Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Just see what happens and go from there

From my horoscope today: "loosen up and let life take its course. Don't be so quick to plan."

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I read recently that true happiness comes from "flow," the act immersing in an activity so fully that you lose all concept of self, space, and time.

I find flow from many things: reading, writing, climbing, cycling, socializing, trotting down the sidewalk in a new, distant country, taking in the languages, signs, smells, shirts. The way dogs in Bangkok wear tank tops. The way Costa Ricans greet each other with "pura vida." The funny jingles for "mango fruti" on Nepalese television sets.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Vision 2008 and Vision 2010

Vision 2008 -- I'll turn 25 at the end of that year -- by then, I will have ...

  • Cycled 3,000 miles across the Mediterranean border of Europe
  • Published in two glossy magazines
  • Published in two large metropolitan newspapers
  • Become adept in podcasting, creating multimedia slideshows and hosting my own professional-caliber Web site
  • Moved to Central America and gained proficiency in Spanish OR moved to another region of the world

Vision 2010 -- I'll turn 27 at the end of that year -- by then, I will have ...

  • Become fluent in a minimum of three languages (English plus two others)
  • Published in a minimum of two large-circulation magazines and four major metropolitan newspapers
  • Completed a multi-month backcountry trip, e.g. thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, or a comparable route in New Zealand or Patagonia
  • Completed a multi-month distance bicycling trip
  • Worked a series of "fun" jobs, like reporting for a television station, working a laid-back job in Hawaii, volunteering on an organic farm, or working at a ski resort
  • Perhaps go to sommelier school, to gain an expertise in wines, and begin wine writing

Monday, July 2, 2007

Abrupt change in plans ...

Life works in mysterious ways. Friday, June 15 was my last day of work. I said my goodbyes, started selling off my worldly possessions and began preparing for a year-long, round-the-world excursion.

Monday, June 18-- yes, the first business day of my official unemployment -- they countered my resignation with a promotion.

So I'm staying.

This is the strangest morning I've ever had. I came in to clean out my desk. I left as the assistant news editor. I've been wanting a new professional challenge, so this'll be great. Now, to un-say goodbye to everyone, and to buy back my mattress ...


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Europe/North Africa trip

Kim and I have set the bike trip route. Around March 31, we'll meet in Rabat, Morocco. From there it's a five-day ride to the Strait of Gibralter, which we'll ferry across. It then takes about 30 days -- or 1500 miles -- to cycle across Spain, France and northern Italy, ending in Venezia. From there it'll take another 24 days, or 1200 miles, to bike down the Baltic coast, through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegonvina, Montenegro and Albania, ending at the southern tip of mainland Greece. All in all, that's 59 or 60 days of cycling -- factoring for a margin of error, that's 75 days. Add another 45 days off our cycles to poke around in the towns and spend time on the beach, and -- voila! - we have our 120 day, 4 month bike trip from Morocco to Greece. Our grande finale may be a boat ride to Crete or even further south to Egypt....

I bought a touring bike for the trip this weekend and am starting to get used to sitting on a bike seat for prolonged periods.

My next order of business? Check airfare and make sure we can get entry visas for all these countries!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The starting line

The first question is always: where are you going? what are you doing?

That question kind of misses the point. The idea is to be open to anything. (Refer to "Life is Long" column to your right. It says it all.)

But since you ask (and since I'm notorious for hatching harebrained plots), here's a rough sketch of my idea:

summer 2007 -- Kick it in Boulder, Colorado. Bike a bunch. Get in killer shape. Work out visas, vaccinations, and other logistics. In August I'll visit friends across the U.S. -- Carrie in Glacier Nat'l Park; Caroline in Lake Tahoe.

fall 2007 - First Tibet. Three or four weeks? Then Nepal. Trek the Annapurna circuit?

winter 07/08 - Brazil is calling my name. I think I'll meet my college roommate Jessica in Sao Paolo, and together we'll sunbathe on the beach, flirt with cabana boys and practice Portugese. We'll stay November to March. It's summer in the southern hemisphere.

spring 2008 - My friend Kimberly and I plan to bike the Mediterranean border of Europe, starting in Rabat, Morocco, across southern Spain, France, Italy, and the Baltic coast, ending in Greece. Training starts mid-June when my job ends.