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Hmmmm. Well, it’s been over a year since my last real post. The one where I packed up my bike and flew from Uruguay in South America back to Australia. That was in the beginning of March 2015 and now it’s mid-August 2016.*

A few things have happened since then. I spent a year without really riding my bike. There was six months in Australia where I did most of my general commuting around the various places I visited by bike but that was it. And then there was six months in Scotland where I didn’t really go anywhere at all.

But now I’m back on the bike in Bulgaria. Somehow or other the bike ended up a little south of Valencia, in an unassuming village called Forna, in Spain while I was in Scotland and so my European sojourn started there. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of it – there’s no real reason why you should have – and I don’t really believe in beginnings or ends so it doesn’t really matter anyway. My current destination is Turkey and after that I’ve got a few plans but they’re not laid in stone yet.

So… it’s kind of old news by now, but let me state it publicly. I’m back on the bike.

In fact, I’ve been back on the bike since April. And now, it’s September. And since I got back on the bike I’ve been thinking about this blog, and blogs and blogging in general. I’m just media savvy enough to know that we are probably in a post-blog world by now. Blogs are old. It’s all about Twitter, Instagram, and things that I’ve never ever even heard of. So I’ve been wondering if I should continue to blog. Do people read blogs anymore? And what are blogs for anyway?

I suppose I should also mention that I’ve never really had a clear idea of what this blog is about. I’ve got a few ideas of what it’s not about. It’s not about cycling, exactly. And I don’t think that it really is a travel blog. I would hate for it to be primarily about me. So what is it about?

It’s a question that dogs me and I don’t know the answer. So, if anyone reads this — and there really isn’t much reason to suspect that I have a huge audience just waiting for me to upload another post after all this time — but nonetheless, if anyone reads this, maybe you could give me a hint as to what you think this blog is about?

But actually, it’s more fundamental than that – I’ve even been wondering about photos and the nature of the whole photographic enterprise. I’ve been pondering the place of images in society. The rise of selfies. All those visual updates of everyone’s every move. And I’ve been asking myself, do I want to be part of all that?

I’ve been on a bit of a photographic strike and I’ve only gotten out my camera half a dozen times or so since April. It’s a bit annoying really because I’m carrying a DSLR at the moment and a couple of lenses and that’s a hefty load for someone who’s not taking photos. There was a mountain pass somewhere early on, in Spain, where I thought, “I should just dump all this electronic stuff on the side of the road!” But I didn’t. It all cost good money and now that I don’t earn good money there would be no way to replace it if I changed my mind later.

But it’s a thought that I can’t quite shake.

Maybe I really should dump all this electronic stuff by the side of the road.

 

*Since I have now decided to continue blogging, to keep the time line more of less intelligible, I’ve backdated this post and I’ll date subsequent posts to more of less reflect the date when the various incidents and anecdotes took place.

{ 17 } Comments

  1. Brian | August 22, 2016 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Let me just state that I have been a reader of your blog for almost 7 years and have enjoyed reading about your journeys, and stops, for all of that time. I think I am one of many people you met along the way who are fascinated by the story. It’s unlikely you remember me, but we met when you were on Sointula Island in Canada and went to the boat to pick up some fish described on this blog entry (http://www.athousandturns.net/2009/08/29/islands/ ). You picked up the fish from the husband of the woman you met in the laundromat (my wife was with her). I was the second man on the boat. When I got back home I remembered your wishfish blog name, looked it up, and have been following ever since.

    I agree that we’re in a post-blog world, but I think the blog offers a narrative that augments pictures. Your blog always offers a set of pictures and that enriched the story, and I’m also an amateur photographer so I appreciate some your composition. But the words really make the story. I think the blog is about your journey more than about you. Though when you went dark for a period there was always part of me that was concerned that you were alright. So I guess that’s part of being engaged in the story.

    I hope you continue with the blog and the journey.

