Let’s get this party started

The perilous exercise of writing the introductory post for a new blog comes with its own series of clichés to avoid like the plague (like, for instance, using the phrase “to avoid like the plague), such as the self-interview format, the overabundance of links, the desperate call to a publisher and unrelated pictures of baby hyenas. Well, guess what!

Let’s first address the one question that’s been pestering me ever since I decided to start this blog (i.e. yesterday after lunch):

Does the world need yet another white girl’s travel blog?

Well, probably not. And by this, I mean most definitely not. But the question isn’t what the world needs, it is what I need. After a major breakdown, I decided to seek new ways to be happy with my life, even if it meant drastic changes. I have always loved writing and a blog is a cheap platform to get my writing out and hopefully having a publisher notice it (looking at you, Penguin Random House), but if that doesn’t happen, I am fine with it too because the whole purpose of this exercise is to reconnect  with writing for pleasure.

Most travel blogs quintessentially are selfish displays of wealth aimed at boosting the ego of their owners. I can at least promise that mine won’t be another of those train wrecks because (1) having quit my job for a year, I am basically broke, and (2) I haven’t got much of an ego to speak of. Sure, in a good light and with a good camera, I could look like a girl you’d hit on if she was the last person in the pub when the bell rings and everyone begrudgingly finishes their fifth pint of Abbot, but you’d definitely wake up with regrets (and hickeys).

So no. The world doesn’t need my travel blog. But I do need it, and I hope that you’ll find something you like in the process.

What material do you use?

I use the very basics:

  • An old pc with Windows er… 8? 10? Where do you find that information? Why is it relevant? I don’t know. It’s a computer whose screen folds on the keyboard like a book except you have to hold it in landscape mode. In short, it’s a laptop.
  • A notebook. It’s turquoise because I like turquoise. And a pen, to write things in the notebook. At the moment, it’s mostly doodles of cats and a phone number whose owner’s name I haven’t written down and which I really don’t want to call because it would be awkward.
  • A camera. It’s an Olympus Pen E-PL8, aka “the InstaLikeWhore” because it has a digital screen that you can flip to take selfies. Also it’s cute. I really like it because for a camera of its price range and weight, it takes suspiciously good pictures.
  • Basic HTML knowledge, which I gathered here and there along the way and which has been rendered completely useless by the new WordPress interface. There goes another useless skill on my C.V., I guess.

What is this blog about?

Travel. It’s about travel. Really, Myrtle, try to keep up.  It is going to be organised in four categories, namely:

The “Places” category is pretty self-explanatory. It will be about the places I have visited and whether I liked or disliked them, the things to do there, and some practical information.

Tips” are pieces of general advice regarding travel, such has how to pack efficiently or what to do to get discounts (but because I’m terrible at haggling and I once paid £120 for two books when the original price was £125 and was very proud of myself, don’t raise your expectations too much).

The “Thoughts” section will host longer pieces whose purpose will be to elicit reflexion more than contemplation. The point will be to reflect on travelling and to try to learn something about what it means to be human.

Random stuff” is all the rest, because I am a messy person with a limited tolerance for categories and drawers. By the way, has anyone seen my cat?

Final thoughts?

Not really. Want to see a picture of a baby hyena?

Baby-Hyena

Help fund food and care for hyenas in Ethiopia with Born Free

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