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對話時報2019年“52個地方”旅行者

Meet the 52 Places Traveler for 2019
對話時報2019年“52個地方”旅行者

Last year, for the first time, we sent one intrepid traveler, Jada Yuan, to all 52 destinations on our Places to Go list. This year, we decided to do it again. Once again, we got applicants from around the world and from a variety of backgrounds (meet some of them here). After weeks of assessing them, we settled on a handful of finalists. From that group, we chose Sebastian Modak, one of our finalists from last year, and a journalist with an impressive background and résumé. Just weeks before he sets off to his first destination — Puerto Rico, which took the No. 1 spot on the list this year — we asked him some questions about himself and the trip ahead.

去年,我們有史以來第一次將一名勇敢無畏的旅行者——杰達·袁(Jada Yuan)送到了所有52個“最值得去的地方”。今年,我們決定再一次這么做。再一次,我們收到了來自世界各地的申請,這些申請者們背景各異(可以到這里認識其中一些人)。經過對他們數周的評估,我們選出了幾名入圍者。從這批申請者中,我們選擇了塞巴斯蒂安·莫達克(Sebastian Modak),他是去年也曾入圍,是一名記者,背景、履歷都十分出色。就在他出發前往第一個目的地——波多黎各,也是今年名單上的第一名——幾周前,我們問了一些關于他自己和即將到來旅行的問題。

So, how does it feel to be the 52 Places Traveler for 2019?

那么,成為2019年52個地方旅行者是什么感受?

In a word: surreal. It’s a lot of emotions at once — gratitude, excitement, anxiety — but mostly I’m still finding it hard to wrap my head around it concretely. I’m starting to think the sheer scope of what I’m doing won’t hit me until I make landfall in the first destination and start reporting. Luckily, data scientists at the travel aggregator Kayak have helped us sketch out an itinerary for the year in advance — as they did last year for Jada — so I have some sense of what the structure of my year looks like. That said, this trip wouldn’t be nearly as interesting if I knew exactly what to expect, right? I’m ready to embrace all the uncertainty that comes with an opportunity like this and see where it takes me.

總而言之,很不真實。是種百感交集的感覺——感激、興奮、焦慮——但最主要的,我還是很難具體地去理解這件事。我開始覺得,直到我降落在第一個目的地,開始進行報道的時候,我才能理解我正在做的事情有多么龐大。幸運的是,旅游聚合服務客涯(Kayak)已經幫我們提前制定出了一整年的行程安排——他們去年也是這么為杰達做的——所以我能大概知道我這一年的時間分配是什么樣的。即便如此,如果我清清楚楚地知道旅程中會發生什么的話,這趟旅行就不怎么有趣了,不是嗎?我準備好了迎接隨這種機會而來的一切不確定性,順其自然。

Have you been following Jada Yuan, our 2018 Traveler? Anything in particular you’ve picked up from her dispatches?

你有在關注我們2018年的旅行者杰達·袁嗎?從她發回的通訊報道中,你有特別注意到什么嗎?

I’ve read every one. It’s been a real pleasure following along and I know I’ve got some big, well-worn shoes to fill. My favorite moments from Jada’s dispatches were the interactions that, on the surface, may seem everyday, but in actuality tell much bigger stories about a place: a night out in Kigali, a meal in La Paz, a haphazardly assembled trip-planning committee in China built out of nothing but the kindness of strangers. Those stories get at the heart of why we travel. I’m hoping to bring the same openness and down-for-anything attitude that led Jada to those moments.

每一篇我都讀過。一直關注她的旅程是一件樂事,我也知道我要花很大力氣才能像她做得一樣好。對于杰達的那些報道,我最喜歡的是她和當地人互動的瞬間。表面上來看,這些互動很日常,但實際上卻能讓人更多地理解一個地方:在基加利的夜生活;拉巴斯的一餐飯;在中國一個隨意組建起來的行程規劃委員會,這個委員會之所以能建立起來,都是靠陌生人的善意。這些故事表達的正是我們為什么去旅行的原因。我希望能給讀者帶來同樣的開放、愿意嘗試任何事物的態度,正是這種態度讓杰達得以有那些遭遇。

    蛐蛐英語 www.gwbyzx.live

In a couple of ways, you have a background uniquely suited to this gig.

