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it has been brought to my attention that i always take pictures of my feet. in fact, my friend’s four-year-old daughter even noticed and once said that she was talking pictures of her feet “like auntie laura”. i had never really noticed, but going through my photos, i find that it’s true. my feet have been all over, and i’ve captured them at certain spots along the way.

the above picture is actually a photograph of a photograph that i took (and developed myself) in san francisco. my boyfriend-at-the-time and i were lying in dolores park and i used this shot as one of the pages in my “book” that i made as my final project for an english class, as an artistic response to the poetry of sappho. at the time it was taken, i was twenty years old, meaning that it was about a year before that particular boyfriend and i broke up dramatically and painfully, causing me to move back to san diego a few months after.

as most of my photos until about five years ago (when my dad got a new digital camera and gave me his old one) are still in physical albums in my parents garage, the rest of the pictures here will be from the past five years.

two thousand and six

these were my first spanish espadrilles, which i loved and wore religiously until they fell apart. this shot was taken inside the sagrada familia, where we sat for hours when sashi, sam and ellie (in her belly) came to visit me in november of 2006. we sat on a bench for hours, laughing. sashi was pregnant and all the walking had tired her out. this little bench in the coolness of the cathedral was a lovely little oasis and allowed us to catch up on everything we’d missed out on over the past half-year since i had moved to barcelona.

two thousand and seven

this was taken in the backseat of jack’s car. i lived with him and robin (best roommate experience of my life) in encinitas for years, after san francisco and before portland. i was visiting him in los angeles during my first august trip home from barcelona in 2007. it was also the first time i took the train to los angeles. jack picked me up and we had a great weekend of fun and frozen yogurt. not to mention how awesome it was taking the train. i also learned that los angeles has a metro system that connects to the train station. weird.

these are taken from my apartment near the sagrada familia (i could see it from my kitchen window) when we first moved in. the different textures and designs of flooring in spain were just phenomenal. we (rosie, sam and i) moved in here september 2007 and it was a great apartment – though i locked myself out an embarrassing amount of times. one time, sam and rosie were out of town for a long weekend and i hadn’t given james a key yet. very annoying.

two thousand and eight

in this photo you can actually see james’s shoe between mine and this might just be the last photo of my old cowboy boots. i sure loved those shoes (and in print, i have a lot more of them from all over the place, including a dwight yoakum concert with lisa’s boots and elle’s boots). this was taken on the fifth of january, 2008 or, as it’s known in spain, el día de los reyes magos. they have a fantastic parade that starts at the port and goes through el parc de la ciutadella. the floats are pretty impressive and the parade ends with the three rather large kings, on floats that are appropriate to the “gifts” that they gave the baby jesus (camels, myrrh, gold, etc…). their “court” throws candy out at the crowds (as they seem to do in every single parade i’ve been to in barcelona – and there are a surprising amount of parades) and everyone cheers. this is also the day that most children get gifts in catalunya, not christmas.

this photo is of my feet and also my friend katherine’s. we had been walking around, shopping (and eating lots of yummy onion soup) in the montmartre district of paris. this is the same day i bought the lapis ring that i still wear and love, and left my credit card (which i shouldn’t even have been using in the first place) in the shop. we visited paris with two other friends in may of 2008, prompting me to sing “i like paris in the springtime…” over and over and over (which may or may not have annoyed my friends). maybe it was because i’d heard such varied opinions of paris beforehand, i’m not sure, but in any case, i absolutely fell in love with paris. (it had a lot to do with the food.)

this was the lovely apartment that i shared with james, our first apartment together (if you don’t count when i lived with him and his brother, which sometimes i do and sometimes i don’t). obviously this was taken at christmas time, as you can see by the poinsettia. i really enjoyed that coffee table – it had compartments for all my things. it was also the apartment in which i started to feel like i had family here in europe. his brother came and stayed the night christmas eve and we had a great christmas day. i even made them watch scrooge, the best christmas film of all time. they fell asleep.

two thousand and nine

this was taken on a hill that was just outside of alcoi (near valencia), near the home of my “spanish father”, ismael (a business associate of my dad’s). this hill was situated just south enough in spain to have been consistently conquered and reconquered by muslims and catholics. there was a look-out tower, which was still beautiful and retained essences of both cultures, that has since been transformed into a fantastic restaurant, in which i had the best paella of my life (seriously made myself a little sick by eating so much). the most important thing about this trip, though, is that it came just at the moment when i most needed my dad. i was confused and frightened and depressed, and needed my daddy to remind me how special i was and that everything was going to be ok, which he did and it was.

this photo was taken waiting at the smallest bus station i’ve ever seen in tarancón, the closest town to uclés, where i was living in a twelfth century monastery (the new bit was from the sixteenth century) for the month of july, teaching sixteen nine-year-olds to speak english (or trying my best, anyway). we were on our way to cuenca, which is quite possibly the loveliest town in spain with its famous casas colgadas, or “hanging houses”. my weekend there was fabulous. i took this picture because i had just realized that we were all wearing the exact same nail polish.

