2010 – 2019 Decadic Reflections: Nothing Changed, Everything’s Not The Same

“Every beginning comes from some other beginning’s end” – Semisonic.

2010 - 2019 Decadic Reflections: Nothing Changed, Everything's Not The Same

2010 – 2019 Decadic Reflections: Nothing Changed, Everything’s Not The Same

It’s not possible, but I would love to forget the decade of the 2010s. Easily the worst decade of the quadruple I had to endure thus far in life. In love with the 80s, tied to the wonderful Britpop Paddy Campbellic 1990s, wanderlusted and triple country living hopping in the 2000s and now picking up my life in my 30s, in and out of love.

“It’s funny how your new life didn’t change things” – The Eagles.

2010 – 2019 Decadic Reflections: Nothing Changed, Everything’s Not The Same

The 2010s certainly have been my worst 10 pack of years. Oddly this is my SIXTH decade in existence now, yet I am still in my 30s, how is that possible??? Basically I was conceived in the 1970s (1979), born in 1980, lived through the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s and am now in the 2020s!

2010 - 2019 Decadic Reflections: Nothing Changed, Everything's Not The Same

2010 – 2019 Decadic Reflections: Nothing Changed, Everything’s Not The Same

So from 2010 – 2019 what happened? I fell in love again (our relationship lasted 4 years and 44 countries), lived in 8 different cities (/towns/villages/islands) across 5 countries, got engaged and ringreturned to Panny Yu. Later I slumped into mid life crisis and depression following the lies and nastiness of the enigmatic Ola Mueller character. Did she ever get refunded the dreams she bought with her lies? Undoubtedly not.

“I work 91 hours a week and am always swamped with work. Oh and I will show you the sights of my town – I can’t wait” – Ola Mueller.

I wrote 500 new poems and unreleased them. I wrote a 147 chapter book and unreleased it. I backpacked 171 new countries. Depression, despair, decadence, desolate, disaster, derelict. Anything negative with a “D”. Suicide bids, disappearances and I was ready for death. Life had promised a lot and given me nothing.

“Your joys are counterfeit; this happiness corrupt political shit” – Manic Street Preachers.

Backpacking the Brazil to French Guyana border.

But I am a fighter. I kept going. I battle suicide daily.

“Suicide is painless, it brings on many changes” – Johnny Mandel.

I walk the lonely road and fight

The most important thing might just be that I survived all that. Suicide bids failed, I squandered hundreds of dollars on medication and psychologists but I found a light at the end of the tunnel. I begged serial liars to apologise and they got nasty. I had an excrement exit wannabe GuruGod stalking my Mum, and three of my friends. But I probably beat them all.

Backpacking in Andorra: Casa de la Vall in Andorra La Vella.

Amongst the depression, I found a get out clause that changed my life. It was unexpected.

I found a new home in Poland.

Northern Irishman in Poland / Ulsterczyk

The Northern Irishman in Poland project was just a joke over coffee one day in Warszawa after my topsy turvy days in Gdańsk. However, it became my new focus and people followed it and liked it. I was in shock. It may also have saved my life.

Gdańsk Shipyard – Northern Irishman in Poland

But there were deeper things after the split with Panny and messing around by fake friends like Ola, Magda and Unmentionable. There was something magic in the air.

And a best friend who should always have been a best friend.

Man of men – Rafał Kowalczyk – Warsaw, Poland 2007

Rafał Kowalczyk won’t need to know his influence on my life but happiness remains. Friends are hudely important – come rain, snow, sleet or shine.

“Some might say that sunshine follows thunder. Go and tell it till the man who cannot shine” – Noel Gallagher.

Poland then? I belong here now. I would probably be a goner had I not started my life afresh on the pretty streets of Poland. I started that new project that defines me in a nutshell – Northern Irishman in Poland, and an honest one at that. Bereft of those nasty liars.

Northern Irishman in Poland – new project

Recap…

31st December 2009

“I want to fly and run till it hurts. Sleep for a while and speak no words. In Australia” – Manic Street Preachers.

My final day of the previous decade was spent in Sydney in Australia. At the time I lived in Parramatta with my English mates Neil and Daniel as well as Australian duo Pete and Ruben plus Chinese lady Rebecca.

Last day in 2009 – partying in Sydney, Australia

Last day in 2009 – partying in Sydney, Australia

On the final day of 2009, we headed (me with a sombrero on), on the Parramatta party boat to Sydney harbour. We partied all day in the heat of unwinteric Sydney harbour. The crowds gathered in their thousands to welcome in the new year and decade. We watched the fireworks and countdown from the magnificent Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Last day in 2009 – partying in Sydney, Australia

Last day in 2009 – partying in Sydney, Australia

Last day in 2009 – partying in Sydney, Australia

Last day in 2009 – partying in Sydney, Australia

Last day in 2009 – partying in Sydney, Australia

Last day in 2009 – partying in Sydney, Australia

That was a fabulous night and day out!

1st January 2010

I worked in PJ Gallagher’s Irish Pub in Parramatta, Australia and loved it. The decade started with aplomb!

Manning the brew bar with Ilka and Michael in the early days in PJs.

