Where have I been?
I would be lying if I said I didn't miss blogging. I started here long before social media grew into the never-ending list of options we have today. Between 2007 and 2012, I travelled on average once a week in the Gulf region, and once every three weeks to Europe or the US. It was mostly for business, but I always insisted on finding a spare hour or so here and there. It wasn't easy because I also pushed myself to keep my trips as short as possible. My family needed me, and more so I needed them. I have a wonderful wife who put up with my suitcase never being fully unpacked for too many years. I wrote stories and took photographs of all the wonder I came across. Not necessarily anything special, but there is a way of making the 'normal' special, isn't there? and I strived to do that then, and continue to do so today.
Facebook was the first stab as it opened the door for more people to share content. However, that was limited to people we know (or once knew). For me, this blog was more about people I didn't know. In fact I met a lot of interesting people with whom I am yet to meet in person! Soon after Facebook came twitter, which made it possible to connect even with the people we didn't know. I continued blogging and shared my stories on twitter and on Facebook - always staying true to the original cause of this blog: photography and travel. I aired my rants elsewhere. When Instagram came, I realised I was flogging a dead horse here... It reflected exactly what I was doing on this blog: images with a brief story. This was also timed with me leaving the job that took me around the world, and starting my PhD. Life has a way of forcing you to accept change.
Why haven't I closed UtterRelease down?
I saw blogging as an art. The challenge was always what you leave out rather than cram in. The local blogosphere on the other hand was going nuts with content about every ridiculous thing imaginable and everyone an expert on every matter (a disease that continues to infect). I'm afraid the same pattern is also in the social media available. Instagram is full of local 'celebrities' shamelessly advertising products and services, and being paid for it, without their stupid followers (God this word has a whole new meaning in Kuwait) even knowing. It's a little more open now but the audience continue their sheep-like behaviour. I therefore wonder if I will find myself coming back here at some point, and away from the noise. I would always rather have ten engaged readers than hundreds or thousands looking for what products I get paid to place in front of them and pretend to like. So perhaps after my PhD I will... how shall I put it... move out of the city and back here to the countryside.
Where am I now?