Tag

COVID-19

Palace walk with lockdown blues

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I took a long walk through the neighbourhood again, partly out of a desire for new sights in a year of lockdown drudgery, and partly as an antidote to irritability caused by too little sleep and too much noise. The long curving low rises of my neighbourhood gave way to a small collection of German and Croatian restaurants, a few pharmacies, an optometrist, and small shops, and then the brick...

Why worry about things you can’t control?

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My last blog on conspiracy theories sparked an interesting discussion on Facebook. My friend Nathan pointed out that I failed to draw a clear distinction between all too real large scale actions perpetrated by governments and the sort of “Lobby of the Unhinged” conspiracy theories I was talking about. In practical terms, that difference doesn’t matter very much to me. I’ll tell you why — and what...

What do you think of the ‘deep state’?

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A friend asked me this week, “What do you think of the ‘deep state’? The short answer is, “I try not to.” Mostly because it has no meaningful impact on my life. ‘Deep state’ is the idea that some sort of shadow government made up of rich, powerful actors wields power, either within or behind the legitimately elected government. The Bilderberg Group, the Illuminati, the Freemasons, the CIA and the...

Planet of the Humans

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Let’s talk about Planet of the Humans, the controversial new documentary produced by Michael Moore. I figure we might as well talk about something, since travel’s off the cards for the foreseeable future. Rather than vanish into sedentary obscurity, I decided to use the blog to write about whatever crosses my desk: current reading, current events, the distant past, or the afterglow of an...

Will travel writing survive COVID-19?

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The future looks bleak for travel writing — at least, for the highly commercialized side — but I don’t think this is true for travel literature. They aren’t the same thing. What’s on the ropes? Most commercial travel writing exists symbiotically with the tourism industry, living off press junkets, review writing and advertising. It’s designed to sell a product or a destination. This side of...

A recluse’s guide to self-isolation

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How are you coping with being jailed at home? I could do this self-isolation thing for months. It doesn’t bother me at all. Okay, at this time of year I’m missing the biergarten. There’s nothing like a cold draft on a hot summer day after a weekend bike ride. But nothing else has changed for me, apart from not being able to travel and the gym being closed. I realize that’s not the case for normal...

I’m not optimistic about our current situation

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I’m not optimistic about our current situation. I think this pandemic marks a historical turning point, one we were already moving towards but which is now accelerating. We talked about this in previous blogs on the future of the European Union, the future of travel, and other post-pandemic changes. The past five or six years has felt like inhabiting a world that fell off the rails. The rise of...

What happens to travel after COVID-19?

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In recent blogs, we’ve talked about the future of the European Union, and other changes we might see in the wake of the Great Pandemic. In this instalment, I’d like to bring things closer to home and talk about the future of travel. The entire travel and tourism industry took a massive blow, and some of it is very unlikely to recover. But will we stop traveling after COVID-19? What if there isn’t...

Loss and change in a post-pandemic world

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In my last blog, we talked about what the future of the European Union might look like in a post-pandemic world. I’d like to add a few more random predictions as we pull back the lens to consider the globe. In short, I think we’ll see a move towards de-globalization, where items deemed essential are manufactured ‘on shore’ rather than pieced together from parts sourced in China and other regions...

Will COVID-19 Break the European Union?

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In a previous blog, I promised to share my thoughts on the post-pandemic future of Europe, in particular for North American readers who may not be following developments on this side of the Atlantic. Travel’s off limits for the next several months, so we might as well talk about something. Here’s what it looks like to me as an outsider, and a long term resident and traveler. The Maastricht...

Ryan Murdock

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

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