letters from latitude zero: redux.

current soundtrack: “hi friend” – deadmau5

We live in fine times for the agoraphobic.

My general psychology’s long-since resembled one of those pop-top plastic shells that contains a two-bit prize, found in the exit-ways of every supermarket from here to Nutley: the implication is that the contents are hermetically sealed, but it doesn’t take much—just the slightest application of thumb-forefinger pressure—to bust things wide open. I’m a man whose sanity is survived by small adjustments to the condiments on restaurant tables, by waiting for a “WALK” sign to blink three times before stepping off of the curb: if I had more conviction, I’d likely be a DSM-friendly case of OCD. But as it’s just so happened, I fall short of full-blown neurosis and instead find myself stewing steadily in a mediocre state of total social discomfort.

In any case, these are poor ingredients for travel. I’ve touched on my total lack of traverse in previous indulgences on this blog, and had—in years past—resigned myself to a reality which would get about as far as the end of the proverbial driveway, in terms of rising up to meet the world. I’d listen to wild stories of sex-drenched excursions in the European outback from college buddies and quietly seethe about the exciting summer plans of my pals, while feeling a fist of self-doubt lodged just a few inches south of my sternum: these were adventures for other people to partake in. Not the province of the panic attack sufferer, or those who can’t relinquish even the smallest amount of chance to fate. For roughly thirty-one years, I’d been pretty much nowhere—save for the here and there of travels taken before these little seam-splits in my psyche really started to yawn—and, as my script suggested, I was cool with that.

Odd, then, that reality’s convened and congealed in ways that self-help efforts and personal statements of purpose could not: namely the fact that travel has become so beautifully stupid and simple that even those afflicted with a chronic case of the gut-worries can’t fall back on their old excuses, and measure the world outside between the width of their living room blinds.

I know it’s been a minute or two since I had a reason to write in this thing, but I think I’ve cracked it all over again: sitting here on a Tuesday night in a cold little room, stricken with the usual case of the Novembral Melancholies ™, one can’t help but to marvel at the measure of the year that’s been.

And it has been a hell of a year.

I’ll be telling stories of one man’s lucid push to conquer at least a sampler-sized portion of the world around him: recent forays and future safaris alike. I can’t make promises of coherent narratives, amusing stories situated around plucky and affable protagonists, or travel featuring beautiful people enjoying beaches on the end of beaten paths… but I do have a sense that the contents of this package won’t look, taste or smell like any other travel blog that you’re likely to read.

For better or worse, we’re yours. This is the Hauser Export Project, and it’s starting twelve years ago in a little place called New York City.


About Mel.

The unremarkably epic fingerspinnings of a serial nobody... who spent the first thirty-three years of his life chasing a shadow, and intends to spend the next thirty-three casting his own.
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