We've started a new segment on The Daily Circuit called Roaming and Reading. It's a mash-up of two things Kerri loves: literature and travel.
Here's how it works: Kerri invites an expert traveler to discuss what he or she loves about a book or place.
This week, author Cheryl Strayed joins Kerri to discuss her recent family trip to Laos, inspired by people she met in St. Paul:
On our last day in Laos, we climbed the 328 stairs to the top of Mount Phousi, the 350-foot-high hill in the center of town, opposite the Royal Palace Museum. The glimmering golden Wat Chomsi sits at its summit. As we took in the breathtaking view — the two rivers, the temples, the buildings and streets and mountains in all directions — I felt the trip sink into my bones. I got the feeling I hope to have when I set out on any adventure, one that can only be described as "here I am" — that is, truly present in the moment in a place that's profoundly foreign to me. Only this time it wasn't just me. It was us. Here we were on a sacred hill so far off from the place from which we had come, and so abundantly thankful for it. Perhaps the power of that very gratitude is the reason I travel. It's why I've spent my whole adult life squirreling away money and then spending it all on experiences that pass in an instant. It's what's compelled me to pack up my kids and head for a country that most travelers overlook, even if it seemed like a bad idea to some.
Strayed is the keynote speaker at the Women's Foundation of Minnesota fundraiser Thursday in Minneapolis.