Not too long ago, I read an article in the New York Times that basically debunked the myth of travel writers leading exotic and glamorous lives, which for a long time I’d pretty stupidly assumed was full of private jets and mega-yachts by day and sparkly champagne cocktail parties by night. Apparently, the truth is that travel writers get paid next to nothing and are often inserted into dangerous, dirty or downright boring situations and locations. (Someone had to write the Fodor’s guide on Wyoming, after all.) The most horrifying part, apparently, according to the Times, was that sometimes a writer’s laptop computer will break, and they’re subsequently forced to write their notes in a notebook. “How quaint,” you’re probably thinking. I know it surprised me to learn that in this day and age, people still know how to operate pencils and paper.
I am the son of a minister, so the majority of my childhood is associated with events that took place in and around our church. As a high school student, since I was a huge nerd and had virtually no friends at school (I ate lunch every day in the stairwell of the music building, mainly because I was too frightened to attempt to try to interact with anyone), a big part of my high school experience included more-or-less compulsory participation in our church drama troupe, which was launched when the music minister realized that the vast majority of modern-day teenagers do not, in fact, want to sing gospel music together while wearing matching vests.
I am happy to report that on the first day of my excursion to the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, nothing terribly frustrating or even particularly annoying happened en route. I flew out of New York’s nightmarishly bad LaGuardia airport (even that was pretty “ho-hum”) and into Seattle; from there, I rented a car (I impulsively upgraded from a boring Chevy Cavalier to a Subaru Outback for, like, a bazillion dollars more) and drove to Vancouver, British Columbia.