Tag Archives: blogging

Some Good Press

31 May

Yesterday Travel Guy (aka this blog) was named one of the Top 20 Travel Blogs in South America by South America Tourist. I’m honored to be considered among the list and would like to thank all of my supporters who read this blog and share the stories with their friends.

At the same time, a nice interview with Dan and Fer from BA Cast came out which you can find from the Expanish blog. We’re preparing for Season 2 as I said a few days ago, and this will hopefully get the word out a bit more!

A Travel Philosophy

19 Apr

In Love with Ireland

My first vacation in 15 months is coming up this week, and as I’ve been reading a book on different philosophies, it has me thinking about how we find our happiness in life. For me, it’s quite obvious that much of my pleasure in this world is taken from traveling throughout it, though it’s not always an attainable activity. And this got the ball rolling on what I thought of last night as I tried to sleep over my upstairs neighbor’s blasting music.

For nearly the first quarter of our lives we spend the time working in shifts. We look forward to beginnings and endings, with the basic being reaching Friday, the end of a semester, the summer, graduation, etc. These short term jaunts give you the ability to look ahead and see the light at the end of the tunnel in harder times, and give you an incentive to push on. If you have a lousy job during a summer break, you don’t stress about it too much because it’s just a temporary thing to make some cash, unlike the stress you would find in working a boring job you hate with no end in sight.

Yet after graduation, either high school or college, most people no longer have these short term cycles to freshen them up. Once you have a full time job and career, there are no summers off (unless your profession is something like education), and you can’t start from scratch in the fall even if you messed up in the spring. This can get you bogged down. A trick to avoid this is looking forward to something to do, whether it’s playing or watching sports, taking a course in cooking or a language, or in my case, traveling.

I look towards travel as a way out of the day to day grind and the mundane, and though I have gone many places most of my peers haven’t, I always think of the next place I want to visit. It’s this drive for wanting more that keeps me going and the prospect of taking off for a few days is my incentive. Nietzsche as a young man might have said that you shouldn’t strive for the pursuit of happiness but instead, the avoidance of pain and suffering. If you hope for only the best and have such high expectations, you can easily be disappointed. Yet if you just try avoid being let down, you will stay in a middle ground keeping you pleasantly surprised when things go well.

Travel Writing

I don’t know if I totally agree with this, especially as it seems like a coward’s way to never take a chance, but you can apply it to travel in that you don’t need to strive to be a star actor in Hollywood to be happy. Instead, you can focus on things like a trip to the beach or a week vacation in a new place to find some happiness in your life. Think of it as travel philosophy.

Gimme Fiction

19 Sep

I always say I’m a writer, and whether or not I have 10 book published or simply update this blog frequently and strive to publish a random article once in a while, I guess it’s true. Even without having your name in print, the attempt at being one has to still make you one. Even a lousy painter who never sells anything in their lifetime is still a painter. Receiving money for your work doesn’t make you a professional. But calling myself a writer comes with certain responsibilities, like the actual act of writing or trying to publish something. I always have some excuse for why I’m not working on a project, whether it be too much work or trying to have a good time thereafter, etc. But the truth is that after a long day of sitting in front of a computer writing, it’s hard to do so again once home. When I do get the motivation to write I try to focus on the blog and possible freelance opportunities, if they should arise.

This weekend I didn’t do too much to drain me. I took it easy on Friday night after a long week and slept well. Saturday was spent well in Palermo, and though I wanted to go out and do something at night, I wound up staying in after finding nothing to do. I even took a preemptive nap, helping me rest up further. This morning, though feeling lazy, I went for the first run in a week and could see that a beautiful day would be horribly wasted in doors writing.

Before getting out of bed this morning, I caught up on reading a rough draft of a short story my friend Justin Beturney has been working on for a while. Justin was teaching English in Taiwan for the last two years, and now that he’s back home he has time to focus on some writing again. His blog, which I’ve listed in the blogroll, is The Formosa Volta. His writing is really introspective and borrows from some of my favorite writers like Hemingway, Thompson, and Kerouac. The vignettes are poignant and can be understood by many audiences.

