Travel narratives

Dec 7, 2004

With the narrative journalism conference concluded, I caught up with Tom Haines and Julie Braun at their home in Ipswich, Mass., a pleasant town north of Boston. Julie is Erin’s cousin, and Tom, her husband, is the chief travel writer for the Boston Globe. Tom’s finishing up a fantastic project for the Globe, called Crossing Divides. Another of Tom’s articles is included in the anthology, The Best American Travel Writing 2004.

Mary and Michael Claffey joined us for dinner in Ipswich, and Tom and Julie’s children Luca and Colette added to the fun. We talked about travel and cruise ships (I told my puking-over-a-sailboat-stern-while passing-the-QE2 story, natch, and Mary mentioned research about geriatrics at sea) and politics and family.

Later, Tom and Julie and I sat up late discussing the art of conversation, and how we need more of it, whether in the form of salons or dinner parties or work friendships. I’ve come to realize that there’s plenty of Q-&-A in my life, but not enough conversation, that digging into ideas and knitting together similarities that offers satisfaction normal dialogue can’t.

Jack Ricchuito, a friend and business associate, is an expert conversationalist. Just check out his gassho weblog, a Buddhist-centered striving for deeper meaning through conversation.

Anton Zuiker

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