Well, let’s get this thing started. First off, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Regan Banks. I’m a 28-year-old New Orleans resident who transplanted himself from the Midwest. Yes, that’s right, I traded in my cornfields, cattle, and smiling strangers for beignets, alligators, and a gregariously outgoing sort (read: no one is a stranger in New Orleans–we all know one another one way or another). It’s been a journey up to this point, getting to enjoy the culture of a city where the people and the customs are steeped in history and diversity that are almost as old and expansive as the United States herself. However, even with as dynamic and entrenched in a self-sustaining culture as this city is, my traveling shoes haven’t even begun to show wear. For these shoes I have, they’re a special stock. They come from a line designed to withstand the brunt of colossal sands, venerable cobble stone, quixotic dirt roads, mountainous pathways, and lush underbrush. Namely, they’re made to endure a trek of global proportions. And the anticipation they feel to fulfill their destiny is working its way up through the soles of my shoes, to the soles of my feet, where it snakes around my leg, winding up to my torso, and stopping at my chest. Here, this anticipation seeps into my organs, making sure to fill the vital ones to the brim. The vitalest (yes, most vital) of these it pays special attention to, and doesn’t stop at just filling. With this cardinal organ, it fills, fills again, and fills yet again until there’s no more room to house it in the four chambers, and it spills over–almost as if baptizing me in its abstraction to ensure that its purpose is felt. And believe you me, it’s a feeling that can’t be incorrectly divined or ignored. At this point, one might ask, “If you feel it so intensely, why don’t you just give in to the feeling, and go globe trotting?” Well, the answer is this: idyllic notions require concrete effects to support their realization. To be more succinct, it’s expensive.
Certainly, one could just travel to a country to visit. Notwithstanding, my interest extends beyond merely seeing. I want to actually indulge in and be engulfed by the exotic culture and customs of foreign places. Since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to experience foreign countries as though I weren’t a foreigner. It is my goal to completely lend my voyages to this desire, to undergo the full immersion of a land, and to report back on what I’ve found. This would include the best methods for both booking travel to the country and traveling within the country, where to room, how to room, where to eat, how to eat, which sights are a must for a first-time goer, which sights can wait for a second visit, the language to familiarize yourself with, along with the most commonly used colloquialisms/phrases to use to at least get by on, the education system, regional government/laws that influence culture and personal finance, and finally, if not most importantly, where to go to have the most fun (Salud!). To do all of this, to truly experience a country like this, however, requires extreme funding–extreme funding that I cannot produce on my own. As such, this is why I’m coming to you, my active reader, for help.
I’ve set up a gofundme account (see link below) to help offset the cost of an endeavor such as this. With your help, I would be afforded the opportunity to purchase the necessary equipment to document my travels, along with the means to be involved in each part of the exotic experience. Obviously, where I go, how long I’m there, and what all I do while there will be in large part determined by the donations received. Therefore, anything that can be donated is greatly appreciated. Nonetheless, Spain (hola), France (bonjour), and Italy (ciao), are the top contenders, especially since I’ve studied Spanish and French for a huge chunk of my life.
Thank you for reading, thank you for your support.
In my next blog entry I will detail the timeline for the trip, where in each country I would like us to visit, and the expected expenses for the equipment, travel, and adventures.
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