Welcome to Go Stay Work Play Live

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hi!  This all looks familiar, doesn’t it?  I’m assuming that 99.9% of you have linked here from my old blog Go See Run Eat Drink.  It’s nice here, isn’t it?  I like the new colour scheme and the new header image, and the new name, but I especially like that it’s all still GSRED too.  That was a great blog, lovingly designed by me (a bit) and by the long-suffering Phonella (a lot), and it just didn’t make sense to start from scratch when there was such a good template to build on.  There are a few new widgets over in the sidebar, and the design may evolve a bit as things progress.  I finally decided that instead of waiting until it was perfect, I’d just forge ahead and edit as I go.  But essentially it’s meant to look like Go See Run Eat Drink, The Sequel, which is exactly what it is.

GSRED Header
See, this one is just like the old one, but sort of London-y.

If none of this makes any sense to you, then you probably didn’t link over here from Go See Run Eat Drink.  In that case, I can only assume that in the weeks and months following the launch of this new blog it has become a genuine internet sensation, linked to from all the cool-people websites, and spawning a line of travel clothing, several pointless Facebook groups, and at least one of those weird cat photo meme things reading “I haz Go Stay Work Play Live”. (Are those even still a thing?)  So for you newcomers, that original blog was, as the sub-title indicated, about my year travelling the world – the getting ready, the going, and the coming home.  You should go read it, there was some good stuff in there.  Like here, and here and here.

That whole experience was, not surprisingly, life-changing.  When I conceived of the notion of a year-long trip around the world back in the spring of 2008 I’d been in the same job for eleven years and in the same house for ten years and I was about to turn 40 years old. The farthest I’d travelled was to England and France, when I was a mere 19 years old and Ronald Reagan was not only still alive, but still U.S. President.  So yes, I’m old, and yes, I was stuck in my ways.

I’m not sure how the idea came to me, but when it arrived and I realized that it was actually feasible, I knew I had to do it.  I mean, how can you have and idea like that, AND the means AND the opportunity to do it, and then just shrug your shoulders and think, “Nah, I think I’ll just stay here and see what's on TV.” ?  I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t do that.  So I spent the next year planning, thinking and preparing for the trip, and the following year actually DOING the trip, and I wrote a blog as I went along.  Originally blogging was simply meant as a way of letting family and friends keep up with what I was doing and where I was in the world.  As the trip progressed, though, it grew into more than that.  I found it a way to stay focused in a life that was otherwise completely unstructured.  Knowing that I was going to be blogging about a particular place or experience made me think about it more.  About the history, about getting the facts right, and about my own reactions to the place.  It even made me pay more attention to the photos I took.  And it was a good way for me to document my own thoughts and experiences so I could look back on them later.  Then as the year wore on I was surprised to discover that Go See Run Eat Drink gathered a bit of a following beyond just the immediate circle of friends and family it was intended for (Though I’m still waiting for the big book deal or the “Julie Julia” style movie.)

Me and Charles, a former complete stranger and fan of Go See Run Eat Drink who was living in Tokyo and invited me out for the day while I was there.

And then the trip ended.  I blogged a few more times after I got home but really, the air just went out of my blogging tires.  Blogging was something I’d done while travelling, and I wasn’t travelling anymore.  I was getting on with my life, which is now in London, England.  Here’s a funny thing: it turns out that when you quit your job and spend a year travelling to thirty or so different countries, when you get back home again it all seems a bit… boring.  When I left on the trip lots of people said I’d come back as a completely different person, and even I thought that might be true.  Who knew what would happen? Maybe I’d have an epiphany and go work in a pediatric AIDs orphanage in Africa, or retreat to a beach hut in Bali and earn a living selling sea shell necklaces to tourists, or meet a dashing European man and live with him in his villa in Tuscany.  But none of those things happened and when I got home I felt pretty much the same as when I’d left, with one crucial difference: I’d learned there was a lot more out there than what was available to me in Canada, and I wasn’t afraid to go try it out.  Quitting my job, selling my house and saying good bye to all my friends so that I could travel the world were all very hard things to do, but that hard work was done ages ago.  This meant that taking the next step – moving overseas to London to try to make a go of it there – didn’t seem like a very big deal at all.

