I like to do an ambitious solo world tour once a decade.
MariesWorldTour 2021 is endangered by several factors—aside from the obvious "would I leave my job this time" to "there's a global pandemic on, and you can't leave your house" to "my passport went from being the gold card to an expired Discover card overnight."
First MWT: In 2001, I left Marvel, sold my condo, and spent a year going East to West around the world almost entirely by surface transport. I met Komodo dragons, got stuck in post-war East Timor, spent far too much time with Russian merchant marines on container ships, fought off a pervy Uzbek train conductor for days on end, had my bag slashed in Mongolia, cracked ribs in Ethiopia, threw up in China, Sudan, and probably places I've forgotten, and thought I'd die more times than I really need to go into here.
That trip evolved into Stalking the Wild Dik-Dik, the book about me running around Africa. Some of you read the book. Some of you were actually along for the ride on the original website.
Second MWT: In 2011, I went the other direction, West to East, for ten months. I took several flights since I'd saved up enough frequent flyer miles for a RTW ticket, but I covered all the landmasses by surface. Many of you were along for that trip as I live posted it here on FB, as well as Twitter when I remembered to. I also have the website for that one, but no one was reading blogs by then, so I kept it mostly as my own journal. On that trip, we learned about the little carved-out Spanish enclaves in Morocco, threw up early in my second country and then I *think* I made it the rest of the trip without food poisoning (maybe?), got stuck on the Nigerian border due to election unrest, had a gun pointed at my taxi, had a pervy guy slide a condom at me in a share taxi in...oh hell. I forget. Gabon? Visited with lemurs in Madagascar, spent a lot of time in hotel rooms in Bangkok and Chiang Mai catching up on all my Kuwaiti comics work (I was able to keep my job that time), then there was walking through mud on the Tibet/Nepal border, all the penis art in Bhutan, the bus across Borneo, three weeks in Bali, the trip to Tasmania, and of course the cargo ship around the Marquesas, and the side trip to Easter Island via Tahiti. Long trip. That's just the tip of it.
And I am embarrassed about this, but I haven't turned that into a book yet, or the time I lived in Cairo or Kuwait to make comics, or all that other stuff. I did write books about other things while living in those places, which makes no sense.
So here we are. Global pandemic. A short, short list of places interested in my passport. A job I'm not ready to walk away from. And the tenth year is nearly upon us, merely a half-year away.
But wait, I have an idea.
It's called www.MariesEndoftheWorldTour.com and it involves just visiting the places that'll take my passport during a catastrophic global pandemic. Heck, so many of these places are in the Caribbean, I should be able to just do this during work-from-home or on my vacation leave.
It's a thought. I kinda like it. I have to see if it's feasible.