Back in 1998
, I was working as a freelancer
for the first time in my life. I was afraid
because I was unsure whether my congenital laziness
would allow me to make a life of my work, and on the other hand I felt a nice sensation of freedom
. I knew the first months were to be paramount
to the success
of my new life, so I decided to do something stupid
. I had some money in the bank, and I wanted badly to attend E3
and the Computer Games Developer Conference
(now Games Developer Conference
). So I invented a project that involved a six week journey across the U.S.A.
, and a website that I would be constructing "on the road
". I had already a website then, www.versvs.com (I am no longer the owner of the domain
, some stupid robot from www.webhideout.com bought it this year), so I created VERSVS ON THE ROAD as a one month project inside my deeply intellectual
website about videogames
I had the money, but I had other problems to solve. First of all, Sonia, my significant other, wasn't very happy. Six weeks was a lot of time, and she was a bit jealous, because she loves travelling and it was going to be my first trip to the U.S.A., and what the hell, she wanted to go with me!. This was going to be difficult, as she works in the courts and it wasn't easy for her to get seven consecutive days off. But she did it, she had a week! Then I introduced a week worth of holidays in my trip.
Everything was taking shape... now I just needed a notebook, a digital camera and an Internet account with roaming capabilities in the U.S.A. As I was working for a computer magazine, I used my contacts to get the notebook, the camera, and I signed for a month with Netcom. I had mixed feelings again, I was happy, because everything was looking good, but the trip was going to put me in the red. So I started to sell articles like there was no tomorrow: reports from E3 and CGC, an article about Arizona and the Grand Canyon (Sonia and I were going to spend the first week travelling, doing tourism, then she would return to Barcelona and I would start the work in the CGC), and even an article where I explained how to travel and keep working at the same time. You can see the written results of that journey at http://www.antipasta.org/llocsvells/otr/index.html (Spanish only)
Although I spent much more money than I earn selling my articles, I learned a lot of things from this experience. For the first time in my life, I was alone, in a foreign country, with little money, but connected with my people through the net (for instance, I would send an e-mail to my sister, she would print it and hand it to my mother, or the torrid e-mails between Sonia and I). I defined, more than a year before it was becoming popular in Spain, the role and the equipment of a digital journalist. What was seen as a crazy thing then has put me, two years after, in a position where now I am being interviewed as a pioneer of digital journalism (where I just wanted to attend E3 and CGC).
Maybe some other day I would go into the details of the trip itself...