Once you have marked
the ideal itinerary on the map of your imagination, you need to
find a way to transform it into possibility. In short, you must
turn chaos into order.
Researching everything needed to transform the inkling of an idea
into a feasible and mature thought conveys me to a state of blissful
excitement. I don’t have a set strategy. I collect everything,
bundle it all up and drag it into the safety of my lair (my study).
Then I arrange it in a very specific place as close to my desk
as possible, first of all to avoid disturbing my books, which
jealously guard their own space, and secondly so that I have everything
I need at my fingertips.
The second phase involves the Internet. I almost always weigh
anchor in the evening and, even with the unfavourable winds of
my multimedia ignorance, I keep sailing late into the night, locking
away what I find in the strongbox of the file I will reopen the
following afternoon to separate what is useful from what is probably
useful or unquestionably superfluous.
As a result, the initial itinerary changes week to week, and only
after months of careful work will I know what kind of trip I will
take. As I have already pointed out, however, I won’t be
able to tell you my actual route until I get back.
Nonetheless, preparing a trip involves more than choosing an itinerary.
Preparation also means deciding which cities to visit (why this
one rather than that one), which means of transport to use and
which hotels to stay in. It means examining the climate of the
area, possible variables, and many other seemingly trivial details.
My “hunt” is never a simple outing from
dawn to dusk, but the constant pursuit of something that will
not be definitive until “the end of the hunting season”.