The post-trip blogs
How do you summarize a month flying to and fro across a continent?
I’m writing at 32,000 feet from a spacious economy seat, having finally managed to nonverbally convince the person in the middle seat next to me that I am in fact entitled to the space between my own armrests. This is the last leg of the IAD-YYC adventure, which took two tries to get right and provided some of the most acutely educational experiences of the trip so far. The flight schedule changed so much over the course of twenty-four hours in SFO that I finally decided to stop writing things down that were scheduled to happen more than three days away.
Things just change that much.
I wrote that while trying to come up with some kind of introduction for this series of trip-in-progress blog entries. The trip itself became all-consuming, and tweeting was all I could manage, but I did end up writing chunks of words to try and capture the experience. One friend described it as filling the inkwell that I would draw from afterwards, and he was not far off.
It’s been said that the soul can only travel at the pace of a camel, and that if you travel too quickly you risk losing your soul. If that’s the case, my soul probably got confused as it was reaching the Atlantic shore of the US and swam in circles for a month before finally dragging itself up on the beach somewhere near Chesapeake Bay to catch its breath before starting the trip back. By now things seem to be working correctly again, which means I’ve been able to sit down with the text I’ve already written (nearly all on airplanes) and think about how I want to tell this story.
By the numbers:
- 33 days
- 30 flights
- 20 cities
- 66.5 km run
- 73 cups of coffee (estimated)
- 3 nights spent in airports (unplanned)
It was epic, and I want to tell y’all about it at excrutiating length. About the time I spent three hours trying to get to my scary hostel in Pittsburgh. About the time I was queued for three flights at the same time in Houston, and running between gates to make sure I didn’t miss out on my name being called for any of them. About coffee in Portland and ice in Calgary and dogwoods in Atlanta and poetry in Asheville. I wanted to tell y’all as it happened, but it turned out that 140 characters at a time was about all I could muster.
Hopefully in May I will do better. Thursday I’ll tell y’all about London.
This I gave been anticipating with very great expectation. Your tweets have been tantalising, your postcards have been diamonds of perspicacious concision. I crave the full-bodies verbiage.