I was intending to return to the USA for a few months this autumn. Coincidentally there was passage available on a transatlantic cruise ship leaving from Lisbon shortly after my departure from Split, Croatia. My mother had been planning for months to cross the Atlantic by ship and invited me to join her. Unfortunately there were no rooms aboard left to be booked three weeks before departure. As luck would have it, my step-father opted out of joining my mother and there was room and availability to share her room with her. We had two small beds and an outside deck overlooking the port side of the ship and were offered a great deal to upgrade to a larger room with unlimited mini-bar and clothes ironing included for $200 extra dollars. What a steal. In the mornings I awoke early as our journey was continually traversing time zones during the 12 days of our cruise and adding extra hours to the day. I exercised in the gym which was well equipped, even for an athlete-hobbyist such as myself, though the circular dumbbells were ill-equipped for a ship that was continually rocking side-to-side atop an ocean. Afterwards I would take a […]
Read More

Bermuda

by Reid Peryam· November 16, 2017· in Somewhere else, Travel· 0 comments
Before looking at a map I believed that Bermuda was somewhere in the Caribbean. Imagine my surprise to learn it is east of South Carolina about 800 miles. More surprises included that it is only 20 miles across and a mile wide. I stopped here for just part of a day on my way across the Atlantic. The four hours that I had in port at the town of Hamilton was plenty of time to traverse the island and get a sense of its personality, look and feel. I have never been to a more ritzy foreign destination. Huge mansions costing tens of millions of dollars and painted in bright pastels seem to be scattered everywhere. Something about being a tax haven attracts both the wealthy and insurance companies here. Since November is the offseason and the weather was unfortunately cloudy, I wasn’t given a sense of what a bright, summery beach  day entails here. I think it is preferable to the loads of tourists and crowded roads that must congest this island that only has 65,000 residents. The whole place reminded me of a James Bond film location — beautiful houses, exotic cars and yachts, country clubs and golf […]
Read More

Sao Miguel, Azores

by Reid Peryam· November 09, 2017· in Europe, Travel· 0 comments
After waiting nearly twenty years to reach the Azores, I visited twice within a four month period. I was on the islands of Sao Miguel and Terceira back in July and returned again for just a day to Sao Miguel while aboard a cruise ship crossing the Atlantic. Though I only had five hours in port from the town of Ponta Delgada I managed to revisit a few scenic places from before, tour a pottery factory as well as the town of Ribeira Grande, the second largest town after Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao Miguel. With seven more islands left to visit in the Azores I am determined to return again; not a motivation I recall having for many other places in the world. Trust me — get here as soon as possible! In 2018 direct flights will be added from NYC which I imagine will open the tourist floodgates to this pristine, unique and special place. Although I myself arrived on a cruise ship so maybe the natural and cultural charms of the Azores will still persist! I hope so.
Read More

Split, Croatia

by Reid Peryam· November 04, 2017· in Europe, Travel· 0 comments
This year I have been experimenting with living in single cities for longer periods of time. Each time I return to the United States I feel noticeably unhappy; not a typical reaction to returning ‘home’. Aspects of of American society that are incompatible with the way I now want to live my life are frustrating: the cost of living, traffic, public transportation but also cultural considerations like politics, media, news and the collective, schizophrenic personalities comprising the ethos of the USA. Increasingly it is a struggle to locate the parts of America to which I feel a shared set of values. To such an effect that it feels a misnomer to refer to myself as an American. I wanted to try living in Split, Croatia where I visited last year for the first time for three months to see how it would feel staying in one place. It turned out to be the best summer of my life. I was barefoot all day, and got plenty of work done in the amazing co-working space that I was a short walk from the apartments I lived in. The accessibility of the Adriatic sea being only 150 meters from the office was […]
Read More

Munich, Germany

by Reid Peryam· September 22, 2017· in Europe, Travel· 0 comments
After two previous Oktoberfests in a row (1, 2) the wheels came off. I was in Munich for four nights this year — and it turned out to be long enough. Long enough to replace a disappeared pair of lederhosen that seemed to have walked away sometime during the past year (really I think the hardened exoskeleton of chicken grease, potato salad in absence of napkins and hand washing afforded to them this ability); in their place a darker, tighter, more rigid and less-flattering pair and take on Reid in leather. It started out innocent enough; Martin cooked us a traditional Bavarian breakfast in the fraternity house (I take pride in having been a guest here four times). But after that things went down hill pretty fast. My mobile phone committed mobilecide from the apex of a most maniacal, twisty, spinning carnival ride. The presumably shattered body nor SIM card were ever recovered — may they rest in pieces. Subsequently without access to Google Maps I didn’t trust myself to navigate back to my apartment in a state of post-festival reverie. Instead I ended my nights on the carpeted floor along with other friends at Hannah’s apartment. Trevor snored and […]
Read More

