Feb 23, 2006

Meditations on Travel

Six weeks into the Compact I’m challenged by thoughts of post-graduation travel. My summer bike tour (SF to Mexico) requires sturdy gear, some of which I’m slowly acquiring or building, and some that I’m just deciding to abandon. In much the same way, my home’s reflecting these same choices. While a lot of folks seem to think that we shop like crazy, only buying used, it’s silly to presume that any of us can engage in the Compact without reducing our overall hoard of crap.
Regarding travel, I do have an idea for postcards, as I’m a prolific penpal and postcard lover myself. How about taking along a glue stick and scissors and cutting out pix from the local paper or tourist maps, etc. Then glue them to a cereal box or something similarly sturdy.
I’m still on a mad quest for suitable maps, wouldn’t be so difficult if I wasn’t a geographer. That’s right, I’m picky. Where are the used USGS 7.5 minute quadrangles? So far I’m finding the map library at SFSU quite handy, photocopies are my best bet so far with respect to hiking maps. Road maps are easier to find, but they rarely have the detailed contour lines that are so helpful for planning a bike trip.

22 comments:

stomv said...

My wife and I have hundreds of unused postcards from all over the world, including some from the American Southwest. If interested, I'd be happy to mail them to you for free.

Do they count as used? Sure. We buy them when we travel, often overbuying just in case we get super-motivated. Inevitably, we come home with extras, and they'll just sit in our apartment unused.

I use about 3 a month to lobby politicians on issues; otherwise, they just accumulate.

So -- drop me a line if you're interested, and I'll go through my collection and send you ones from places you may like.

Anja said...

Another idea for postcards is - I read that you're allowed to buy art supplies? if not, then perhaps it would be possible to find blank cardboard somewhere - is to draw scenes from your destination on blank card stock. Drawings or even paintings are nice both to make and to recieve, even if you're an amateur artist (first attempts are good too!). I've done this a couple of times.

julia said...

I love the postcards idea. I like anything like that which involves more than just picking an item off of the rack ... a creative act is so much more meaningful, even if it's a simple one.

David said...

I absolutely love your blog. I added a link to it on mine http://iamafreespirit.com/ and I will be visiting often!

I have essientially been living the compact without knowing it since I vowed to sell everything (I mean everything) and join the Peace Corps.

Anonymous said...

I've got a book that a guy wrote riding his bike from BC to baja. You can borrow it and take it on your trip. If it gets destroy, ok, but if not I'd want it back for the info. Pete 415-244-6836

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the sideshow podcast said...

I'm probably not helping the no-buying thing, but I did that trip -- well, part of it. I went from the upper part of WA to mid-Oregon before blowing out the cartilege in my right knee, but I had planned to go all the way to Rosarita Beach, MX.

There is a FABULOUS set of maps here:
http://www.adv-cycling.org/

I had all the ones for the west coast. They are *excellent*, well worth the money. I'd let you use mine, but I've already passed them on. (The knee thing precludes me from any further touring cycle trips.)

kstorm said...

If you are making your own cards just make sure they are the regulation size. My mother has a frugal friend who makes her own - only trouble is they are usually oversized and end up costing the person on the receiving end extra postage. :)

tucki said...

I stopped using postcards a couple of years ago.. if you are using a digital camera on your trip, pull into a town and have a few of your favorites printed (just a few cents) and write on the back. Cheaper and so much better! tucki (australia)

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