clearing out for guam

I’m in a fantastic mood. I feel lovely and delicious, as if I’ve come at pudding time. Yesterday, I awoke in my sweats, three stars across my ass, and a wife beater. Last night, at 6:30 pm, I was still in those PJs. Though, I added a bra and wrapped a lemon yellow cashmere cable knit round my waist, giving the hand to the “never wrap a sweater around your waist ‘cause it adds ten pounds to your ass theory.” I was in Barnes & Noble with one of my closest girlfriends, scribbling on napkins and devouring words on pages of books. Barnes & Noble is one of my all-time favorite places. I’ve the ability to turn a corner and learn something new, discover something that excites me… the ability to be inspired, to latch a new interest, to want more. I believe the reference section should be mandatory for humans. Etiquette, grammar, etymology, famous quotes… let’s just say we’d live in a finer society if people hovered this section over thumbing through romance novellas or sci-fi nerdlets. And what’s up with people buying calendars? I purchased Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Demin by David Sedaris (my second-favorite storyteller behind John Irving) on cd-rom. I imported it to my iPod and celebrated the dirty looks I got on the subway this morning. Dude, you so can’t help snorting when you Sedaris it.

This ability to turn a corner and discover something new, to just explore, like a kid peeking beneath a heavy rock, is what it’s all about for me. I’m not eremitic, but I do enjoy exploring on my own (this might be because what interests me doesn’t always interest my friends). I’m always happy to go hear live music, stumble into a random play, eat somewhere new, do a trivia night, explore a new neighborhood with my camera, hang out in a playground, just swinging. So I clear out for Guam, set out on a journey without a planned destination, often in Manhattan. But I’ve never purchased a one-way ticket. I’ve never just showed up without a plan, without reservations or a list. I’ve never been on a journey with an unknown destination—well, if you don’t count life.

This makes me worry I’m too stuctured and neat. I want to go to Thailand and Vietnam, to New Zealand and Cuba but I have no one to go with me. I am afraid it’s too dangerous to go at it alone. I need to investigate; lord knows I haven’t taken any vacation time from work, which is even more bothersome than my not clearing out for guam enough in life.



  1. Fear of other places is incredibly hyped up by the media, although caution should be used, so wanting a travel mate is a very good idea. Find someone who loves to travel and talk to him. He should be able to give you tips on techniques and priorities for an out of country trip. But above all: if you want to go, do so. You’re guaranteed to have an excellent time.

  2. i love b&n too. and here's my 2 cents. go and travel, alone or with people. i went to london on my own because i was sick of waiting for friends or others to go with. a girl's gottat do what a girl's gotta do. i think thailand sounds fabulous. you should just go.

  3. Ah, Stephanie, sometimes you write and express a point a view about things, and I think…this is what I would say. I want that someone with whom to share experiences as I explore and follow the urgings of my gypsy-soul. Friends sometimes think that I'm a geek because I become so child-like with excitement and joy when discovering things new.
    I hope you get to Thailand or Vietnam or Guam…or just to Barnes & Noble again soon.
    Love your spirit!

  4. As long as it isn't the Middle East that you are going to, I think you would be fine. Of course travleing with someone is probably a good idea. I know that I would need a companion just for the pure fact that I totally bore myself!!

  5. Traveling alone is the best, no one to worry messing up your schedule. You do what you want to do. I've done London, Paris and Brussels alone. Next on the list Argentina, Croatia, Czech, Estonia eventually..
    As for Thailand, known many people who have gone, no problems. New Zealand, there are tons of Kiwi's running about NYC right now, i'm sure you can meet one. Cuba, gotta go thru Canada, Mexico or Jamaica, dont stamp passport, dont use credit cards. You dont want Ashcroft on your ass. Vietnam, hmmm i'm sure its nice, but I have no idea on it.
    Seriously traveling alone is one of the best things you can do to "find yourself"

  6. The best thing in life is traveling alone. Not only do you meet a ton of new people you also do nto have to go to places you do nto like to go to but do it just because the other one wants to.

    I ahve traveld over 100 countries on my own and would not have had the life experiences when having done this in the company of someone.

    When you travel alone you end up in unexpected palces and meet unexpected people. Not only that but the others are much more open talking to you. Andeat the end of the talk you can decide to share a meal or leave alone.

  7. How is it possible that you have so many fabulous wealthy friends, but no one to travel with?! That's very sad.

  8. So… I didn't pick the most striking section of this post to comment on, but I also love John Irving. My favorite is A Widow For One Year. Amazingly enough, not many people I know have even heard of him. Nice to hear that not only can you write like nobody's business, you can also read like nobody's business. How refreshing.

  9. Stephanie, South East Asia is fascinating. Don't give in to this climate of fear that Bush is creating.
    Thailand gets seedier every time I see it, but Vietnam is absolutely fascinating, and the people are really really nice. You should make the trip!

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