The end to a glorious adventure

12 08 2017

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all” – Helen Keller

This post brings to an end not only my Bangkok trip but also a larger adventure. After ten years (yes, ten!) I have decided to discontinue this blog.

Ilbonito has followed me from Tokyo to rural Australia to Bangkok, Hong Kong and back again, through the start and end of a marriage, and all kinds of tumultuous personal changes. But now the time seems right to take a bow. I am on the cusp of forty, about to start a new chapter and a new decade on a new island, engaged in a hitherto-unknown endeavour, property ownership.

It feels like time for a clean break.

The truth is too that I just don’t have the passion for it that I once did. Perhaps it is encroaching (or arrived!) middle age but I don’t feel the need to document and dissect things the way that I used to. Maybe it is simply that I no longer feel the need to define myself by lists of music I like or films I have seen. At this age, I know who I am and I have nothing left to prove. And after all, aren’t life’s pleasures meant to be transitory and fleeting, not endlessly analysed, recorded and re-lived (or so the Buddhists and modern mindfulness gurus always say) ? This blog has served as a record of the songs I listened to, the books that I read, experiences, sights of my everyday life that surprised or delighted me, my ever-changing obsessions and interests and inspirations and the places I went. But I think its time to let go of that safety net and keep those things only in my memory.

Part of this has been the influence of an author too, Karl Ove Knausgaard. Last year I devoured his “My Struggle” series and it was a revelation:  his writing was so clear, honest and impassioned,  unapologetically delving into the minutae of one man’s life. It made me wonder: what is the purpose of a record like this, writing about my life? Is it to be honest about my emotions, the things that have moved (or frightened) me? If so, this blog is not the right place for it. I can’t be that honest and exposed here (or at least, I don’t have the guts to be).

I need to acknowledge too that changes in the online eco-system have forced my hand. When I started this blog, facebook had not yet launched. The social media tsunami had not hit. In its early days, back in Kanagawa, this project served as a log of social events, pictures of me and my friends and what we did – a function now more than adequately filled by facebook. Over the years, as people have become more reticent about appearing online (and partners especially) I have ceased posting these kinds of things, to reformat as a blog devoted to whatever I consider “interesting” – whether that be architecture or street art or (overwhelmingly the most popular topic with my readers) gay life.

Yet now as everything online moves towards a social network model, the blog format itself is looking increasingly dated. My host, wordpress, was late to pick up on this change and is now scrambling to catch up and monetize: it has introduced a “subscription” model. On another front, photobucket (which hosts most of the images on this blog) is also pushing for payment to host links to third party sites (like this one), a service that had been free. In both cases, the costs are significant. It seems that the day of the vanity personal blog, (as opposed to the corporate webpage or the social media profile), might be ending.

So, I take a bow. On to the next chapter and the next daring adventure.




6 responses

12 08 2017

Thanks for all the wonderful photos and travel tips. It’s been great to share your adventures with you – best of luck. Ian Sydney

17 08 2017

I stumbled across your blog years ago from a random google search, but have become a devoted reader ever since. Sorry to hear you are winding it up, but understand (and agree) with the case you’ve set out. Thanks for sharing a whole heap of interesting ideas, cool music, offbeat travel destinations and so on. Loved the Bangkok travel guide too. I’d be happy to return the favour and show you around should you ever visit my adopted home, Tainan. (I think it would be up your alley, for what its worth!).

20 08 2017

Thanks! I love Taiwan and yeah, I’ve never been to Tainan, so who knows, maybe one day you’ll get an email out of the blue 😉

31 08 2017

Sad to see your wonderful blog come to an end, but perfectly appreciate your reasons. It’s been an absolute pleasure reading about your adventures and discoveries here on ilbonito. Diolch yn fawr!

10 10 2017

Thanks for all the great articles and pictures. Like Scott, I stumbled across your blog and hooked on ever since. I have the great pleasure to meet you and BF at Shandong Mama in Melbourne. Took me some courage to walk up and said hi! Should you ever come back to writing, please please drop me an email and let me know.

15 01 2018

Throughout the years I have always enjoyed to read your blog from time to time and especially when travelling to Thailand I was more than happy to have some good advice to be ‘off the grid’. I wish you all the best for the future. Louis (Germany)

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