It wasn't easy for me to start this site.
First off, I tend to agree with Maddox about blogs--99% of them are steaming lumps of verbal diarrhea coming from underappreciated narcissists. If you have any doubt about that last statement, I challenge you to read the Claremont Conservative for more than 5 minutes and disagree. The only blogs worth reading are written by people who would be famous without blogging, people like Mark Cuban, Andrew Sullivan, or the Freakonomics guys.
Second, I'm a slow writer. I tend to craft my papers over a long period of time rather than pump out page after page. I like to think a lot before, during, and after writing about anything. I subscribe to the Ernest Hemingway school of writing--if you can say something in 5 words, why use 50?
Basically, all of my personal and authorial tendencies run counter to what blogging is about--namely, pumping out as much information as you can, as quickly as possible. But I'm starting this blog anyway, for the simple reason that I want to keep in touch with everyone while I travel around the world for the next 9 months.
Starting in February, I'm going to Amman, Jordan to study abroad for spring semester. Then I'm going on a three-week trip across Europe with Dan Holleb, Zack Mirman, and Sam Littleton. We're going to watch World Cup games with local fans in England, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, and Spain. Finally, at the end of summer I'll be making a two-week road trip across the beautiful United States of America (participants TBA). This blog is the easiest way for me to share all of the pictures, stories, and perspectives I'll collect.
Right now I'm sitting in a stripped-down dorm room waiting for my red-eye flight to Boston. My suitcases are packed and my bookshelves are empty. Pretty soon, I'll be standing in a pile of snow. I feel like I'm in the last strip of Calvin and Hobbes:
Nine months is the longest time I've had off from school since before kindergarten, and I couldn't be more ready for it.