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Two days until I take off for the Great Pacific Great Northwest Tour to give the Great Pacific Great Northwest a piece of my mind. They need me out there, they need my tips for happiness and stuff.

My Travel Tips for Staying Put, of course.

What? You don’t know my famous Travel Tips for Staying Put? The ones I yak on and on and on about whenever I do a “book event”? About how to traipse through your every day life as if it were a major tourist attraction?

Well then. Here’s a brief tour of my famous Travel Tips for Staying Put:

Travel Tip No. 1: Get a map.

Because you’d be surprised how wrong your mental maps can be, familiarity and all, blanding-out the landscape.

Travel Tip No. 2: Take a walk –

along the roads on that map. (It was by walking every street — EVERY STREET– in my old hometown that I discovered the stuff that turned into my book, When Wanderers Cease to Roam.)

Travel Tip No. 3: Hug a Tree.

Life: it can change so quickly — the older you get, the less there is to really hold on to. So hug a tree.

Travel Tip No. 4: Watch the Sun Set.

Do I really have to explain why?

Travel Tip No. 5: Go Get a Midnight Snack.

This is my favorite travel tip! Because it’s the one that really gets me out of my rut: by heading out to the local 24-hour diner for a grilled cheese sandwich at 2 AM I’m hanging out with the most exotic people in my neighborhood. Because what the hell are they doing out at 2AM??

Travel Tip No. 6: Greet the Dawn.

OK, maybe this one is my favorite. After all, I wrote a whole chapter about it in When Wanderers Cease to Roam (August).

Usually this takes me 45 minutes to go through in depth but that’s not to say that I don’t digress from time to time into stories about being having Parisian in-laws and how I discovered The Secret of Life in 1977 and all — that puts stime on the clock, yessir.

And the amazing thing is, I don’t charge for this! All my talks are free! Although as soon as I can figure out how Bethanny Frankel gets hundreds of people to pay big bucks to come hear her book talks you bet I’m hopping on that bandwagon.

Do you watch Bethanny Ever After on Bravo TV? Not to take anything away from her success — she’s a spirited and compelling woman and she deserves every happiness and prosperity with her Skinny Girl cocktails and her New York Times bestseller A Place of Yes:   10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want but whoa!

She charges people to come hear her book talks!!! AND THEY PAY!!!

That settles it. My next book will  be a self-help book for women with mucho disposable income:

A Place of I’ll Take 10: Rules for Getting Everything Cartier That You Want.

Next week, while I’m in Seattle and Portland, I’ll be posting painting lessons here.  When I get back, there will be a test.

P.S. For my Great Pacific Great Northwest Tour schedule, look at the top of this blog. Up above the cat and the tea cup. See it? The button that says “Seattle-Portland 2011 Tour? That’s where you can find my itinerary from May 17 – 24.

11 comments to Travel Tips

  • Dear Vivian, For those of us who read you, and possibly could get to your talks; please write your itinerary, and addresses of same,. so we can plan to get there.

    We don’t mind driving an hour or so to get there, but we have to know where and when. Newspapers might not herald your arrival.

  • august

    Never heard of Bethanny Frankel but I’m a diehard Vivian Swift fan, so screw her. 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want? Is it satire? The first thing I want is for nobody else to get what _they_ want. How does that work?

    We’re moving from small-town Maine to bigger-town California, we’ve lived here seven years and I still get lost.

  • Deborah

    I’ve also never heard of Bethanny.

    When we moved here (Sunnyside of Louisville/Kentuckiana) 8 years ago, I did buy a map, and I tried to go for a drive, find a new place, every day. I actually tried to get lost, so I could learn how to find my way back. I’ve noticed that a lot of people really fear being lost, to the point that it prevents them from exploring.

    Still whimpering. Wish you could Youtube one of your talks.

  • JOAN

    I’m sure you’ll cut a swath through the GPGNW and will leave them wondering what the heck they’ve been been missing all this time. The Duchess of Diners, Her Majesty of the By Way, The Lady of the Lanes…oh, yes…you’ll set their heads spinning.

    There’s something very different about living in the high desert, the Intermountain West…there are very few places to walk when you live in a city of any size…yes, I can walk in my neighborhood, but with the exception of the few houses on my block, everything is a planned subdivision, gated communities that only allow residents inside unless you’re visiting and then you have to be given a code to punch in. I live in a sea of tiled roof, stucco covered brown/beige/mediterranean style Del Webbish planned communities….so boring! So walking is out of the question. My walks are limited to three seasons, spring, fall, winter. Summer is blistering hot, often spring is so windy it makes walking a challenge for those with respiratory issues. I only walk to the park which is a block from my house. I see the same people every morning. It’s far from an adventure.

    I have been a map lover since childhood. I’ve travelled a zillion miles by map, imagining all the wonderous places in America the Beautiful. My most recent adventure was a road trip up Hwy 395, a route that takes you along the base of the eastern Sierra Mountains…mind boggling beauty, place names like Lone Pine, Big Pine, Mammoth, Lee Vining, Bodie, Mt. Whitney, Lake Tahoe. I love the west, even if I can’t walk here.

    Have a great time in the Great Pacific Great Northwest!


  • Susie

    My heart goes west with you, have wonderful adventures!

    Are you staying a bit longer, after your appearances, just to eat at a diner at 2am? I mean, this trip is for your groupies, I hope you do something extra, alone, for yourself, eh?

    We’ll study hard to pass your test….I want a gold star!


  • Jeannie

    Happy Trails to you ….. Have a wonderful trip and if you get tired of the rain, hop over to the east side of the state where the desert and I will rise up to great you in sunny abandon.

  • Jeannie

    …test anxiety….

  • Hi Vivian!
    I recently discovered your book and fell in love! I could so relate to so much of it! I started my first watercolor journal and blogged about your book here:
    Thanks for the inspiration! I’m excited for the next book and to follow your blog. Die-hard fan for life. :)

  • Nadine

    Take pictures! I’m looking forward to seeing all the just-this-side-of-twee you find in the Great Pacific Northwest.

  • Sunsets and midnight snacks are my faves.

    Listen I want in on the Cartier book tour. Surely god people with too much money could use some shrinky talk. And who the hell is Bethany Frankel?


  • Gitana

    We of the Pacific Northwest are happy you’re here to visit! I just hope you get your rain.

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