Postcard: Salt Lake City 7/28/2020
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The cliche. The big duh.
The thing that makes me just like millions of people: I have always loved traveling.
Read about my travel book, Backseat Cities.
Nevertheless, it's true. As a boy growing up in Columbus, OH, I looked forward to trips to Cincinnati or Lake Erie to visit family. The logistics often interested me as much as the destination. Where would we stop to eat? What roads would we take? Which towns were we passing through, and what would they look like?
Travel is the poetry of daily life.
After graduating from high school, I went on a trip to France with my best friends. As a kid from the bland suburbs of Columbus going to Europe for the first time, I saw the possibilities. It changed everything.
As a junior in college, I spent a semester in Paris. I got to know the city and I traveled around western Europe.
During my senior year, my girlfriend and I considered starting a tour company offering trips to France and Germany. It never happened, but it was the first thing I thought of when facing the onset of The Rest of My Life™.
My wife and I started taking cool trips almost as soon as we met: the Adrenaline Tour (2010), the Grand Tour of Europe (2014), the Food and Music Tour (2015), etc. We began traveling with our son about a year after he was born. As of November, 2019 - when he was three years and four months old - he had already been to nine states and France.
Taking a trip isn't just fun, or a recharging of your batteries, or a way to open your mind. It's involving yourself in commerce, politics, history, art, food, spirituality. Love. Dreams. It's everything. Travel is everything.
Compared to someone who works for the State Department or Paul Theroux, I'm not even close to widely traveled.
Most of all, when done right, travel is a series of distilled experiences which encapsulate what we're doing on this planet. Travel is the poetry of daily life.
Compared to someone who works for the State Department, or Paul Theroux, I'm not even close to widely traveled.
I've created two maps to show where I've been. I did them for myself as much as for site users. The first covers places I visited from childhood to the end of 2009 (when I divorced my first wife). The second map starts in the fall of 2010.
There are so many blank spaces on these maps, the markers read like a travel brochure for middle class white Americans. I will rectify that.
- Favorite American cities: New York, San Francisco, New Orleans
- States I have not yet been to: North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, Alaska
- Favorite foreign countries: France, Mexico, Switzerland
- Countries I would especially like to visit: Costa Rica, Argentina, Senegal, Morocco, New Zealand, Japan, Russia
If you're on a decently-sized screen, you can look at these more closely by clicking on the "View larger map" icon.
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