I have been what you could call a "travel tease" for too long.
It is time to finally share with you all where I am headed in exactly two weeks and six days.
I AM GOING TO VIETNAM.
I seriously could not be more excited. It is a part of the world I haven’t yet begun to explore and I am absolutely thrilled to be able to spend a little over two weeks there, not just traveling, but working as well. Plus, I am not making this journey alone. I am going with one of the most wonderful women and travel companions I know- my mom.
Let me explain how this happened.
My mother, Lauren Stringer, is a well-known children’s book author and illustrator and has been giving workshops and presentations in schools since the beginning of her career. While I was on my 9-month Europe trip she was invited to an international residency at the American School in Paris and since I was already on that side of the world and starting to establish myself as a dancer/choreographer, we worked together and decided to propose a duo residency. She had just written and illustrated a beautiful book about Stravinsky, Nijinsky and The Rite of Spring, so we offered a residency that included workshops on illustration and dance classes relating to the book. The resulting collaboration was a huge hit with the students and staff and we left glowing with positive feedback and references.
The International American School network is quite interconnected, so because of that first, unique experience, we were put on their radar as a multi-disciplined duo. Just a couple years later, we were invited to teach in India together at the American School of Bombay and the American International School of Chennai. We spent three incredible weeks there, sharing our respective artistic offerings with students of all ages and exploring the wild and beautiful country.
I still have to pinch myself sometimes with all of these experiences- being able to both work as a professional creative team and travel as friends with my mom- it is something I don’t think either of us could have imagined, but is the most beautiful gift.
This time around, we have been invited to the American School of Saigon, in what is nowadays known as Ho Chi Minh City. We will be teaching intensively for one week and speaking at a conference about how to integrate education and the arts. However, we are arriving a week earlier in order to travel a bit around the south of the country and make the most of being in a new part of the world. Our itinerary is mostly set, with some room, as always for flexibility and a little bit of spontaneity.
Currently, we are both deep in the process of preparing: researching, packing, and lesson-planning. That combined with the flurry and buzz of beginning-of-Spring activity has me reeling a bit, but I am trying to readjust and fall into the flow of exciting events and anticipation.
New adventures and new seasons call for a grand change of routine for all of us. Whether this means switching up your work/life schedule, the seasonal produce you cook and bake with, starting to take walks outside instead of indoor yoga next to the heater, or maybe it’s just a change of atmosphere. Surround yourself with more spring-like, airy and opening melodies and music. I designed a playlist perfect for the transition, whether you’re traveling, coming out of hibernation, or just looking for a breath of fresh air.
This music is either to bring you new inspiration, or if your spring season is anything like mine, to push you through the craziness, staying uplifted and optimistic. The mood starts soft, little tunes to keep you company while still watching rain or the last flakes of snow tumble outside, but starting to shake off those winter layers of hibernation. It picks up speed somewhere in the middle, launching you into full-on spring madness. This also just so happens to be a great playlist for travel, which is good timing considering the long long journey that I have ahead of me.
Turn up the volume, throw open the windows, and let the music and the season sweep you up into your own new adventure.
Listen + follow HERE on Spotify
Mystery of Love - Sufjan Stevens
In the Kitchen - Mree
I Will Be There - Odessa
Woandering - I Am Oak
The Rain - Oh Wonder
Émigré - Alela Diane
Lillies - Bat for Lashes
Odyssey - Talos
Dissect - Glasser
Do It (Nico Muhly Rework) - Rae Morris
Pink + White - Frank Ocean
Dance For You - Dirty Projectors
SP12 Beat - Mount Kimbie
Pink Letters - WWWater
Let Me Go - Jagara
Knives - Matoma, Frenship
Mourning Sound - Grizzly Bear
Alaska - Maggie Rogers
South - Hippo Campus
Victor - Prinz George