Let me send my sincerest regards to you, wherever you are in quarantine, under lockdown or in any other virus-fighting modality, as long as it’s not the one where you deny reality. The good thing about this time is that everyone has more time to read. And even I, usually on the move quite regularly, am not at all unhappy about the enforced break. Finally, I have more time to write, especially as long as I will still be stuck on this island in the Atlantic.
Even once the travel restrictions will be lifted gradually, we won’t be able to travel around the world carelessly for quite a while. Ohh, wouldn’t it be great to know a globetrotter who can tell exciting, amusing and insightful stories?
Someone writes, the others read. I see an opportunity here. People could come together and stimulate each other. But whether you believe it or not, research and writing, editing and replying to comments, all of that takes a lot of time. Some of you have already rewarded my efforts from time to time, and I am extremely thankful to you. Not only because that sometimes finances a train ticket to Ukraine or the entrance to a museum, but especially because of the recognition. This is very motivating!
As one possibility (among many), I have opened a Patreon page. There, you can support artists and writers with a monthly contribution, which can of course be cancelled at any time. To allow more readers to participate, I have created three moderate tiers:
Somebody is going to say now: “Just go to work, you lazy slacker!” Of course I could carry crates at the harbor or draft lawsuits all day long. But then I wouldn’t have any time to write, because I would be exhausted at night. And there are many people who can handle court cases and crates just as fine as me. In the latter case, many who can do it much better than me, actually. But I am the only one who can write the articles and stories which you have been enjoying on this blog in exactly this way.
And by the way: Writing is serious work, often keeping me up all night.
Other travel bloggers get free flights and stays at hotels and other types of sponsoring. I don’t get anything, because I don’t write any high-gloss crap where everything is great and amazing and the sun always shines.
Instead, I descend into a silver mine in Bolivia with child laborers. Or, with a ration of only two Snickers bars, I test how the human body responds to altitudes above 5,000 meters. I meet the men who reaped enormous profits from the wars in Yugoslavia. I go undercover in the French Foreign Legion.
This is more than a travel blog. Much more.
I mainly try to portray people with whom you probably will never have a longer conversation. Like Sebastian, the homeless gentleman at the train station in Cluj in Romania. Or Immanuel, who walked up to me in the street, asking for a loan (and me being dumb enough to grant him one). Or the Mennonites in Canada, who live like in the 18th century, speaking ancient German.
But I am also frolicking around in other fields, like politics, law and history. I want to assume that most readers have come to my blog for the romantic short stories, but I know that in reality, many of you discovered me while seeking my expertise in German law. In which case, if you have found my advice helpful, I would really appreciate your support. You will rarely get access to a hot-shot lawyer for such a reasonable contribution.
And there is much more where all that came from. Plenty of notebooks have been piling up, impatiently waiting to be published
In exchange for that support, some writers offer a lot of gimmicks, but most readers have told me that you really want one thing: more articles. But if you do want a postcard, please let me know, and I will send you one from the next trip.
And do you know what we creative creatures really crave? When you share our articles on Facebook or on Twitter or through some convoluted Samizdat channels, when you send them to your Representative in Congress or Parliament, when you talk about them at the family dinner. Because we always want more people to read what we create.
Many thanks indeed,