Travel, Uncategorized

11 Things To Do When I’m Traveling

We moved out of our home in Canterbury on Thursday, and have just a few days before we begin our travels. So I’ve been reflecting on a few things ahead of the trip. Siobhan recently wrote about her 11 essential travel gadgets for digital nomadism over on the Get_Transient blog, where she listed the gadgets she has packed for our life traveling during the next year. Despite the fact that I also have a whole bagful of tech stuff to go traveling with, I thought I’d try and come up with a different type of travel list.

In the next year I have several planned writing projects which I am going to be working on whilst being away from my job. However, I also have a whole list of other things I want to do during this time, some of which are small, some are new and unfamiliar, and one or two involve revisiting some things which I have loved for a long time but neglected of late. During the last few years the desire for doing these things has generated a really strong feeling of itchy feet. Posting the list here will hopefully function as a way of measuring whether I manage to actually achieve all of them, or even some of them. So here goes:

1) Angkor Wat, Cambodia


I really want to visit the incredible temple complex at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. My daughter Holly was lucky enough to visit this a few years ago, and she has been encouraging me to go ever since.

2) Rothko Chapel, Houston


I personally find Rothko’s work powerful and inspirational. A colleague at work recently visited the Rothko Chapel in Houston Texas, and his description of it as a profoundly meditative experience, at once deeply melancholic and quite depressing, immediately enthused me to want to visit.

3) Roden Crater, Arizona

Roden Crater

For several years I’ve wanted to visit James Turrell’s extraordinary Sky Room installation at Roden Crater in Arizona. Unfortunately, this is a bit of a long-shot since it is still not officially open to the public, except in exchange for donations in excess of $5000. However, there are major exhibitions of his light-work at Los Angeles County Museum of Art opening in May 2013, and both the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York opening in June 2013. We will be in the US then, so we must try and get to these shows.

4) Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon Arizona

I’ve always wanted to see the Grand Canyon from the air – helicopter or plane!

5) Michel Henry


During the next few months I want to try and read everything by the French Phenomenologist Michel Henry. I am fascinated by Michel Henry’s radical phenomenology of life and his theory of the manifestation of invisible life. In order to engage with his work properly involves a much more sustained and focused effort than I have been capable of with all the regular distractions of life.

6) Samuel Beckett


In the coming year I want to re-read all of Samuel Beckett’s prose work. It’s been ages since I’ve read any. Over the years I’ve managed to collect a lot of his work as precious first-editions, but I’ve managed to download all of it onto my ipad for the next year. No need to drag around a huge case full of books any more.

8) Marcel Proust


In the coming year I want to re-read Marcel Proust’s ‘In Search Of Lost Time’…and finish it this time! Last time I attempted this I read the first volume, got a bit bored and then skipped to the end and read the last volume. So we’ll see…

9) New Music

I want to make sure I listen to new and unfamiliar pieces of classical music whilst I’m away, including work by Bach, Mozart, Wagner, Saint-Saens, Smetana, Berlioz, and Part. I’ve already downloaded lots of this music to my ipod.

10) Terrence Malick

the thin red line terrence malick sean penn

I’ve had a ongoing love affair with Terrence Malick’s films during the last few years, especially the recent The Tree of Life and To the Wonder. He is having a real creative renaissance of late, with two new films due for release in the next year. With To the Wonder he seems to be moving away from historical work towards a really interesting presentation of contemporary US life. I know his films are incredibly divisive, but I am finding his late spiritual work immensely powerful, and in the next year I want to try and work on a stand-alone piece of writing about them.

11) In My Head a Crystal Sphere

Scan 37 cleaned up

Earlier this year Ben and I completed work on our film Kleist, which you can see here. During the next year I want to continue to work on the script for my second film, In My Head a Crystal Sphere, and to begin work on editing some sequences using old slides. At the moment, it is a film about displacement, trauma, and the language of memory.


One thought on “11 Things To Do When I’m Traveling

  1. Veebles says:

    I find that Rothko’s work has a similar affect on me. There are a number of artists whose work you can get lost in and Rothko is one such person.

    The current Rothko Room at the Tate Modern is a wonderful place to sit and allow you mind to take you where it will.
    I sincerely hope you make it to the Chapel. If you do, please describle what it was like for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *