Narrative Theory

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October 23, 2012 10:02 pm

Vagabond Tales: Can Travel Writers Take A Normal Vacation? — Kyle Ellison | Gadling


“The problem for writers, I think, lies in our inquisitive nature. Towns on a map are not simply towns on a map; they are places with histories and stories to tell, and to pass by even a single place without uncovering its story is to commit the greatest form of travel sin. Rest and relaxation be damned, I want to learn about this place. And this one. And that one …

This thirst for not only knowledge, but the ability to compile and share that knowledge is not logistically amenable to a 4,300-mile road trip. The logical reality is that you can’t delve into the story of every single place you pass, and unfortunately, places are going to have to be skipped.

Which is why it was so painstakingly difficult to make the decision to pass by the 100th anniversary of the Mark Twain Museum in Hannibal, Missouri in favor of making it to the 100th anniversary of the Wyoming State Fair in the ranching outpost of Douglas, Wyoming.

The deciding factor was that one featured a Dierks Bentley concert and the other one didn’t. Bypassing 900 miles of towns and their associated stories (Lincoln, Nebraska: “What It Means To Be A Cornhusker”, Chimney Rock: “Oregon Trail Icons” and Ogallala, Nebraska: “Towns You Can’t Pronounce And Have No Need To Go To”), I eventually wound up at a KOA campground on the outskirts of Douglas en route to a jam-packed country music concert.”
See on gadling.com

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