Reading about people quitting their jobs, forgetting about their education and leaving all the worries of the Western civilisation behind JUST to embark on a solo journey around the world, has become a re occurring theme in my social media feeds.
People write about travel all the time. Whether it be boasting about their luxurious experiences, or their ability to be brave and courageous in the treacherous alley-ways of dangerous countries.
I cringed at the idea of creating my own blog, writing about my own travels, buying a camera to document everything, making a personalised YouTube channel and most of all, referring to myself in third person as Mildo. But all these cringe-worthy tasks came down to one thing that I was really passionate about – writing about my overseas escapades without giving away the location.
I’ve got this feeling that reading has become as predictable as a Disney movie. You know where the characters are going to go, you know that Frodo is secretly in love with Sam, you are aware that absoloutely nothing will happen on Neighbours, but you still watch it. The setting has been set, the location is literally stated in a caption at the bottom of the screen and you can recognise the nationality of the character. The big problem with reading however, is that it takes a lot of effort to scan a page with your eyes. This is why writers are struggling with the impossible task to hold the attention of the modern day skim-reader.
When I read a travel article, the first thing that grabs my attention is the name of a place that I have thought of visiting. However, the more mysterious the title, the less I am inclined to read it, yet I become curious a few clicks later, and return to the article to see where it takes me. Many articles have become so hungry for clicks it makes me feel sorry for them. For example, Galapagos Islands Are Amazing or I Went To Machu Piccu And It Made Me Come Back A Better Person. I probably can’t talk, because my writing skills could easily be likened to that of an illiterate nine year old. Who is being home-schooled.
Putting my irritability aside, travel is important to me because of something that occurred to me recently. Having anxiety and various other mental obstacles makes simple things harder than they should be. For example, driving my own car. Every time I get into my car, release the hand break, slide the stick into drive and put my foot on the accelerator, I get nervous. I get worried that the pot-hole I just ran over could have been a tiny puppy, or the girl that is waving to her friend across the road is waving to her friend because she wants to point out my bad driving. You see? Anxiety cripples you. And most people don’t know what it’s like to live with a mental thingy that literally holds you back – like yo’ Grandaddy probably held back yo’ Father when he was a young lad.
A sense of adventure is an important part of my life because every time I put myself out of my comfort zone, I get this feeling that I’ve stuck my middle finger up at my own brain. When I went sky diving a few months ago, I was more nervous about the small plane ride up 10, 000 feet than hanging over the edge, staring at the top of white fluffy clouds. Right before I went quad-biking earlier this year, I found myself looking at the bike, imagining all the possible horrid accidents that could happen. But as soon as I gripped the handles, and revved the engine, all that anxious energy trailed behind me with the dust.
This is the reason why writing about travel is important to me. I need to let myself see that it’s possible to overcome the fears that my imagination has conjured up. The only fear that I should have, is that fear will stop me from seeing the world.
Also, the whole idea of Where’s Mildo is to see what you travel-savvy-know-it-alls took from your experience, and test whether or not you can decipher where I am.
So enjoy my chit-chatty style of writing, try not to get too aggressive in the comments section, and most of all, have a crack at Where’s Mildo?