從某些方面看,你的背景對這份工作來說非常合適。

I do feel like I’ve been working toward doing something like this my whole life. I was born in the United States to a Colombian mother and an Indian father, but we left for Hong Kong when I was 2 years old and continued to move every few years. My brothers and I didn’t really grow up with the concept of “home,” because we understood every place was temporary. It made travel the only real constant in our lives. January marks five years in New York City, though, and that puts it in a joint first-place spot for the longest I’ve stayed anywhere — tied with Indonesia and India.

我確實覺得自己一直都在向這個方向努力。我生于美國,母親是哥倫比亞裔,父親是印度裔,但我們在我兩歲的時候舉家搬往香港,之后每過幾年都會搬一個地方。我們兄弟幾個在成長過程中并沒有“家”的概念,因為我們明白,每個地方都是臨時的。這讓在路上成了我們生活中唯一真正有連續性的事情。不過,到今年一月,我在紐約就已經待了五年了,因此它將并列成為我待過最久的地方——和它齊平的是印度尼西亞和印度。

For me, travel is all about immersing yourself in the unfamiliar, and embracing the feeling of humility that comes with that: There’s always something to learn from someone else, from somewhere else. That’s what made me choose a career in multimedia storytelling. I was a Fulbright-mtvU fellow in Botswana, where I spent a year documenting the local hip-hop scene. I was a producer on an MTV series that looked at the role of the arts in protest movements around the world. Most recently, I was an editor and then a staff writer at Condé Nast Traveler, where I was often sent on assignment to find and report stories that resonate with a global and globally curious audience. I think the thread that connects all of these experiences is an insatiable sense of wonder at the world around me.

對我而言,旅行關乎于將自己沉浸在不熟悉的事物中,并且完全接納隨之而來的謙卑感。別人、別的地方,總是有你能學到的東西。這也是為什么我會選擇一個用多媒體講述故事的職業。我曾是富布萊特mtvU學者,在博茨瓦納花了一年紀錄當地的嘻哈音樂風貌。我曾是一個MTV系列片的制片人,關注世界各地藝術在抗議運動中發揮的作用。最近期的是在《康泰納仕旅行者》(Condé Nast Traveler)擔任編輯,而后是專職撰稿人,在那里,我常常被派出找尋、報道能在全球和對全球感興趣的受眾那里產生共鳴的故事。我認為,將這些經歷都串聯起來的線索,是對我周遭世界懷著永不滿足的驚異感。

You’ll be starting your journey in Puerto Rico, which took the No. 1 spot on the list. Have you been?

你即將開始在波多黎各的旅程,那里是今年名單上的第一位。你去過那里嗎?

I haven’t been, but I’ve wanted to — in part thanks to some of the island’s cultural exports that show up in New York, where I live: heaping portions of arroz con gandules and the sounds of hip-hop duo Calle 13, for example. I can’t think of a better time to finally make the trip. Working in travel journalism, I’ve seen and reported on how natural disasters can devastate economies, not just in their immediate aftermaths, but for months or years.

我還沒有去過,但我一直都很向往那里——部分原因是這個島一部分的文化出口會出現在我居住的紐約:比如那些堆得高高的arroz con gandules(鷹嘴豆豬肉米飯)和嘻哈樂二人組Calle 13的音樂。終于能成行去那里,我想不到比現在更好的時候了。在旅游方面做報道的我見到過,也報道過自然災害是如何摧毀經濟的,而這種損害不僅是在災害立刻發生后,而是會持續數月或是數年。<紐約時報中英文網 http://www.gwbyzx.live/>

As has been the case in the wake of Hurricane Maria, tourism is often one of the hardest hit sectors. But I’ve heard about how resilient the people of Puerto Rico have been in the face of not only hurricanes, but economic and political crises as well. I can’t wait to try the island’s coffee at its source and follow the sound of rolling bomba drums to a countryside dance party. But, most of all, I’m looking forward to meeting the people whose perseverance has made Puerto Rico the No. 1 slot this year, just a year and a half after tragedy.

