An Escapologist’s Diary. Part 30.

Blimey. It has been a very busy few weeks. I’d have had a far more relaxing life if I’d only kept my office job. Just kidding. I’d be doing less, but I’d also be having a horrible time. I hate computer solitaire.

After a successful meeting in Cardiff about my writing a [non-escapological] book, I went travelling in Eastern Europe. A friend and I explored Zagreb, Ljubljana, Budapest, and Bratislava. We visited a Turkish bath house, went to the ballet, spotted a voodoo chicken claw, ate too much pickled cheese, and enjoyed a demonstration of a Tesla cage.

I was perhaps inordinately excited to see Budapest because of its inclusion in the Ray Bradbury quote in the first ever New Escapologist:

See Istanbul, Port Said, Nairobi, Budapest. Write a book. Smoke too many cigarettes. Fall off a cliff but get caught in a tree halfway down. Get shot at a few times in a dark alley on a Moroccan Midnight. Love a beautiful woman.

Working on the rest of that one now. Not sure I fancy falling off a cliff though, if I’m honest.

(By the way, that quote has shown up in a LOT of self-helpy contexts since we put it in New Escapologist! I know for a fact New Escapologist is the source of its proliferation because it almost always includes my very own typo!)

After the Eastern European leg of my recent journey, I stopped briefly in Scotland to say goodbye to Glasgow for a while and to perform at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre before flying out to Montreal, where I am today.

I started this diary as a way of qualitatively answering the frequently-asked question “what do you do if you don’t have a job?” and I think my activities of the past few weeks demonstrate some of the best things about the post-escape life. In short, you probably do what you like.

Of course, what daring escape stories often fail to mention is the maddening paperwork that comes with super-mobility. I spent many hours this week trying to get the Internet working at our new Montreal apartment; recovering from jet-lag, and applying for local services like Social Insurance, Medicare, Tax Credit, mandatory French classes and so on. All I really want to do at this point is sit down and write my book, but these annoying things have to be fixed first. It must be possible to escape admin completely, but I’ve not found a comfortable way yet. Such an escape would almost certainly involve some kind of shack and a woodland grove. Not completely unthinkable, of course.

Tired of the everyday grind? Buy the latest New Escapologist at the shop.


Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at

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