Now I feel bad for thinking that Mr. Arlin’s book didn’t have enough of my favorite topics: sex and money. It was an enjoyable escapist travelogue and it got me thinking about long walks again so it is a valuable read. First I thought about the Coast to Coast, but I don’t have enough vacation time. Then I checked my bookshelf:
Look, the Appalachian Trail is right on top! And I can get there by bus while Nick and Caper perfect their kombucha recipes.
Remember when I walked one day on the AT? I can just pick right up where I stopped and keep going. I can write my own account and make sure to include sex, psychology and money in it. Probably 20 miles is enough for this year, but I’ll see how it goes.
What Arlin does well is describe the scenery and the slightly of daily walking. I didn’t get to know him, but I do now know the GR5 trail through the Alps from Geneva to Nice and have another trail to dream about.
It’s a better read than the book from last year about the guy trying to live as a goat. But the goat man seems more practical and honest, somehow, in his ridiculous quest. All travel books start with the fiction that the trip somehow exists outside of the story of the trip. Arlin’s is a traditional travel book that pays homage to Fermor and other artful obfuscators that base their work on their walks, revealing only the barest details of their finances and motivations.
Unfortunately not good. Does not pass the Bechdel test for basic watchability in a movie (must be more than one woman, who talk to each other, about something other than a man). And it had the power to make me feel bad about my hair when I glanced in the mirror this morning and found my locks did not appear lusciously flowing and soft like a feminine mane, but instead had more of an unbrushed, flat, stringy, strawlike consistency, shot through with grey.
I can fix this movie! Let’s make Robin Wright the hero and keep Diana as a little girl who happens to be a god and add jokes, lots of jokes. No World War 1, no bad unplaceable accents, cut the three stereotypical sidekicks (Indian Chief? why????? Is that in the comic book?) cut the most unsurprising surprise: the villain is the one with the English accent!
I’ll keep the bare plot: a young god learning that humans don’t quite deserve to be rescued, but deciding to rescue them anyway. But I’ll then send Diana to a good Alanon group so she can learn that she doesn’t really have to save anyone except herself.
A few years ago I dreamed of being a travel blogger and a life of constantly being somewhere new that I could write about, photograph, and share with you. I bought the URL slowtravelnyc with the idea that this would develop into a Rick Steve’s style travel empire, tv shows, guidebooks, a tour business, podcast, etc. All platforms would feature local destinations accessible by public transportation and bike or foot. The mission would be transforming how I travel into something sustainable, ecologically, financially and relationship wise without giving up the healing and mind altering adventures I had in other countries and that I still dream of. That goal still sounds like a pretty good idea to me.
Inspired to simplify (meaning: totally overwhelmed by modern life) I recently combined all the content from the travel site back into this super blog (nearly ten years and over 800 posts!) And deleted the other site.
Summer gives me time for travel and for getting up early to write before work. With my main commitments for the summer out of the way already I have cleared my way to more focus and adventure.