How it all began

My friends and stalkers, for this long you have stuck by me reading the constant drivel I churn out on a weekly basis. You’ve read my antics of present and future but never before have I indulged you in my past. For this one time only (unless you read this more than once) I’m going to take you back, way back, before the beginning. I’m going to tell you the story of how it all began and how I became this amazing legend that you know and love today. I give you advanced warning, it’s not exciting.

Back in the year 2008 when I was fat faced 18-year old I was working for a huge online-based company as one of their SEO lackeys. My days consisted of waking at 7am, being at work for 8am, leaving at 4pm, eating myself senseless until about 6pm and then monging out on the sofa playing with myself the PlayStation until around 10pm when I’d go to bed so I could start my meaningless existence all over again.

Drunk office party

Back in the day I used to get a little too drunk in the office parties too…

One gloomy British day I found myself working on the travel insurance side of things for the company which led me to reading through a few travel blogs of people who I now consider to be friends rather than clients (or ‘points towards my bonus’ as they used to be known). Sitting there with my iPod in my ears pretending to work while at the same time imagining my boss’s computer spontaneously combusting in to flames which accidentally killed him I thought to myself “Is this really what you’re going to do for the rest of your life?” Needless to say I quickly forgot that thought when somebody walked past with a bacon sandwich and my thoughts turned to “I wonder what a pig would look like in a waistcoat”.

A few months passed by with me working in the travel sector and increasingly I started to read the blogs I was looking to advertise on more than I was supposed to. Instead of contacting them asking for a link (Yes I was one of those horrid people that try and offer you ‘free’ content with a link back to our website) I’d ask them what their plans were and how they got started with their travelling. It didn’t take long for my boss to realise my success rate had started to fall dramatically while working in the travel sector and so I got moved to ‘technology’.

To cut a long story short I quickly forgot about travel. I became obsessed with photography, photoshop and art. While browsing the net on my lunch I found a drawing competition online based on celebrity portraits. Not being clued up on who was hot at the time I asked a friend to recommend somebody that I should draw. She gave me the name “Tom Judge” assuring me lots of people would have heard of him and know who he was. Little did I know she took the phrase “who is hot these days” too seriously and only chose him because she had just seen him strip half naked on TV. Google images brought back a few results but also a link to his personal Facebook page. I sent a message asking if he’d allow me to draw him for the competition and he was quite happy about it. He even provided me with a photo (a non-naked photo).

Tom Judge

The drawing that failed to win… not quite up to standard all those years ago.

After sending the drawing in and failing to win, Tom became something of a distant memory until one day in work when I emailed a photography website for advertising and received a reply from a ‘Mr. Tom Judge’. I recognised the name but couldn’t place where I knew it from. After a few emails back and forth regarding links there was a footnote at the bottom of the email “P.S did you ever win that competition with the drawing of me?”.  My response of “no, your ugly face and the fact you’re a reality TV star ruined any chance of me winning” was taken as sarcasm which apparently he liked and so a friend request came through on ye olde book of faces.

Email after email we became pretty good friends which was when he jokingly said I should go visit him in Australia. I replied in jest with “I’ll be on the next flight out” – little did we know that was closer to the truth than either one of us thought it would be.

Fed up of the constant crap that poured out of the mouth of my ex-boss and spurred on by the impressively camp playlist on my iPod (a special mention to “I Dreamed a Dream” performed by none other than the Glee superstars themselves) I wrote my letter of resignation there and then. I had no plans, hardly any money and only a half-assed invitation to base this life changing decision on. Many called me a fool but others called me brave. I prefer to go with the brave analogy but only because hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I'm Australia bound, baby!

I’m Australia bound, baby!

Needless to say my friends and family were a little shocked by my decision. I’d given myself just over one months notice to book tickets and somehow organise my life in Australia. Tom found out about my impending arrival via a status update “This time next month I’ll be in Australia”.

If you know me at all you’ll know the one thing I hate most in the world (apart from really slow walking people) is repeating myself. I knew for a fact my family would ask the same questions over and over again “What’s the weather like?” “Have you made any new friends?” “Why are you naked in all of your facebook photos?” and so I made the foolish decision of starting a blog (aha! You thought I forgot what this post was really about… didn’t you?!). Well there is it folks… the sole reason I started the blog was to avoid speaking to my friends and family back home. No wonder they all threw a party after I left.

I realise the end to that story was really anti-climactic but I did warn you at the beginning it wasn’t very exciting. But that really is how everything started for me. I got bored and made an impulsive decision to move to the other side of the world and at the same time I didn’t want to have to call home every fecking day so I made something that they could read. The travel side of things was more of a spin-off adventure to the blog once I realised how fun it could actually be. I’m also sensing a little confusion as to why I said making this blog was a foolish idea… well it’s foolish because it’s darn addictive. Every time I come to write a post on why I’m bowing out of the blogging world a new email pops up with a post from one of you considerably better writers out there that makes me jealous and wanting more. I hate you all for that very reason.

P.S sorry for not warning you this post contained a photo of me in my boxers.

 

Author: Dan Collins

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