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Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Travel Withdrawal Symptoms

I need to go to a new country! Some people collect stamps or coins or Lady Diana tea sets, but I collect travel memories (and books, ask my wife about our lack of shelf space). But sad to say, my collection of countries hasn't expanded for three years, when we took a trip to Morocco, unless going to the Canary Islands to attend the World Congress on Mummy Studies counts as a new country, which it does, sort of.

What's happening? Am I getting lazy? I've been traveling plenty during that time, but it's mostly been around Spain, England, and the U.S. I'm getting some serious withdrawal symptoms from my travel addiction! Fellow writer and perpetual interviewer Abha Malpani took me to task about this a few weeks ago, and tomorrow she flies off to Prague. Sigh.

Luckily, help is on the way. Almudena and I are headed to Italy this summer, first to Florence, then Ravenna, and hopefully the Dolomites. Despite having been an archaeologist for ten years, I've never been to Italy. I've always favored cheaper countries, figuring I could do the easy European ones when I'm a grizzled old traveler, which now apparently I am.

But my current dream is to go to Ethiopia. I just need to figure out a writing project that will pay my way.


laradunston said...

I know exactly how you feel. I haven't been to a new country in well over a year - keep revisiting countries I've been to many times before, but then it's that experience and destination expertise that gets us the work, right?

I'm off to Italy via Istanbul next week, and I'm pretty chuffed that my husband and I are going to be writing three first editions for different publishers in three different regions of Italy. We have tonnes of experience in Italy, but apart from our Best of Milan book for Lonely Planet about 4 years ago, LP felt we didn't have enough 'destination expertise'. I don't need to say anymore.

Like you, Ethiopia is right up the top of my list.

I'd kill to be in Spain now to be honest - Madrid is one of my favorite places.

You're going to love Italy though - don't hesitate to let me know if you want tips!

Sean McLachlan said...

Ah, Ethiopia--ancient culture, beautiful and rugged landscape, great food, and awesome coffee, what more could you want?

Of course, Italy has all that too, and I'm really getting excited about going. I'll have to reread the Ravenna section of my Byzantium book. I wrote that four books ago, so I can hardly be expected to remember it all. :-)

I might take you up on your offer of advice!