Trip update: This week has featured visitors. I hosted Couchsurfers Agus and Santi from Argentina, then Warmshowers guests Harrie and Dianne from the Netherlands. Very interesting and wonderful people in very different ways.
I am very glad that I decided to open my little flat in Formia to the Couchsurfing and Warmshowers communities. There has been a healthy demand (at least someone every week), and the travellers coming through have enriched my life. As background, Couchsurfing is a social media site for travellers who host other travellers when they are home. Warmshowers is a similar site, but it is particularly for bicycle tourists.
I am in Bologna today for the Translators in Italy GetToGether, after which I will ride down the Via Adriatica as far as Termoli, before returning to Formia.
River Run 2017. Many of you have asked what this year’s tour will be, but I have been too busy this winter to put much meat on the planning. Then I decided that the details were getting in the way, so what I have to offer is a general route with only five fixed points: Budapest, Vienna, Bordeaux, Nice and Washington DC.
At the end of March, I plan to close up the apartment in Formia and take the train to Bologna for the Children’s Book Fair. After that, I expect to ride around northern Italy for three weeks, seeing friends whom I missed in 2015, because we ran out of time on the Europe 2015 tour. I will cross Slovenia and Hungary to make a presentation at the BP-17 Conference in Budapest. Along the way, I hope to ride the north shore of Lake Balaton (which has fascinated me since seeing a recent James Bond movie) and perhaps stop to visit the Esterhazy castle. Son Daniel will be in the University of Illinois chorus doing concerts in and around Vienna and Budapest, and I plan to be in the audience. A ride to the source of the Danube in Switzerland and a 30-km mountain ride from there to the source of the Rhine will position me to ride down the Rhine River to Den Haag in the Netherlands. A visit to some Dutch friends, and I will head south to Bordeaux, France. I would like to visit some World War I battlefields and other sights along the way. Cheryl will join me in August in Bordeaux. After riding through Dordogne, we will take the train to the source of the Rhône River in Switzerland. We will follow that stream all the way to the Mediterranean, flying out of Nice in October. My next stop will be the American Translators Conference in Washington DC (last week of October). After the ATA Conference, I plan to visit with Daniel in Charlottesville at least through the holiday season. I have no idea where I will be in 2018, and I have decided not even to think about it until after the ATA Conference.
The blog: This is the 155th post in the Freewheeling Freelancer blog. I think that it has accomplished its mission: to examine what it takes to live and work on the road, particularly on a bicycle, and to determine if it is feasible. In three-and-a-half years, the blog it has grown to be part travelogue, part memoir and part practical tips for nomadic workers. WordPress links each post to Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Most of the comments have come from readers who get it through Facebook. Because I only have WordPress statistics and the blog is public on other social media, I have no idea of the total readership. I chose to publish every Saturday mainly to create a weekly deadline for myself, not because anyone thought that I should publish on that day.
With all that as background: here is what to expect.
Most of the posts in the future will be of the travelogue variety. I will wait until I have an interesting segment to report on, then put it up. I will be alert for lessons learned for working on the road, but mostly, the blog will be about the places I visit and my reaction to them. I won’t try to meet a Saturday deadline, but publish when I have something.
I don’t have any more sea stories in the pipeline. However, if I think of one, it will be clearly marked “sea story” and stand alone, as the current sea stories do. I may publish a fictional short story; I have not decided if I want to dig up those or not. If I do, they will be clearly marked to set them apart.
As always, I invite your input. Many of you know me; do you have memories of life with me that you think would make a good sea story? Are you enjoying the “armchair tourism” of the travelogues and the trip updates? Has the practical information been helpful; have you seen enough of that? Would you like me to spin a tale (fiction) once in a while? Do you read the blog for the pictures or the content?
Smooth roads and tailwinds,
You’ll never know how much your blogs mean to me, personally. You take me to places I’ve seen and experienced, and more importantly, to places I’ll never get to see, but get to experience them through your eyes and thoughts. I especially love the pictures and your “sea stories” and hope you will slip them in on occasion. Keep up the good work…and until next time…I wish you smooth roads and tailwinds. ~Jan Hayes (’72-’74 Sixth Fleet Singers)
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Thanks, Jan. It was fun singing with you!