And the road goes on forever...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What is It About Blogs?

Ok, I admit: much of my world exists in cyberspace. Since I have very little life of my own these days, I seem to relish following others’ particularly enhanced lifestyles that we now find a plethora of on the internet. From its start many years ago following some of the most rudimentary websites that evolved to capture life on the road amongst the RVing crowd, as time and ever-evolving electronic gadgetry allowed, I have expanded my repertoire to include many adventurer blogs I now try and follow. Frankly, I wonder if it has become overkill.

When Marc and I first started telling our tales (because I had a yen for writing) in 1998 on our new domain (which we paid dearly for) “Itchyhitch”, we were one of the few. As times evolved and more RVers jumped on the bandwagon of telling their traveling tales, many gravitated to the new format called “blogging” which served up a ready-made template for those not having their own domain, or who didn’t want the investment in hundreds of dollars of software like Front Page with its hard to figure out HTML format for posting. Suddenly, within the past two-three years, everyone who features themselves “anyone” now has a blog! It’s a wonder there is any room left in cyberspace.

Of long habit of course, I still follow many (no; make that SOME) RV blogs. Some of these people I feel I know, having either actually met them in person along the trail somewhere or having emailed back and forth enough to suppose an actual friendship. Others I have no clue who they are. They came to my attention, usually by mention of someone else and I read a little and add them as a “favorite” hoping to go back and catch up on their story. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen lately and I now look at too many entries, wondering how on earth they ever got added in the first place. Do I know this person? Does anyone I know, know this person? Is this person really important to my life? Why would I want to read about theirs; especially as I am not really living a carefree RV lifestyle these days.

Ok, so what have I moved on to? Well, world adventurers of course! Those traipsing the USA don’t have enough territory to report on; not enough roads to traverse, not enough exotic locations to post about. Given our interest in motorcycle travel, I have found several world adventurers traveling the world on bikes! Wow; talk about tough (but exceeding exciting to think about!). The best example I can think of is

This young couple just about sets the bar for adventure travel and toughness. Visit their blog, if you like travel and the pictures that a $3200 digital camera can produce of most of the world’s outstanding historical sites; you owe it to yourself to tune in. Although not of the caliber of world travel as the above site, I have often enjoyed Guy Bodin’s motorcycle adventures as a long rider on America’s best back roads: on his Honda motorcycles. Although Guy's photography may leave a lot to be desired, he weaves wonderfully descriptive tales that take you right along for the ride.

Starting many years ago in a sailboat around the world, and very young, now having gravitated to an old VW wagon, one cherished contact is Pat and Ali of fame. They certainly create waves, and have become pretty controversial world-wide. If you email them however, they are very endearing. Mention itchyhitch sent you.

So what’s the latest on the agenda? Well, now I am into researching boats—all manner of boats, all manner of stories centered on their use and lifestyle, particularly liveaboard. One retired couple decided to tour all of America’s waterways with their trailerable boat and camper and have a very encompassing website entitled “Cruising America”. Since he is a former Geology teacher he offers great insight into the earth around us as we visualize it today, but really which had its history millions of years ago. The tale of cruising over the top of Yellowstone Lake is fascinating!

As I did with RVers so I am doing with boaters: following tales of people I have no clue about. One is of Life’s 2 Short aboard a large trawler whose owners retired young and beautiful and cruise around wherever they want with an adult beverage constantly in their hands and pictures of party after party—the ultimate indulgent life mere mortals can’t begin to imagine. They have some great pictures of the clear blue water of the Bahamas.

But of far greater meaning, is the irreverent tale of young Jason and Christy, from Seattle, aboard their 40 foot sailboat who have just made their escape from the rat race; yes, quit their jobs in this economy and are racing the tides up the Inland Passage towards Alaska. Now they’re the kind of people I would love to meet!

So tell me folks; you who are reading this blog, why is it we are so attracted to others lives in addition to exposing our own? Is there something wrong in this premise? Will my real life continue to be centered on a computer and others’ tales? I am beginning to wonder. Do I need to cut back this addiction?