Puerto Rico By the Numbers

Puerto Rico Narrative
by Julie Schwietert Aug 10, 2009

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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