Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I've actually made a study of efficient packing for travel. I've made it a goal to never have to check a bag at the airport. I'm getting pretty good at it, for short (fewer than four days) trips. I'm going to keep practicing. Packing light makes traveling so much simpler and easier.

I toy, from time to time, with the idea of trying my hand at travel writing. It's kind of a silly idea, because compared to many of the travel writers whose web sites I've seen, whose books I've read, whose articles I've read - I haven't traveled.

Oh, my job has taken me all over my home state of Nebraska many times. And it's sent me to conferences in many cities I otherwise would never have been able to visit. Let me count the cities: Chicago, San Antonio, St. Louis, Flagstaff, Albuquerque, Madison WI, Annapolis, Atlantic City, Kansas City (many times, and I can always go there anyway), Nashua NH...seems like there were more but I can't summon them up right now.

Oh yeah, that's another thing: my lace-like memory. And my brilliant powers of observation. (sarcasm) Those are both things that will serve me well in travel writing (/sarcasm). What town was I in? *scowls, straining to remember*

Well, it just occurred to me I might try a rapid memory exercise here. How about if I try to list the one thing that stands out most about each of those cities in my memory? Stream of unconsciousness...

Chicago: architecture. Love it!
San Antonio: the Alamo
St. Louis: how gray the downtown is
Flagstaff: those mountains
Albuquerque: the giant Native American-style pots in the highway medians
Madison WI: State Street!!!!
Annapolis: the sailboats in the marina
Atlantic City: the boardwalk, of course
Kansas City: Oh, I've been there too many times to pick one thing. The BBQ, I guess.
Nashua NH: my friend Chriss. Oh all right, and the fall foliage. But mostly Chriss.

It's discouraging, looking at that list, how mundane and cliche my Main Memory Things are. The Alamo??? The Boardwalk??? Yeeesh. I'm going to have to do better than THAT. Well, okay, I'll dig out all my photos and my trip diaries and for the next month I'm going to try to write *real* travel articles, the kind I like to read.

I'll include places I've been that weren't for my job too: Sunnyvale CA, Tucson AZ, Lake Andrusia, MN (obviously a vacation spot), Cheyenne Crossing SD...

This should be fun for *me*. Maybe some readers will enjoy it, too.

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