Adventures from my travels
On my first solo trip, I went to a summer and winter mountain resort town in Patagonia in the late fall. No one was there. After two weeks of studying Spanish in Patagonian rain and snow, the sun came out, and I took a gondola up to the top of the mountain above town. All alone, I made an angelic version of myself, and hiked through the snow and fall leaves for hours, happier than I had been in ten years, and knowing that I had found my real self, at thirty-one, because I had gotten on a plane by myself. Go there. In the summer or winter.
I was terrified the first time I took a trip alone. I chose Buenos Aires, got an apartment, and signed up for Spanish classes. I showed up the first night afraid to go outside, not sure how safe any of it was, or what I was doing alone in South America, without a single friend on the continent. The next morning, I woke up, and went to find the San Telmo antique fair that went on every weekend. I got a table at an adorable café, right next to a couple dancing tango on the street for tourists, and looked up at the window above me to see this guy, alone, relaxing and taking it all in. Seeing him, I knew the trip was going to go alright.
This is Swiss Dave, about four minutes before I threw up mid-air, on both of us, before he landed me face-first in a pile of sheep shit. When we met up five years later in Interlaken, Switzerland, where he was still flying, he said someone threw up in the air about once a day. He’s since learned how to dodge it. Queenstown is full of the inventors and practitioners of every extreme sport in the world. All of New Zealand is full of the most hospitable people in the world. I knew no one, and yet stayed for free with strangers for five weeks. You should go there.
This is why I didn’t get married until I was forty.
My aunt and uncle moved to St. Croix for a few years to evade taxes. If you go deep into the jungle on the south of the island, there is a bar where pigs famously drink beer. One drank himself to death, and this is his headstone. Go there (but only if you happen to be in St. Croix. Gangsters also burn people to death in their cars in that jungle.)
Me, in my happiest place, moments after receiving a floating massage in womb-temperature water from a near-naked Viking. Go to Iceland. Get a floating massage at the Blue Lagoon. Don’t be dumb.
This is what the drummers in restaurants on Morro de Sao Paolo in Brazil wear. Men looking like this also like to jog through the financial district in Rio, their keys and phones just shoved in there somewhere. You should go there.
I am an interesting road sign aficionado, and driving through Israel is pretty much the road sign bonanza. Sodom! Gomorrah! Nazareth! Camels crossing! But in the above photo, I was obviously the most interested to find Dr. Green. (Just kidding: it was the Fountain of Youth.)
This is me being carried by my wonderful friends to a New Year’s party, post-foot-degloving surgery. They decorated my cast with champagne bottle toppers, and carried me to the bathroom whenever I needed. One even got me onto my shower chair. Get these friends.
This is one of the Ferris Bueller New Year’s trips, the day before Will Forte drove over my foot with a car and caused me to need surgery in an island nation. Some amazing people in trucks set up this picnic for us, because our friend’s sister and Moby bought this beach as part of what can really only be described as a land grab. (They want to build a modern Athenian village, whatever that means.) It was lovely. Go there, if you can get in now that the country’s jewel is private land.
This is my dad and Beau Bridges, who played my dad in a pilot I made about my life for ABC. I did not tell my dad what to wear to set that day, he just showed up matching his TV version perfectly.
So, this is a son of a Bedoin chief. Pretty sexy, right? He and his cousins offered to make us a meal in the caves of Petra that night. We would all then “sleep in the nature way” and, if we were “feeling the feelings,” we would do “that,” they proposed. They looked great in black eyeliner. Look out for them.
Only interesting for readers of the book (so read the book!) this is the bathroom in Byron Bay, Australia where I lived for a week at the age of thirty-five. Don’t do that.
This is the best spa experience I have ever had, and it cost one dollar. You float in the viscous goo at the top of this mud volcano while that guy massages you. He then scrapes you down, you walk down to the river, his wife scrubs you clean everywhere, and then dries you off while their kids play by the side of the river. Go there!
My friends Katy and Shaun got married in Hawaii. Lots of boys I liked were there. None of them kissed me. The day after, I woke up in a house full of girls, took a swim with a turtle, and then emerged to find Katy, in her wedding dress, getting ready to dive in with her new husband. Realizing they hadn’t yet tossed the bouquet, she tossed it to me and my housemates. I am not the girl with the bouquet, I am the head you can barely see drowning as she dives for it. For quite some time I thought of this as the photo for my headstone: unsuccessful at matrimony, great at adventure. Go to Lanikai.
This is generally what a sitcom writing staff looks like. A bunch of guys in blue or gray, and either me, or one of about six other women. (Full disclosure: there was one more chick writer on staff, but she was taking the picture.) This is the staff from the last season of “That 70s Show.” Watch it!
One of these men is Ferris Bueller, the man I chased to Paris, who delivered unto me not love, but most of my friends and many of my New Year’s adventures. The other man was on Saturday Night Live and ran over my foot with a car in the Dominican Republic. Can you guess which is which? I know it’s hard to tell since they’re both so attractive. We are at an Austrian restaurant. Don’t go there.