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Starting last in Spring 2023, I decided to learn how to travel.

That’s a bit hyperbolic, but not much..

It’s not as though I hadn’t traveled per se -festivals, a couple times to Baja California, art happenings, New York and New Jersey, conventions, an 8th grade trip to Washington DC and a wan handful of visits to some kin in Georgia- but I’d never traveled with the range or the time that I’d like. And I want to point out, just the intra and interstate travel I had done is far more than many, most humans get to do. California is a big very big, very diverse and very populous state — the coast itself is 840 miles and is dozens of distinct ecosystems and I’m privileged to see much of it. The Southwest is grander still -though you’re time bound on your adventures if you want to dodge weather severe enough to make you shiver or sweat your entire adventure..

But I wasn’t traveling the way I wanted to; while I was married, I never had the funds to go far or long — I remember scraping together a trip to Worldcon in Reno in 2011 which involved couch surfing to defer cost of lodgings (which I’m a big fan of), working a booth to defer price of ticket and a meal, and taking the Greyhound bus which involved sharing half a seat with an extremely large sleeping man whose body overflowed from his seat to claim half of mine (which I was not a fan of).

I wanted to go father and longer and avoid the Greyhound if I could.

Moreover, I wanted to travel with my daughter. Reading Die with Zero changed my thinking about many things, but perhaps most importantly that I didn’t have as much time with her as I’d hoped (and, as a secondary concern that I should pull as many physically demanding dreams forward into the timeline as I can). Hopefully, I’ll get to enjoy a loving, highly connected relationship with her for the next four decades (give or take), hopefully I’ll get to travel with her as an adult but what Die with Zero so successfully imparted upon me was that every year she was going to get busier, more involved with her own friends, her own life. The vast majority of the time I get to spend with her is in the first few years. It’s not merely that I could get hit by a bus at any time, it’s also just the expected drift.

Since setting out on this quest, I’ve traveled to Atlanta, Mexico City, Boston/Cape Cod, Joshua Tree, Palm Springs, an epic Southwest Roadtrip which included Sedona-the Grand Canyon-Painted Desert National Park-Santa Fe-and then Dallas. In a few months, my daughter and I will be going to Paris & London, my first time in Europe. I collected and used travel rewards (mostly through credit card sign up bonuses) to make this possible financially, while also saving up enough to look for our first home in San Diego.

I’ve learned a lot, and feel very fortunate to have seen the things I’ve seen and gone to the places I’ve gone. I want to record, more, the adventures, the sites, and how I made it possible. But mostly, I don’t want to stop traveling, there’s a whole lot more world out there. So, now that I’ve learned’ how to travel (or at least, mapped much more of how I want to travel and how I can pull it off) I’m left wondering, where to next?

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