In front of me is an itinerary. It is for a trip to New York City.
It is categorized by day. It is subcategorized by time and event.
It is color-coded.
The shocking thing is, it is mine.
The first step to solving a problem, they say, is admitting you
Let me say it: I have become an Itinerarian.
There are two types of travelers in this world, Itinerarians and
Mr. Side Trip Guys.
If you know where you are going for your summer vacation, what you
are going to do when you get there, and where you are staying for
part or all of your duration, you are an Itinerarian. Itinerarians
are planners. They scope out weeks in advance what time the museums
open and what their exhibits are, what flowers are in bloom in
which part of a fabled public garden, what dish is the specialty of
an up-and-coming chef at a well-reviewed restaurant. They read.
If, on the other hand, you have a vague sense of perhaps a
continent you were thinking you might visit, with a general feeling
of the season it might be when you get there, and absolutely no
earthly idea where you will stay until you arrive, you are a Mr.
Side Trip Guy. Mr. Side Trip Guys are free spirits. They wander
where their interests lead them. While in Paris, they know about
the Louvre, but they'd just as soon sip wine through the afternoon
at a neighborhood cafe. They hang.
I used to be a Mr. Side Trip Guy.
I would sort of just appear in another town, a little like the way
the Star Trek guys did, molecularizing onto its surface. I
went where whim led me, following my instincts, secure in the
notion that serendipity was the best guidebook. I was, as the
saying goes, free as the wind blows.
Now, I want to know exactly from which direction that wind is
blowing and at what velocity and whether it is better for sailing
or for kite flying.