Something Eating Up My Days


Things have been busy in Murdland, and blogs have been scarce… This will be an update rather than the usual traveler’s tale. Not a lame excuse for neglecting you, not a mea culpa, just a simple update with some links that you may enjoy checking out.

So where the fork have I been these past two weeks?

Australian rock legends The Church just wrapped up the tail end of their coast-to-coast North American tour. I spent a week catching several shows in the area, and hanging out backstage with my friend Steve Kilbey, singer/lyricist of the band and one of my most important writing influences. The shows were incredible — they absolutely blew the roof off The Tralf Music Hall in Buffalo, NY. Tim, Marty and Peter are all great guys, and I had a blast talking books, music, and art with Steve. Here are a few photos from Buffalo and Ottawa for those who are interested. You can also watch a short backstage interview with Steve from the Ottawa Bluesfest (if you look closely you’ll see my arm and sleeve pop into the right side of the screen — my recent brush with frame…).

On other fronts…

Don’t forget to pick up the current issue of Outpost magazine, in which I have the main feature on Ireland. It won’t be on newsstands for very much longer! But there’s no need to worry if you’re feeling like you can’t get enough of these pithy, deeply meaningful journeys through time, space and memory. I’ll have the main feature again in the following issue of Outpost, this time on Egypt. That one should be out in late August.

I’m headed to Japan for a couple weeks in September for a personal trip, then off to Syria on a writing assignment with photographer Jason George. New magazine features will be the outcome of both trips. The blog is likely to be slow while I’m away — I don’t travel with a laptop because I’m an old school notebook and pen kinda guy (voice from another room: he can’t afford one!), but I’m thinking of changing that. Look for shorter, less polished updates from the road, and maybe even a video blog or two. If you have any requests, please be sure to post them in the comments.

If you’re bored waiting for me to come up with new stuff, check out my podcast interview with the folks over at Real World Strength Training. There’s some stuff about how I stay in expedition shape on the road and how martial art has formed my approach to both travel and fitness, and there are also lots of traveler’s tales–about betel nut chewing in Burma, fighting giant cockroaches in Rangoon, and riding camels in the Arabian Desert. I hope you enjoy it.

On the coaching side of my work, I’m just wrapping up the writing for a new bodyweight exercise ebook with coauthor Adam Steer. Filming and photo shoots are scheduled for this week. Adam and I also recently released a free ebook on CST bodyweight exercise. If you’re looking for an equipment-free, portable, time-compressed workout, click the link to grab your copy. Be sure to let us know what you think. On the Traveling Road Show front, I’ll be joining the RMAX Faculty in Bellingham, Washington in a couple weeks to coach the big biannual CST Instructor certification seminar, followed by a TACFIT instructor certification. After that I’m off to London, England and Hamburg, Germany to run two more seminars. Hope to see you there if you’re in the neighbourhood! You can read about all that stuff on my coaching site. This is the place for travel writing.

Hmm, what other inane details can I amuse ya with? I’m currently reading Oswald Spengler’s The Decline of the West. Watching films by Ingmar Bergman. And listening to Steve Kilbey’s Art, Man & Technology. How about you? Reading, watching or listening to anything cool that my readers should know about? Let us know in the comments.

Next installment: back to our regularly scheduled — but never regular, conventional, or mundane — traveler’s tales.

About the author

Ryan Murdock

Author of A Sunny Place for Shady People and Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America. Host of Personal Landscapes podcast. Editor-at-Large (Europe) for Canada's Outpost magazine. Writer at The Shift. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.


  • Just finished a book entitled “The Great Stink”, a mystery novel, but set amid the actual events of the Crimean War and the rebuilding of the London Sewer system in the late 1850’s. Good story, well-written (the fictional characters have depth and the author doesn’t make a habit of putting words into the mouths of the historical figures.) It was solidly researched – she tells you more about the London sewers than you ever thought you needed to know, yet keeps it fascinating.
    Interesting too, because whenever my geologist friend describes the potential effects of the “Big One” when it shakes the West Coast at magnitude 9, he rants especially about how no one is prepared for the plague of rats we’ll have when the present-day sewer systems get destroyed in the quake.

  • Ryan,
    Serendipitous discovering your site…found it by way of RMax…I’m a Church fan, to (and a passionate reader, music lover, explorer…) Was just listening to the new Church today…great, as is all their creations…I’m leaving for Croatia in 2 weeks, to establish a chiropractic center. (Am in US now) Scott and RMax is also new to me; I’m looking for the best fitness system for keeping me super-fit and practicing for many more years, and for helping practice members. Looks like CST is it. Maybe can join you in Hamburg, if not will stay in touch. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    If you haven’t read it, check Tan Twan Eng’s wonderful novel-“The Gift of Rain”

  • Jeanne – sounds cool. Sewers are surprisingly interesting. Just watched The Third Man, the film based on Graham Greene’s novella, the ending of which was shot in the sewers of Vienna. Who’d have guessed those huge subterranean tunnels are right below us, waiting to be explored. But yeah, there’s that thing about giant rats…
    Peter – always nice to run across someone who appreciates The Church 🙂 Did you catch any shows on the recent tour? Where will you be setting up shop in Croatia? I’ve been there several times. The coastline is absolutely incredible, among the world’s most beautiful landscapes. I have really great memories of traveling there. Hope to see you in Hamburg in a few weeks!

  • Hey Ryan,
    looks like you have a cool time.
    If you are more the pen guy maybe you should think of a tablet hybrid notebook. Rumours says Apple is planning to get one to the market at the end of the year. There are cheaper options of tablet netbooks of course.
    I use a grafik tablet as an alternative “hardware-wetware-interface” parallel to mouse and keyboard. It’s nicer for the wrists and for the little drawings in my training plan.

  • Ryan,
    I’m in CT for a few more days-just missed the Church when they played in Mass. 2 weeks ago. One of these days I’ll catch a show. “After Everything, Now This” is still my favorite. (Well, I have many favorites, starting with “Starfish”). Yeah, I’ve heard how lovely the Adriatic coast is; interestingly, I’m helping a colleague by taking over a part-time practice he has in Cakovec-almost to the Hungarian/Austrian border. Which may be a good thing-good agriculture, vineyards, hot springs, close to Austria, much lower overhead costs…and, no other chiropractors! My hope is that success there will allow many visits to the coast….
    The process of getting settled may prevent my being in Hamburg in Sept. Will I be able to get a good start with Scott’s program with the DVD’s and book?

  • Andreas – thanks for the tip. I’d likely have to wait for the price to come waaay down though, if it’s just being released. Was thinking about picking up a netbook, since on the road my only real needs are word processing and email. Any thoughts on those? It may not work though, since the CST certs now include a powerpoint presentation and i’ll have to be equipped for that too.

  • Peter – Sorry you missed the tour! Some pretty amazing shows. I was able to catch 3, and would happily have checked out a couple more. Yes, plenty of vineyards in the low rolling hills near Hungary + Austria. I spent a lot of time next door in that part of Slovenia and it’s quite nice. Yes, you’ll get a solid start with Coach’s DVDs and books. They’re the best self-study materials in the industry, IMO. And if you find yourself in need of private training, i’m always willing to be flown in to Croatia 😉


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