I’m ending A Man Without A Country. I was going to make a big deal out of this – try and make you think that I was ending the blog entirely, try and make it seem like I was retiring from the internet, like it was time to sell out and become a banker – but then it occurred to me that relatively few people would actually care if I did that, and if my cancellation news wasn’t met with cries of despair and outrage, I would probably be pretty depressed.
So I’ll be clearer: I’m just changing the name of the site. There are an infinite number of reasons for this, but only one of them really matters. So naturally, I’m going to give you all of the reasons that don’t matter first.
I started using “A Man Without A Country” when I started using Tumblr around 5 years ago. I shamelessly stole it from Kurt Vonnegut, who used it for one of his last books. While it has a jazzy ring to it, and while it thrilled me a little bit to pretend that Kurt Vonnegut may have liked my blog if he was the type of guy who would spend lots of time Googling himself while also being dead, it wasn’t a very practical choice: no one searching for “A Man Without A Country” finds my site unless they click through a few search pages.
So there was that. But that was always a problem, and I was always too lazy to come up with an original blog title to care.
The other reason that doesn’t matter is that it was originally a title for my travel-centric blog. I’m not really traveling as much anymore, and also, I’m working for the Matador Network as a staff writer. Since they pay me to write about travel, and I am a significantly less generous editor to my site’s writers, I haven’t been writing much about travel on my own blog lately.
The reason that does matter is this: Steph and I got engaged last week.
For followers of my blog who aren’t my Mom, Steph is my girlfriend (fiancee!). I’ve been dating her for two years, and I haven’t written about our relationship all that much on my blog because I am a firm believer in two things: first, that the internet is not a place for happiness – happiness belongs in the real world – and second, that people who write about how happy they are are boring writers.
Also, I’m pretty sure she’d hate it if I wrote about us. Us is our thing, not the internet’s.
The reason this is a reason against AMWAC is that AMWAC is that AMWAC is a product of my twenties. I’ve felt like I’ve been wandering and generally lost for the past decade. I haven’t been sure where I want to go, what I want to do, or what I wanted my life to look like. And this is probably a good thing in your twenties: I learned a lot about myself and I’ve been to a lot of places. But at some point, drifting around stops making much sense. At some point, you want a home and a community and a country. At some point, being a wanderer isn’t as much of a thing to brag about.
With Steph, I’m not as interested in drifting around anymore. I’ve spent the last three days in Las Vegas on a press trip for Matador (which I’ll be writing about in detail very soon). I left 3 days after my engagement. It’s been rough. I’m homesick for the first time in years.
By choosing the name A Man Without A Country, it felt like I was refusing to be a part of anything that I had a problem with: whether that was countries, professions, ideologies, or cultures. But when you put down an anchor – just one! – you have to stop thinking about sailing to the next destination, and you start thinking about what you can do in the place you’ve arrived at.
So a new era calls for a new blog title. I’m not sure what it’ll be yet, but it’ll be coming soon. In the meantime, the travel section will still be called A Man Without A Country, but it won’t be updated all that much: you can go to Matador for my travel writings. I’ll post them on our Facebook page. I’m probably going to write about our wedding a little bit, but I promise I won’t let it be about happiness. I don’t want to bore you, and that’s reserved for the two of us anyway.