And so here I am, living and working in one of the greatest cities on the planet.  And it turns out there are a lot of things over here that might be interesting to other people.  And it also turns out that I kind of miss blogging and feel like getting back at it might help me appreciate being here, and force me to get out and enjoy what the city has to offer, and keep in touch with people back home.  So I’m giving it a shot.

Tower Bridge
One of the things the city has to offer – the view from Tower Bridge, taken while I was running home from work.  I also run right past the Tower of London.  No offense, but you just can’t do that stuff in Winnipeg.

Posts here will probably be shorter than the epics I was churning out over at GSRED, and less frequent.  I’ve a got a job to do and bills to pay, so I just don’t have the time to crank out two thousand words every other day.  And you’ll likely have to put up with a lot more low-res iPhone photos (like the Tower Bridge pic above), because I’m not a tourist anymore so I’m not carting around my proper digital camera everywhere I go.  However I sense there will be things to say that someone might want to read, and I think I can still be counted on to spell correctly most of the time (except I’m already getting a bit schizophrenic about British vs. North American spellings of things like realise/realize), and properly employ the possessive apostrophe, and even toss in an occasional semi-colon (though I know I’ve got a bit of a problem with commas, and the overuse thereof.  I’m looking for a local branch of CA right now…) (And yes I know I use ellipsis too much too….). 

And if you learn something along the way, or have a laugh, or decide to come visit as a result, then you can thank me later and buy me a beer.


Miles said...

So glad to have you back! I am happy to be the first one to post a comment on your new blog - it has a great look and looks like it will as interesting as GSRED was from the beginning...
All the best in this new phase.

Kathryn said...

I am so excited! Your new blog makes me HAPPY. Looking forward to hearing all your updates.

Larry Anderson said...

I'm one of those people you were talking about outside the immediate friends and family circle, and I'm very glad to see you've decided to keep blogging. It looks like this is going to be another fascinating read.

Gillian @OneGiantStep said...

Yay! I'm glad that I'll be able to hear more about your London adventures...and maybe have a resource when we're ready to cross the pond! Cheers!

Melissa said...

I'm so glad you are blogging again! It makes my day to see your posts in my inbox! Also, your link at the end of the last GSRED post made me laugh like crazy! AWESOME! Looking forward to hearing about your adventures! (An excessive amount of exclamation points, but I'm excited...!

Dyanne@TravelnLass said...

Great to see that you've "refilled [your] blogging tires" - nice job on the new site banner! You have a unique and most entertaining "voice" and I look forward to reading of your adventures across the Pond.

(note the deliberately prudent use of exclamation points - I'm likewise afflicted w/ that malady. What I really want to say is...)

Woo-HOOO - Pam is BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Excited to hear your thoughts on London!

Molly Mosby

jst1203 said...

Yay! Glad to see you're still at it. Hope all is well
John T

Roberto Hamiltoni said...

Wonderful new Blog! I hope it invigorates your London chapter. I am coming to visit June 15-18 ish. Please do not plan to be elsewhere at that time so we can catch up avec pints. Wes will be with me too. Cheers, rh

Anonymous said...

I am also very happy about the new blog. I did notice that there is no "Run" in the title. Hopefully Run is included under "Play".
All the best in the new adventure,

Steven G.

Anonymous said...

Yeehaw! No pressure, but It's great to see you're back in the saddle again.

Amy said...

Oh, excellent you are continuing to blog! Now I'm almost shamed into actually updating mine.

Anonymous said...

The journey continues. This is better than a novel and a travel log combined. I am hooked! Can't wait fir the next edition.


Heather Moore said...

GSERD could TOTALLY be a book! I was saying that to Karen in Banff!

Colleen said...

Pam: Delighted to discover the new blog. I will look forward to continuing to enjoy your adventures in a city I love. Cheers! Colleen

FLF said...

My morning coffee time will definitely take a turn for the better now!

Marilyn said...

Clicked on the old site, was very excited and happy to see your new one. I've sure missed reading about you. Don't work too hard, find time to run, and most importantly ENJOY life to it's fullest. Take good care of yourself.

Charles said...

Hello, Pam. Glad to see that you are enjoying the new site here. It's Charles, the stranger in your picture from Tokyo. I am currently in my hometown too for Spring Break, but will be heading back in the beginning of April. I look forward to hearing about the next chapter in the GSERD saga online and the interesting things of your time in the UK. Good luck and see you here online.

daphne said...

Yea - more Pam...and more elipses....Thanks

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