“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
My original travel blog, The Halcyon Odysseys, started as a form of accountability to family members (and friends) when I started taking off to places on my own. My parents were obviously unhappy that their eldest child chose to ‘squander’ hard-earned money in this rather frivolous manner, but it was never regretted on my part. On the contrary, I found that travel increasingly afforded me the space and leeway to learn about the wider world out there, pushed me to think and behave beyond what I’ve been conditioned to, and most embarrassingly, taught me in unimaginable ways that people aren’t necessarily what they seem.
I’d always known after all, that my feet would never stay still in the country in which I was born.
But as time wore on, I found that the readership (those limited few) stayed as it was, and since I never expected a big following anyway, I decided to continue writing for the sheer joy of putting my thoughts coherently about places I’ve visited. Writing permitted me to articulate ideas and thoughts that came through the precious gift of hindsight, long after my baggage has been taken from the carousel.
The stories on my blog weren’t always entertaining or scandalous, but they’ve always marked me profoundly and by writing about these experiences, I’d hoped that others have had some affinity with them. Distilled, the travel writing experience has always been a statement about the human condition rather than the places I’ve visited and that for me, is its greatest allure.
I write now as a record of my own memories that are wont to fade easily, and as a bittersweet reminder that there is so little time for so much else to see. At other times, I write in order to remember the mixed feelings of loneliness, exhilaration and intense self-discovery – that comes from being on the road -, feelings that I will eventually forget in the grind of daily life. Or maybe it’s just my laziness talking because of my refusal to repeat myself to people who seemed to ask the same questions all the time.
It only took a decade before I thought of moving Odysseys off its free platform and onto a paid one.
Cranky Barbarian is the result.
**The views – probably more ignorant and bigoted than I think they are – in this blog are personal, hardly representative of any political outfit, and are mine alone.