“How we like to sing along, though the words are wrong. It really really really could happen.” – Damon Albarn, 1995
This is a post for any regular readers out there that follow my journeys. I don’t always document my upcoming plans and I thought I’d give a nice easy to understand account of where I am now, where I’m heading and what I expect to be doing for the rest of 2015. The year for me revolves around cracking my 100th country and the launch of my long awaited adventure book from my journeys.
“Smile like you mean it” – The Killers
January was a bad month for me. Travel wise sure was great as I visited 4 new countries, 2 disputed republics and 5 old ones. But I work for myself these days online and it was a frustrating month. My red hard drive (made by WD Passport) broke completely (even an expert couldn’t recover those files so some countries I’ve been to I now have zero proof of it except the photos and videos already on Facebook, YouTube and DSL). Then my laptop broke. The one from that $hit company I used to work for – the company whose computers always break and they charge you more to get them fixed. Thankfully one of my 3 other laptops, a Toshiba is working, but is very slow. Ironically this Toshiba is the cheapest laptop I’ve ever bought, yet it works better than any of the others. Amazing. Loads of other mis haps meant that the usual run of blog posts on here for January and February were not up to scratch or to the level I push myself to represent. So I apologise for that and I hope to get back to my best in the next couple of months, writing and editing wise.
“All the good shit’s gone” – Bon Jovi
The first 3 weeks of March will be spent in England and Northern Ireland. I’m sorting out visas and passports. Both passports were almost full, I also just headed to Dublin to renew my Irish passport.
“Moving, just keep moving” – Supergrass
I’m hanging out with my Mum and Dad in Bangor, Northern Ireland this week. I’m seeing my brother Marko and sister Cathy who live in Bangor and Ballyhalbert.
I’m visiting my brother Danny in Liverpool, England. Then I’m catching up with some of my best friends – Lock In Lee (from the famous Barmby Army story) and king of the Den, Millwall Neil. You can travel the world but never forget how good it is to be with friends and family. IN fact since I left Northern Ireland in 2003, this year has been the longest I’ve spent in my homeland since, so I owed it one. I’ve also been to watch my local football team Glentoran FC 3 times this season, 1 Northern Ireland home match and been to a charity match with my good friend Michael Whitford in Bangor. That’s the most matches in Northern Ireland I’ve been to since 2002 – 2003 season (my last season as a Northern Ireland resident).
While I’m in England I’m visiting two random Micronations. Well that’s the plan anyway. I aim to visit the remnants of Frestonia, where the Clash recorded one of their albums. I’m going to go down the pub with Millwall Neil and just to talk crap and watch football. I’m also a special guest of the Emperor of Austenasia for a visit to this tiny separate republic within the UK.
March – April
Then it’s a flight to North Africa. I was 6 weeks ahead of myself on target to visit 100 real countries before my 35th birthday and as I turn 35 soon, I’ll be celebrating my 35th birthday in my 100th country. I’ll reveal my Africa plans soon but it won’t be another hardcore 6 monther. I’m thinking of breaking it up into two trips. The reason being I want to try and watch another AFC Bournemouth match before the end of the season and I need to get back to Asia to complete my book. The book is easier to write in Asia than in hostels and friends/family houses. That’s just the way it is for me.
May – August
I should be in Asia for these 3 months, working hard on my book and apart from some travel in China and Thailand, I won’t be going on mental adventures. I had 47 full chapters completed, which were mostly written on the road, from buses, hostels etc. I lost about 26 of them and am now trying to get things going again with it. The writing is easy, it comes naturally. The hardest bit as ever is the editing, the promoting and the launching. It hate all that sh*t – I’d gladly send my words by email and pay someone to do the whole compiling of the book, uploading to PDF and launch the thing. In fact – get in touch if you’re keen to help out with that – jonny (at) dontstopliving (dot) net.
I’m aiming to visit Copenhagen again, maybe dip back into Sweden to visit Daniel Evans and tour Ladonia and also fly to the Faroe Islands for the Northern Ireland football match. After that I’m probably looking at Africa again and launching and promoting my long awaited book. Yeah like the book that I promised to release 10 years ago, even when I hadn’t travelled that much. So finally, things are moving with it.
My book has a title and a cover already and since you’ve bothered to click on this link and read my stuff, I thought I’d at least share something with you – the book’s cover and title:
Backpacking Centurion – A Northern Irishman’s Journey Through 100 Countries
So I’m excited about all of this, and with my travels being as spontaneous as ever, this does give you a rough idea of where I’m heading. I’ll do my best to get the book out as soon as I can! But I’m also a perfectionist!
Safe travels, don’t stop living.