I am happy being what I am.
Hawaii is not a state of mind, but a state of grace.
The two impulses in travel are to get away from home, and the other is to pursue something - a landscape, people, an exotic place. Certainly finding a place that you like or discovering something unusual is a very sustaining thing in travel.
When I was in the Peace Corps I never made a phone call. I was in Central Africa; I didn't make a phone call for two years. I was in Uganda for another four years and I didn't make a phone call. So for six years I didn't make a phone call, but I wrote letters, I wrote short stories, I wrote books.
Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.
When I started writing, I did have some idealised notion of my dad as a writer. But I have less and less of a literary rivalry with him as I've gone on. I certainly don't feel I need his approval, although maybe that's because I'm confident that I've got it.
People say writing is really hard. That's very unfair to those who are doing real jobs. People who work in the fields or fix roofs, engineers, or car mechanics. I think lying on your back working under an oily car, that's a job.
I believe I have a sunny disposition, and am not naturally a grouch. It takes a lot of optimism, after all, to be a traveler.
Tourists don't know where they've been, travelers don't know where they're going.
My earliest thought, long before I was in high school, was just to go away, get out of my house, get out of my city. I went to Medford High School, but even in grade school and junior high, I fantasized about leaving.
I like the idea of isolation, I like the idea of solitude. You can be connected and have a phone and still be lonely.
Gain a modest reputation for being unreliable and you will never be asked to do a thing.
I cannot make my days longer so I strive to make them better.
When I went to Hong Kong, I knew at once I wanted to write a story set there.
Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.
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