Saturday, 19 November 2011

Welcome to my Blog!

Hello! How are you? Good, good. First and foremost, welcome to my blog! For want of something better, I’ve decided to call it Jetset Junkie. To be honest it wasn’t my first choice of name. However, it does encapsulate everything that I intend this blog to be.
You see, I’m a hopelessly addicted traveller. A jetsetting junkie if you like. But jetset doesn’t quite carry the right connotations. Yes, I do get about from place to place on a pretty regular basis but when I think of jetsetters, I tend to think of wealthy socialites who were breastfed champagne. They tend to fly first class from one five star hotel to another and get served mountains of Ferrero Rocher by snotty waiters at ambassadors receptions. Jetsetters do not fly Ryanair, nor do they stay in ten bed dormitories on the darker side of town...
I was also reluctant to use the word junkie. Junk is chique [sic]. It is dirty but in a socially acceptable kind of way. Junk provokes disgust and fear in most people but equally, it invokes our curiosity. We all secretly want to experience the life of a junkie but we don’t actually want to become one.
Taken together, jetset and junk take on a whole new meaning. Jetset Junkie. It describes what I do rather than who I am. Given the choice, I’d opt for an evening in a dingy Hungarian communist era bar over the National Opera any day (although that’s not to say I wouldn’t enjoy each equally). Gertrude Stein once said “there’s no there there” when describing the monotony of Middle American towns. I would say that there is always a there there; it’s just that you have to look pretty hard to find it sometimes. Everyone and everywhere has a story to tell. I love scratching the surface and finding something gritty and ‘real’ underneath. I particularly love post industrial landscapes and shifting subcultures. In this sense I like all things junk. I want to see it, breathe it, and experience it but I don’t want to be a part of it.
I also kind of like the alliteration; harsh sounding syllables framing smooth sounding syllables sum up my approach to travel pretty well. They also (though I say so myself) represent my personality quite accurately too.
So... what’s this blog all about? At the moment I have no idea. I’ve certainly intended to write about my experiences for a long time. When your audience is limited to yourself it’s pretty hard to muster the motivation. I want to share my experiences but I mainly want to document them (I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve forgotten the most memorable things for ages and I have no idea how many I’ve forgotten permanently). Although I’m mainly writing for myself I will probably offer advice on how to travel cheaply and advice on things to see/do in places I visit.
A final point which I think is worth mentioning is politics. Although I always try to approach every situation objectively, I, like everyone else, hold opinions which have been shaped by my culture, upbringing and nature. I feel that I probably most comfortably fit in with the ideals of Democratic Socialism (for context, other people who are generally accepted to be Democratic Socialists include George Orwell, Clement Atlee and Naomi Klein). Objectivity is always a subjective trait so I think I should mention this if I truly aim to be as unbiased as possible.
That’s about it I think.  At the moment I’m sat in a smoky cafe in the centre of Belgrade (the aroma of coffee and tobacco is amazing!). Before coming to Serbia on this trip I have been to the Occupy LSX camp in London, visited a squat in Madrid which is offering social housing to evicted families, arrived in Italy just in time to see Berlusconi resign then spent three days in Athens, photographing and participating in a walk to commemorate the Athens Polytechnic Uprising and protest against austerity measures which are being introduced by the Greek government. I am currently sorting through my photographs and recovering from the effects of inhaling too much tear gas. I will update this blog in due course...

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant read, can't wait for the next instalment. Enjoy mate!