Monday, November 07, 2005

The Non-Episodic Post

November 6
So I thought I’d say ‘hi.’ The blog has become quite episodic and almost stylized to the point of being more travel essays than travel updates.

So what’s up with me? I’m working my way up the Brazilian coast. From Rio I flew to Salvador, and after a week there took an 11-hour bus to Maceio. Tomorrow I’ll head further north to the beach town of Praiya de Pipa.

In the last week my IPOD and digital camera have both stopped working and its not such a big deal. Do I feel that way because I’m close to the end or because I’ve embraced the non-materialistic backpacker culture? Who’s to say. (But I am now one of those many people with a broken IPOD who get annoyed when they read fawning articles about the IPOD. Has anyone considered the possibility that all these broken IPODs could be a serious problem for the Apple/I-tunes/I-everything empire?)

Jason, my NYC friend who met me in Cambodia is meeting me in Fortuleza for Thanksgiving. I guess he’ll have to bring the turkey. My dad is meeting me in Argentina for the first ten days of December, then I’ll have a week in Buenos Aires to figure out what it all means before I fly home and lose my tan.

I’m starting to get the “What are you doing when you get home?” e-mail. I’m the kind of person who starts mourning the end of summer around Fourth of July so the end of the trip was bound to cause some distress and I guess it has. I first felt it back in Toulouse when I was staying with Anaelle, maybe because that was more of a homey existence, or maybe just because I could start to see the end approaching. It was four months away then, now its less than six weeks.

I honestly gave no real thought to 2006 when I left at the start of 2005. The trip was so audacious, so huge, so life-altering that the idea of a world after “the trip” didn’t seem relevant or possible. But now its approaching and of course I think (and dream) about it quite a bit.

Job one is to finish and sell the documentary; everything else is secondary. If I’m successful I’ll attempt to parlay that into another attractive project, maybe carving out a niche in travel programming but more likely moving on to a new subject. That’s a best-case scenario.

If I can’t sell the documentary to a TV network (or even if I can) I’ll sell it as a DVD; I think a market exists. I’ll also submit it to film festivals but I think it might be too light and commercial for most festivals, we’ll see. Publishing a travel book is impossible and I won’t attempt it unless the documentary succeeds and I can use that brand to sell the book.

I hope to have a solid rough cut by Valentines Day and a finished product by the end of March. So at least for three months I plan to live with my parents to save money and keep me focused. I’ll also be selling the stock footage I’ve shot in 20+ countries on-line.

When all this fails and I’m broke I guess I’ll get a job and hopefully that will be enjoyable.

Tonight Stefan and I are going to party here in Maceio. Stefan is a crazy Swede who never gets girls back home but has scored thirteen in two months in Brazil. It’s good to be blonde when you’re going out here. It’s good to look Brazilian when you’re avoiding muggers (not that its helped me that much anyway) but its good to look foreign when you go out.

On the porch here at the hostel there are two hammocks and a radio playing bad music. The beach is two blocks away. Its been sunny, hot, and breezy each day in the north. It’s a lovely, relaxing existence. I’m getting much work done and enjoying the familiar clockwork backpacker progression of new friends, fun activities and quick goodbyes. Yesterday, I took a boat trip with two Dutch girls and we cruised around the little costal islands near Maceio. I did what I try to do every day or two: I pinched myself to remember what a good gig I have.

That was day 300. There will be 342.


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