It’s been over 12 years since I graduated from SUNY Albany at the Pepsi Arena. That figure represents over one third of my human existence. Since I last sported a cap and gown I’ve been labeled with many descriptors. I’ve been called EFL instructor, software trainer, deadbeat couch-surfer, substitute, motivational presenter, volunteer, game show champ, teaching fellow, bilingual coordinator, ESL teacher, teen tour counselor, wandering nomad, and most recently travel blogger.
Most of these nicknames came as a result of contract jobs that I dabbled in or temporary occupations. These many hats and layered multi-tasks have imprinted into my mind and skillset but left subsequent job interviewers and my father bewildered. Although I did well on each of these endeavors none caught on and I continued traveling to search for my calling.
“Mister, you travel too much”- Quote from a middle school student in the Bronx
Throughout these dozen years and to this moment I’m constantly asked questions that I can’t necessarily answer. There are questions about my livelihood…What are you? What do you do? How do you support your travels? Some people ask questions to analyze my motivations for travel…Do you travel too much? What drives you to explore the world? Why do you keep winding and not settling? Other people question my tactics…Why do you still write in a notebook? Wouldn’t it be easier to settle in one spot? How can you keep going like this and when will you stop?
I do attempt to answer some of these interrogations. I usually mention some of the bizarre jobs I’ve held to answer who I am or what I do. Then mumble some rehearsed rhetorical quip when queried why I travel so much. Oftentimes I’ve told people that I travel so much because I’m not sure where my great-grandparents fled from as they hitched a boat ride across the Atlantic Ocean to northeastern North America. I am happy my recent ancestors read the threats on the wall and said peace out before most of Europe decided we’d make easy victims and targets, again. I don’t answer about my tactics. I usually roll my eyes so that they know exactly where to shove their iPads and when I’ll stop my wandering.
I’ve rarely answered these questions in a suitable manner because I don’t even know what to say, what I am, or why I travel so much. And so I just keep moving and searching for a calling. Nothing spiritual or physical and nothing anyone from the UnTied States would describe as a career path. Just literally a calling. Something to call myself and places to locate more unique employment and diversions.
I suppose I’m just a travelographer
But now finally, my wandering can stop. Now my world-windering can truly begin. I think I’ve finally figured out what I am and why I’m destined to trot across the planet. I may be the world’s first of my kind. A missing link? An abominable go-man? I may be the world’s first travelographer. Or is it travloguerapher? Maybe traloguerphist? Let’s just stick with travelographer. If I’m the first of some kind. Then let me define it and label it before others critique it or bite a chunk off. Because this is a world full of labels. I guess I am a travelographer and my quest in my journeys is fueled by a desire to create the world’s best and foremost encyclozine.
It’s tough to describe what makes a travelographer since I’m the first and perhaps only of my kind. We (I) don’t sit around long enough to interview ourselves (myself). And we definitely don’t have a dental, 401-K, or pension (not to mention anything resembling a paycheck). I finally tracked myself down at Manhattanville College during Summer Writer’s Week in Purchase NY and then Barcelona, Spain. I decided to aim for an exclusive and inclusive conversation on the subject of travelography. In tomorrow’s World Winder post, I’ll disclose what I told myself.