Writer David Jennings discusses his next novel, drinking raki on the Turkish Mediterranean aboard a gulet and keeping travel journals…
NOWHERE: What are you working on right now?
DJ: For the past few months I’ve been living in Dharamsala, India, and working on the rough draft of a novel called Exiles. I’ll return to the U.S. in November to begin editing the final draft.
NOWHERE: Tell us about the greatest trip you didn’t want to come back from…
DJ: I don’t want to come back from any of my trips, really. But perhaps the one I’ve wanted least to come back from was a one-month stint on the Turkish Mediterranean aboard a gulet. I drank raki almost every night, slept on the deck under the open sky and washed away my hangovers by diving in the cool sea first thing every morning.
NOWHERE: How about a trip you would never go on again?
DJ: I will never again go on a large cruise ship. I was taken as a child. It was fun back then because the small possibility of harming myself or others inspired my parents to let me roam around un-chaperoned. This allowed me one of my first real tastes of freedom and taught me the pitfalls of gambling. Now, however, the prospect of being stuck on a cruise ship with those types terrifies me.
NOWHERE: What’s one thing you never travel without and why?
DJ: I carry a small Italian coffee percolator so that I can make my own espresso every morning and share it with those who only know about coffee through Nescafe.
NOWHERE: What was your favorite souvenir/keepsake you brought back from a journey? Where was it from and why is it so special?
DJ: I don’t think I’ve kept a single thing from any of my travels. I pick things up and put them down, or give them away. I have no real base to send anything, so I don’t keep anything. I do fill up journals though, but then I photograph what I’ve written and throw the journals away too so I don’t have to carry them.
NOWHERE: Who is your favorite travel writer and why?
DJ: V. S. Naipaul. He penetrates places deeper intellectually than other travel writer I’ve read.