Around the world in eight days…

Because Foreign Policy, when done right, is not a noun but a verb, I’m leaving the country. (Ok, so it’s never a verb. I’m having premature jet-lag.  But you get the idea.) None of this arm-chair punditry for me. I’m going out where you can taste that clash of civilizations and walk the flat earth. ...

585164_090608_rothbb2.jpg
585164_090608_rothbb2.jpg

Because Foreign Policy, when done right, is not a noun but a verb, I'm leaving the country. (Ok, so it's never a verb. I'm having premature jet-lag.  But you get the idea.) None of this arm-chair punditry for me. I'm going out where you can taste that clash of civilizations and walk the flat earth. (And that's just eating and trying to get to my plane at most airports.)

During the next week and a half my business will be taking me to four continents. Admittedly, four continents in eight days is borderline insane for someone who has to fly commercial but think of all the time it will give me at 35,000 feet to contemplate the big issues and provide juicy blogs full of local color.

Because Foreign Policy, when done right, is not a noun but a verb, I’m leaving the country. (Ok, so it’s never a verb. I’m having premature jet-lag.  But you get the idea.) None of this arm-chair punditry for me. I’m going out where you can taste that clash of civilizations and walk the flat earth. (And that’s just eating and trying to get to my plane at most airports.)

During the next week and a half my business will be taking me to four continents. Admittedly, four continents in eight days is borderline insane for someone who has to fly commercial but think of all the time it will give me at 35,000 feet to contemplate the big issues and provide juicy blogs full of local color.

Consider it my Sleep Deprivation and Digestive Distress (S Triple D) World Tour…and view it as your chance to get a window on the world as I hobnob with cab-drivers, bellmen, secretaries who don’t understand a word I am saying, and drug sniffing dogs. Naturally, to the extent that major developments break anywhere in the world, I will be there to offer a distinctly outside the Beltway perspective on them. And all of it will be viewed through the lens of crushing exhaustion that will add special color to it — like hallucinations, imagery of large insects crawling all over my body, paranoid fantasies of hotel shampoo bottles coming to life, that kind of thing.

So now, in the grey light of dawn, I head to the airport with my primary achievement thus far being the ability to get all that I need for the trip into my carry-on luggage. This does not mean I am traveling light. My suitcase and briefcase together weigh roughly the same as any car from the Kia line of fine, Korean-made, automobiles. (Although I worry my luggage may actually have lower fuel efficiency.) 

Barack Obama has made it a new world in which everyone loves Americans. And I am ready to go out and collect my hugs and free drinks.

More news as it happens… 

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

David Rothkopf is visiting professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His latest book is The Great Questions of Tomorrow. He has been a longtime contributor to Foreign Policy and was CEO and editor of the FP Group from 2012 to May 2017. Twitter: @djrothkopf

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.