颶風瑪利亞(Hurricane Maria)發生后也是同樣,旅游業通常是遭受打擊最為嚴重的一個領域。但我聽到過波多黎各人不僅在颶風面前,還有在經濟和政治危機面前都能夠迅速恢復元氣。我等不及去波多黎各島上的原產地嘗嘗他們的咖啡,追隨轟隆作響的邦巴鼓聲前往一個鄉間跳舞派對。但最重要的,我很期待認識當地人,正是他們的存在讓波多黎各在悲劇發生僅僅一年半后,就成為了今年的第一名。

Is there a destination on the list you are most looking forward to?

名單上有哪個目的地是你最期待前往的?

There’s nothing I’m not excited about, but I think Iran takes the top spot. More than any other place on the list, or even in the world, Iran is somewhere that I’ve only ever been able to look at from afar, through the lens of scary newspaper headlines. I’ve found that there’s often a huge gap between the everyday lived experience of people on the ground and the country as we understand it through geopolitics. I’m ready for any preconceptions I have to be totally shattered, and I’m excited to share my experience with New York Times readers.

我對一切都感到很興奮,但我認為伊朗是其中讓我最期待的,程度比名單上其他地方、甚至是世界上其他地方都更高。伊朗是一個我迄今為止只能在遠處,透過可怕的報紙標題觀望的地方。我發現,在實際生活中人們每天過的日子和我們通過地緣政治理解的國家存在著巨大差異。我已經做好了自己所有的任何偏見都會被完全打破的準備,而且我也很開心能將自己的經歷與《紐約時報》的讀者一同分享。

What do you think will be the biggest challenges for this job?

你認為這份工作中最大的挑戰會是什么?

I know the hardest part of this trip is going to be the abrupt end to any stability or normalcy I’ve created over the past few years. To say “see you in a year” to my (unconscionably supportive) partner, my friends and the routines I’ve developed here in New York is going to hurt. I also know I have to recognize the immense privilege I’ve been given and channel that sense of unmooring and the inevitable loneliness that will set in from time to time into motivation to keep going, keep learning, and keep telling stories. If past travels are anything to go by, you often find on-the-go support networks in the most unlikely of places.

我知道這趟旅程中,最難的地方會是我過去幾年創造出的任何穩定性或常態的突然終結。對(完全支持)我的伴侶、朋友還有我在紐約建立起的日常生活說再見,是會讓人難受的。我也知道,我必須認識到自己獲得的這種巨大特權,將那種時不時會有的不安感和無可避免的孤獨感化為動力,繼續前行,繼續學習,并且繼續為人們講述故事。如果說過往的旅行有任何能得出的經驗的話,那就是你往往會在最讓人意想不到的地方找到活躍的支持網絡。

How are you preparing for the trip, practically and emotionally?

你都對這趟旅行做了哪些準備,無論是實際生活中的還是心態上的準備?

I’ve found myself zeroing in on really small, likely inconsequential things. Do I finally give up on my sentimentality around physical books and buy a Kindle? (Probably.) Will I even have time to read books? (Probably not.) I get that a versatile pair of shoes is going to be important and I should probably start researching that, but “how many pairs of socks do I bring?” I think it’s in part a way for me to avoid the larger existential questions, but I also think it’s a good approach. I’m starting small and then gradually working my way up, because I know “where am I?” is going to be the question I end up asking the most.

我發現自己漸漸地開始關注那些非常小、很可能不重要的事情。我是不是要終于放棄自己對實體書的感情,去買個Kindle?(很可能。)我首先會不會有時間看書呢?(可能不會有。)我知道一雙多功能鞋會很重要,我可能得開始研究研究,但“我該帶多少雙襪子呢?”我覺得這有一部分是我避免面對更大的生存問題的方式,但我也覺得這是個好方法。我從小事入手,然后慢慢開始思考大問題,因為我知道“我在哪?”會是我問得最多的一個問題。

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