“Googling” myself one day as writers seeking affirmation of their existence are sometimes wont to do, I was led to a travel blog where the reference to me read something like this: “Too bad travel writing just isn’t what it used to be, since many of the best practitioners, like John Krich, are no longer writing anymore….”
Reports of my literary demise are, as the saying goes, greatly exaggerated. I have perhaps been sidelined too long into journalism and food writing, dropped from U.S. sight during a decade in Asia. I am always involved in some attempt of a more literary nature. But if I have not produced more round-the-world journeys to go with two prior ones published, that’s mostly because, alas, no patron has stepped forward to pay my way.
Still, if I am in a slightly better mood regarding my personal life, I remain in a “bad mood,” – really that shock of disappointment and disillusionment which regularly accompanies landing in almost any location one has dared to wish to visit. If anything, I’ve been made even more grumpy by age and new levels of madness and corruption when it comes to getting caught in the act of “seeing the world” — or more likely glimpsing a bit of ourselves as we do it.
So in order to announce my ongoing existence and uniquely caustic voice to the online generation, I am offering a blog that can serve as a sort of autobiography disguised as guidebook. Or vice versa.
Somehow, my life has been measured out in arrivals, a keen awareness of place and the place where I may fit or not fit into some larger geo-political scheme. Therefore, most of the entries here will be prose evocations of one singular spot on the world map. In each, I hope to get to some essence of how a city or culture looked to me and meant to me at the time I encountered it.
Call these jottings from decades on the road. Post cards from hell. My own personal list of the 1001 Places to Avoid, and Get Lost In, Before One Dies… I hope they will stir memories and imaginations and a lively debate amongst anyone who happens to wander by this site.
Some of these musings on mega-cities and meta-realities will track my current circumstances and movements around the globe’s circumfrence. Others will be plucked from a lifetime’s backlog of greatest travel hits. In either case, I hope this blog can be more than the usual navel-gazing, the incessantly inane glorification of the petty happenings of daily life. Why should the world getting smaller shrink our fields of vision as well?
Along the way, I plan to interrupt my private itinerary with comments of topical events and controversies, brief essays or bits of philosophizing on all the many clashes and contradictions of cross-culture explorations. Looks for references to my top inspirations, asides, epiphanies, too. Call these my excess verbiage on all the excess baggage we carry (personal or political).
I will also offer helpful hints and favorite tips on the best and worst ways to eat, drink, bed down, hitch a ride, etc I trust there will be a number of discoveries stumbled upon and ready to share.
A final warning: this blog contains attempted literary content and may cause brief episodes of indigestion for those accustomed to the glib shorthand of Internetspeak. I am cursed to be a writer first – with an allegiance to the poetic rhythm of words — a traveler/blogger/guide second.
So bear with me, cyber-friends. Stretch those attention spans. The destinations in a life beckon…