Philosophy Of Travel The Book The Film

Lessons learned from a DIY film & book tour

Sunrise over Yerevan and Mount Ararat

So I’m back in Yerevan, my Iranian visa application is filed, and I’ve a week to kill: a good opportunity to look back before the madness of travel descends. It’s been an eventful few weeks with much food for thought.

I’ve toured all over the UK and Ireland, attending 12 dates between the book launch in London a month ago and the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival last week.

I’ve travelled 2,627 miles by train (yes, I was bored enough to figure this out), taken 3 ferries, cycled a few hundred miles, and only encountered a single rail-replacement bus service.

I’ve stood on stage with a microphone in a 449-seat auditorium, and I’ve sat beside a pile of books in a café where only 2 people showed up.

I’ve slept in business hotels (nice, not-so-nice and truly abysmal), on the floor of student digs, and on deserted beaches in a bivvy bag.

The variety of experience has been fantastic, but the month has not been without its stumbling blocks. As with the annual review I conducted at the end of last year, there are two obvious questions:

What went well?

What didn’t go well?

(By the way, now’s a good time to grab a cup of tea.)


An (actually interesting) long-form interview on BBC Radio Leicester

Today I leave on a new journey, exploring language-learning in Iran. I’ll be on my way to the airport by the time this is published.

But yesterday I was invited to join presenter Ben Jackson for an extended conversation on my local radio station, BBC Radio Leicester. They were kind enough to record it for me, and I have now illegally made it available to listen to online!

Farsi In A Year 2013 Philosophy Of Travel

Farsi Friday Week 9: Overcoming childhood fears

Burney Fell, South Lakes (Panorama)

I leave for Iran next week. This is frightening. I am afraid.

Last summer I spent an enjoyable afternoon wandering around London’s South Bank, stopping random passers-by and asking politely if they wouldn’t mind sharing their impression of Iran with my video camera. I was shooting some vox pops for a film about my journey in Iran. I expected responses along the lines of ‘dangerous nuclear-fixated fundamentalists’, thus setting the stakes for a film which would prove them wrong.

But I’d underestimated the nuances of people’s views.