All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.
~ Martin Buber
I want to write a book, some kind of travel
memoir. I’ve already written 34,000 words worth of something, journal entries about Paris and my thoughts about my traveling to the mall, the ocean, the streets of New York, just about anywhere I’ve put foot to pavement.
This chunk of potential was typed up this past winter in a whirlwind of longing after returning from three weeks in the City of Light. Somehow I thought that if I wrote about Paris, I’d still be experiencing it. It’s a city that’s hard to get out of your system.
I’ve been writing about my journeys for a few years already, reading tons of memoirs about “Women Who Go to Exotic Places to Prove Themselves or Forget the Men Who Wronged Them, by Proving Themselves.” Or couples who retire to barges on the Seine or broken down Provencal houses that need fixing up and the crusty old locals who help them.
I’m fascinated by those who walk a country and then write about it, like Bill Bryson, who’s walked the Appalachian Trail, England, Europe and Australia and Bruce Feiler who walked the Israelites' journey to the Promised Land as depicted in the Bible.
I’d like to do a pilgrimage, like walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Or down Wilshire Boulevard from Downtown to the Pacific Ocean in Los Angeles. Just boil life down to putting one foot in front of the other. Bread, chocolate and water. Oh, and tissues and maybe a cell phone and some Bandaids and sunscreen and a hat.
I have a few trips coming up: Seattle - love it, Berlin - never been but really looking forward to it and Israel - never been and being Jewish, I'm having existential thoughts that I haven't sorted out yet.
(Please God, no missiles raining on Haifa while I’m there.)
I plan to bring lots of paper and pens, because when I travel, I love the coziness of notebooks for capturing my thoughts and impressions. And the DSLR to get the visuals, which I want to include in the book.
I hope I can generate another 15,000 or so words while traveling and then when I get home. A NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) novel where you crank out your book in 30 days in November is only 50,000 words. I’d be happy with that amount.
I’d be happy with something that has a vague beginning, flounders in the middle and rushes headlong to the finish. I want to write First Draft on the title page just under my name.
Now there’s a worthy quest.