It was light at 4am because we were so far north and I laid on the couch where I woke and watched the men get ready to go fishing. For a few minutes I pretended I was doing serious independent travel and imagined describing the scene in my dispatches home: “These men are obsessed with coffee. They drink it every morning, at least two cups, and then bring a thermos with them on the boat. When they run out of coffee on the boat everyone crashes and takes turns napping on the narrow benches. They play cards late into the night and laugh constantly and have dedicated their lives to fish.”
Whether you’re traveling with your partner, a family member or a close friend, you GOTTA establish expectations beforehand because chances are you’ll want to tear their throat out just because they eat pudding with a Swiss army knife or something like that. Love the people you love. That’s my motto.
I wrote up these points in the first person (“Here’s what I promise I’ll do”) because I can only be responsible for my own actions & reactions.
I read somewhere that to travel well you need patience, tolerance, respect and a sense of humor. To that I’d add a Rolex and rock-hard abs, just in case. But I’ve been thinking about some actual travel advice we’ve developed for ourselves over the years. Here they are. Just below. Right… now. Below. Look down there now, the next few words don’t matter. Slicey trickster temple mat. See? They didn’t matter.
Quarter Year’s self-imposed rules for long-term travel
By Mike Goldstein
“Granite Island: A Portrait of Corsica” is a beautifully written chronicle of Dorothy Carrington’s time in Corsica (which spanned decades). Even after the second world war Corsican peasants were living very much in the same way their ancestors had for centuries. In the following paragraphs Carrington, visiting from London, writes about her experiences living with a Corsican peasant family near Sartene.
Azure and I agreed that Bonifacio is one of the most spectacular cities we’ve visited – it’s built on a cliff that’s surrounded by water on 3.5 sides and it’s pretty much waiting to fall into the water, as you can see above. From Bonifacio you can see Sardegna, Corsica’s Italian sister to the South. Bonifacio is hundreds of years old, of course, and somewhere up here was found one of the oldest inhabitants of Corsica, a woman whose grave was dated to ~9000 years ago.
We found the town itself to be one of those annoying seasonal towns that’s a shell in the off-season, so there’s nothing to do, nothing that sustains people. Tourism keeps em going the rest of the year, of course, so when we were walking around the town our interactions felt uncomfortably artificial. We were much happier in Sartene where there was a university and some commerce and free wifi only half an hour away.