  2. Rob | August 28, 2016 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Hi Anna
    Nice to have an update. I chanced across your site via a link on While Out Riding a couple of years ago and have been an interested follower since. You have a way with words and pictures which I enjoy plus I’m given an insight into a variety of other cultures, lives, places, etc.
    Not sure where it fits in the Internet world but in article form your work would not look out of place in magazines such as Another Escape. Selfishly I feel I would miss out on you sharing your travels but can understand a desire to ride and experience without capturing on film. I can imagine that there would be an additional freedom in not being reliant on chargers and batteries plus the approach to your journeys would take on are have taken on a different perspective. Anyway I have rambled longer than planned and wish you well.
    Rob

  3. Ted | September 4, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    While redoing my blog I came across a link to your site and read your last post (we met in Ecuador). I hope you keep blogging, if only for that one person who can’t go anywhere but loves to dream.

  4. anna | September 5, 2016 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Well hello there! I’m very glad to hear from you guys! Thank you for taking the time and trouble to write. It does makes a difference to know that there actually are people out there who check out my blog from time to time. It is true, Rob, that carrying the equipment is a drag that I often wish that I could do without but if people do read the blog and appreciate it then I am much more motivated to continue.

  5. Tim Joe Comstock | September 6, 2016 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    just now i was trying to sleep on my porch (i built it) and God breathed your name in my ear.

    that’s why we blog.

    have you ever been to florida?

  6. alxndre | September 6, 2016 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    Hello, I found your blog more or less 10 years ago. I was searching experiences of travellers with bicycle, on those days I really close to start some kind of long time trip. By the I enjoyed a lot with the blogs and Web pages I found. Actually are few of the huge quantity I continue reading sometime, and yours blog is the main one. From the travell blogs I like the experience, in my opinion some photos are nice and intercalated on the text make it easier to read completely. At last I prefer the text. The experience of the person, the thinking, recomanations etc. After Facebook, Twitter and instagram… rolling rolling and back to the origen. Is a pleasure to have your blog on the rss chanel, is a pleasure to read your blog. I hope you continue with the public writing. Best wishes.

  7. anna | September 7, 2016 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Hi tj! Nice to hear from you. I’ve been dropping in on your blog from time to time and I’m always glad when there’s something new to read there, too.

    Hi, alxndre. Thanks for your comment, too. It is gratifying to know that people do enjoy and value my blog.

  8. priscilla | September 9, 2016 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    hello from the yukon, anna. tracy and i were just talking about you a couple of weeks ago. i, too, check in on your blog now and again. i vote for you to continue, too. safe travels!

  9. Babs Johnson | September 9, 2016 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    So glad you are well and back on the bike. You have enriched my life with your thoughts and photos showing me parts of the world I wouldn’t seen otherwise. For your dilemma about blogging and photos I think you need to look into your heart and choose what makes you feel happy and free.

    Wumen Huikai-The Best Season

    Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,
    a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
    If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
    this is the best season of your life……..

    One Heart- Babs

  10. anna | September 9, 2016 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Hi Priscilla, hi Babs!

    So good to hear from you both. I often think back to my time ‘up north’. In fact someone was asking me just a few days ago where, if anywhere, I could see myself settling down and my thoughts somehow flew up to Alaska, the Yukon, BC, the North-West and the early days of my life on wheels.

    Beautiful poem, Babs. Thanks.

  11. marten and Karin | September 18, 2016 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Hi Anna,

    Finally an update, so good to read that you are ok and on the bike again. Can’t wait to see your beautiful photos, to read the good stories and to keep updated. So for us YES…. keep blogging. You are inspiring not only us but for sure way more people. Big hugs from the Netherlands

  12. Michelle Hardiman | November 4, 2016 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    Hi Anna. I discoverd your blog yesterday. That’s Nov 2nd 2016. And I’ve been bopping around all over it for a good few hours. Just clicking on the side tabs that take my fancy. I’m Irish and currently cycling solo from Vancouver to the Panama canal. A good friend of mine Julian Bloomer (also Irish) who you met this past summer in Armenia or Montenegro or somewhere around there told me to look you up. I’m heading into Mexico. He mentioned you had spent a lot of time there. I hear what you are saying but for me the world of blogging is just beginning. I have left an office job I didn’t like and now suddenly I have time to read. And I read a lot of blogs. And find them delightful. For me the worlds of blogging and also podcasts have just opened up. Please continue to write. Michelle!

