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

Regrets: 0

Pages written since returning from on-the-ground research: .5

Months until guidebook is published: 12

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