Born in the wrong century? Yes, i was – ideally, i should have been born into the landed gentry of the Regency or Victorian ages. Nothing to do with the culture, costumes or Mr D’arcy, but everything to do with that peculiar rite of passage: The Grand Tour.
There are few things in my mind more worthwhile than travelling and seeing the world – not in the way we tend to these days: two weeks lying on a beach and sampling the delights of a corporate all-inclusive package hotel are a world away from my definition of travel. To me, it’s not just about the destination, but the journey too; it’s all about becoming steeped in the ways and the world of the people amongst whom you find yourself; it’s about the art and the architecture; the culture and the history. It’s about getting lost in the backstreets of a town where you don’t speak the language, haggling in the marketplace and enjoying local food and drink, in a local hostelry of from a pavement vendor at the side of the road, surrounded by the locals. And that’s why The Grand Tour is right up my alley – and i accept that i’m probably romanticising it, but i’d take that over a thousand trips out of any holiday brochure, any day.
My perfect career would be that of the travel photographer: caturing moments of mystery and magic in far-flung places that, it seems to me, are fast disappearing. Everywhere, warungs and street vendors are being replaced by strip malls and McDonalds; traditional cultures are being overtaken by political correctness and worldly idealism, uniqueness is being trampled under the boots of uniformity… before long, everywhere will look the same, feel the same, sound and smell the same. Soon, the only place you’ll find anything out of the ordinary and unique, will be in photographs taken by those who had the insight to capture the place and the moment, whilst it was still possible.
In the past, i’ve been incredibly fortunate to have seen a small part of the world – often off the beaten track and away from the tourist traps and trinkets – those opportunities are now probably unlikely to be repeated in the future, (but i live in hope), even so i’m acutely aware that there’s an awful lot of the world still out there that i’ll almost certainly never experience. That’s life, i guess – and i can’t help thinking that it would be such a shame to lose that sense of wonder and the thrill of seeing amazing places by simply committing them to the spoil heap of forgetfulness.
i’ve always believed that the best way to keep memories alive and fresh is to constantly keep revisiting them, and so i’ve always kept photographs – and, more importantly, looked at them, and reminisced! Along with the photo’s, i keep the tickets, mementos, ornaments – all of which have a story to tell and a memory to set free.
There was a time when i toyed with the idea of writing a travel blog, but there’s simply not enough hours in the day, (actually, there are, but annoying things like work keep filling them up). So, instead, i’ve decided to combine my love of travel with my interest in micro-fiction: the result is something i’ve christened, ‘Around the World in 100 Words’.
It’s new to the blog, and i hope it’ll grow and flourish – i’ve popped a few stories on the new page already, and please keep an eye on the sidebar for new additions to the page – which i promise you, will continues to grow, in the future.
One of the joys of sl for me is the rich and endless variety of the places that can be discovered, simply by travelling the Grid – in many ways, the real world is no different, but a whole lot better… but it is a lot more difficult to find those hidden gems. So, perhaps you’d like to be my travelling companions as i continue my journey and rekindle memories, through this simple medium of words? You’ll be very welcome to come along. 🙂
All my bags are packed I’m ready to go
I’m standin’ here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye
John Denver – Leaving On A Jetplane