Many of you may remember that about eleven years ago I set off on a solo backpacking trip abroad, starting with London, that led across Europe, North Africa, and Asia over the course of seven months. It turned out to be a pivotal time in my life, one that culminated with me meeting my future wife and settling abroad in Dubai for several years. One of the most gratifying aspects of that journey was the time and motivation it gave me to write. I started this blog, Wandering I, and in it I wrote about my observations, adventures, and discoveries. However, the obligations of gainful re-employment followed by marriage and fatherhood changed my priorities, leading to a nearly decade-long hiatus in my blog-writing. Yes, I have written some pieces here and there, but many have never actually made it onto this site.
I have long wanted to restart my writing. Writing is something I have loved since I was a child. Now, in fact, I feel it has become a personal calling. So I’ve decided to dust off the digital cobwebs on Wandering I and get it back up and running.
As I pick up my pen again – so to speak – I can’t help but marvel how things have changed since I started this blog a decade ago. One of the biggest changes is the technology we have access to. When I embarked on my solo backpacking journey, the first, original iPhone had just launched. I remember seeing it at my neighbor’s house, but I didn’t fancy it much. I personally preferred a physical keyboard and owned a Palm Treo. This was the heyday of the Blackberry and nobody (besides perhaps Steve Jobs) heard the death knell the launch of the iPhone rang, not only for the Blackberry but Nokia, too. And not only phones, but eventually digital cameras, personal audio players, and other consumer products as well. It was in that “pre-iPhone” era, before the wildfire of modern smartphones upended our world as we knew it, that I set out on my journey. Without access to essentially a computer at my fingertips, I had to find Internet cafes and paper maps to navigate around. I even had to actually talk to real people!
Now, in this post-iPhone launch era or the “iPhone epoch,” I find it much easier and convenient to find my way around. However, I do wonder whether I’m missing out on the human touch. It’s far too common now to find people with their necks bent over their smartphones, more interested in random minutiae half the world away than engaging with those around them. I am guilty of this, too, but being aware of it, I try to make a conscious effort to connect with people as I visit different places.
At its core, Wandering I, is about exploration and discovery, and that’s what continues to motivate me. I invite you to “come see the world with me” and show me your own. I hope you will join me 🙂
To read more about the origin of Wandering I, please check out the About page.