Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Year! New You!

It is very cold. I have been collecting research about railroad history and contemporary function since October, and have followed the rails from the Pacific Northwest to the Southernmost Point. But my studies are nowhere near complete! There are still loads more routes I need to ride, weird museums to visit, and insane people to meet. However, in order to replenish one's wanderlust and endurance one really must allow oneself a brief respite from the grueling demands of the nomadic lifestyle every once in awhile, in order to keep fighting the good fight. I intend to do precisely that for the rest of the winter, until daylight extends past the tragically early hour of 4pm and temperatures rise above "no coat could protect me from this torment" degrees Fahrenheit.

During this time I will be relocating my base of operations to Washington, D.C. on a semi-permanent basis.

I decided on this change in coastal alignment for a few reasons, namely to increase my potential for productive personal development and general seriousness, as the inhabitants of our nation's Capitol are known for their drive and ambition, and the city is rife with mid priced chain eateries and Irish pubs that will in no way distract me from my work.

Pastimes and activities for the upcoming months are as follows:

Compile notes and ramblings from past months and prepare for future tramping,

Be a crappy intern at pseudo-governmental organization,

Learn to Lindy hop,

Start dabbling in grad school, 

Develop hair brained scheme for the procurement of small green pieces of paper to pay for all of the above.

This is a tall order, but I am optimistic. I will also keep writing periodically in this locale, addressing more travel and history topics, as well as taking some local trips and riding the DC Metro to keep my rail transit instincts honed. So please, no one panic that I will go AWOL and leave you with no other recourse than to read the writing of legitimate, trained journalists*.

I have two last pieces of important information before I sign off for this post. The first is that I partook in a Myers Briggs personality indicator test and found that I have the exact same personality profile as my hero, Mark Twain**. The second is that the story of my crossing the US with my father was published on indie travel site, Boots 'N All! Though for some reason they used other people's pictures and not my glorious photographic masterpieces.

(How could you not want to share this with the world?)

Next post, by fan request: Ways to save money to travel, and spread that money as far as it will go once you are on the road.


*The horror!
**I am currently reading his fifth and last travelogue, Following the Equator, in which he compares the railways of various countries the world over and says the following of New Zealand's railroad: "Where there is comfort, and no need for hurry, speed is of no value- at least to me; and nothing that goes on wheels can be more comfortable, more satisfactory, than the New Zealand trains... When you add the constant presence of charming scenery, and the nearly constant absence of dust- well, if one is not satisfied then, he ought to get out and walk." We are obviously soul mates.


  1. Good luck on your DC residence! I think if I had to spend a month or two there I'd practically live in the Smithsonian. Maybe inside the Apollo landing module at the Air and Space museum. And sustain myself with freeze-dried ice-cream.

    Keep us posted on your adventures and don't forget about us after your Cabinet appointment!

  2. I will never forgive you for learning to lindy hop without me