Ever landed yourself in hot water when you go travelling?
I’m also a travelling disaster.
I’ve missed countless flights, got lost climbing umpteen hills and crossing countless fields, and looked stupid in front of more people than you would believe. That’s my thing, and I’ve come to see why it’s the ticket to good stories and memorable travel experiences.
About Fevered Mutterings
Welcome to my site.
If you’re here for stories of travel and embarrassing misadventure, this is a good place to start.
But I’m usually more interested in the word “why“. Why read? Why do so many bloggers give up? Why is travelling and coming back the only way to really see your home again? (My answer: it isn’t.). Why are we forgetting the art of walking everywhere? Why is “going local” the last thing you want to do when you travel?
I’m a grown-up version of that annoying kid you know who answers everything with “Why?”
(Sorry in advance.)
The other side of Fevered Mutterings is designed to help people with their storytelling. Go here for the details.
I was born in Germany (in a British RAF hospital), grew up in Cyprus, and moved to England just as I hit my teens. (Memory: sat at an newly-landed Boeing 747 window at Heathrow, looking out at the rain – and I turn to my parents and say, “Why have we come here? It’s raining.” They never gave me a good answer to this question. So that’s parents for you.)
In Cyprus I discovered National Geographic magazine, hoarding copies like a curly-haired Gollum. I obsessed over them, loving the writing, mesmerized at how adults (adults!) could make the world sound so amazingly fun! The pictures were terrific – but the writing was what blew my mind. At some point, I wondered how much fun it might be to become a professional writer, telling stories for a living. If people actually did that for living.
Was that even allowed?
Skip forward. My family has moved to the UK, and I’m not sure what I want to do with my life. I leave school, drift through a number of tedious jobs for very little money – and at some point I’m leafing through an old copy of one of those National Geographics. Something in me says I need an adventure to get me out the rut I’m in.
A few weeks later, I spot an advert in an outdoors magazine for a walking expedition through the Austrian South Tyrol – and off I go.
I come home changed. A change that leads to retaking exams, going to University as an archaeology student and learning to write with precision and clarity, and then to a series of office jobs in York while I experiment with my own writing as a side income.
Cut to early 2012. I’m an office-monkey by day, and thanks to a blossoming fascination with the wider world, I’m a travel blogger by night. My work has been read out as part of the Travel Bloggers Exchange Community Keynote, my blog posts have been linked to by the likes of Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker, and I’m selling decent amounts of my writing work – but somehow I’m still holding myself back.
I still don’t feel like a real writer. I still don’t feel like I’m allowed.
And a few weeks later, I quit my job.
About What I Do
At the time of writing, I’m a freelance writer of no clearly fixed abode. You might find me in the UK, lurking in my parental home. I may be escaping to the Mediterranean, ideally to Greece or Italy (above). You may find me gallivanting haphazardly across some bleak European hillside, bound for disaster – which is how I seem to find material to write about, so I’m not questioning it too closely. I speak on writing and storytelling, and I write about everything I’m enthusiastic about, which is a distressing amount of things to cram into one lifetime.
Now it’s your turn. Say hello here! Or drop me an e-mail at:
hunter.sowden AT gmail.com
Oh, go on. I promise you’ll get a reply.
Income disclosure: I make a wee bit from advertising, and I make a wee bit from people who click Amazon affiliate links and end up buying something (which costs them nothing extra, while I get a tiny percentage). If there’s a link to something on Amazon in this blog, it’ll probably be an affiliate link. I’ll probably use the money to buy something really English like a new teapot or a nice warm pair of socks.