Paris, France

by Reid Peryam· July 30, 2017· in Europe, Travel· 0 comments
I met my sister, Tracy, and her family in Paris while they were vacationing for four days of wandering and site-seeing. It was my first time to Paris and it was great exploring with her because she studied in Paris for a year in college, knows the city and speaks very good French which took the stress out of ordering croissants. I was surprised to discover that no one I encountered in Paris wanted to speak in English which without my sister made everything incredibly awkward and embarrassing for this tourist who didn’t want to speak French. In this city – the local Parisian hipsters out-hipstered me — English is apparently too mainstream. Living up to the hype of Paris is no easy task. Since the 1940s, American popular culture has oozed idolatry of the romantic café culture, art, historic architecture, food and “Frenchness” of everything: elegance, sophistication, history and glamour. When expectations are so high, living up to the hype is almost an impossible order and I expected to be underwhelmed; but I loved my time in Paris. It helped a great deal that my sister played the role of French-speaking tour guide who explained the significance, history and […]
Read More
After visiting Lisbon I wanted to explore more of Portugal. I flew to Porto for three days which felt like a less-touristy, smaller version of Lisbon. Porto is the progenitor of Port wine. Afterwards I drove through the Douro Valley wine region and continued north to the border of Spain; from there travelling south to the southern coast where sand and sun draw tourists from all over Europe. During the summer many of the locals are also down south vacationing and things slowly transition from vacant and peaceful to busy and energetic as you near the southern coast. Portugal is a great vacation destination owing to its small size that allows for transversal of its multiple regions in a relatively short amount of time. The landscapes vary between vineyards and olive orchards and cork trees (Portugal is the largest international supplier of cork); everything I saw was mostly dry, sunny and hot in the south, with more temperate climates towards the north. The people in the central north of Portugal have a reputation for being very friendly and hospitable, even among the Portuguese which my experience as well. Beyond polite formalities people seemed genuine when they greeted me with a […]
Read More
Almost twenty years ago I was enamored with a game on my computer : Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. In it, Indy travels the world in search of the legendary lost city of Atlantis. One of the places the game takes you in search of the lost civilization is the Azores islands off of the coast of Portugal, alone in the north Atlantic ocean, citing a grammatical mistake by Plato that placed the location within the Mediterranean instead of beyond it. I had never heard of the Azores before but the peculiarity of its location (there is really nothing else around it) along with the fun I had imagining it was the location of the fabled lost city, added to my intrigue. Before I ever departed for my first solo adventure (to South America) I had already added the Azores to my “must visit” list; it took a while, but I finally got there. The Azores are nine volcanic islands 850 miles west of the coast of Portugal and give the local culture a distinct personality apart from mainland Portugal. So much so that many Azoreans choose to live on the East Coast of the United States and […]
Read More

Lisbon, Portugal

by Reid Peryam· July 09, 2017· in Europe, Travel· 0 comments
I flew from Bogotá to Lisbon in order to spend a weekend pitching a startup company I had been developing in Bogotá. The goal was to determine if the opportunity has merit and is worth pursuing, using impartial judges to test against my own bias. I had about two days to explore the city, the remainder of the time I was in an office with our rag-tag band of misfits (previously strangers) and together we built a presentation to pitch in front of a panel of judges, using the business plan I had previously developed as a guide. We finished third place out of twelve other teams, a disappointing result as I felt we deserved to win, but the rest of the team was pleased. I continue to develop the idea and formulate the business. I had never been to Lisbon or Portugal before and exploring a new city and country are two of my favorite things to do. My network of travel friends has raved about Lisbon on account of great food, wine and lower costs compared to the rest of Western Europe. The city surprised with its ideal weather, friendly people, English-accessibility and scenic architecture and urban landscapes. […]
Read More
My favorite city in the world is Bogotá, Colombia and I have a hard time explaining to people why; it’s big, it’s dirty, the traffic and infrastructure are abysmal – how can I think that Bogotá is so great? This city feels authentic in a way that others just don’t. No strip malls or vegan cafes (or even vegetables really) people are polite and respectful and when I stay out of the touristy sections I feel anonymous walking among the crowds of Colombians living their normal lives. And when you are living a normal life around here you get a little sentimental to the dirt, grime, the familiar old man selling stuff on your street corner each day, the occasional unkempt gentleman urinating across the street from your building entrance. You develop a sense of community and togetherness with the anonymous people you walk by each morning on the way to start your day and then again in the afternoon when returning home. Part of this camaraderie comes about from walking so much. I walk most places unless I am meeting a friend who lives in a different district of town in which case I take an Uber to where […]
Read More