, 2009

Posted by tracybarnett in Uncategorized.
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I’ve recently been enjoying Brave New Traveler, an online travel community founded by Canadian traveler, writer and videographer Ian MacKenzie with the idea, as his web page states, of “exploring the inner journey through the outer world.”

Today I found a posting there that I had to share. It’s called The ten very best zen stories for travelers, and if you’re looking for inspiration, you’ll find it here.

Just in case you’re not yet convinced to check it out, here’s an excerpt:

1. A Cup Of Tea

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”

“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

The best travelers head out with no preconceptions about the cultures they will visit and the people they will meet. They remember to pack the most important thing: an open mind.

Thanks to @hanimeli for posting this link on Twitter!

An old friend with a new face April 16, 2009

Posted by tracybarnett in Uncategorized.
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Dear friends,

It’s been three weeks since my transition to independent writer, and I am loving my newfound freedom.

Seeing the world through a different lens

Seeing the world through a different lens

 Fortunately or unfortunately, with freedom comes responsibility, at least in this lifetime. So my computer is as constant my companion as ever, if not more so. My new travels have taken me down more paths on the information superhighway than on any actual highway — a temporary condition, I can assure you! — and I’m now learning all about social networking, web hosting, search engine optimization and so much more.

I’m now exploring the ins and outs of WordPress, an excellent blog-posting site. You’ll see my blog evolve over the weeks and months ahead as I learn more and share it with you as I travel. Please let me know what you think, and share your ideas. I’d like to make this blog an interactive conversation with each of you and with the whole world, and I’ll need your help with that.

For starters, I’ve been kicking around a gazillion ideas for my new blog – ideas that would reflect my goals as a writer, the regions I specialize in and the themes that are near and dear to my heart. Some of my favorites were Gaia Traveler and Gaia Girl, to reflect my emphasis on nature and sustainability; Aventurera and Caminos Less Traveled, to reflect the bilingual and Latino-influenced nature of my travels; then there was Thirsty Boots, my Twitter name.

Ultimately, I decided to stick with the name I began with. While “Roads Less Traveled” may not be quite as clever, my favorite web guru, Dwight Silverman, assures me it’s the best.

“None of them have Google Juice,” he said of the fruits of all my brainstorming. “They’re not going to result in your blog
coming up in a random search.”

“So you think ‘Roads Less Traveled’ is best, even though it’s a cliche?” I asked.

“Frankly, yes,” he answered. “Cliches are what people Google for.”

So… here’s to an old friend with a new face. Roads Less Traveled will be coming your way once again. Please let me know what you think!

Your trusty traveling wordsmith,

Tracy L. Barnett