I don’t mean inspirational for anyone else; I mean for yourself. Creative juices run swiftest when you’re truly inspired. Seek out what moves you most and allow the process to take you places you didn’t know existed, literally and figuratively.
Whenever I head out on an adventure, I constantly find myself wondering why it took so much thinking and dithering before actually doing it. This still happens after years of experience. “It’s so easy just to do this! Why didn’t I do it ages ago?”
The same thing happened with the photobook that I’m launching this week. I could have created this at any point in the last couple of years. Instead, I dithered. But now I’ve got off my backside and created the definitive photo travelogue of Janapar, I’m wondering why it took so long to do it!
About the book, then: it is an unashamed slice of vicarious adventure; 66 carefully-chosen full colour images (and 2 black & white ones) that represent my best shot at communicating a 3½ year journey in pictures.
It’ll be particularly enlightening to those of you who’ve read the book of Janapar, as it includes edited excerpts to give context to the story, but will be equally enjoyable to browse through if you haven’t.
As you’ll know if you’re a regular reader, my goal for 2013 is to become fluent in Farsi (Persian) by the end of the year.
A big part of this attempt, I previously wrote, would be done by totally immersing myself in the language on trips to Iran, a country to which this footloose Brit now has strong personal ties (watch the film to find out exactly how this happened).
I’m now coming to the end of my first journey in Iran, and there’ll be plenty of stories appearing on this blog over the next few weeks, as well some interesting and unexpected observations that have come out of my experiments in learning a foreign language through travel itself.
But in the meantime, allow me to whet your appetite with a handful of pictures that may hint at the kind of escapades I’ve been up to…
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Entirely unbeknownst to me, a friend of a friend snapped this fantastic image in early 2008.
To me, it represents a fascinating collision between the concerns of a wandering cycle-traveller, consulting a street-map to find the right road out of the city, and a grim moment in a nation’s history — the aftermath of an anti-government demonstration gone sour.
Now for something less cringy than a film about myself: another photo round-up from the Middle East.
While following the Nile from Cairo to Aswan on my bicycle, I was continually struck by the complete absence of other travellers. I’d always thought Egypt was supposed to be one of the world’s top tourist destinations.