The Tourism Project: What are your thoughts?

What is the tourism project?

Recently, I have conceptualized a new writing project that, for now, is intended to be an objective, research-driven essay about tourism and life in small- and medium-sized towns.  I’d like to gather as many perspectives as possible. I’ve put together a brief survey for you to provide yours.

The survey won’t take you more than five minutes to complete.

Other than asking you for your general stance on tourism and the economy, the survey has a few basic questions to help steer the course of the project.

What is it like to live in a tourist town?

What is it like to work in a tourist town?

What is it like to raise kids in a tourist town?

What is it like to retire in a tourist town?

Please help me spread the word about this project, and please do share the link with folks you think would be interested in having their say.  Here’s a QR code anyone can scan to access the survey on a smartphone.

QR code for tourism form

Feel free to fill out the survey if you feel so inclined, and feel free to contact me directly or comment on this article if you’ve got questions about the project and my intentions.

Depending on the direction this project takes, there may be much more here than just the initial essay that gets published in a magazine or journal (and eventually on my blog).  I hope it gets bigger.  I’d like to move it toward a book about tourism, with in-depth examples and case studies from various municipalities around the United States, or perhaps even the world.

Initially, though, I’m hoping to focus on municipalities in the western part of North Carolina, and the southwestern section of Virginia, since those are the areas that are most readily accessible to me from my home base in Glade Valley, North Carolina.

Here’s a printable PDF flyer you can download and share, and print then hang on a wall anywhere you’d like: community center, place of worship, town hall, school, coffee shop.  Tourism Project Flyer

Finally, if you’re interested in collaborating on this project, I’m definitely interested in hearing from you.  I’ll need some help conducting research and interviews for this project.

Thank you!

Creative Concepts: Ecological Experiential Documentation

As I continue to travel the world—and spend more time exploring my own big backyard right here in North Carolina—I’ve come to realize that I can apply my academic training, professional experience, intelligence, and creative abilities in a combined effort over the next few decades to produce what I think and believe will be experiential documents worth consuming as materials for lifelong learning and understanding.  I am conceptualizing an ongoing series of experiential documentation, taking appropriate form over time as ebooks, print books, magazines, interactive apps, websites, and perhaps even videos.

This concept first came to me when I was looking at a map of the United States and thinking about the difference between national parks and national monuments.  Based on my personal experience onsite at various national monuments, coupled with my research and perusal of the maps of these monuments and the surrounding areas, I realized that I would love to commit to exploring and documenting a sense of place in each of these areas—demonstrating their importance as sacred spaces for maintaining the natural order of our relationship with the environment and all other species with which we share it.

So, to put a stake in the ground, I created a map of all the US National Monuments.  (Yes, there is at least one that does not appear in the image.)

Map of United States National Monuments
Map of United States National Monuments

Inspired by my recent trip to Helsinki, which included a stay at the hostel on Suomenlinna, I decided to add UNESCO World Heritage sites to the map.  I figured it would be interesting to see how many UNESCO sites in North America are within reasonable proximity to US National Monuments, thus allowing me to combine several locations into exploratory experiential documentation journeys of 1-3 months in duration.

Continue reading Creative Concepts: Ecological Experiential Documentation

Preparing for Launch: Winter South 02014

My book Winter South 02014 was published in March, and apparently an email from the marketing team slipped through the cracks, so we are just now getting around to forming a press release to launch my book into the stratosphere.

I took some time to fill out a formulaic series of “interview” questions for the Lulu marketing team (their “Press Release Questionnaire”), and as I continued down the list, I couldn’t help but notice that some of the questions felt quite absurd.  As such, I’ve decided to publish the questions — and my actual answers — here on my blog.  Just for fun. Continue reading Preparing for Launch: Winter South 02014