Expat Life

Notes from the road: This year it’s Brexit

Travel is so important to writers. We get inspiration for stories as we experience the world. Of course, travel is also important for anyone who likes to learn in the “field” about life and culture.

Karla logoLast year’s trip to Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Istanbul and Greece came during the heat of the immigration crisis in Europe. Daily, I viewed dramatic news stories with images of refugees at the borders, and watched as governments struggled to deal with millions of desperate foreigners.

On this trip, after a week in the UK, I hear all sorts of news stories and personal opinions regarding the UK leaving the EU. How exciting to be in the here during the Brexit crisis, Wales improbable run in Euro Cup competition, Wimbledon, and the inquiry into Tony Blair’s involvement in the Iraq war.

I hear many different points of view about Brexit. And, like with any other major world event, there are complicated economic, political and social realities.

I am living as a storyteller and poet on this trip. These interests have brought me to ancient lands and forests and druids. I will be exploring storytelling, myths and poetry in the UK for several months.

So, here I sit in Barry, Wales, renting an Airbnb with a great view of the bay while I spend time with my lovely hosts. We have meals, watch Wimbledon and chat about Brexit.

Over the past weekend, I attended a storytelling festival, (www/BeyondtheBorder.com) at St Donat’s castle near Caridiff, Wales. I met storytellers and musicians and poets from the Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland, Greece, Italy, among other places. I listened to their stories and heard music under tents and in the open areas of the castle.

Interests can shape a trip. Yours might be photography or spiders (I did in fact meet a man who photographs spiders) or culinary arts or hiking, biking or buildings. My interests happen to be storytelling, poetry, culture and travel. So, I am happy as a clam — or as a bard or bardess. More stories to come on the next leg into mystical Scotland.

My Wales poem:


I woke up pink today
A Goddess in pink says
Go pink

Our girl Pink sings of True Love
Throws red rose petals at her lover

I see pink in the eyes of the gull balanced on the rooftop across the road
I imagine pink curtains in the distant homes on Barry Island

For me, Wales is pink, as light and airy as cotton candy
I feel its fresh delights like a pink bun on a new born
I smell a pink carnation so delicate I almost faint

I see a red fan in a moment fading into a lighter red then pink again
Why pink and not red?
To invite delicate pink ideas that could blaze into passion

  • IConnie Giffin

    Hi Carla,
    Sounds like you are certainly on a fantastic adventure experiencing every moment to the hilt! My adventure this year will be to San Juan Island to visit, yes, you guessed it, a story teller and musician. Love to swap stories with you upon your return. My daughter from Rushden, UK arrives on Sept. 1 for a 2 month visit including Galapagos. We found very reasonable prices on the beach. For an Englishman sun, water and warm weather spell heaven….Enjoy the journey.

    • Tonia Gould

      Hey Karla! I’m back in Maine, one last summer as I slowly dismantle the farm and prepare for the move to Cuenca. Love very to hear you are back adventuring, look forward to the next post. Tonia

  • Lynne Klippel

    So wonderful to share a bit in your journey Karla! Can’t wait to hear more. Blessings!

  • Phil Sweeney

    I enjoyed reading your article. Inspiring, looking forwad to vicariously experiencing your exciting journeys .

  • Lynne Hague

    Was lovely meeting you at Findhorn. Safe journey and do contact me if you visit this part of our tiny rock again 🙂