Six months have passed since I returned from my journey into the unknown – an 8-month 18,000-mile car-jaunt around the US and Canada. I have spent this time writing and choosing pictures that tell the story I call Amazing Views. While I didn’t plan to write a book, I did journal and take pictures each day along the way, documenting the people I met, places I traveled and thoughts they generated. When I returned home, I wanted to organize my journal entries and the 2500 photos I took into something I could share with others.
I searched for design software that would allow me to combine refined photos with contextual narrative in a book format. Blurb.com was the solution. They offered publishing options along with free design software that was easy to learn and robust. It took me five months to do the work before I was ready to publish. And the result is now available for sale.
I had never written a book before. It was both challenging and fun. The challenge was to go beyond my skills as a filmmaker, podcaster and blogger to focus on the individualized experience of a long-form narrative. Similar to other self-generated media (web sites, documentary films, newsletters, you tube videos), a book was a communication endeavor I had not experienced. It took discipline and concentration I didn’t know I had. I wanted something beautiful and engaging. You’ll have to decide whether I reached my goals.
Why did I decide to take this journey? I’m reaching the end of my life and while I’m still healthy and desirous of experiencing the world, I wanted to see it with my own eyes at a slow pace. To travel alone meant that I could meander and focus on my interests and needs. I highly recommend it at least once in your life. Take a long journey with unplanned side trips on back roads through towns and villages that happen to be on the path you’ve chosen. It will open your eyes to much you never knew about the world and about yourself.
Enjoy the journey! I certainly did.