I’m a firm believer in planned spontaneity, so while the destinations beyond Toronto are a little hazy, I’ll be taking my work on the road, writing, reviewing and filming. Some of it for pleasure, some of it for pleasure + financial reward. Despite the practicalities of travelling with a case full of cables and chargers and technological gadgets, and despite the fact autonomous, self-funded jaunts make you look suspicious in the eyes of those PRs who expect you to rewrite a press release or move in a pack, stick to the schedule and demand upgrades, being a travel journalist is easier when you get off your backside and travel.
I set up Joy Soup a while back to look at ways stories could be told through a mix of media, created independently and funded through sponsorship, advertising and product placement. Where there’s a fit, I’ll be working with brands – brands that respect a bit of creative creative freedom. There’s more information about that over on the Joy Soup site. The rest of the time I’ll be filing stories to the usual suspects, and tracking down people and places for a couple of film projects.
Mainly though, I’m just going to be taking a look around.
Everything’s sort of packed up. There may or not be a lorry sorted for the day we move out, and the boxes may or not fit in their designated self-storage unit. I have left out two suitcases – one with hot country clothes, one with cold country clothes. It’s time to release the brakes.
The brakes I would like to release are the Peugeot’s, at the top of a cliff after renewing the insurance. However, that’s just a little fantasy, and illegal. The brakes I’m referring to are metaphorical as described in The Principles of Success. I didn’t read the chapter, so I’m not sure what it said, but I get the gist. Get moving. The shortlist of places I would like to go to includes China, Big Sur, Dripping Springs in Tennessee, Rome in Ohio, Siberia, Assos in Kefalonia, the Osa in Costa Rica, Havana, Miami, Vancouver, Albania and the Congo. Flicking through an atlas this seems infeasible.
Freedom can be very stressful for the institutionalised. Logically though, looking at my scattergun chart, it makes sense to head for the Americas. That’s what Christopher Colombus did 500 years ago when Europe was looking for a fresh source of income. If it’s good enough for Europe, it’s good enough for me. On a practical level it’s a plan that also ties in neatly with a couple of ongoing research projects for a book and two possible documentaries, so I’ll have purpose. I’ll take a look around the US of A, then over-winter further south.
Of course the first stop on the Somewheresville journey has to be Toronto. Not only is it a top city except in February and March when it’s a slippery, frozen city, but it’s home to my boy George, studying music at Humber.