Chuck Palaniuk....I have never met Chuck, but his books and his insight has helped my viewpoint on the world from this tiny island. With that my ode to Mr Palaniuk will be paraphrasing some of his greatest lines to pepper my travel writing and at least make my story seem a little more meaningful and interesting to those who might endure reading this.
"Nothing of me is original; I am the combined effort of everyone I've ever known" Chuck States in invisible monsters and this is true! In 3 months in 2011 I met more remarkable people than I have my whole life, I feel like a different person, with different views and a more open attitude. It's thanks to those people that I feel this way and to each and every one of them and for each and every moment, no matter how small....I will be forever grateful. Socialisation, as University informs us, begins as a child by your immediate family, then by your friends and your local community and culture. I've been blessed with a few great friends and an amazing family but aside from that my first 27 years on this planet have been unremarkable. I've lived in a small town, in a small country, with a small mentality, sheltered from the world and closed in with our own hatred of each other. I've met few remarkable people which in turn has made me unremarkable. I lived my fantasies through other peoples travels and achievements and had no aspirations to go too far, at least if I did they were never too serious.
Strangely it was a week long trip down the east coast of Ireland that made the difference, realising that if there were so many beautiful places I hadn't visited in Ireland what must the outside world be like. I decided to spend my 3 month summer vacation from University travelling the world, alone, to at least "expand my horizons" as the old adage goes. and hey, I might even get a tan out of it!
I'm writing this long after I traveled, took the photos, explored the food, tasted the culture, made the friends and laughed about the stories....mainly because I'm lazy, but also because my travel diary was intermittent as I was having too good a time to write about having a good time....and anyway....
As Chuck Palaniuk once said “Everything is funnier in retrospect, funnier and prettier and cooler. You can laugh at anything from far enough away.”