The cost of travel

In September I decided to take an overnight ferry from Bari, Italy to Durres, Albania. It took 11 hours. Then I had the day to spend in Durres. Then an overnight bus to Skopje, Northern Macedonia. I do not recommend this. It was terrifying. Like travel into forbidden territories in the Cold War. This took 31 hours and cost about $100 plus the day in Durres, which admittedly is very inexpensive. I had a fantastic brunch and wrote an application at a super fancy hotel while my phone charged and then had yummy food and wine at a beach bar. There also wasn’t a place to leave my stuff from the ferry terminal to the bus kiosk so with good faith I trusted a gal at a travel desk to look after my stuff for the day. Aside from the particularly frightening being pulled out of the bus in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night and searched, everyone, everything, at the border, it was fine. And only for the lack of sleep and lack of wifi or cell coverage (super modern problems. What did I do when I backpacked through Europe in the 90’s?), it was fine. And otherwise I wouldn’t have visited Albania. However, all of that could have cost me $50 for a flight from Bari to Milan and over to Skopje and taken 6 hours. I arrived to Skopje at 5:30 on the morning that I began leading the It’s My Party workshop. I was tired and disoriented to begin. Any feelings of virtuousness gone and the feeling of I made a mistake taking over. If I’d flown, I’d have arrived the day before the workshop started and could have met my hosts in person for a meal before we began working with the participants. Basically I felt silly for prioritizing the wrong thing. This is an example of how people working in independent contemporary performing arts are not the problem in the negative impact of international travel to the climate. In fact, we, in situations like this, are building bridges between people and cultures. The value of in-person exchange, listening and sharing across experiences and places, makes the cost of travel worth it.

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