Exploring American cities while working remotely

A few years ago, I learned about digital nomads and started daydreaming about becoming one. At the time I was bound to an office, but I fantasized about getting a remote job that would leave me free to wander anywhere in the world on nights and weekends.

Then the pandemic happened and no one could travel at all. Fast forward to mid-2021, and I’m fully vaccinated, my job circumstances changed, and I do work remotely. So I figured, no more waiting, let’s do this. I plan to visit new cities, stay for however long I want, and write about them here. My wandering will stay domestic since international travel is still limited (and this whole project will be put on pause if the Delta variant or other COVID-19 developments make it unsafe to travel). That’s fine with me, because I want to see more of America. I am fascinated and infuriated by America. Gimme all 50 states. There’s so much of the country I’m curious about, or haven’t seen. 

I guess this could be considered a travel blog, but don’t expect it to be filled with “Best things to do” type-posts. Well, there might be some of that. I can be a basic tourist as much as the next person (and I love taking photos). However, what really excites me about visiting new places is odd exploring, taking endless walks, atmospherics, local community spaces, the way travel alters your thinking, and talking to people. So those may be some of the topics I cover, but really, who knows? Like travel itself, I believe it will be best to approach this publication with a few ideas, while staying open to any possible detours I can take in the moment. 

One thing I want to explore is the literary culture in different places, including bookshops, local writers, and when available, events. I also plan to solicit guest posts from writers who actually live in the cities where I’m only a visitor. There will be a special focus on local independent publishers, because small press books never get enough attention and the online indie lit world is where I feel most at home, regardless of my physical location. Over ten years ago, I founded the literary magazine The Bushwick Review and I’ve hosted a bunch of readings on various locations around NYC, from local bookstores to my own roof. 

Finally, the whole idea of a writer traveling solo “in search of America” is a very white and male genre. As someone Asian and female, I want to mess with that a bit. There are parts of this country where I visually stand out, or places it might be unnerving to travel alone, but as a creative person, I like getting close to feelings of discomfort. 

Subscribe if you want to join this journey, or comment/write to me if any part of this resonates you. <3 Kristen