The decade went fast and I lived in many places, visited a lot of places, changed jobs a lot. Finally, I ended the decade in Bournemouth – 31st December 2019…

31st December 2019

I was back in Bournemouth, the place where I have officially spent more of my adult life in than anywhere else. I toured Dean Court stadium again (a venue where I have watched over 100 football matches), I went to the pier and beach, three pubs (Christopher Creeke, Brasshouse, Moon in the Square). Then a house party with friends to end the decade and move into 2020 with…

Ending 2019 in Bournemouth, Dorset, England

Ending 2019 in Bournemouth, Dorset, England

Ending 2019 in Bournemouth, Dorset, England

Ending 2019 in Bournemouth, Dorset, England

Ending 2019 in Bournemouth, Dorset, England

Ending 2019 in Bournemouth, Dorset, England

Places I lived in from January 2010 – December 2019

January 2010 – Parramatta, AUSTRALIA
February – March 2010 – Devonport, Tasmania, AUSTRALIA
April – May 2010 – Poatina, Tasmania, AUSTRALIA
May – June 2010 – Nomadic
July – October 2010 – Parramatta, AUSTRALIA
October 2010 – February 2011 – Nomadic but spent 3weeks in Montevideo, URUGUAY
February – June 2011 – Parramatta, AUSTRALIA
June 2011 – June 2012 – Lam Tin, Kowloon, HONG KONG
June – December 2012 – Lai Chi Ko, Kowloon, HONG KONG
December 2012 – August 2013 – Ma Wan, New Territories, HONG KONG
August 2013 – February 2014 – Nomadic but spent a month in Iran
February 2014 – June 2014 – Lam Tin, Kowloon, HONG KONG
June 2014 – June 2015 – Nomadic
June – August 2015 – Lam Tin, Kowloon, HONG KONG
August 2015 – July 2016 – Nomadic but spent around four months in Bishkek, KYRGYZSTAN
July – December 2016 – Brzeźno, Gdańsk, POLAND
December 2016 – date – Warszawa, POLAND (albeit in four different places/districts…)

Morskie Oko, Poland

Countries I backpacked in (rough)chronological order from 2010 – 2019 (including repeats)

1.Australia
2.New Zealand
3.Chile
4.Argentina
5.Antarctica
6.Uruguay
7.Brazil
8.Paraguay
9.Bolivia
10.Peru
11.Ecuador
12.Panama
13.Colombia
14.Venezuela
15.Trinidad and Tobago
16.Suriname
17.South Africa
18.Swaziland / Eswatini
19.Botswana
20.Qatar
21.Malaysia
22.Singapore
23.Hong Kong
24.France
25.England
26.Northern Ireland
27.South Korea
28.North Korea
29.Thailand
30.The Philippines
31.Indonesia
32.Laos
33.Cambodia
34.Vietnam
35.Republic of Ireland
36.China
37.Sri Lanka
38.Brunei Darussalam
39.Myanmar
40.Jordan
41.Israel
42. Palestine
43.Turkey
44.Georgia
45.Azerbaijan
46.Armenia
47.Nagorno Karabakh
48.Iran
49.United Arab Emirates
50.Qatar
51.Kurdistan
52.Iraq
53.The Netherlands
54.French Guyana
55.Guyana
56.Mexico
57.Guatemala
58.El Salvador
59.Honduras
60.Belize
61.Nicaragua
62.Costa Rica
63.United States of America
64.Catalonia
65.Spain
66.Andorra
67.Romania
68.Moldova
69.Transnistria
70.Bulgaria
71.North Macedonia
72.Kosovo
73.Montenegro
74.Scotland
75.Lithuania
76.Uzupis
77.Latvia
78.Estonia
79.Finland
80.Sweden
81.Denmark
82.Christiania
83.Norway
84.Austenasia
85.Frestonia
86.Italy
87.The Vatican City State
88.Tunisia
89.Algeria
90.Basque Country
91.Gibraltar
92.Kuwait
93.Bangladesh
94.Bahrain
95.Ladonia
96.Faroe Islands
97.Podjistan
98.Lagoan Isles
99.Adammia
100.Ukraine
101.Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
102.Kazakhstan
103.Kyrgyzstan
104.Tajikistan
105.Gorno Badakhshan
106.Uzbekistan
107.Afghanistan
108.Karakalpakstan
109.Russia
110.Bavaria
110.Austria
111.Germany
112.Monaco
113.Serbia
114.Bosnia Herzegovina
115.Croatia
116.Kaliningrad
117.Mongolia
118.Malta
119.Sovereign Military Order of Malta
120.Krolestwo Dreamlandu
121.San Escobar
122.Morocco
123.Western Sahara
124.Cyprus
125.Northern Cyprus
126. Ivory Coast
127.Greece
128.Saudi Arabia
129.Oman
130.East Timor
131.India
132.Benin
133.Togo
134.The Kingdom of Romkerhall
135.Cheatzerland
136.Russia
137.Narnia
138.Lebanon
139.Belarus
140.Turkmenistan
141.Uganda
142.Rwanda
143.DR Congo
144.Kenya
145.Burundi
146.Belgium
147.Netherlands
148.Fiji
149.Nauru
150.Kiribati
151.Marshall Islands
152.Solomon Islands
153.Papua New Guinea
154.Egypt
155.Greece
156.Herm
157.Guernsey
158.Sark
159.Herm

(list may be incomplete)

Backpacking in Papua New Guinea: Top 14 Sights in Port Moresby

The ONLY countries I visited BEFORE 2010 and have unbackpacked since:

1.Taiwan
2.San Marino
3.Liechtenstein
4.Luxembourg
5.Canada
6.Slovenia
7.Iceland
8.Guernsey
9.Herm
10.Sark

So…Happy New Decade, Happy New Year. May the 2020s be better than the 2010s for all of you. Keep on smiling through the pain. Ola Mueller influenced or not. I’m back on great levels with Danny and Marko my two brothers and that is a good start to 2020!!

Youngest brother Danny and I playing pool in Torrevieja, Spain, 2003

Daniel, Marko, Jonny – Blair brothers hat-trick end of December 2019!!

See you all soon.

I’m gonna party like it’s 2009.

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