So, after more than a year of planning and preparation, the final week before my departure has arrived. Next Monday night, armed only with a one-way ticket, I’ll be boarding an Alitalia flight to Buenos Aires to begin what I envision as a 14-16 month jaunt around the planet. And it all seems so alarmingly normal, as if it’s the most natural thing for me to do.
That’s not to say that the past several months have been stress-free. I’m one of the most laid back guys you’ll ever meet, but the planning, storing and moving since I made this decision –compounded by the difficult decision to quit a great job that I for the most part thoroughly enjoyed– did take its toll. I could easily produce a few long chapters on the ugly ways in which stress manifests itself on the human body. But I’m feeling much better now, so I’ll spare you those details.
I will however share a bit more of the general working plan, something I have yet to outline on this blog – or anywhere actually.
Where & What
The itinerary will remain very wide open and very much a work in progress, but will go something like this: beginning in Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world, I’ll travel overland through South and Central America to the U.S. Pacific Northwest, before heading to the Pacific in early autumn where Guam and The Philippines beckon. After that, the outline becomes fuzzier still but will likely include an extended stay on an Indonesian island en route to the Asian sub-continent. From there, the working plan is to devise an overland route back to Slovenia.
All the while I’ll be collecting stories, making photos and shooting video. Any routine that develops will necessarily include several hours set aside each day for writing and researching. In a perfect world articles for other outlets and a book manuscript will also emerge – the latter at some distant point.
Piran Café will also be the key central component. There are lots of travel blogs out there, some better and more useful than others that have been invaluable in helping me plan my trip. Piran Café won’t be another one of those. I’m by nature and profession a reporter and story-teller who on occasion manages to snap a decent photo. That’s primarily what I plan to post here. Scattered ‘notebook’-type posts, journal-type entries, and vignettes from different locales. And perhaps some long form stories when I make the time to research and write them.
By the way, for the foreseeable future I’ll harbor no illusions of making money as a blogger. That’s a whole ‘nother business plan that has no appeal whatsoever at the moment, so please know that I won’t be monetizing Piran Café any time soon. Although I’ll probably move to a self-hosted platform at some point, I’m content for now here at WordPress.com.
Besides this blog, I’ll stick mainly to five other networking platforms:
– I launched a Facebook page today which will serve as the primary micro-blogging platform for Piran Café. There you can expect to find photos, news updates and plenty of links to wonderful things I come across along the way. If you’re on Facebook, I’ll answer your like with a whole lotta love 🙂 .
– I’m beginning to use Google+ more regularly as well. The photography community there is quite strong, travelers are gradually becoming more engaged there and I think the video Hangouts can be extremely useful.
– I’ve recently celebrated by seventh Flickr anniversary, and despite some misguided rumors of its demise, I plan to continue using it as the primary site to stockpile photos.
– I’m fairly new to Twitter, but am liking it more with each passing day. I’m a news junkie, and particularly enjoy enveloping myself in the current events of wherever I am at any given time. Twitter is a great way to share those news tidbits, along with posts and updates from other travelers and bloggers. And my own stuff too, of course, but I don’t like spammers so don’t plan to become one.
– And finally, video. Although I have a Youtube account, I’ll continue to use Vimeo as the platform of choice for any videos I produce.
A Privilege & a Luxury
I’m fully aware that many people aren’t in a position to undertake an extended journey like this. I don’t have children and I’m not married. I’m pretty good about saving money and I don’t have a mortgage or car payments either. But I do have an unrelenting passion to travel, and an insatiable interest in and genuine concern about the planet.
That said, I realize that the ability to take off for fourteen or sixteen months is in many ways a privilege and a luxury, one I plan to take full advantage of, and one I eagerly look forward to sharing. I hope you join me.