As I sit at this low wooden table in this cafe in Saigon, Southern Vietnam and try to pen the first few words of a blog to the page, I am overwhelmed. I have a million moments to choose from. Hundreds of stories, observations, strange encounters and amusing anecdotes. I suppose if I had begun to blog (a concept I’ve toyed with on and off for years) immediately upon my departure for the Far East, it would be easy; I could have provided a simple chronological account of my life and thoughts as they unfolded. Many a time in the two months I spent travelling and the last four months living as an expat I’ve filed a mental note of some ordeal or another, thinking “this would be a great blog post.”
But ultimately, what stopped me from turning my mental filing cabinet into a rambling digital one has been the very same thing that has stopped me all these years: I’m unsure of what I want it to be. Will my blog be a guide to other travellers? Will I share tips and insider tricks from the wanderers’ guild? Will it be a chronicle of my most adventurous days - a pat on the back for doing all the things that my peers back in Canada lack the opportunity pursue? Will I post photography? Will I post philosophical musings? Poetry? Will I self-host travel journalism? Will I aim to generate income? As a professional designer and writer I am all-too-familiar with the danger of beginning a project without a clear and well defined idea of what it is going to be. This froze me up every time I tried to pick up a pen.
But I think, in this case, my professional expertise is hindering, rather than helping me. I’ve been stuck in the paradigm of briefs, objectives, outlines and quantifiable successes. This occurred to me for no particular reason.
So this is no attempt at anything but laziness. I write for my own amusement, and because I have too many family members and not enough international minutes.
A friend of mine once wrote: “I’m going to challenge you the way you challenge me, I’m going to open up and let you see every inch of my debris. Here’s to digging deeper than the baseline, here’s to leaving the surface behind. Its time to dive.”
In rejection of all the reasons I’ve put this venture off, I’m going to write about whatever debris happen to be clinging to mind when I sit down at the keyboard. It might be interesting, useless, boring, sad or amusing. But it will most likely be real, and it will most likely be unfiltered.
I hope you enjoy.