A restless soul gave up comfort and security to seek out her favorite painter’s place of refuge.
ISSUE: SUMMER 2011
DEPT: CULTURAL COLLAGE
PHOTOS: ELIZABETH KIM
This past winter, I gave my two weeks notice, sold most of my belongings, packed up what was left in my VW hatchback, and drove straight out of Los Angeles. I traded my enviable job, comfortable apartment and a city full of friends for some time on the road.
I was getting a little too comfortable for my own good. As my 27th birthday lurked around the corner, I needed to move on to more challenging experiences. I wasn’t stretching my boundaries hosting dinner parties and hitting up bars every night. And I figured I could always come back to a steady career and a cute little house. By leaving my cushy life behind, it may seem to some that I was shirking my responsibilities, but I’m actually tending to my greatest responsibility — me.
My first stop was Abiquiu, N.M., where the painter Georgia O’Keefe worked and lived most of her life. In 1934 she drove here alone, in her Ford, to find refuge from her life in New York City. Since I, too, was escaping city life, I followed in her footsteps to the infamous Ghost Ranch. Next stop, Seoul, South Korea, to explore the streets of the city I was born in but know nothing about.
— Elizabeth Kim
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