Puddin goes abroad, sort of

I would expect that anyone who reads Puddintopia with regularity is almost certain to have reached the conclusion by now that I’m a huge dork.  Well, yesterday I cranked it up a notch.

I happened to notice that one of my facebook friends changed her location to someplace in the world where I’m pretty sure she is not physically present.  Why she did it is not particularly any of my business, but I do expect that because it’s fun is no small part of the reason.  Beyond that, though, I immediately saw a pure, unadulterated brilliance to it, especially if you have an active imagination. 

Hopefully we can all agree that I fit that category nicely without me having to embarrass myself by revealing the kinds of thing that run through my head daily.  Gardening Oompa Loompas, anyone?

At any rate, the idea of manipulating one’s facebook location for fun and excitement captured me almost instantly when I realized that it’s a quick and easy way to take yourself on a trip.  Now, I know you’re thinking that pretending to take a vacation does not in any way shape or form even remotely compare with taking an actual one, especially if you’ve never actually been there.  And to that I say, well, it depends on your frame of mind.

See, the thing is that I’m not really a good tourist.  I hate itineraries, I don’t like getting up on vacation because you have to be at blah by 9 am, I don’t like taking photos, and I rarely have any interesting in seeing things like museums that are visited for a day, catalogued, and set aside for the next day’s conquest.  I look foolish in brightly colored shirts, those touristy flip-flips with that thing that goes between your toes chafe, and I don’t own a camera that can photograph a fly’s pimple at 75 feet and costs as much as an automobile. 

No, when I see or visit a new place for the first time, I want to truly engaged it.  I want to understand everything about the place, not just visit a collection of things that someone thinks are important.  I want to taste, smell, touch and hear what it’s like to live there, not just line up in the tourist queues.

Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done; it takes time, money, and commitment.  At the moment, my time, money, and commitment are dedicated to other pursuits I’ve deemed a higher priority.  I’m not complaining, mind you, I was the one that decided what was important and what would have to wait.  However, it means that the six-month European trip I’ve always wanted to take will have to wait until the kids are old enough not to need me for half a year.  I figure that’s at least 16 years from now, give or take.

But this!  Taking a virtual holiday around the world using one’s facebook location is simply brilliant!  And so, yesterday at lunch, I changed my location to Rome, Italy, because I figured Italy was a fine place to start; I’ve always wanted to eat actual Italian food.  The rest of the day, then, I imagined myself drinking espresso on a some bustling piazza surrounded by people going about their daily lives.  It was a bunch of fun.

And then I got an even better idea, something only I would come up with.  If I was going to use facebook to virtually travel the world, well, I might as well fictionalize it, right?  You can never have too much practice with creative writing, you know?

So then, I proudly give you An Indefinite Holiday, where I will occasionally write about the (mis)adventures of a guy somewhere who just happens to be in the same place on Earth that’s listed in my facebook profile.  No, I don’t yet know exactly what is going to happen to the poor chap, but I can tell you that he’s in a heap of hot water already.

The real question is, can I write about a place I’ve never actually been?

I guess we’ll find out as I travel.