What makes a relatively sane individual feel the need to write a blog about a topic he’s not particularly good at?
It’s a decent question that deserves a significantly truthful answer.
I’ve always enjoyed floating around different countries and having a bit of a look. My observations have always been a little off centre though, due in part to my self-perceived incompetence at the whole travelling thing. But surely my inability to function normally should create some initially interesting then accidentally amusing facts on travel and life, shouldn’t it? Isn’t it always the opinions of those who know little about any subject who somehow create the more vivid descriptions? For example, what a builder would describe as a ‘weight bearing joist’, I would describe as ‘the wood in the roof that stops the ceiling from falling on me while I drink beer in the lounge room watching sport on T.V.’
I suppose, if you want to point to moment where the decision to write things down and upload it to the internet for strangers to peruse became a good idea, it came when I was trying to explain to a friend how I ended up walking through a coffee plantation in Tanzania. I was in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, close to dusk, searching for a waterfall with a ‘local guide’, who had sprung from the bushes like a cat attacking a toddlers face in a YouTube video, as he unsuccessfully attempted to sell me marijuana. No matter how many times I tell the story, it never stops being funny. Scary, but funny. It is a situation that every traveller can relate to but don’t realise how potentially hazardous it is until they are safely back home, sipping a cup of tea, thinking to themselves, “Holy s**t! That could have been disastrous!” Hindsight is a really wonderful thing.
Stories like this show how humour can be found in almost anything; it’s just a matter of filtering through the serious issues. Take travel for instance. All countries have rules and regulations- these are serious. Some of those rules are f**king weird and make no sense- this is humorous. But if you break them, it becomes serious again and you end up on an episode of Banged up Abroad with your story being played out by a D-grade actor making you appear to be a fully-fledged Muppet. Like thinking that getting naked on top of a religiously significant, Malaysian mountain is a good idea, for example.
I have experienced both the good and the bad and found that sharing all stories is bloody entertaining and finds people reminiscing and sharing their own tales or, more importantly, encourages people to go away themselves. That’s why I figure it’s better to put those tales out there for everyone rather than just chuckling to myself as I walk down the street.