Poetics & Travel | The Journey of Joe

A very meta title for this post I know. I wanted to write this piece because it’s nearly been a year since I set up this site for all my travel & travel related articles. In this past year approximately 1000 people; from the UK to Kenya to Ecuador to Indonesia, all over the world, have visited the site to have a look at what I’ve got to say. Although I’ve written about many places I’ve traveled to, I’ve still, not caught up with all the stories I want to tell. I’m going to blame this on university, work and the distractions of daily life, alas I’m proud of my little blog and proud of myself for sticking to it! I guess this is a post about my writing journey and what used to influence me compared to what does now. I feel like I’ve matured a lot in regards to my writing in a short space of time. I’m more well read. I’ve had more experiences and this has all contributed to me developing as a writer. When I started this blog I was adamant that all I wanted to be was a travel writer. I was only going to write about travel. Luckily for someone my age I had been to a lot of places already so I had a lot of material to work with. My first few articles are very ‘travel writery’ in the sense that they’re run- of-the-mill stories that you will have read a hundred different times. They’re very Travel Writing 101, telling you where the best place to buy churros is, or that you’re best travelling to places in the winter months because it is cheaper. Informative, yes, but not very exciting or edgy.

The massive change in my approach to writing came from moving to Stockholm. Now, I was not only visiting a country but living there and as a result I was completely immersed in the culture and everyday life. I felt I could no longer write about ‘The Best Sights in Stockholm’ or ‘The Best Coffee Shop in Stockholm’ because I was no longer a tourist. These things had blended into the background after a couple of months. The inspiration instead came from everyday life; the people, personal growth, the university and events. Stockholm made me question and come to terms with my place in the world. I never thought I could be called ‘immigrant’ or ‘foreigner’ because living in the political climate of the west the “others” are labelled the ‘foreigner’ or ‘immigrant’. It made me think about travel in a completely new context; certain people can’t just travel anywhere they want – why is this? How come the ‘world’ isn’t for everyone? Stockholm is a creative hotspot so I was in the right place to develop as a writer. I used to go around the museums and attend events by myself and afterwards I would write about my experiences, primarily through poetry. This helped me rediscover a craft I had repressed because of judgement. I used to believe the general consensus was that poetry was lame and only to be used when writing about flowers or relationships. Stockholm made me realize that this was not true. It allowed me to explore more dynamic and diverse themes and questions. My poetry as a result became a lot more political and socially challenging and I discovered other poets that had been doing the same for decades.

I’ve brought this knowledge back to the UK and I have found my creative calling in poetry. I’ve used these skills to put a creative spin on travel writing. Instead of just telling readers where the best food or hotels are. I want to tell a story from that place and really try to take you to that environment with me. I think that’s successful travel writing. To conclude, it’s been a great year for the blog. I’m excited and proud of how much my writing has developed and the range of articles I’m experimenting with. From travel-poetry to existential-travel writing. Thank you to readers who have stuck with me from the beginning and I do hope you still enjoy reading what I have to say!

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Goodbye!
Hej Då!
Adios!

 

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