Leaving on a jet plane…

I’m excited and terrified to say that I’ve finally given in. I’m hitting the road. I’m going to live the range life, if you will.

On April 21, my dad and I will fly from Boston to St. Petersburg, Russia. He’s always wanted to visit the Hermitage, and I’ve always wanted to see Russia’s center of art, architecture and poetry.

A week later dad will fly back to Boston, and my nomadic experiment begins. The idea is simple – almost naive: to see the world. I won’t have a fixed itinerary. I’ll support myself by writing articles and whatnot, as a divemaster when I can, or, if necessary, by doing whatever odd jobs come my way.

<warning>
This seems like a good moment to announce that anyone who even mentions Eat Pray Love will be kicked off this blog. I mean it. I’ve had enough of people trying to foist that book on me. I am not trying to effing find myself. I’m being myself. Big, big difference.
</warning>

You might be asking: Am I insane? Well, this is the craziest thing I’ve done since Feb ’96,when I moved to Budapest on a whim. I managed to convince Mike Simon, an expat Ohioan I had met only once, to hire me for his kooky little Budapest-based internet startup. I had no real technical skills. Other than Mike, I knew no one in Hungary. I didn’t speak the language. I was so broke that I had to pay my first month’s rent on a credit card. I had no idea what would happen.

None of this mattered. To say that I “decided” to move to Budapest doesn’t capture the reality of the situation. It’s like saying I “decided” to obey the laws of gravity. Back in ’96 there was no question in my mind that Budapest was the only option for my life. It was inevitable and unavoidable. I feel the same way now.

(I can only hope that this new adventure turns out half as well. As many of you know, Budapest still feels like home to me – more than any other place I’ve been, including New York.)

Yes, I’m giving up my apartment in New York. I’ll sell, throw out or give away most stuff. Anything else’ll go into storage.

No, I don’t know when I’ll be back. Unless disaster strikes, it’ll be at least a year – probably much longer and possibly “forever.” It all depends on what happens.

Yes, I hope you will come visit me wherever I am – I’ll post my travel plans regularly. My initial plan after leaving St. Pete is to jump on the Trans-Siberian in Moscow and head east. I’ll to go to the Lake Baikal area in eastern Siberia, Vladivostok, Mongolia, and then China for the eclipse on July 22. After that…who knows? Probably Vietnam/Laos/Malaysia, but we’ll see.

Wish me luck!

PS – To answer the most-asked question about my plan: Yes, there will be a going-away party in New York. (Ahh, my dear friends – always looking for an excuse to party.)

I’ll head up to Boston around April 13, so the party’ll either be the weekend of the 4th or the 11th. Stay tuned.

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4 thoughts on “Leaving on a jet plane…

  1. Oh my goodness! So this is what you’ve been up to! This is really fantastic, Christina, and excellent and marvelous and dozens of other superlative adjectives. I wasn’t thinking of the Book Which Shall Not Be Mentioned when I read this, but I was thinking of another book, which I just finished, called The Ballad of the Whiskey Robber. Have you read it? Made me very much want to visit Hungary, birthplace of my grandmother but never seen by me.

  2. Ha – I love The Ballad of the Whiskey Robber! It really does capture the Hungarian psyche, IMHO. Another great read is the Melancholy of Resistance by Laszlo Krasznahorkai. It’s more subversive and less action-packed.
    You should go to Hungary some day soon. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to go out to the wine-making countryside and roll around the hills with a bellyfull of “spicy” Hungarian wine. Good times.

  3. Write, Write, write! I want to feel and see everything you see and experience. What an endeavor. Keep safe, I’ll pray to all gods-as a mom- to follow you wherever you go.

    I’ll leave for Greece July 8th to stay there for 2.5 months!
    There is a very good possibility I’ll go to Bulgaria (Phillipoupolis) from Greece, with my brother to do a research on our maternal ancestors, find where they lived, worked, any remaining relatives, before those eastern parts were taken over by Bulgaria and Turkey. I will love also to go back to Istanbul, Izmir, etc.; will see.

    I’ll see you in Boston. I hope giving up the New York possessions goes smoothly.
    Judging from what I see, the ties with your friends will always stay strong and may become even stronger.
    Hey, find a handsome Russian and settle down in Vladivostock… just kidding!

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