If you drop in regularly, you’ll have noticed that this blog has toned down quite substantially over the last few months. In truth, I’ve been debating whether to carry on writing it at all. In amongst all the other writing I have to do, it takes up a lot of time. Also, the original purpose of the blog was to focus on travel, and write about the great places I spent the best part of the last few years visiting or exploring (that’s not a stab at Dublin, it’s just the other places were a fair bit more exotic!). Now, I won’t be doing much traveling (outside of Ireland at least), for at least the next 8-9 months, and that tends to turn this into a sproradic exploration of different more exciting things that I’ve done. See festivals, mountain climbing and getting annoyed with LA Fitness, which has been about the extent of my blogging this summer.
The other side of things is that people can take this so personally. While I certainly don’t go out of my way to write anything negative, I’ve had a few criticisms from people who think I should include them more, and believe how much theiy’re mentioned on my blog is some kind of indicator as to just how much I actually care about them. For the record, the mentioning – or not mentioning – of various events has far more to do with what’s on my mind at the times when I actually have the time to sit down and write than any reflection on an individual or their impact on my life. I’ve even had one complaint – deleted fairly quickly from the message board – that the blog is too much about me. Well, yes, it is, and I make no apologies for it.
When I started this, 359 entires and more than four years ago (the Thailand and Cambodia entries early on are actually post-dated from emails I sent while out there), I did it in part for people to read what I’m getting up to around the world, but more than anything else it was for me to read back later, and remember exactly how I felt doing all these things I’ve always wanted to do. Reading back those early Thailand and India entries and remembering my time in South Korea is still something I love doing, but writing blog entries and feeling that I’m under pressure to include certain things and feeling like I should ‘talk about myself less’ (I mean really, it’s basically a diary, where did that come from?) has taken a bit of a shine off it. I will talk about myself far more than anyone else, as it’s not up to me to talk publically about other people online. I tend to leave people out unless they’re essential to what’s going on.
At first I thought that I might just make the blog private, but seeing as that will only make it invisible to people who don’t already know the address (and so probably don’t care all that much anyway), that seems a touch pointless, so I’ve come to a different conclusion. I know that I’ll regret it if I close this down, as it has approaching five of the best years of my life saved on it. I’m going to start it up again, do some updates on this summer, and take the approach that I’m writing for me and for no-one else. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I feel that while it’s not travel at the moment, and it might annoy the overly sensitive, I shouldn’t have to justify what I put on my blog (it has NEVER been offensive to anybody as far as I can work out), it should just be for me and my memories. If anyone can’t deal with that idea, I’m going to offer a very simple solution: don’t read it. The Internet can be a horribly negative place, as you learn from writing for websites (the ratio of positive comments to negative on almost any article – and I’m not refering to mine specifically – is astounding; I think people do come out just to vent sometimes. And I realise the hypocracy of that on this particular post…). At the end of the day, I do this for me, and if you don’t like what I have to say, well, I just don’t care all that much. Sorry. I’ll happily talk about my blog next time I see you, but I won’t be justifying how much you or anyone else is (or is not) included.
Sorry for the negativity this time out. I just hope the weird political dimension that seems to have come in to this can fade into the background, and it becomes the same fun-to-write memory capsule it started out as. After all, it can already lay claim to changing one man’s life totally (I hope you’re still enjoying Viet Nam, Mark!) and to hosting un-altered, tell it as it is entries marking many of the best times of my life. As I doubt I’ll ever have an autobioraphy, this might be as good as it gets. So please, those of you who do, stop taking it so personally! I can’t find an insult in the thing.
Until next time!