One Year Later

This blog entry was originally posted on March 05, 2006.

IT WAS EXACTLY ONE YEAR AGO from today, on March 5, 2005, when I had completed a grand sixteen and a half month trip around the world, which took me to across 95,000 miles in thirty-seven countries in South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America. To make a long story short, in the past year I have slowly acclimatized back to normal society after being “traveled out” — working, partying, and playing video games — and one year later, I have to say, my life is “normal” again.

This of course means I should probably get back on the road.

One year later, I’ve decided to go on another trip, one perhaps not as long (I’m tied to a year-long lease in New York), but hopefully just as exciting: a trip to Timbuktu, the legendary city that actually exists on the fringe of the Sahara Desert in the African nation of Mali. As of now, two weeks before departure, I don’t have much of a game plan; as always I will pull an Indiana Jones and “make it up as I go.” All I do know is that before I leave I need a visa to get into Mali, which was convenient enough to get as there is a Malian consulate in New York City within lunch hour distance from my permalance design position at an interactive ad agency.

funyeah: did you guys eat yet?

The art director on my current project IM’d me last Tuesday as he often did to see if me and the guys were going out to lunch. I explained to him that I had just eaten a quick cup of ramen noodles to hold me over for I was headed uptown to the Malian Consulate.

funyeah: weird, i’m headed up there too

The jokes continued as I left my desk. “Unless I get kidnapped by African nationals, I’ll be back,” I told my co-worker buddy Bil.


I TRAVELED ON THE 6 TRAIN UP TO 68TH STREET and walked the one block up to the consulate. It was easy enough to find with the big green, gold, and red flag waving above in the brisk breeze of New York winter. The building wasn’t much, more of a residential brownstone labeled with a big plaque outside its front door (picture above) to differentiate it from other houses. Inside the public space was nothing more than a little living room area sectioned into two parts by a bulletproof booth window like at a bank. Inside were two women, one portly, dark and middle-aged; the other younger, more slender and with coffee-colored skin tones like myself. The two talked and talked like old gossiping friends in French with African accents — which wasn’t a surprise since I had done enough research enough to know that Mali was a former French colony during the European scramble of Africa in the 19th century that had been independent since 1960.

The two woman switched over to English with a Malian accent when they spoke to me. “This is you?” the older woman questioned me, holding up the two recent photos of myself clipped to my visa application.

“Yes. That’s me,” I replied. “Should I take my glasses off?” I took them off but she still wasn’t convinced.

“Let me see,” the other said, glancing at the picture. Why it wouldn’t be me, I don’t know; I looked the same, had the same haircut, and was wearing the same black jacket with The Global Trip pin on the lapel. “Yeah, that’s him.”

I sighed in relief; this wasn’t the first time I’d had a case of mistaken identity.

The two went at it in French again — too fast for me to comprehend it all with my high school French — but it was still exciting to hear. I felt like I had my feet back in the game of adventure travel, which was sort of true because I was technically on Malian soil. The older woman wrote me out a receipt for the $100 fee and took my newly renewed passport.

“You can come back Monday. Same time. Before three,” she instructed me.

“Merci,” I said, trying to get my tongue to get back in the game like my feet. I closed the door behind me and camped out for a couple of minutes in nearby Hunter College where I handwrote out this blog entry, just as I did before on “The Global Trip 2004” every day, obsessively for sixteen months.

I’m back, I thought. Travel and travel blogging, the void in my life since I’d been back home, was starting to be refueled, for the wanderlust never dies…






Next entry: The Scramble

Previous entry: The Global Trip LIVE!




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Comments for “One Year Later”

  • Hi Erik, Can???t wait to read more of your stories! Happy travels!

    Posted by Michelle in Michigan  on  03/15  at  10:37 PM


  • just great…i???ll have to be the guy behind another blog
    again..hehe…s???all good i live for it!

    Posted by markyt  on  03/15  at  10:37 PM


  • kick ass i will have something to read for 3 weeks

    Posted by scott  on  03/15  at  10:37 PM


  • Yay! More blog!

    Posted by Ali  on  03/15  at  10:38 PM


  • It???s baaaaaacckk! The blog of all blogs!!

    PS. (Don???t forget to attach that ???fake spreadsheet??? so i can pretend to
    work while i read the blog.)

    Posted by Reese  on  03/15  at  10:38 PM


  • Hey wow! I was a lurker on the global trip website and like many people
    became slightly addicted! Check back every now and then to see if there
    is any more news??and now there is! I can???t believe it! Looking forward
    to hearing more…

    Posted by Barney  on  03/15  at  10:39 PM


  • Erik, good to have you back! And since I somehow managed to go to Mali
    without making it to Timbuktu, I???m looking forward to reading your
    experiences. Once again, I???ll be living vicariously

    Posted by Amie  on  03/15  at  10:39 PM


  • Eric,
    So I???m sitting here at work in Japan and randomly select ???Nara??? from the
    mp3 list, which gets me to thinking on your photoshow set to the tune,
    which then leads me to surf over to the old site, which in turn led me
    here. Great to hear you???re headed back on the road, if even for a short
    time. Mali???s on my life list, so until I get there myself, I???ll be
    tagging along virtually with you.
    Have a great time! And for all of us who were left with withdrawls when
    you got home last year, thanks for getting back out there!

    Posted by Dave  on  03/15  at  10:39 PM


  • I have to say I am amazed at the SBRs (Silent Blog Readers) coming out
    of the wood work. Feels great to be back!

