State of the Savage: March 2012

by Keith Savage · 13 comments


Traveling Savage at the Lochranza Ferry Terminal on the Isle of Arran, Scotland

You’re probably wondering if I’ve used up my allotment of freaky self-portraits for these State of the Savage posts yet. I’m getting there, not to worry. Luckily (for me, not you), I’ll be back in Scotland shortly where I’m sure to replenish this stock.

It’s been an interesting six months at home between trips. Sure, I’ve had mini-vacations to Florida and excursions to San Francisco, Milwaukee, and Chicago, but generally I’ve been waking up at home and lurching into my office with coffee. It’s a nice life. It’d be even nicer if I was making a livable income.

There have been frequent periods of thrashing for new ideas during these home-bound months. I detest the thoughts that sometimes assail me, of being a malingerer or carpetbagger while Sarah brings home the bacon. The full-time pursuit of creative endeavors is a rare luxury, even if it is a struggle, and I suppose it should come as no surprise that it’s difficult to reconcile these low points with modern expectations of work and income that are institutionalized in us from birth (not to mention Catholic guilt, oh boy).

I am a kid at heart. In his best man’s speech at my wedding, my brother summed me up as a “dreamer” and the older I get the more I see the accuracy and wisdom in that assessment. I have so many dreams that live on into the conscious world as ideas and pursuits, but like dreams these pursuits rarely live through to the next night. Sometimes it feels like chasing ghosts and I wonder.

Starting April 1 I’m beginning a new phase in a new project. It won’t have any immediate effect on Traveling Savage; in fact, I’ve been working on it for the past three months. I think it’s in good enough shape to move on to the meat of the project. As much as I’m a kid at heart and a dreamer, I’m also a brutal pragmatist (incidentally, having these two opposing character traits often leads one to hang suspended between the two, dreaming up ideas only to shoot them down, and ultimately results in zero progress in any direction). I hate being such a tease, but I’ll have more information on the project in the future.

Plans & Happenings

A month from now I’ll be haunting Edinburgh’s misty closes, wind-swept hills, and traditional pubs with my dad. Then we proceed north with clusters of days in Perthshire, Speyside for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, Tain and Easter Ross, and Orkney. I’m working on my content strategy for this trip; the first couple trips to Scotland last year I continued with standard posts while I was traveling, but on my trip last September I chose to write onlyΒ vignettes. I like for there to be some indication to readers of Traveling Savage that I’m actually in Scotland traveling, but I need to refine this idea. I will certainly use Facebook’s Notes app on the Traveling Savage fan page to provide timely recaps of the Spirit of Speyside whisky festival – kind of like a microblog – so if you’re not a fan now I highly recommend you Like my page.

As I mentioned last month, I’ve decided to skip the Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) 2012 conference in Keystone, Colorado. Travel blogger readers: I have a ticket for sale at pre-sale face value. Contact me if you’re interested. Instead, that weekend I’ll be heading to Montreal to see a Radiohead concert with my amazing wife, Sarah. Quick aside: Radiohead actually brought us together back in the summer of 2003 at a concert we attended at Alpine Valley, and Montreal is where I proposed to her five and a half years ago. It’s going to be incredible!

Other non-work-related trips this year include weddings in San Francisco and Spokane and a visit to Memphis in autumn.

Parting Blow

Being a dreamer is a gift and a curse. It makes holding down a steady, if uninspiring and unfulfilling, job extremely difficult, but I imagine actualizing dreams to be among the highest highs. Are you a dreamer? Can you relate?


Alasdair - 2 Wheel ToursNo Gravatar March 29, 2012 at 7:39 PM

If you want to add a unique experience to your time in Scotland Keith – how about a fat bike tour along the white sand beaches of East Lothian, stopping to visit a clifftop 14th century castle and smuggler’s cove (the smallest harbour in the country). We’re launching new fat bike beach tours just outside of Edinburgh next month and would love to have you along for a preview, interested?

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 30, 2012 at 11:03 PM

Hi Alasdair – sounds like fun! Email me at travelingsavage[at]gmail[dot]com and we can discuss further.

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Brock - Backpack With BrockNo Gravatar March 29, 2012 at 4:01 PM

It seems like you’re on the cusp of something interesting – a new project and lots of cool trips. Everything will fall into place!

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 29, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Hey Brock, good to hear from you. Thanks for the encouraging words!

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Mary frNo Gravatar March 29, 2012 at 4:38 AM

We all have dreams and hope they’ll come real one day πŸ™‚
It gives us power for life :))

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KenNo Gravatar March 28, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Don’t give up your dreams. Whatever we may need to do to make it through life, without our dreams it’s for nought. Realizing our dreams is heaven, living without them even if not realized is desperation.

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 28, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Oh, I don’t think I’d give up the dream even if I could.

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KJNo Gravatar March 28, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Modern expectations of work and income are overrated. Look what happened to much of that despite the best of intentions.

Finding the balance between what feeds the soul and what sustains the needs is the hard part. Good luck, and keep us dreaming with you.

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 28, 2012 at 9:47 PM

I agree that they’re overrated, but it’s not so much exterior expectations as my own ingrained ones.

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MikeachimNo Gravatar March 28, 2012 at 12:56 PM

I can relate. Assuredly. But you know this – you’ve heard my wild, unfocussed rantings up close. πŸ™‚

I look forward to seeing what the New Project holds. As long as it involves sitting and drinking whisky, somewhere in there. And if it doesn’t, change it slightly so it does. You know you want to.

Dreams sustain us when logic fails to.
Which probably makes them a kind of madness.
Yes, that sounds about right.

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 28, 2012 at 9:55 PM

If anything, I probably need to cut back on the “sitting around drinking whisky” part, but thanks Satan.

I know you’re in the same boat with me, and that would make me a lot happier if your haikus actually worked πŸ˜‰

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holiday scotlandNo Gravatar March 28, 2012 at 12:27 PM

I can relate keith, whilst stuck in my “normal job” i dream about making a living from the Scotland website, ideas come and ideas go. Nothing seems to work right at the time but i am dreaming of that time i can give up my “normal job” and work from home talking about Scotland. I am just waiting for that right person to come along and say “hey i have a great idea, fancy joing in” till then i will carry on finding my own ideas that at times are pretty dam poor………but hey God loves a trier.

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar March 28, 2012 at 9:52 PM

I’ve had the same mentality to some degree, hoping that someone will notice what I’m doing and present an opportunity. At my old job there was this quote from an old nun that went “hope is not a plan,” and as much as I dislike the quote it is very true. It’s definitely the wrong mindset hoping/expecting others to solve my problems; it’s lazy and self-entitled (berating myself here, not you Greg), and I’m trying to disabuse myself of it.

You’ve got the right idea: Keep trying new things, keep shooting. Empty the clip.

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