What is Truth?
If the truth is relative, the stories you will read on this website are relatively true. Nevertheless, please be warned in advance that I am the main character, the narrator and the author so the infinite uncertainty principle applies. I live in a subjective universe not an objective one. As such, these stories contain exaggerations, extrapolations and occasional flat out lies. The names are not correct because I have a bad memory, I don’t hear accents well, and sometimes I just like a different name better. Various details are inaccurate or perhaps completely imagined. Time sequences are slightly re-arranged. The facts are not always the exact facts….. In other words, these stories contain so many untrue elements that I am tempted to present them as works of fiction. It is, after all, only a fine line which separates illusion from reality… And in this particular case that line is very very fuzzy…
This much is definitely true. I work seasonally in upstate NY doing landscape stonework. Because of the snow and ice that comes in the NY winter, I only work from some time in early April until sometime in early November. In the winter months, I go traveling. In the last 16 years, traveling for four or five months a year, I have been to over 50 countries on four continents. I’ve been to Central and South America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, India and some of Europe. I don’t spend much money when I travel because I don’t have much money to spend. I learned long ago that if I stick to local accommodation and services, I can see most of the world for a very reasonable rate.
When I first began traveling (1992), I started keeping a hand written travel journal to chronicle my various adventures on the road. That journal has now grown into more than twenty spiral notebooks that are scattered around various storage areas of places where I once lived. The journal has never been up to date and it was certainly not recorded day to day or moment to moment. I usually wrote the journal story a week or so after it happened and sometimes I didn’t get it down on paper for a month or even several years later. Nevertheless, I always wrote the story as if it was happening in the moment. Why did I do this? I’m not sure exactly. It’s more fun that way; like a magic trick or time travel. It’s almost as if I got to re-live the experience as I wrote it. So, of course, everything isn’t exactly true. My memory isn’t perfect because I’m not a machine. Conversations in quotations were not tape recorded and reproduced, they were remembered and summarized. I’m human and I have an active imagination so I embellish and exaggerate a little. I studied literature in school so I add occasional metaphors and symbols. In other words, I use a creative process to transform unrelated but real or true events into a story. Is it journalism… no. Is it fiction… no. It is something in between.
As time progressed, I started posting some of the stories from my notebooks on the internet so my friends back home could keep track of me as I wandered around the world. Those first couple of mass e-mails evolved into a travel stories page on my stonework business website. That website eventually shut down and I have now created this website just for travel stories. My plan is to gather all the stories from all my notebooks and post them here and continue adding new stories as I continue to travel the world. If I have stories from fifty countries so far, will I eventually write a story about every nation on earth? Probably not… but it’s good to have goals….
So please, stop by and visit this site whenever you can. Read a story or two. It’s always fun to go on a vicarious wander in a far away place. And tell others about this page. Please share it with anyone who likes travel or stories or creative writing.
If you would like to help support this project financially, you can buy one of my books. The e-books are very modestly priced and the expensive paperbacks are worth every penny.