Introduction: My basic travel style.

My name is Derrick and I am currently a lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas. I have been stricken with wanderlust for a few years now. Planning a journey gives me something to look forward to, something to motivate me, and something to work towards.

When one decides whether or not to take with someone, it is essential to understand what sort of traveler he or she is. Traveling with someone requires more than a common destination, but some commonality of objectives, priorities, preferences, and interests. Through this blog, I hope to take you with me on some of my adventures. While you need not endure the differences of our travel styles, perhaps it will provide context for my narratives.

So first of all: I tend to be attracted to the destinations that are not quite what people are drawn to. For example, last year I spent a week in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico for Christmas. Anyone familiar with Nuevo Laredo’s reputation would understand why this is not a place that attracts many tourists. I went. I stayed a week. I had a great time there.

I tend to travel alone. It is not that I am anti-social at all, but rather I like to control my itinerary and be open to sudden changes in plans. As with all organisations: the bigger the group, the harder it is to deviate from plans. Also, it is harder to meet new people. A group of two or more people create a bubble that can be very difficult to penetrate.

I prefer hostels and home stays. Not only are the cheaper alternatives, but they also help personalize a place. As I am accustomed to traveling solo, a hostel is a great place to meet up with other travelers for an evening out, a day’s excursion, or perhaps company for the next leg of your journey. It is also a place where one can exchange information about a place with other slightly more economical yet adventurous travelers.

While I enjoy hostels, many cities do not have hostels- especially those not frequented by young international tourists. Even if there are hostels, sometimes it is nice to stay with locals. I find home stays most often on Couchsurfing.org where one can read reviews of possible hosts. Even if I do not fancy staying the night, Couchsurfing affords me the opportunity to meet up with people in that destination, even just for dinner and a walking tour of downtown.

Another singularity of my travel style is that I prefer slow travel. I will fly to a destination, but then any journey I take from that destination will typically be by land or sea. In 2010, I flew to Sevilla, Spain for a study abroad. During my two months there and two months travelling afterwards I did not call at any airports, opting instead for rail, coach, and ferry to travel through Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Andorra, France, Monaco, Italy, San Marino, and Vatican City State.

As I wrap this up in anticipation of my dinner, I am reminded of another thing: a love of food. I love local foods. When I am in a new place, eating is my number one priority. Forget comfort foods and chain restaurants- I want to sample what is the Comida Tipica of a place. Although I am not quite as extreme as Andrew Zimmern, I am willing to try most unique or weird foods that a place has to offer. I am willing to forgo attractions in favor of a trip to the local market or a visit to a street vendor. It is through food that one can really learn a lot about the locals.

So I have opened this blog with an introduction of me as a traveler. I hope you will enjoy my stories (as well as possible existential musings on the cliche Road of Life metaphor.)

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