I'm going to need to come up with a different kind of greeting. I'm sitting in the airport with another hour to burn before I get on the plane, so I thought I'd try my hand at this whole travel blogging thing. I have to admit--I've never wrote about myself in a public context, and as of now it feels at best bizarre and at worst profoundly egotistic. But here we are. I'll do my best to be pithy, entertaining, and interesting, but I'm not sure I'll be able to promise any more than whatever strange, travel-addled thought is crawling its way through my brain at any given moment. So this could be an adventure.
To that end, I've been thinking about how to approach the next four months--it's such an alien experience to me that I'm lacking any kind of frame of reference or structure with which I can try to figure out my behavior--so maybe I'll end up living under a bridge in Prague for four months. Or maybe I'll add 30 more countries to my roster and see if I can break the record for most consecutive poor decisions in 50 countries straight. Who knows?
But in hopes of getting a little bit of clarity for the next months, I've decided to come up with a list of rules (guidelines?) (suggestions?) for what to do while I'm getting lost across the world.
1. And this is the most important one, the one designed to keep me a little bit sane--I am not allowed to punish myself or feel bad for not seeing every corner of the world. Here's the thing with traveling--despite the fact that I'll be dancing around in exotic locales and drifting from port to port, I will still (tragically) be a human being, which means this will, in a sense, be like any other four-month period in my life. Some days I will be grumpy. Some days I will want nothing more than to close the door and get some sleep. And this is ok--forcing myself to enjoy every second or else is a great recipe to hating it all. So if I need a break, I'll take a break, and I'm not allowed to beat myself up about it.
2. Say yes--within reason. This is an obvious one. It's tough to have adventures if I turn down everything that comes down my way. So if someone asks if I want to go surfing, or if I want to go to a concert in some back-alley pub, and it doesn't seem like I'm going to wake up in a bathtub with my kidneys harvested, then I ought to do it.
3. Don't get my kidneys harvested. Also an obvious one. Don't be stupid--a breahtakingly unrealistic goal, I know, but it's important to have dreams.
4. Don't panic--I have my visas, and I have a bank account. Everything else is negotiable. I have one million and one plans right now--and just about all of them are bound to go wrong. And this is also ok. I'm going to make mistakes, miss things, change [plans on the spur of the moment, etc.--and these will be the best parts of the trip, probably. So I need to let go of my inner control freak and roll with it.
So that's that--not sure this is a particularly interesting inaugural post, but I imagine it's going to take me a bit to find my feet, blog-wise. Until then, you'll have to bear with me--I'll do my best to post pretty pictures and things in the meantime, in hopes of tiding you over until I figure out something interesting to say.