This weekend, I woke up from a nightmare. I dreamed I was about to have a baby.
I texted my boyfriend at home. I have just started 20 days of travel without him.
“OMG that sounds terrifying,” he responded. (This is why we have been together for 5 years.)
I always thought something would happen to make me want children.
Instead I’ve made it to 34 with absolutely no desire for dependents, a job with lots of time off, a rundown apartment and the will to spend all my money and time on adventures.
Part of this ever increasing passion for adventure is that I’d like to learn to be a better writer.
My stats tell me you like my trip reports. (Thank you! All 2 of you.) But I want to learn to tell an adventure story just as well. How do you do that without being cliche?
We’ve all read too many articles about the “10 things I learned in country X” or “How I saved for an around the world trip by not buying Starbucks.”
What’s even worse than being boring is writing like you think you’re an expert about a place when you’re not.
This why I struggled through the few posts I wrote about my two weeks in India earlier this year. I erred on the side of the factual trip report and didn’t end up loving any of them enough to share.
I’m writing this on my way back to India. (This is what happens when you travel, I’m learning. You start caring about people far away from you and this means more travel. Vicious circle.)
And I’m wondering…how do I write about my travels this time, if at all? Do my random observations where I am a short term guest even warrant sharing?
I thought reading some published female adventure writers would be good start. I downloaded a few from this list.
The one that’s stood out to me so far is actually an anti-adventure novel. It’s A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid. She writes a short colonial history of her home, Antigua.
She writes that of course most people want to travel to escape their boring lives, but very few can afford to. And travelling is just turning one person’s “banality and boredom into a source of pleasure for yourself.”
I like remembering that although I’m awe struck by cows on the sidewalk, they are just India’s version of deer. Any place can be ordinary to someone else.
And I also like to remember that I have done precious little to deserve any of this. Altough I have worked hard and made sacrifices to afford to travel, I am mostly just lucky.
Lucky, for example, to be born free from of expectations that I’d marry and have children.
Lucky to be born with the opportunities to get a job that lets me travel for pleasure.
And lucky to spend time thinking about how write about going from ordinary place to another.