Telling the Story

After a rather lengthy hiatus from writing about my Pan-American bicycle trip – which ended in October 2012 – I’ve decided to resume the blog once more, but this time from an altogether different angle.

As many followers will be aware, I’ve been working on a book about what was an incredible and privileged 15 months of my life. After a few false starts (employment called; Ushuaia took my last pennies!) and a change of living environment (I’m residing in wonderful Laos, Southeast Asia), the wheels are firmly turning again.

I now hope to tell a story about another type of journey – the process of writing and publishing a travel book. It is in part for my own benefit, a self-serving palette to which I can paint and reflect upon the effort, considerations and overall growth of a story I wish to share. It is also aimed at those who are simply interested in understanding how this particular type of travel experience is absorbed by the mind and then extracted from it once again and inked on a page. And finally, it might be of some use to others in my position – at present or in the future.

The general plan (I’m pretty bad at sticking to them, however) is to lay down some thoughts on why I’m telling this story, how I’m learning to tell it, and what factors help or hinder its outcome. The latter might even elucidate upon why I can only seem to work in dimly lit coffee shops or hotel lounges with a little background noise and plenty of tea on tap. That’s a biggie, mind you.

Of course, the ultimate goal is to get the book published, and there are two ways to do it – the traditional route (manuscript submission to literary agents and publishing houses) or self-publishing. My experience so far in this realm has been a steep learning curve and could probably make an entire series of blogs, so I’ll make sure to concentrate on this throughout.

Without elaborating too much on what it’s all about, it’s probably best to just write and see where it goes – stick whatever comes to mind onto paper, or screen as it happens. I want it to be insightful, but over-thinking blogs about a creative process that has essentially been an exercise in spontaneity might overcook the entire thing.

I hope to post one blog per week, preferably on Fridays when I drop the pen and pick up a beer, but we’ll see how it goes.

And for those wondering how far along I am in the process, it could be explained as the ninth chapter, 82,154 words, or somewhere in the crumpled mountains of southern Colombia.

The above photo is of my Dad (John) and I after the Cycle Against Suicide 2014. Dad cycled 1,400km around Ireland with a couple of thousand others to raise awareness about the issue suicide on the island of Ireland. I took in 2 days with him along its course. Have a read about what it’s about at

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