In the pre-dawn hours of Monday morning, I set out on a journey.
The streets were wet as I rolled my carry-on and walked a few blocks to a smartcar, which I drove to the MAX train station. The train took me to PDX International Airport. With only a few non-U.S. flights, I’m not sure what’s truly international about my beloved small town airport, but at least security’s quick and everyone is friendly most of the time.
Before I leave on a big trip, I’m always anxious. Once I get going, I’m always excited. After hundreds of trips and millions of miles flying around the world, I know this routine well.
Last fall was a 40-city book tour, which was fun in a different way. Sometimes people would ask if I got tired of being in a different city every day, which no chance to do much except prepare for the evening event. The honest answer is “Not really”—I honestly enjoy the process of hustling my way around the U.S. and Canada, meeting with a different group of readers every night and doing whatever I can to inch a new book forward in a crowded marketplace.
But I also have no illusions that book tour is real travel. It’s essentially an extended commute, with the entire focus on connecting with readers from city to city.
So now I’m doing some real travel, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m going completely around the world!
Tomorrow I’ll fly DFW-HKG on the longest American Airlines route (it’s blocked for 17 hours and 5 minutes!). A couple of days later, I’ll be up in Korea, a place I haven’t visited since a whirlwind visit for The $100 Startup. Then it’s off to Doha via Johannesburg, and then … onwards still.
I’ve missed it.