Happy new year and welcome back! The decorations are packed away and the champagne is drained to the last drop, so now what? We’re back in a full week of work, it’s bitterly cold outside, and right about now is when people start making grand resolutions for vast personal makeovers in an effort to transcend the gloomy post-holiday feeling and regain a sense of specialness about themselves and the lives they’ve chosen. I’m plenty special already and very content with the life I’ve made for myself, so you won’t see me setting huge, unattainable goals this year. (I’m going to wear a bikini by Memorial Day! I’m going to have my first novel published by Flag Day! I’m going to be CEO of my company by Halloween! I’m going to be committed for maniacal overreaching by Thanksgiving!)
However, I do have this one huge goal that I’ve been working toward financially for years now (you are all well aware of the Giant Personal Voyage That Shall Never Be Called a Personal Voyage to which I refer). Financially, but not really in any other tangible way. I’m shockingly ignorant about most of the places I’m so excited to visit, and three years out is about time to remedy that.
So, dearest fellow travelers, please join me as I embark on the Country a Month Challenge. (It’s either totally passe or way trendy to be setting blog challenges, I don’t even know which, but whatevs, go with me here.) I’m going to research one country a month from here until you tell me to stop or I take off on my trip, whichever comes first. Of course I won’t attempt to become an expert on anything, but I will try to get a bit more knowledge than the small amount that constitutes danger. I’ll read up on the history, culture, and current events of the country. I’ll also watch a movie and read a work of fiction from artists of that country. Finally, I’ll make a dish native to the country (or seek out a tasty restaurant that specializes in such a dish) and enjoy it with friends (I’ll need the help of T and K, gourmands, for this part).
Oh and one last note: I’ll approach each country in approximately the order I intend to visit, so we’re starting with Australia for the month of January. February is New Zealand, March is Indonesia, and so on.
I’ll report back here with what I find out. I’m not sure what form all this will take, exactly; I don’t want to write up book reports for you to use as sleep aids, but I also don’t want to pass through each country too quickly or superficially with guidebook-style wit. I’ll probably post a little more often than the once a week I’ve been doing, especially as I’ll want to occasionally alternate to posts on other topics, but we’ll see how that goes.
Any ideas on what you’d like to see in this space for this project? Any ideas on ways to approach it? Any ideas on media I should look to for researching Australia?