I just returned from a trip to New Orleans (or, as a jazz singer reminded us in song, N’awrlins). We arrived in time for French Quarter fest, a jazz festival that got rave reviews from tourists and locals alike–but which I primarily found frustrating because it brought in *so* many people that we had trouble getting out of the French Quarter and CBD district.
On the plus side, jazz in the streets; on the minus side, some drunk asshole yelling “fag” at my husband when he shouldered my backpack-purse for a few blocks.
While we were traveling, I realized how much being a writer inflects the way I take in cities. I want to tour as if I were taking a class. I get suddenly (and briefly) highly organized, and take lots and lots of notes.
How do you travel? Do you do things that you wouldn’t otherwise because you might write about them in the future? Have you done any exceptionally strange things in the service of a potential story? Did you end up using it?