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User Image ashtonmeow Posted: Nov 16, 2017 8:56 AM (UTC)
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Day 8: A full day dedicated to moving from Zhangjiajie to Guilin by way of Changsha
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We've traveled today an hour by plane and 4 hours by bullet train across the Hunan province -- 839 kilometers or 521 miles in full.

New Delhi, 3200 or so kilometers to the west, is in the middle of a declared crisis due to a sustained Air Quality Index (AQI) above 350. The city has become a gas chamber and emergency measures are being enacted at the national level to pull progress back hard so residents can come up, momentarily, for air.

These issues seem so far removed when the average AQI in Boulder is 10, but my god they're pressing.

Today in Hunan, from city to city, the Chinese are choking in smog too. AQI levels of 210+ have followed us all day and, after hours of exposure, I feel the lights in my peripheral dimming beneath a gentle suffocation. My throat hurts and my head aches. "Terrible" is not a strong enough term.
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Here's a flashback to the clarity of yesterday, taken - as is typical - for granted at the time.
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#china #asia #travel #traveling #travelgram #traillife #instagood #optoutside #outdoors #traveltheworld #travelgram #wishyouwerehere #outdoorwomen #nationalpark #naturephotography #nature #mountains #mountainlife #exploretheworld #roamtheplanet #neverstopexploring #theglobewanderer #wildernessculture #earthpix #discoverearth #beautifuldestinations #art #mountainrunning #travelblogger #travelblog
User Image ashtonmeow Posted: Nov 12, 2017 11:40 PM (UTC)
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Day 4: Shanghai
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Four times larger than New York City, Shanghai is exemplary of the Old World colliding head on with the New.

I expected to be overwhelmed, or exhausted, or at least moderately suffocated by the 24 million human beings at once in a single place without any efficient way to communicate, but I'm not.

To the contrary I'm invigorated, already planning in my head a return trip filled with slowed, unguided meanderings through the endlessly tucked alleyways.

Shanghai so far has been hyper stimulating in all the best ways and, in fact, not being able to communicate externally has become a cocoon of inside jokes and entertaining banter, cozy and introverted and dreamy like an at home Sunday morning drawn out under the covers with @billybobagginz.

I'll be sad to go.
User Image ashtonmeow Posted: Nov 12, 2017 9:08 PM (UTC)
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Day 3: Temple of Heaven
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All things considered, we've been lucky with the weather since that first night. Sure, something's still off by the unusual way skin stings and tightens after a shower, but the sky has been mostly blue here in Beijing during our time. At minimum, blueish. And we've been told any blue at all is labeled as "good weather."
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#Asia
User Image ashtonmeow Posted: Nov 11, 2017 8:54 AM (UTC)
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Day 2: Gubeikou
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A beautifully forgotten section of The Great Wall meanders over rural ridgelines in quietude.

Mutianyu, heralded as the best preserved section and a more typical spot for tourists, was closed to the public on this day for Melania Trump's visit.

We asked our tour guide how she felt about Trump and his policies, in that curiously apologetic way only an American can.

She looked straight ahead. "We have no opinion."
User Image ashtonmeow Posted: Nov 10, 2017 1:48 AM (UTC)
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Day 1: Beijing
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As though the ash from every cigarette ever smoked inside a dank and low-slung factory born explosively from post-war redemption was gathered -- methodically -- to be thrust back into the sky as a begrimed veil against outside influence, the evening smolders.

Our tour guide insists it's only fog.
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#travelgram
User Image ashtonmeow Posted: Nov 6, 2017 8:25 PM (UTC)
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Maybe there’s something to be said for the quiet determination that pulls us bleary eyed from bed each morning to challenge, once more, the chaotic wake of life-passing-too-quickly.

Perhaps there’s something to be said for the strength in picking ourselves up from the frighteningly comfortable notion of settling or quitting or Millennializing our lives in vagabond throngs and - even in apprehensiveness - continuing to climb ladders.

Perhaps, in general, there’s something to be said for human resolve, something beautiful about the inner drive to overcome, and something intricately fantastic about fulfillment defined by living up to one’s full potential for success.

Or, perhaps it’s all for naught. A waste. Without meaning.

Perhaps we will regret nothing more on our deathbeds than prioritizing money.

It's difficult to tell.
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#BoulderColorado #Colorado #trailrunning #trail #trails #rockymountains #rockymountainhigh #Boulder #outdoors #optoutside #nature #art #photography #psychedelicart #psychedelic #philosophy #writersofinstagram #mountainrunning #trees #Autumn #quotestagram
User Image ashtonmeow Posted: Nov 5, 2017 11:12 PM (UTC)
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"Om is not just a sound or vibration. It is not just a symbol. It is the entire cosmos, whatever we can see, touch, hear and feel. Moreover, it is all that is within our perception and all that is beyond our perception. It is the core of our very existence. If you think of Om only as a sound, a technique or a symbol of the Divine, you will miss it altogether. Om is the mysterious cosmic energy that is the substratum of all the things and all the beings of the entire universe. It is an eternal song of the Divine. It is continuously resounding in silence on the background of everything that exists."
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Amit Ray
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#BoulderColorado #Boulder #Colorado #coloradical #trailrunning #traillife #trail #Mountains #mountainrunning #optoutside #outdoorwomen #outdoors #forest #nature #beautiful #earth #runnersofinstagram #runnerspace #photography #naturephotography #latergram #trees #rockymountains #rockymountainhigh #philosophy #quotestoliveby #quotes #quotestagram
User Image ashtonmeow Posted: Nov 3, 2017 8:12 PM (UTC)
billybobagginz
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I ❤️ this pic bc it captures us so well: B strategically avoiding the spotlight while offering comedic commentary to those within earshot; me ugly laughing, oblivious to my surroundings.

Wouldn't trade him, or this, or the laugh lines for anything. #fbf
User Image ashtonmeow Posted: Oct 30, 2017 6:38 PM (UTC)
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What of time to stop and think about this whirl-winded life? to lie and watch tree branches scratch the bottom of the sky without the anguish of knowing there’s no success in lying, watching branches?
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#trailrunning #traillife #running #latergram #Autumn #nature #optoutside #outdoors #rockymountains #rockymountainhigh #seenonmyrun #runner #trees #photography #psychedelicart #psychedelic #art #Boulder #Colorado #leaves #october #philosophy #existentialism
User Image ashtonmeow Posted: Oct 23, 2017 1:39 AM (UTC)
billybobagginz
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Happy Halloween from a Space Monkey, Selena, and the Pixel 2 XL front-facing camera that annihilates any chance of concealing age behind low resolution. 🙈🙊👵 #notgomez

Thanks to everyone who came out last night! xoxo
User Image ashtonmeow Posted: Sep 13, 2017 1:01 PM (UTC)
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"These vagabond shoes
are longing to stray,
right through the very heart of it:
New York, New York"
🎶🎶🎶
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Frank Sinatra
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#newyork #nyc #cityscape #city #urban #urbanview #fromwhereistand #goodmorning #bigapple #sky #quotestagram #quoteoftheday #travel #travelgram #traveltheworld #wanderlust #businessclass #beautiful