  13. anna | November 10, 2016 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Hi Michelle! Nice to hear from you. Enjoy your trip.

  14. Nathan | December 12, 2016 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    That’s an admirable line of enquiry Anna!

    Although it’s one of my favourite things to do – ponder life and the ‘whys?’ – I actually think it can be tough to reflect on things already done… because most often those things felt so right in the moment. Basically, I think hindsight can be cruel sometimes (or put more positively, ‘temporarily short-sighted’…) because it can overlook the intangible magic or fleeting inspiration to do something, that arrives and vanishes in a breath. I truly believe ‘that’ magic is a ‘one-off’. We get a quick taste, then it’s gone. We may recognise many millions or just one in our life time, but each is unique. Of course, we’re left with the memories and the results (such as your amazing blog)… but the subtleties, only present in that moment of action, always fade (to the intellect).

    Purely from personal contemplation and experience alone, I think trying to come up with a ‘why’ or a ‘what’ (although entertaining) is like trying to bottle the nature of spontaneity and simply beautiful acts of human expression. Nigh impossible. Just as, I’m sure, almost every one of your bike adventures have unfolded in ways that you never could have scripted (or would ever be able to repeat)… true spontaneity is boundless, unlabel-able.

    I think the challenge is not to come up with an answer to ‘what is this?’… but to accept that who you are and the collection of wonderful things that you do, cannot be shrunk down for social convenience. That self-admission sets you free then.. it sets your unique expression free… Meaning, that if you want to write and photograph and share and post and Tweet and bike and play, you’re totally free to do so in each and every moment that you feel the magic urging. And if you don’t… still free! Freedom means minus labels, minus self-assessment, minus right or wrong, minus trends, minus techno eras. Minus everything that influences you to shrink your individual expression basically. All artistic geniuses (yourself included) past and present are ahead of, behind, completely unaware of, ‘their time’ because they were/are totally in love with what the moment brings. Nothing more. (The intellect gasps.. Yikes!).

    Things manifest perfectly, imperfectly, right when they manifest. Trust that. Cherish it Anna. So if you choose only to reflect upon those moments – upon yourself, ultimately – with love and pure open-heartedness, then you’ll always remember to read between the lines you wrote and smile at the special intangibles that guided you to write them. The intellect may forget, but the heart always remembers.

  15. Janie Oates | March 15, 2017 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Hey! I cycled across South America in 2014. My boyfriend and I often refered to your blog….always wondering which way you had taken…your route choices were sometimes pretty crazy! I think you were known as Wish Fish at some point?? I read everything you wrote!! I even think I met a local woman who remembered you near Sihuas in Peru….as no other foreigner had been through there since you. The other day you popped into my head as i always think about my magical ride…i love the fact that you are still going !! Have fun xxx

  16. anna | March 15, 2017 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Hi Janie, nice to hear from you! I’m glad you had a magical ride, too. xxx

  17. Will | April 25, 2017 at 3:21 am | Permalink

    I read your blog! Although i only just found this post today – just over a year after you wrote it! I could swear i’ve checked your site more recently than that, but obviously not.

    Good to see you’re back/still on the road. Now i’ll have to get up to date with what you’ve written in the last year.

    As far as what blogs are all about goes, i’ve found my old blogs great to re-read and remember the times and places they were written about – which mostly are still in my head, but not as clearly as they are in my blog. So now i realise they were just a diary really – but if reading them entertained or informed a few people, that’s an added bonus

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