Monday, June 22, 2009

Are my feet in the way?

As I was sitting in front of TV setting up this blog, my wife Olanda asked if her feet were in the way? No, they weren't, but she'd given me a title for a blog about travelling and travellers, and more particularly the relationship of travelling and writing.

When I was a child, my mother and I moved around between Iceland, England, and Australia. I loved the whole business of packing up and going somewhere new, and I haven't ever shaken the desire for the sense of movement, disruption, excitement, and anticipation that came with each of these childhood relocations. I suppose there were downsides to moving around, but not enough it seems.

I now teach creative writing at a university in Brisbane, Australia, and, apart from novels, travel literature is my genre of choice. What am I reading at the moment? I've just begun a classic, The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux, father of Louis Theroux and something of a father-figure of modern, anecdotal travel writing. Bill Bryson, for example, in Notes From A Small Island, writes longingly about Theroux's apparent ability to strike up conversations. Bryson doesn't have that skill, but in some other respects the two are similar: both give us witty, personal, well-paced writing.

I'm getting ahead of myself. All I really wanted to say in this first post was that the main impulse behind this blog is reading and writing about travel; like those pursuits, I hope it reminds me to look past my own two feet.