Paper Travels

Nov 20, 2014

 By Abby Turner
 Manager, State Government Affairs

 I love to travel.

 For my 18th birthday, my grandmother gave me a copy of her favorite
 book from when she was 18, The Royal Road to Romance, by
 Richard Halliburton. It is the amazing true story of a young Princeton grad that set out to explore the world in the 1920s. The book rearranged my priorities and magnified my hopes for seeing the world.

Today, my job and personal life allow many opportunities to seek my own adventures.

A lot of things have changed about travel since Halliburton’s horizon-chasing days, but despite the restrictions for safety (and weight) on so many items I’d like to pack, paper goes with me everywhere.

Paper gets me ready – I make a packing list for every trip or I will surely forget something and the nightmarish 2009 No-Socks Christmas will have its straight-to-dvd sequel- Wedding Circuit 2015: Can I Borrow Someone’s Toothpaste?

Paper keeps me moving – Each trip starts with my boarding pass and security documents. I’ve carried my reciprocity papers to enter Argentina, the voucher for lunch as a delayed flyer in Barcelona, and the directions to my hotel in case my cell phone dies before I get there (this happens more often than I’d like to admit).

Paper gets me there – I need show tickets and museum passes on vacation and nametags for work conferences. And as travel buddies have learned, I want maps everywhere I go. A paper map lets me star my hotel, circle places of interest, put a big X over restaurants I vow to never visit again and otherwise interact with my location in a way that doesn’t carry over to digital form.

Paper lets me share – far better than my amateurish attempts to photograph cascading waterfalls and remarkable meals, I can pick up postcards. They are four for $1 in Santiago and I can send home professional images to friends and family, un-blurred and finger-free.

Halliburton documented the world and sent home stories to people who never left the country while I participate in the shrinking world of globalization, but we both never journey without paper and a pen to capture our thoughts and reactions to the landscape around us. Whether to the top of the Matterhorn or the basement of the Vermont Statehouse, paper travels well.