these are my favorite shoes. i bought them when i lived in san francisco and started working at an advertising agency, my favorite part of which was “dressing up” for work (i was nineteen or twenty). they are the perfect shoe and have held up so well. i still get complements on them every single time i wear them and what’s better, they’re comfortable! they are also, of course, the best possible shoe to wear to a christmas party, which is just what i was doing here in december of 2009. i brought my camera with me, meaning to take pictures all night, but of course, this is the only one i’ve got. which i can only assume meant that it was such a fabulous night, i forgot all about my camera.

two thousand and ten

this picture was taken in july, when i was again working at a summer camp, this time teaching eleven-year-olds. the camp was located in the middle of los pirineos. we took a bus to andorra, which is a small, fantastic little country between spain and france, where they speak spanish, french, catalan and english. not only do they have a world-famous spa, caldea, which was beautiful, but they also have naturlandia, an eco-themed amusement park. this roller coaster is unique in that it is just you sitting in your own little car as you zip down the mountain, through the woods. it is as fun as most roller coasters (it does not go upside down though), you can control your speed with hand brakes and the view is simply breathtaking.

this photo was taken in granada, in andalucía, in august. we were in the tourist bus, which was actually pretty cool, on our way to see la alhambra, which was as good as everyone says it is. it was also as hot as everyone says, and we drank a lot of sangría, watched some talented flamenco dancers and ate some great tapas. james loves basking in the sun, so he was in his element. this was a bittersweet trip, as it was our last trip around spain, before we moved.

this was a continuation of our trip around andalucía, and though i’m wearing the same dress, this was not the same day nor was it the same city. everyone has always told me that sevilla was over-hyped and that actually, granada was better. i’m not sure if the opposite happened for me (granada was over-hyped), but while granada was great, i absolutely loved sevilla. it made me a little sad that i hadn’t lived there, in fact. and while i’m glad i chose barcelona (because i met james, etc, etc), i feel like i would have been a lot happier in a lot of ways in sevilla. of course, we’ll never know and i would never actually want to change anything. i do love my life now. but, i will definitely be visiting sevilla again as soon as possible.

this was the last leg of that summer trip, where we met jennifer, tim and tiana in lisbon in september, and traveled to évora, sintra and cascais. this was probably the most boring street possible in portugal, because their houses, walls, streets, roofs and every possible surface that we saw, are all colorful and beaming, as you would expect. portugal was a huge surprise: it was inexpensive, beautiful, fun, the food was fantastic and the people were more than pleasant. portugal is most definitely another place i would be thrilled to see again. in fact, i’d love to have a car and a month just to drive from the north to the south, taking it all in. i just have to add that these are my “hippie pants” and everyone, even tiana, made fun of me for them. i think sometimes james pretends not to know me when i wear them.

two thousand and eleven

this photo was taken in the metro station in köln. i was by myself, of course, and doing my best to get to know my new city. most likely, i was in the hansaaring metro station, as most things seem to take me there. i was waiting for the number 18 train to take me into neumarkt. i think the woman next to me was looking at me a little strange for taking a picture of my feet, but i’m not sure. this photo was taken in june, soon after returning from getting married in california, and to be honest i felt (and still feel) homesick. it was hard being here for a couple of months and starting to build a home for myself, only to return to the home i already have and see everyone i love and then to come here and have to start to build a life for myself all over again. though i am beginning to feel more comfortable here and i actually have some friends (or at least acquaintances that are quickly approaching “friend” status), i definitely struggle with homesickness and loneliness.

this photo was taken to see how my shoes looked with my tights before i went to a coffee meeting with the american women’s group at bastien’s. this was taken in july, just a few days before my birthday, though no one here knew it was my birthday of course. they are all older women and extremely relaxed and as far as i can tell, completely non-judgmental, but i still get really nervous about going and so i do what i always do when i’m anxious about social events, i dress as cute as possible. james likes this picture because he says it looks like i’ve got a sun for a head. you can also see a bit of our bedroom, which though i’m excited to move closer into the city, i’ll really miss. it was a great little place for us to live as we got to know germany a bit better.

this picture was taken in august, just a week or so ago. i was standing in the kitchen and it was pouring, but i was determined to go grocery shopping, so of course, i put on my rain boots. while i miss the summer, the little kid in me still gets gleeful at the idea of putting on rain boots (and going outside to jump in the puddles).

this picture was taken this weekend at the wilderness festival in oxford. it had been a glorious weekend of music, art, debate, crafts, beer and camping. james took me for my birthday, all because i desperately wanted to see laura marling. and this picture, while only a little bit of my feet, is of us sitting in the grass by the main stage, waiting for her to play (and listening to some other fun music in the meantime).

my feet have only been on a small part of their journey – i hope they will continue to travel around the globe and bring me with them throughout the years.