My name is Sam. This is my spanky new WordPress page. I was an English Literature major in college, but I’ve pretty much forgotten everything I learned there, so this site regularly trespasses against the rules of punctuation and grammar. Sorry!
I started backpacking in 2006, with a 55-liter rucksack, a hair straightener, a 1300-page guidebook, and a friend in tow. I traveled through 5 countries in Western Europe in one month, and couldn’t get my costs below 80 USD a day. I partied pretty much every night, got told off by a French girl, and managed to lose my credit cards AND my friend by the end of the trip (she lost her passport, credit cards, and me to boot). I came back feeling a bit harassed and with some sort of awful disease. That disease, over the course of the next 7 years, would rob me of any nice clothes (or other luxurious expenditures), spare time, and relationships that bore any promise of being long-term. That disease has been experienced by many, but a cure has yet to be found. The only thing known about it is that you get it by being bitten by a critter that can only be found outside your hometown, and maybe even your own country. That critter is known as buggius traveloticus, or its common name, the travel bug.
I’m 28 now and have tried to travel as much as I possibly could before starting grad school. Since Europe, I’ve gone on to travel most of South and Central America, nearly all of the Balkan peninsula, drips and drabs of the Middle East and North Africa, parts of East and Southern Africa, Australia, and a good deal of Asia and the Indian subcontinent. I’ve pared down to a more modest 40-liter, left the cosmetics at home, learned how to read maps and ask politely for directions and advice, and have come to realize that I can be something of a bossy twat and it’s best for me to travel alone. I’ve learned to bring down my expenses, and have compensated for the hassle of leaving and finding employment, and leaving and finding apartments by taking my travel in big doses. (You can read about my other trips here: http://beyondthetollbooth.wordpress.com)
So yeah. Here we are. This is my travel blog for anybody who is interested, feigning interest in order to borrow money from me, has nothing better to do, or who wants proof that I’ve actually been where I’ve said I’ve been. There’s not that much to me, but here’s a few facts one should know:
1. I have a freckle on the tip of my nose that people keep mistaking for a piece of cereal. Like, I’ve literally had people argue in front of me about what kind of breakfast food it might be, and I don’t like it.
2. I once spoke Spanish fluently, but now require either at least a full week of practice or 2 shots of whiskey to get going. It’s my first foreign language and it’s my baby. I’m currently learning Cantonese and plan to spend the next few months learning French, but Spanish is my #1 love, and I plan to move permanently to a Latin country to speak it for the rest of my life.
3. I was born in the wrong century. Even though I have a travel blog and a Facebook (doesn’t everybody?), I still prefer to speak face-to-face, only read paper-and-ink books, and have yet to receive a satisfactory definition of what a “Tweet” is supposed to be.
4. Dogs love me ’cause I’m crazy sniffable.
5. I hate mayonnaise and resent when I have to eat it out of politeness. I hate the way it looks. I hate the way it smells. I hate that odd jelly-like crust that it leaves under the lid of its fucking jar. I hate it. You have been duly warned.
6. Since I love traveling so much, and spend most of my time back home in the U.S. working in order to get out and travel again, I’m a shitty friend. I don’t see my friends nearly enough and I only date people that have as crazy of schedules as I do. This makes me fairly certain that I’m going to die alone in a sea of cats. I’ve made peace with that. Don’t take this as indifference towards the friends that I have made. I like to think that the people in my life know how important they are, and realize that although I don’t see them much, I think of them often, and try to post on my FB and blog as much as I can with the goal of showing them the things that remind me of them.
Hmm. That’s all I can think of for now. I hope that I have to update this page often, since the entire point of traveling is openly letting yourself be molded by your experiences. Anyway, hope you enjoy this blog- feel free to comment or write with any thoughts or pieces of advice. I’d like to say that your criticism is welcome as well, but it’s not. I’m fragile.