Looking back at 2014 from another New Year
So 2015 is upon us. 2014 is just another part of the past. And we’re more than halfway through January already! I know I’m not the only one thinking ‘how did that happen??’
Well, luckily for me, and for you too I like to think, I will continue to live in the past for quite a while, through countless photos and videos that are yet to be published. But before talking about Travel Unmasked in 2015, I want to start the new year sharing a few worthwhile things with you from other sources. They’re not exactly travel related, but being interested in travel is really being interested in the world, in my humble opinion.
First up, being shared a lot at the moment because of the dire events in Paris recently, a very moving comic strip. The artist, Pablo Stanley, decided to illustrate the first few lines of Imagine by John Lennon, to help us reconsider the simple but hard-to-achieve idea behind the song. It’s a great read, but it’s even more profound if you listen to the original recording at the same time.
I’ve included the song in this post for your convenience, and the comic is after that.
Then I’ve got two other slightly British-centric things about the world for you.
The first is Charlie Brookers 2014 Wipe, as seen on TV. If you don’t know who Charlie Brooker is then you’re in for a treat. He’s the embodiment of a much-loved part of our British culture – bitingly critical and unimpressed by the world at large, and doing a great job of damning everyone and everything notable that hit headlines in the last year. I can’t get enough of it personally.
The second item is another video, this time a bit more political, from Guardian Live. It’s an audience with Russell Brand (stop groaning and keep reading before you judge, thank you!) being guided somewhat through the impressive lens of Owen Jones. He’s a promising young(ish) journalist and has plenty of ideas about ways we can do things better, as well as bringing plenty of knowledge to the table.
Following that is a link to a New Yorker article which in my opinion strikes at the heart of some of our biggest problems in the world today. Still in the wake of Paris, it talks a little about that issue, but more importantly it points out how large a role the media plays in directing our attention. It’s a really good read – my little summary isn’t doing it justice.
Then I’ve ended this post with another comic strip, by the lovable Oatmeal. Normally he publishes things that are much more light-hearted and playful, this edition tackles a serious topic and I find these are usually my favourite stuff by him. Like the article, it is also a reaction to events in France, criticising religious belief in its worst form, and not holding back on giving religion in general a good kicking too.
What can I say, I don’t have a problem with that…
So what’s next on Travel Unmasked?
Well I’ve got loads to write about, and photos to share from dozens of places. My opinion is increasingly that I love travel (to death), and I love blogging, both for so many reasons, but that each one spoils the other. I’m not personally cut out for working (productively) on the road, and the road is no place to try building a business either. So 2015 for me will be more about blogging and less about travelling.*
I’ll cover lots of the places I’ve been to and not published about so far, and my main goal is also to organise and focus more, professionally. There are less than half the countries I’ve visited covered on Travel Unmasked, and very few countries in any great depth. I’ve got lots of video I’m looking forward to putting out on Youtube as well, so please subscribe if you haven’t already.
So this year you can expect photos and travel advice from 20+ countries that I’ve not even mentioned on the blog yet, everywhere from my beloved Europe (lots more about Italy, cities in Spain, cycling in Germany, NYE in Romania, backpacking in Croatia, travelling through Portugal, along the coast of Ireland, great photos from Amsterdam, stuff from Finland where I am now, and many others) to further flung places like Japan, Korea, Israel, India, and Australia, where I spent nearly 4 fun months in 2014. Within the next few months all these place names will link to the new articles on the site, so if you’re reading this later and all the links are there – lucky you!
I’m excited to share more highlights of my travels with you, and hope you enjoy them.
Hope you had a good festive break, and that your 2015 is off to a great start.
Happy New Year!!
*I say this year will be less about travel… but I do live quite close to an airport, train stations and international coaches. Once a traveller, always a traveller…
Charlie Brooker’s 2014 Wipe
Russell Brand & Owen Jones on Guardian Live
The first hour is part banter and part revolutionary ideas from Brand, being questioned by Owen Jones when he can get a word in. It is easy viewing even if you don’t approve of Russell Brand (I can’t say I ever did until his new-found purpose in life) and there are some real gems of wisdom in there. But it gets really interesting when the audience get more involved, including some much-needed suggestions about what to actually do with our economy, political system, and society from Matt Black of NinjaTune.
The Oatmeal on Religion
And to finish, getting back to a less complicated topic.
And that folks, is all I wrote. More from the world and the world of travel soon. Greetings from Finland, where I’ve been on my first helicopter ride, seen expert ice fishermen, enjoyed Sauna’s complimented with ice swims, and have been better fed than even Wagyu beef!