Okay, so “Retread” was taken, and I figured adding on all the rest of it would make it near-unrememberable (if I am allowed to coin words in my first post). So I went with “writingdowntheworld.wordpress.com,” which has a certain alliterative ring to it, doesn’t it?
Nevertheless, this is “Retread: A Backwards Travel Blog” and in the beginning (oh, in the beginning!) I mean to stick to that (more–or maybe less–in the beginning, as I am still traveling, in fact). But mostly. That’s the point.
I am from the United States of America, but have dual citizenship with Great Britain. I have lived abroad for nearly a third of my life (counting those childhood years of my mother in full burka mode–my first memory and therefore, I suppose, the last entry on this blog!–our family’s time in the VW van in Mexico, and our trips to the old country as a child, where my mother tucked flowers behind my ear in the laneway, or maybe it was a meadow). I am not a picture taker but I promise I will try to rustle up some pictures for this blog. I took a fair amount in Japan, none at all during my stay in Europe, but I’ve got some nice ones from childhood and a few more from Mexico, I promise (to all my imaginary readers, may you find me).
I’ve lived, as an adult, in Japan, Spain, and Mexico, and traveled in the UK, France, Italy, and Portugal (there is a distinction there–between living and traveling. One often ruins the other). As a child I lived in Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and the UK (more for visits, I think). Apart from that I am United Statesian, red-white-and-blue-blooded, through and through.
Despite being (nominally–maybe that’s the problem) a writer, I’ve never written about my travels. I am now contemplating going back to the US in four months’ time, ironically for Thanksgiving (which freaks me out beyond words–going back, not Thanksgiving, as weird a holiday as it is, in a wonderfully sunny all-American way), for reasons which I can only describe as “growing up” or “burnout” or some combination of the two (when the two really mean the same thing). I suppose I will have to write a post about that before I go. Oh, how to get my feelings about such a broad topic into words?
Right now (write now) I am supposed to be (supposedly) writing a novel. The novel is the novel reason I came to Huatulco, Mexico to begin with, and suffered through what I suffered through here workwise (as well as improving my Spanish considerably, briefly falling in love with a younger man, having several darkside adventures like back in the old days–one of which still leaves me limping–and meeting a ton of lovely people who have no idea about any of this).
So I figured this is what I’d do. I’m going to lay out the rules of my blog. This blog will mostly be to organize my writing and to get down some of my travel experiences (that is, I will be leaving out enormous and formative chunks of my life that took place in the violent and vainglorious old US of A).
1) All new posts (newly written posts) are to be either chunks of said novel, which I will post intermittently, or travel posts.
2)As this is a backwards travel blog–since I plan to backtrack from present-day Mexico through all the foreign countries I have frequented until my earliest memory–most travel posts will be dated (with approximate dates) and take place in reverse chronological order. However (and this is a big however; I just don’t like all caps), as I am still in Mexico now, there might be some new travel posts that are in regular chronological order (I know, boring, right?), which I will label with exact (not approximate) dates to keep all of this from becoming confusing. After getting back to the States I will go back to the aforementioned format.
3) I will not include any new blog posts (nonfiction essay type posts, written specifically for this blog) that do not take place in a foreign country. That said, I will, on occasion, include poems, essays, and short stories I have written in the past. Some of these will take place in the foreign country I am writing about and will make perfect sense and be lovely companion pieces. However, I figure (especially as we go further back in time) that there will be huge gaps missing, and readers may wonder about my actions and responses in certain situations in foreign countries which have everything to do with things that happened in my native country. (Foreign being any country that is not the USA in my parlance on this blog; I am well aware that in fact I am and have been the foreigner). Because I don’t want to have to do enormous info dumps all the time in my backwards travel blog, I will simply on occasion put up poems and short stories that might shed some light on certain periods of my life back home. Nevertheless, a lot of that (“that”) will remain a mystery.
So that’s it! The rules. I am going to start with “Part 1” of an essay I am writing about a brief trip to the nearby surf town of Puerto Escondido on the coast of Oaxaca. I decided to do “Part 1” because I haven’t finished it yet; and may want to write other things before I do (in fact, maybe I’ll post “Part 1,” the beginning of my novel, and a few poems).
Please feel free to comment, if you like.
And welcome to Retread: The Backwards Travel Blog! 🙂