During my last trip, movement was the constant. Because I had to make it all the way around without flying, I was moving fairly constantly. Three or four days in a place was my usual maximum, then it was time to hop another bus or boat or whatever. Now, I’m down in Colombia writing (and not doing nearly enough of that yet either) and not really moving at all. Frankly, not doing much traveling in any sense of that word.
One of the amusing exchanges I had with someone at the hostel yesterday. A guy had just arrived at sat at my table in the common area.
Him: “So how long have you been in Cartagena?”
Me: “Four of five days.”
Him: “So what have you done?”
Me: “Nothing really. Just hanging out.”
Now that isn’t 100% accurate. I’ve walked around most of the old part of town. Had some beers at a couple places. Sampled some street food and a few restaurants. But I’m not really on any sort of “tourist” trip. I’m hear for a good long while, unless I decide to up and move to another spot. There really isn’t any impetus for me to “do stuff.” What I really need to do is sit at this computer and with my outline (yes, I actually have been doing some organization for the writing) and start hammering away.
And so I shall.
Needing to come up with some structure to the day. Carve up the time to my liking. I know that writing a book is a job — I just need to figure out when my good office hours are going to be. Cooler mornings with coffee? Or is that the better time to walk around and think and clear my head? Hot afternoons, out of the sun? Don’t know yet. But time to kick myself in the ass and get going.
Another thing that has caused me a bit of disconnect is the fact that I flew down here. A few days ago I thought about the huge difference in getting to Colombia this time verses last time, when I was browsing through my passport. It took me about 16 hours to get to Colombia this time. It took me 32 days last time.
I’m not saying that overland travel is somehow superior to hopping on a plane. God knows that if I wanted to write down here, I couldn’t spend the time and energy going overland again. But what is different is the sense — no, the feeling — of what it took to get here. The last time, I felt the miles. This time, I took an afternoon nap and was landing at Bogota International Airport. It is hard to explain, but it leads to a completely different feeling once I got here.
And I suppose, being hard to explain, it might be something I should think about and put in a book. A book about traveling around the world without flying. Yea. I think that’ll be an interesting one.
p.s. this is my last blog on this domain. I bought another domain name and I’m transferring all my stuff over there, hopefully this weekend. I’ll post all the info and hopefully figure out a way to make this blog link to it directly.