An Apology

Good and Lost has become boring.

The pictures are nice, I suppose, and it’s not bad for friends and family back home trying to keep track of me. But the truth is, it’s become tedious for me. I’m not actually in England anymore; that was three months ago. I’ve procrastinated on my posts because most of what I write these days doesn’t interest me.

Until now, I’ve rarely brushed the surface of my real life. I’ve talked about the two-hour-tours and the churches I’ve spent fifteen minutes walking through, while barely mentioning the books, conversations, people and experiences that have been changing my life.

I told all of this to a good friend while we were walking around the medieval district in Prague a few days ago. She nodded. “It’s because you don’t put yourself in it,” she said. “If you want people to be interested in what you write, you have to start making your blog personal.”

“How?” I asked.

“Simple,” she said. “Write what makes you uncomfortable.”

She was right. I’ve avoided writing a lot of things here for fear of what people might think, or who I might offend. More fundamentally, I’m uncomfortable with myself; I can talk about geography and history all day, but ask me about my own emotional state and the words dry up entirely. Traveling around the world without flying is easy to pawn off as a simple series of impersonal events, but this journey is about much more than the simple goal of circumnavigation. It’s a journey of discovery, of connection-building, of reconstruction after the long process of leaving the Evangelical church of my childhood and then abandoning religion altogether.

I want to write about who I am, not just what I do. Instead of telling you about reading in a cafe, I want to tell you about how the book made me feel. Instead of telling you about a church, I want to tell you why I went there. I don’t want to stop talking about travel; I want to start talking about the things that make it wonderful.

So here I am. Most of you don’t know me; I haven’t really been here much before. I’m a traveler, a writer, and a student of history. I like to ask questions, and occasionally I even like the answers. Good food makes me happy, pretty girls make me stutter, and new horizons tug incessantly at my soul. I spent the last four years taking myself apart piece by piece, and ended up with no home, no faith, no fatherland, and no philosophy. What’s left is an open space, and a unique opportunity to rebuild myself from the ground up based on the world I see. I have only one goal: discovery.

My name is Tim Raveling, and I intend to see the world.

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  • Odysseus Drifts

    Yay! I love this post Tim, especially the advice of “write what makes you uncomfortable.” I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog as your writing gets more personal. And don’t be afraid to open up; every worthwhile person out there can sense and appreciate sincerity in writing, even if it conflicts with their own ideas or beliefs.

  • Andrea

    See the world if u have this chance!
    Don’t give up! ;)

    PS: nice blog!

  • Jason

    Hey Tim,
    I really identify with this blog post. Waiting to follow your upcoming writings.

  • Phil

    Great new direction! I think it will enable everyone to engage you a bit more.

  • Nathan

    I stumbled across your Facebook link to your latest blog post (“Past is Prologue: Part I”) after a friend of mine liked it. I was intrigued, so I started looking around your site and liked what I was reading because you seem like such an interesting person. Then I saw this post. I just wanted to say that your new approach to writing is working. It captivates total strangers (like me). Keep up the good work.

  • tsraveling

    Thanks everyone! I’m fortunate to have some *very* good first readers, who can look at my first drafts and just say “yeah … no.” It usually takes me a few tries, but the final product is much better for it.