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Santa Barbara, Ca

I'm a full-time rambler and contract designer with as many skill sets in my quiver as there are plane tickets in my passbook. I've worked in ornamental iron, jigsaw puzzle design, bookmaking, glass engraving, and a variety of other mediums. I'm currently living out of a backpack as I trek my way around the world.


An Argument for Slow Travel

Zak Erving

Elizabeth Bridge, Budapest

Elizabeth Bridge, Budapest

I tend to travel two months at a time, making a dozen stops in different bordering cities and countries. My travels aren’t exactly the whirlwind tours I’ve heard about or seen advertised (tours promising 9 countries in 8 days, apparently, are just what one needs to say, “I’ve been there” without ever realizing why one went in the first place), but from mid-June to mid-August of this past year I felt something I’d not expected to when traveling: an acute awareness of the need to stay.

Here’s a quick synopsis of my (A) actual 2011 summer and (B) a hypothetical one, had I listened to the voices in my head:

(A) Florence—Cinqueterre—Napoli—Sorrento—Rome—Belfast—Portrush—Dublin—Barcelona—Prague—Dubrovnik—Omiš—Split—Zadar—Plitvičke Jezera—Osijek—Zagreb—Budapest—Copenhagen—Reykjavik. (Average time in each city/town: 3 days)

(B) Sorrento—Portrush—Barcelona—Prague—Omiš—Plitvičke Jezera—Osijek—Zagreb—Budapest—Reykjavik. (Average hypothetical time in each place: ~1 week)

I’ve been instructed by many people to see as much of the world as I can, and I’ve taken their advice up to this point. But something changed this last summer, and I can now put words to it: traveling to see as much as you can sounds like a sure-fire way to age prematurely. Now, I travel to stay young.

So next time, I’ll stay a while.