Hello! Whilst perusing your home page, I noticed a solicitation for personal travelogues. Would you consider submissions from a long journey through obscure destinations like Mauritania, Zanzibar, Uzbekistan or Sikkim? Stories filled with insights derived from the complex job of shutting down a conventional life, coping with the unceasing problems associated with low cost, reservationless travel, and just plain dealing with the cultural challenges of Africa and Asia? I can offer just such a unique look from my upcoming 1996 It Will Be So Awful, It Will Be Wonderful tour. But first, a few words about myself...
I presently reside in Boulder, a countercultural oasis in Colorado, and fund my activities as a wild duck technical writer for IBM. Prior to this distinguished corporate career of nine months, I lurked about a downtown Seattle skyscraper, the Phantom of the 29th Floor, working (and secretly living) in the offices of a computer software company.
Despite the burden of traditional engineering and business degrees, I have maintained a footloose life style sustained by ten years of contract writing. As a result I have become an incorrigible, budget backpacker who can't resist the allure of mysterious and exotic destinations even though I know from past travels that the experiences seldom turn out as expected. But it is that unpredictability along with a bit of serendipity that I crave for their wonderfully disruptive effects upon my life. My idea of fun ranges from booking deck passage on ocean-going Indian ferries to searching Macao markets for the weirdest food to discussing vasectomies with macho Fijian warriors.
As of this moment I am poised on the precipice of another ambitious adventure, just a few weeks away from sacrificing all that is comfortable, all that breeds complacency in my daily life, trading a lucrative job, an insured existence (health, life, dental, disability, home, and auto), and potable tap water for a five month, truck camping trip through Africa. Dessert afterward consists of a half year in Central Asia, eating, sleeping, and traveling as the locals do.
Writing being one of my favorite pastimes, I have documented the itinerary of this journey in the form of short essays called Klimagrams. A sample will arrive shortly after this introduction. Since I will be carrying a solar-powered laptop computer with a 28.8 baud modem, I intend to continue this electronic journal despite the knowledge that internet access, as well as electricity and running water, where I am going will be limited.
The point of no return has passed: my arms are full of vaccines, the car and furniture are sold, everybody I know thinks I am nuts, and the slow decline of my checkbook balance has begun. A professional travel writer I am not; a chronicler of personal adventure I am, unfettered by a serious career in journalism. The literary demons within drive me and demand an outlet. Distributing Klimagram to all my friends, everyone I have ever worked with, and a lot of people I only know electronically no longer suffices. The Web is the perfect vehicle for sharing what I will discover in my travels.
So enjoy, delete or whatever my sample Klimagram. And I must confess - this adventure is not really the trip of a lifetime for me. I have been avoiding adult responsibilities for years, joyously trapped in a cycle of work, work, blow it all, work, work, blow it all - you get the picture.
Jim Klima (alias Jet City JimBo)