For the longest time, I've always wanted to wander. Every few months I'd come up with an idea. Last year I spent about a week trying to figure out how long it would take to walk across the country, from the Atlantic to the Pacific (ending in San Fransisco, because it's the best city that side of New York City).
For the few past month or so, I've been planning a Cross-country Parkour tour for this summer. Within the past month, it's really taken off. I'm going to be crashing on traceurs' couches, chairs, beds, and floors. I'm going to be hitting up as many of the national jams as possible, and visiting as many local communities as I can. I'm also planning on buying a camcorder (read: already bought it, waiting for it to be shipped!) and making a documentary about the whole trip. Kind of a "This is how America trains!" sort of thing.
These are the cities I'm planning on going to, most likely in this order:
DCPittsburghPhillyNYCClevelandDetroitAnn Arbor/UofMChicagoMinneapolisMadisonSeattleSan FransiscoLAPhoenixDenverOklahoma CitySan AntonioAustinMiamiWest Palm BeachJacksonvilleAthens, GACharlotteChapel HillDC
I'm currently aiming for it taking about 7-8 weeks. I'll be starting in DC with (B)East Coast at the end of May, but then I'm hanging around the area until the Philly jam on June 6-7th. From there I'm headed back to NJ/NYC with Jesse/Hardcoretracuer, and I'm using his house as a base of operations until PKNY. So lucky NYC, I'll be around for two and a half, three weeks!
On The Incomprehensibly Stale Elephant
Hi everyone! For those of you tuning in just now, my name's Brendan, and this is my excellently-named blog! I figured I'd get the first post out of the way by explaining what I want to do with this blog, and my first big project relating to it.
The intention of this blog is to serve as a document of my journeys both distant and local; whether I'm sampling a new beer on tap at a cafe in my local haunt of Tacoma, WA, or I'm venturing off to a new country to take in a new culture, I want to share about my experiences in the most engaging way possible. It is my hope that I can make even my smallest adventures into something worth reading.
Now that I've gotten the basic formalities out of the way, let's talk about my first big project. On July 3rd, 2014, I'll be hopping on a flight to Honolulu, HI, en route to Lanzhou, Gansu Province, China. This is a huge thing for me; in my 22 years, I've been on a grand total of four flights (six, if you're willing to count a pair of layovers as separate ventures), with the longest flight time that I've endured currently sitting at 5 hours, from a nonstop flight I took on a return trip from Atlanta, GA. Adding flights with layovers to the consideration, I have yet to spend more than 8-10 hours travelling between airports.
And yet I'm getting ready to fly to China.
How did I, as a relatively untravelled college kid with a wealth of book knowledge and little worldly experience, get myself into this terribly exciting mess? Well, let's start from the beginning. In 2012, I became a student at the Tacoma campus of the University of Washington, and one of my first classes sparked the pilot light of curiosity regarding Chinese history and culture. Later, in an attempt to fill out my class schedule with learning I found "interesting," I would enroll myself in a beginning Chinese language class, not realizing what I had gotten myself into until it was too late!