It probably took me ten years – meaning from the first time I thought I should probably stop until I actually did – to actually stop changing my travel plans to accommodate some romantic entanglement or another. I’ve done this waaaay too many times, including the time I quit my job and flew to Europe for someone I wasn’t even properly dating. 

The last time I did it, I had gone to my hometown for a visit and just didn’t leave. I was planning on heading back to San Francisco but never quite made it, and I fled town somewhere around six months later when it all fell apart. 

And it fell apart hard. So hard, that time, that I resolved, once and for all, that I would never do it again.

And I mean, I haven’t. But now I’m thinking about taking it a step further: what if I made everyone come to me?

I have spent the last 20 years grouping my friends by city, and keeping a running tally in my mind of the last time I’ve been to each one. After a few years gone from some town or another, an alarm starts ringing in my head: you must visit. It’s been too long.

But it’s pretty rare that the cities I want to visit and the cities I must visit actually line up.

For instance, I’ve been staring down the barrel of a trip to my home country for the better part of a year now, and every month that passes I feel like it gets pushed further. This is for a lot of reasons, but chief among them because it feel like if I do come, if I fly all the way back to the goddamned states, that it’ll be impossible to satisfy everyone there.

If it were up to me, I’d come to Seattle and Chicago. Maybe Austin. But if it were up to everyone else? My ass would be in New York and Miami and Tampa and San Francisco and LA. And I just can’t spend all that time flying everywhere in the goddamned States for people who have never, not one time, visited me.

I’m not joking: I am straight-up tired of it. Planes go both ways.

The list of people who have flown somewhere to visit me is pretty short. It’s basically just Lisa, who flew us both to Japan in 2019. Jen came to see me in San Francisco once, but her brother lived there at the time.

But seriously, total? It’s seven that I can remember, and that includes people I’ve met up with in a third city we both flew to. 


So let’s go back to that time I quit my job and flew to Europe to meet some dude. An AMERICAN dude, I should add, just to reiterate how ridiculous the whole thing was.

Anyway, so I quit my job in Seattle and flew to Frankfurt. And then I met him in Düsseldorf, and we went together to Berlin and Prague, where I met Callie for the first time, and invited her to stay with me in Budapest.

These days, Callie is my best friend in Chicago, though she lived in Reno at the time.

Anyway, after Budapest we flew back to the Netherlands. And after about our thousandth fight, I left the Hauge and went overnight to Amsterdam to see a friend I had met in Panama a few years earlier. And that day, the one in Amsterdam, was like seven years ago. 

But seven years can feel like a day as soon as you’re planning to see someone again.

Out of the sheer-ass blue, while were still in this fucking pandemic, Rianne – that friend from Amsterdam – went from “hey, how are you?” to “I’m coming to Istanbul” in about ten minutes.

So if you miss me, take note: I’m literally always somewhere. And contrary to popular belief, you can actually come see me, too, haha. 

But seriously, I couldn’t be more excited. 

I’m in Istanbul right now, but I’ll be leaving on Saturday for my 2021 birthday trip (stay tuned.) Interestingly, October 29th is Republic Day in Turkey, so I’ll be returning that morning to go to have a leisurely day before retiring to an exquisite suite overlooking the Bosphorus to watch the fireworks surrounded by a dubious number of bottles of champagne. 

Rianne gets here a couple days before I get back, so she’ll be here waiting for my return.

But don’t be surprised if I get spoiled by having someone come to me for a change. You never know: this might be the things that reforms me forever.


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