    Posted by Erik TGT

  • word.
    let me know if you end up in Perth, Australia or Cairo, Egypt. ha. i can
    be on the Trinidad Show again.

    Posted by Alyson  on  03/15  at  10:40 PM


  • Go Erik!

    Posted by Vivian  on  03/15  at  10:40 PM


  • This blog hog is happy to be back!

    I have never heard of anyone going to Timbuktu but it sounds great. You
    are like our own E! (rik) Wild on Timbuktu.

    Posted by sara  on  03/15  at  10:41 PM


  • Hey Erik, another SBR here. I loved your last blog and it definitely
    influenced me because I???m now planning my own Global Trek set to start
    in 9 months. I???ve always wanted to travel for a year or more around the
    world but I think your blog was one of the things that got me to stop
    dreaming about it and actually start making concrete plans. Your blog
    has also helped me a lot to plan my route. So thanks for everything and
    I can???t wait to read about Mali.

    Posted by parasky  on  03/15  at  10:41 PM


  • Awesome! Can???t wait to read all about it!

    Posted by Yvette  on  03/15  at  10:42 PM


  • Right on! I missed the original TGT live but caught it later in re-runs.
    Looking forward to Mali…

    Posted by Jeff  on  03/15  at  10:42 PM


  • Good to see you back. Your blog was greatly missed during the past year
    of corporate toiling to save up for my own semi-global trip (scheduled
    to begin April 4).

    Posted by Neil  on  03/15  at  10:42 PM


  • Yea!!! Something told me to check back at THE Blog! Has it been about
    two years now since I found your blog?! Yea, I think it was somewhere
    right after the now infamous poop pic, and right before the sign fell on
    your head in S. America. Damn… Well, this old ???68??er is still a fan
    and can???t wait to read about your further adventures!! And yea, don???t
    forget the spreadshit…I mean sheet!

    Posted by Harry  on  03/15  at  10:43 PM


  • Alright! I guess this means I get to be Sebastian again.

    Posted by Sebastian  on  03/15  at  10:43 PM


  • I???ll be eagerly awaiting your new stories…

    Posted by Joyce  on  03/15  at  10:43 PM


  • Just like the rest of the people, seems like I randomly happened upon
    this new blog… spifferoonie!!

    I am off to Taiwan shortly, and will have my own craziness to chat about.

    But, I???m glad you???re headed to Timbuktu - and not just the bags - good
    times… enjoy!

    Posted by noelle  on  03/15  at  10:44 PM


  • Oh sweet jesus, here we go again??

    Posted by Office Samurai

  • and so it begins, the many identities of el trinidad…. i dunno why
    people have such a hard time matching you to your photos. you look the
    same as you did 5 years ago. =P

    Posted by Alice  on  03/17  at  02:58 PM


  • Awesome! I can’t wait for your posts. How long is this trip for?

    Posted by egwg  on  03/18  at  11:25 PM


  • so you back?!?!?! great to know. will try to catch up.

    Posted by ELI-NYC  on  03/29  at  08:56 PM


  • I can’t believe I came in late on this one! And it’s weird because I was
    re-reading the China entries in March as part of my trip plans, and
    completely missed this!

    Posted by Td0t  on  05/24  at  09:36 PM


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This blog post is one of eighteen travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip: Trippin' To Timbuktu" (originally hosted by Blogger.com), which chronicled a trip through the West African nation of Mali in March-April 2006.

Next entry:
The Scramble

Previous entry:
The Global Trip LIVE!




THE GLOBAL TRIP GLOSSARY

Confused at some of the jargon that's developed with this blog and its readers over the years? Here's what they mean:

BFFN: acronym for "Best Friend For Now"; a friend made on the road, who will share travel experiences for the time being, only to part ways and lose touch with

The Big Trip: the original sixteen month around-the-world trip that started it all, spanning 37 countries in 5 continents over 503 days (October 2003–March 2005)

NIZ: acronym for "No Internet Zone"; a place where there is little to no Internet access, thus preventing dispatches from being posted.

SBR: acronym for "Silent Blog Reader"; a person who has regularly followed The Global Trip blog for years without ever commenting or making his/her presence known to the rest of the reading community. (Breaking this silence by commenting is encouraged.)

Stupid o'clock: any time of the early morning that you have to wake up to catch a train, bus, plane, or tour. Usually any time before 6 a.m. is automatically “stupid o’clock.”

The Trinidad Show: a nickname of The Global Trip blog, used particularly by travelers that have been written about, who are self-aware that they have become "characters" in a long-running story — like characters in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show.

WHMMR: acronym for "Western Hemisphere Monday Morning Rush"; an unofficial deadline to get new content up by a Monday morning, in time for readers in the western hemisphere (i.e. the majority North American audience) heading back to their computers.

1981ers: people born after 1981. Originally, this was to designate groups of young backpackers fresh out of school, many of which were loud, boorish and/or annoying. However, time has passed and 1981ers have matured and have been quite pleasant to travel with. The term still refers to young annoying backpackers, regardless of year — I guess you could call them "1991ers" in 2013 — young, entitled millennials on the road these days, essentially.




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The views and opinions written on The Global Trip blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official views and opinions of the any affiliated publications.
All written and photographic content is copyright 2002-2014 by Erik R. Trinidad (unless otherwise noted). "The Global Trip" and "swirl ball" logos are service marks of Erik R. Trinidad.
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