Source: Get it? It's a Red Solo Cup™. The amount of effort I put into selecting or drawing a post picture is based on nothing and varies wildly from post to post.

I'm completely going to ignore the fact it's been four month since I wrote last.
Writing is hard sometimes.

When I started the blog, I talked a lot about my travel ambitions, mostly about my romantic and hyper-idealized fantasies about perpetually travelling. My thoughts on the topic have shifted a bit, but the core reasoning still stands: I think travel is the best way to expand your understanding of the world and the people in it.

While I've definitely stepped up my travel game in the past few years, most of my trips have been planned by other people (friends, work, significant other, etc). Even though they've all been great trips, I want to start doing solo trips, which means being a more active participant in the whole trip planning process. The logical first step is to figure out some sort of process for planning these new Big Boy Solo Trips™ of mine. After much thought (read: no thought), I came up with the following proposal.

The Proposal

I'll take (roughly) two solo trips a year: one will be domestic, one will be international. The domestic trip(s) will probably be decided by what flights are on sale and/or fair dice roll. The international trip will be chosen via the following Very Serious™ 10-step system:

  1. Wait until a particularly whimsical mood strikes. If you're also feeling wanderlust-y, that helps too.
  2. Bike aimlessly until you find a book store. Try to find a different book store every time you do this, for maximum whimsy.
  3. Enter the book store. Act casual.
  4. Find the travel/travel guide section. If they don't have a travel section, the cooking section will do just fine restart at step 1.
  5. Close your eyes. Bear with me here.
  6. Spin around, preferably 3-5 times. Trust me, this is very normal and won't look weird to fellow book store-goers.
  7. With eyes still closed, pick a travel guide off the shelf. You can probably see where we're going at this point.
  8. Buy the travel guide. Money can be exchanged for goods and services.
  9. Read the travel guide. This step might take some time, you can exit the book store at this point, leaving patrons to wonder what just happened.
  10. Travel somewhere entirely unrelated. Just kidding, travel to the location in the travel guide.

If that system sounds weirdly specific, it's because I already did steps #1 through #8, and I'm retroactively formalizing it. Last month (on a particularly whimsical and wanderlust-y day), I went on a post-work bike ride to nowhere in particular, and ended up at a book store, in the travel section, with my eyes closed, feeling slightly dizzy. I ended up walking out with the following:

The fruits of my first-ever Very Serious™ 10-step system run-through, naturally under sketchy box truck lighting.

As you can see from above, my first solo, personal, international travel destination will be Taiwan, and I'm looking forward to learning about it over the course of the next few months. Turning my short attention span to domestic travel, I actually recently went on my first solo, personal, domestic trip, which was to Austin, Texas, and was a genuinely wonderful time.

Why Austin though? That's a long story, perhaps for another post. Though I will say, the choice was based not on price nor dice. Don't worry, a fair amount of whimsy was still most definitely involved.

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