August 31, 2003

To: Michael Doyle
From: Conor Friedersdorf
Subject: Let’s Go Back


Two years ago…

We spent August traveling around France and Italy, sipping wine from jugs on the banks of European rivers… renting a motorboat that left us adrift off the coast of Positano… sipping absinthe on the beach in Rio Maggiore as the Italians played their guitars… skinny dipping with those Emory girls as a midnight moon cast glimmers on the Mediterranean Sea.

Two years ago today we arrived in Seville.

We saw bullfights and Real Bétis fútbol games, sipped Cruzcampo on the church steps in Plaza San Salvador and kissed guapas on the dance floors of discothèques.

We tore ourselves away somehow. It is one thing to depart Spain for another semester at college. But now—look, I love newspaper reporting, but am I really expected to work 40+ hours per week, 50 weeks per year, for decades? Am I to savor only two days off each week? Am I to vacation but two weeks per annum?

My alarm rings prior to 8 am every morning, so that I feel nauseous as I stumble to the bathroom, and my eyelids droop with fatigue until noon. Is your lot any better? Let us seize our 23rd year lest the momentum of life accumulate so fast that we never escape it!

I’m going back, my friend.

I’m going to eat Top Ramen, write freelance pieces for extra money, eschew concert tickets and avoid first dates. I’m going to save every extra cent for one year… and then I’m going back to Europe for as long as possible to spend it all.

Are you coming?