Woman in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico. All photos by author.
Matador managing editor Julie Schwietert goes to Puerto Rico on a guidebook assignment and sends in this by the numbers dispatch.
Weeks between receipt of guidebook contract and assignment due date: 8
Two of the features are about art.
Special features assigned: 3
Itineraries to write in addition to features: 2
Total number of pages to be written: 17
People and places to visit in order to write features & itineraries: Too many to count.
People who have said “Oh, have a nice vacation” when I mention I’m in Puerto Rico: 7
Times I’ve gone to the beach: 1
Minutes spent on single visit to the beach: 22
Miles driven in 10 days: 636
Flat tires changed: 1
Statue of Liberty in Arecibo. No, that’s not my rental car.
Number of bizarre monuments seen: 3
Business cards acquired: 60
Times asked if there was a cost to be included in the guidebook: 17
Wrong turns made on the Panoramic Route: 7
Minutes waited for only gas station within 30 miles to open pumps after gas delivery: 12
Small size Moleskine notebooks filled with notes: 1.5
Times I looked at my expenses and thought, “Maybe accepting this assignment wasn’t the best idea”: 59
Unique arguments I devised to convince myself all 59 times that accepting the assignment was a good idea: 7
Pages written since returning from on-the-ground research: .5
Months until guidebook is published: 12