Friday, May 11, 2012

10 Pounds, 1 Hour

An easy to follow step-by-step 'How To' tutorial for one of the most important skills necessary in life!  In less than one hour, you too can lose 10 pounds in one hour!


Step 1:  Despite the advice you receive from your fellowship interviewer ["If you get this fellowship, I'd highly recommend traveling like they did in the old days...  Without a cell phone, laptop, iPod, etc."], pack the laptop, charger, videocamera, and even laptop desk lock you think is required to travel.

Step 2:  Also pack considerably useful gifts that friends have donated to you in the greater purpose of traveling.

Step 3:  Travel.  For a considerably long period of time.  To places you've never been, have always wanted to see, and will regret if you don't do before you die.  Because, hey, you have only one life.

Step 4:  Use said laptop and accessories frequently.  Almost unhealthily, sometimes to the point where you think it might actually be detrimental to your experience abroad.

Step 5:  Three-quarters of the way through your year, use your laptop to desperately try to watch 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' on YouTube, realize it's only an edited copy [for some reason with all of the gargoyle dialogue cut out], and allow the computer to automatically shut down.

Step 6:  After several attempts to shut off and on the laptop [about a week's worth of attempts, just to make sure], begin to slap and punch it.  You know, just to make sure something that's moving inside shouldn't be.  Logic.

Step 7:  Take laptop to a modern nomad you dance with at milongas, drink several bottles of Argentine wine with him and his computer nerd roommates, eat plenty of olives, cheese, and dulce de membrillo, and share life secrets.  Maybe even learn to blow smoke rings using the modern nomad's smokeless pipe.  At the end of it all, realize you still have yet to identify the problem with your laptop, and actually begin to do it at six o' clock the following morning.

Step 8:  Learn that all of the information on your laptop might be gone.

Step 9:  Upon high recommendation by your host, take the laptop three blocks away to a computer technician who's supposedly fabuloso.

Step 10:  Realize he is.  Not only does he identify the problem with the laptop and transfers the most important documents from your harddrive onto a thumb drive, he does it for free.  Feeling bad, donate your laptop and charger to him and buy another memory card for your camera [chances of uploading photos in the last few months are now slim] and a pair of headphones to replace the broken one for your iPod [why did everything technical I own broke down in the same 24 hour span?].  At this point, he may offer to sell everything to you half off.  Agree, and realize you just fixed most of your problems for about $22 USD.

Step 11:  While on this purge, give to your host the videocamera and laptop lock.  You won't need it now. 

Step 12:  Ask dear friends who have donated things to you for traveling where you should send their things.  Let them tell you it's okay to just give it all away.

Step 13:  Donate said belongings to your host, who knows companies that will certainly give these belongings to the people who need them.

Step 14:  Continue traveling, this time physically and emotionally lighter.


These fourteen easy-to-follow steps are now in your hands!  Good luck, future weight-watcher!  Lose that weight; no traveling life is worth living if you haven't done so.  Why carry broken things when you can leave them behind?  Mmm, symbolism!

I myself have tried it only once, but I can attest to the effectiveness of this program!  If I've learned anything from this How-To, it's this: losing weight in a healthy and safe manner can make you incredibly happy.  Incredibly.

Note:  Actual weight loss may vary.  I've lost about 10 pounds, but there's so much more weight I can lose before heading off to the City of Lights!

Note:  How do you continue to communicate with friends and family and update your blog regularly while traveling?  You don't.

Note:  However, you might occasionally run into a roommate, host, stranger, or internet cafe where they'll let you use one for a while.  Maybe.

[Tim O'Brien]

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