After reading his short story this morning, it got my juices flowing again on fiction, and I’m now hoping to get back into writing more often. Writing is a process, and you don’t often just write something on the fly and go with it. If you do, it’s probably not going to be very good, unless you hit it lucky or are an extremely talented writer. You have to be open to criticism and editing while also taking that with a grain of salt. Your words are your words, and you shouldn’t change an entire story just because someone else has doubts. But I digress.

Unfortunately, creative writing is not something you can easily do between the hours of 7-9 pm after work. You have to let creativity come naturally or the story is thin and weak. That means that sometimes you have to wait for a good idea, whether that means hours or weeks. It also means that sometimes if you wake up after a dream at 3 am, you have to write that story immediately before you lose it. I’ve had occasions where I thought of something great but waited too long, and the depth of the story was gone. Or it was merely a watered down version of what I had before, no where near the quality I was expecting.

The point of this is that while I’m still going to be working on this blog consistently, I’m also going to start trying my hand at more fiction writing. So while I won’t say posts will be less consistent, I will say that I’ll have to split my energies when possible. But don’t worry, that shouldn’t affect the quality of this blog at all. If anything, the styles might simply work off of each other, without blemishing facts, obviously.

Grabbin’ a Beer with a Townie

6 Aug

Last night I met up with Gareth Leonard of Tourist2Townie, a really interesting blog about making an attempt to come down to Buenos Aires and set up a life in which he’s not just a tourist living overseas for an extended period of time. The name says it all, really. Gareth suggested we meet at Buller Brewing Company in Recoleta, just across from the cemetery and where he worked for eight months. I’d only been there once before in May, and we sat outside shivering while enjoying some honey beer. This time, in the middle of winter, it was obvious that we’d be sitting indoors.

We pulled up a couple of stools at the bar and talking loudly over the music, shared experiences on traveling, living in Argentina as expats, and the blogging process. I always like meeting with other bloggers because it’s so interesting to me to find out what works, what doesn’t, and what drives them. Gareth comes from a business background, having worked with a start up for several years out of college. His marketing and networking skills are excellent and that’s one of his best points. He amazed me with the amount of contacts that he’s made in his time in Buenos Aires, deeply immersing in the expat society, which is a market I’ve not necessarily shunned, but avoided getting too involved with at the same time.

Just in our time in the bar two friends of his pulled up to chat for a while. There was Kent, a 60-something quality control engineer for a car company who, as he put it, “Gets paid a lot to do shit.” Then there was a Marine who works security at the U.S. Embassy and was all set to go to his next assignment in Tel Aviv until they told him at the last minute, “By the way you’re going to Beijing now.” Working at a bar doesn’t hurt when you’re trying to meet people, and it’s clear that Gareth has had a great time down in Argentina. It’s enviable, and though I’m been more outgoing with trying to meet locals, maybe I should try to meet more expats as well. That’s where the money is, anyway.

There are tons of opportunities for native English speakers out there, and anyone with a clue could put their educations to use for something. I make a locals’ salary but pay a foreigners’ rent, and while I pay less now, I’m still not living the good life that other expats get away with. These realizations from time to time put me in a negative mood, and the only console is that I’m doing something which will be really worthwhile in the long run, not just financially but mentally as well. And at the end of the day, at least I’m not teaching English, which I didn’t want to do at all.

We ordered a couple of rounds of Octoberfest beer and a pizza with fried eggs and bacon. So basically, it was a nice night out. There’s nothing like getting a good beer after drinking Quilmes or Brahma for too long. It’s a shame that I just got to meet Gareth now because he’s headed back to the States on Tuesday, but there’s always the possibility that he’ll be back in a few months. I recommend you check out his blog and see his stories, and check out his many videos. It definitely provides a different look on Argentina than I have given, which I think is a good thing.