North

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Exploring Neuschwanstein Castle, 2011

Security of character would be like a compass, you know? Other people may say that this way is north, or this way might be north. But the compass just says north. That’s what we count on. And I think writers have to count on something in themselves, that means if they’re not going to do it when they’re writing, then who is? They’ve got to make the decisions.
– William Stafford

This blog has been a long time coming.

I wish I had known I could track my journeys online in a blog setting when I originally left to study abroad back in January 2005. I have a comprehensive account of my trips from piecing together emails to friends and family, entries in the diary I kept for those six months of travel (a practice I have continued for all my trips since then as well), pictures upon pictures and even handwritten postcards and letters I sent home. I don’t know if it was truly a missed opportunity though, for the same reason it took me so long to actually create this blog; does anyone really care?

I love visiting travel websites, looking for new ways to host photos of places I’ve been, keep track of which places I’ve visited and make plans for future possibilities, but I noticed that a lot of these end up reading the same to me. What I really didn’t want was to create ‘just another travel blog.’ I thought long and hard about how to differentiate, how to really incorporate unique perspectives on travel, culture and life rather than just succumb to relaying my latest trip experiences.

My final decision, after almost a year of thought, really rested on my initial compulsion to write. Obviously someone, somewhere out there cares to hear about other people’s travels. Hence the best-selling books, destination movie settings and millions of postmarked postcards. However, does anyone really care about the experiences I’ve had/will have? Maybe friends and family, who I’ve kept updated since my first foray abroad. But, their care is most likely the sole result of knowing me and how these trips have aided in my personal development. Although I appreciate their support, even they were not the true reason I chose to finally capture my thoughts here.

Deep down, I just came to the realization that while everyone has a different take on the places, cultures and people they visit, those recordings are still only one more single outlook on the world. Travelers will never stop recording their experiences and people will never stop consuming those materials, which offer just a moment of vicarious pleasure. There will always be just one more book, just one more story, just one more blog. And, each time there will be accuracy in their accounts, ferver in their words and endless adventures in their depictions.

But I write on the off chance that those experiences, had by everyone else, will not be the same for me. This is just another travel blog. It is just one more outlook on the world. Perhaps no one will care.

In spite of all that, I will travel, I will experience, and I will write.

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