My next move.
ASTORIA, NYC- In the years before I was shut down by the “pandemic,” my travels had become very prescriptive. I’d travel to places for a purpose: to visit a project that I wanted to write about, to interview someone, to shoot a film I was commissioned to make, to give a talk at an event, to go to a conference. While it was a dream of sorts — I was being paid to travel — I wasn’t able to just go wherever and do whatever I wanted, and there was something lost in that.
I decided today that I’m going to go back to what I was doing before. Back to my prescriptive travels. Back to writing for big media and my own publications — such as this blog and the On the New Silk Road Substack. But before I do I feel as if I need a bit of a warm up.
I have been traveling over the past few years — around the US covering current events and eight trips to Mexico — but I haven’t really been traveling. None of these trips were for writing projects, and I feel as if I’m a bit out of practice. The work that I did was incredibly instinctual — I would just kind of feel my way around places and people, peeling off layers until I get the story. I haven’t done this in three years. I need to exercise some muscle memory and gradually bring myself back to what I was before.
I’m also a little hesitant because in my time in New York City I’ve become very … civilized, in the original sense of the word. Being able to get the best of whatever I want whenever I want it has made me soft. I get premium groceries delivered to my door, I go to the gym four days a week, I hardly need to walk more than a few blocks for anything I want or need. I also eat a very restrictive diet: no gluten, no vegetables, no seed oils, no processed foods; only meat, organs, raw diary, fruit, and honey. The food that I eat here is all grass fed, organic, the best that you can get.
I know that I can’t live like this when traveling.
So I’m going to ease myself into it. Next week I’m taking a dummy trip to Puerto Rico.
Why? No reason. Just to practice traveling and writing again … and the fact that it’s cheap and easy to get to.
So I paid $275 for a roundtrip ticket (including $100 for a carryon bag!) on America’s worst airline. I have an overnight in Orlando airport (one of the worst airports for an overnight). But after that this trip shouldn’t be too arduous. I’m just going to walk around, travel to random places, and just talk to people. I will have a list of topics I want to cover, and I will just go out, chase serendipity, and find out what happens.
If you have any suggestions for this trip let me know in the comments below.
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