Sunday’s Inspiration: 800 Not Out and A Buck Eejit’s Guide to Whackpacking The World

austenasia travel

Sunday’s Inspiration: 800 Not Out and A Buck Eejit’s Guide to Whackpacking The World

Whackpacking [definition] : the art of travelling around the world with a backpack in a wacky way, with no sense of direction but a complete sense of lunacy and freedom. E.g. imagine a mixture of Timmy Mallet, John Lennon and Barack Obama with a backpack on travelling across land borders, taking photos, slurping Guinness, singing James Hayter songs and writing blogs.

Buck Eejit [definition] : A silly billy Northern Irish person.

“You can only be who you are” – Noel Gallagher.

preas dak backpacking jonny blair

Touring Praes Dak in Cambodia

So if I really decide to give up “backpacking” as it were, there are curious ways round it that allow me to stay happy, still do some travelling, constantly do my writing and still earn money. This week I looked at a few other backpacking blogs and realised I don’t like them and I don’t fit with them. Those blogs are great, but I personally don’t like them. Everything is just too common, too popular, too normal. In fact, the definition of the word “normal” probably doesn’t make sense here. What is normal? So let’s just call it common and popular. I tried to be the Common Person then I just left the bandwagon for the glory of the wilderness and fake countries like Karakalpakstan.

“Sing along with the common people. Sing along and it might just get you through” – Jarvis Cocker.

zhu's garden jianshui china

Sunday’s Inspiration: 800 Not Out and A Buck Eejit’s Guide to Whackpacking The World

As I wandered aimlessly through a load of countries the last few years, every day was my inspiration for something new. I slept in 2,000 plus beds. In fact, I can’t even count them, but one day I want to do a list of all those beds I slept in. I met thousands of people on the journey. Another bed, another church, another person.

bedroom in Montevideo

Another bed

Jonny Blair in Uyuni in Bolivia a lifestyle of travel

Another church

talk to as many people as you can

More people on a planet (one of which is Millwall Neil)

Then I arrived in Vrindavan, India for Holifest. This is a crazy festival once a year and it came with the sharp realisation that Vrindavan in its unknown glory (it didn’t even appear on my map of Uttar Pradesh) was my 799th different town, city or village from my journey.

library centre pyongyang

Travel writing in Pyongyang, North Korea

Number 800 came and went this week – it was Agra in India. I celebrated with my friends Katia (from Brazil who I met in Paris in 2007), Terri and Joel (from Canada and Australia who I met in Bishkek in 2016) and Arno (from South Africa who I met in Vrindavan). Agra is a city which boasts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. So I toured both of them, booked a flight back to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan and started using the word “whackpacking” instead of backpacking.

Playing football in Azerbaijan

Playing football in Azerbaijan

It fits more with my mode of travel. I’m a whackpacker. I am not a backpacker anymore. I’m off to write some more travel blogs, have an ice cold beer and view the sunset at the Taj Mahal. Here are some of my finer Whackpacking Days:

Whackpacking at the Winery in the Unknown Country of Adammia
Becoming the First Whackpacker to tour the sights of Austenasia
Whackpacking at the Fireball Festival in Nejapa, El Salvador
Whackpacking to Harar in Ethiopia to feed hyenas
Whackpacking my way to Nukus in Karakalpakstan
Top Whackpacking Sights in any city in the world
Best ways to whackpack to the moon from planet earth
On the rip in Afghanistan as a whackpacker

Sunday’s Inspiration: 800 Not Out and A Buck Eejit’s Guide to Whackpacking The World

Sunday’s Inspiration: 800 Not Out and A Buck Eejit’s Guide to Whackpacking The World

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