July was a month of dreams and decisions. My mind burgeoned with images of Argentina, Hungary, South Africa and a number of other possible destinations for the eight one-month trips I’ve slated for the next two years. And decisions, yes, some of those too.
It was also the month I kissed my 20s goodbye. Some consider 30 to be your admission ticket to bountiful bran breakfasts, sessions of Icy Hot application, and muffin tops. Not so, me. I feel it’s the beginning of a vibrant and thrumming thing, the rare growth into adolescence of an idea: Traveling Savage.
Come to think of it, “kissing things goodbye” will be an apt summary of this year. Wonder what’s next? 🙂
Plans & Happenings
My Argentina planning came to a head this month. I knew it would be my first destination, but not exactly where in the country. I’m not backpacking around and I’m not on vacation; I’m putting roots down in one place for a month. My choices boiled down to Buenos Aires, Mendoza, and Salta, and you can read all about my thought process here. The outpouring of comments and thoughts was humbling and immensely helpful, and I’m happy to announce that I’ve made a decision (call ESPN!):
For my first “flash enculturation,” I will be spending a month in Salta, Argentina!
Special thank yous to Audrey of Uncornered Market, Aracely of Two Backpackers, Gareth of Tourist 2 Townie, Marcello of Wandering Trader, and Erin of Never Ending Voyage among everyone else in the comments. This is a case study in social media bringing knowledge holders to knowledge seekers. Amazing.
I’m now on the hunt for flights to Buenos Aires that don’t annihilate my budget before I’ve gone anywhere, and I’ve got a vaccination check-up scheduled as well. I’m also reading up on how to be smart about frequent flyer programs and what kind of travel insurance I need over my basic insurance. This month I also spent some time trying to nail down our communication modes while Sarah and I are apart, and at this point I’ve decided to buy an iPhone 4. Color me excited.
In the bittersweet news section, we’ve finally found a new home for one of our cats (sniffle…bye Whisky…sniffle). The backstory is irrelevant other than to say two of our female cats didn’t get along and we had to keep one segregated in our spare bedroom to prevent demonic feline deathmatches. With the spare bedroom freed, we can now begin hosting Couchsurfers! Hopefully some people come through this way because I think it’s important to build up my community profile as proof I don’t harbor creepy or murderous tendencies.
Features & PR
It has been another good month of seeing Traveling Savage out and about. Shortly after my last State of the Savage, the awesome folks at Global Basecamps interviewed me as part of their Best in Travel Blogs series. Kelley asked some beautiful questions and I appreciated how much she knew about the Traveling Savage philosophy. Andi Fisher of Misadventures with Andi kindly featured me twice this month in Saturday Six #29 and #31, once for The Goodbye Traveler and once for 10 Things Zorba the Greek Taught Me About Life.
Adventurous Kate included my post on One Month in Argentina in best travel blogs of July 11-17, and Caz of yTravelBlog pulled my Zorba post into her best travel posts for the week of July 19th. Finally, the folks over on Simonseeks recommended Traveling Savage for my recent iPhone post. It’s a handy site with a bunch of travel tips ranging from the cheapest Rome Hotels to the best nightlife in London.
Somewhere along the line Traveling Savage crested 1,000 comments and I’ve continued to hit all-time highs with subscribers and traffic. I also closed my first ad deal a couple of days ago. Here’s to hoping there’s more where that came from!
Switching gears now. To this day, a post on David Lee’s Go Backpacking still haunts me. Go ahead and read it. The author asked Miguel, a man he met on the streets in Cuba, a series of questions. He was met with consistently tight-lipped responses. When asked “What’s your dream and why?” Miguel responded that he has no dream and he’s happy. I remembered slumping back in my chair and stroking my chin. There some indication in the post that Miguel might have been disingenuous, perhaps concerned about a government reprisal, but what if he was just content to sell straw purses and bags on the street? Is this simplicity trumping complexity once again? Are dreams a luxury? Are dreams an escape?