I’ve not done too bad with regards to online trolls over the years. Bearing in mind I’ve been known to post some controversial content and I’m certainly not one to hold back on giving my opinion.
Why I no longer check in and geotag my whereabouts
I got a ton of backlash from the people of Kashmir after posting about my experience in Srinagar, and a few emails calling me egotistical, a fame seeker, and only being after a book deal when I posted about my plan to walk across India, which I found highly amusing.
I could think of a number of easier ways to get a book deal.
I found a post by a nameless and faceless account on my Facebook page which stated that I was fooling everyone because it wasn’t possible to walk the distance I had, in the time it’s taken me.
Firstly, if it had come from a proper profile with real name and profile pic I would have happily replied. But, as it wasn’t, I didn’t. I simply deleted the comment and blocked the account - my page, my rules and there’s no room for any negative shit.
No man or troll will speak in vain of the King lol
I don’t have the time, nor desire, to argue with a faceless keyboard warrior. However, I do want to explain why my social media isn't always in real time and why I’ve not been checking in and geotagging my constant whereabouts.
When will I be famous?
I started off checking in on all my social media. For the first few weeks of starting my journey, I have to say, I was enjoying the attention, short lived fame and notoriety that was coming with it. But, I soon realised it also came with unwanted attention. A few incidents occurred which soon made me rethink my plans.
My personal safety
Most of you that follow my journey will be aware that I was robbed a few weeks into the trip. Phone, camera, money and other equipment was taken. I’m not a small guy nor am I easily intimidated. But when you have several guys clearly off their heads on drugs, tooled up with knives, in the early hours of the morning and in the middle of nowhere. I was just happy to escape unharmed, albeit with my pride dented.
I was more pissed of at the police that were called to assist with the situation, who ended up scamming me and robbing me of more money and I suspect some that aforementioned equipment. They caught one of the guys, and allegedly only got a fraction of my money and equipment back. Yet, when I persisted about pressing charges, miraculously more money turned up along with a few more items of my stolen stuff. But, no matter how hard I pressed, not all of it!
I’m also a little wary as I’ve had groups of guys, who I’ve met along the way, turn up at my guest house, and door of my room, pissed out their heads wanting to party. Seemingly sound blokes when we met during the day, have became quite agitated when I declined alcohol and drugs at 1am in the morning. Choosing much needed sleep to heal my aching body.
Other unwanted guests have shown up after seeing me check in on social media. I guess there’s not a lot of skinhead white dudes, with tattoos up their arms, in remote villages in India.
Not to mention the fluorescent pink and orange sports tops my girlfriend insisted on me taking on the trip.
I’ve even had a bunch of guys turn up pretending to be reporters from the local newspaper and news channel. I spent some of my down time with them, giving interviews, for it to materialise that they were in fact, just wasting my time. They clearly enjoy my chat!
I’ve also had my room ransacked twice. One of which, was whilst I was having breakfast right there in the guest house. Both times, someone got access without breaking the lock. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. But it’s just another reason why I stopped telling people at the guest houses and other places I’m staying at what I was doing and where I was going.
The same goes for people who stop to offer me lifts along the way. After several incidents, sadly I now choose to simply keep my earphones in and wave on anyone who stops to ask questions or offer me a lift.
I’ve become a little antisocial, keeping myself to myself, for my own sanity and safety.
It’s not the way I had envisaged my journey, but it seems it’s sadly a sign of the times.
So that’s some of the reasons why I don’t physically broadcast my exact location.
At times, I’ve also been without network coverage, phone, and to be honest I simply cannot be arsed. And, I’ll let you into a secret...I also schedule most of my posts on social media.
My personal challenge
My target has always been to walk a marathon a day, circa 26 miles / 42 km and set an exact finish date. I wanted to state that and outline it clearly on my website, because this challenge for me was always about ability, endurance and testing myself.
But advice from others was to not publish that, as I’d be putting myself under a lot of pressure and a challenge, such as this, could throw up a lot of obstacles. Which turned out to be sound advice. Because, even at this stage there’s no way I will achieve my original target date of August 15th.
And lastly, I’ve documented and recorded my whole journey along the way for a documentary. I’ve got hours upon hours of video content that I had planned on uploading to YouTube as I travelled across the country. I quickly realised that wasn’t going to be possible due to not being able to edit the footage along the way and the time it takes to upload the files. So you will have to wait for my return to the UK to see my YouTube debut.
I guess, with any good endeavour, I should expect some negativity and trolling. But, I’m not going to lie, it pissed me off. I’ve been busting my bollocks off over the last three months and I’ve wanted to pack it in so many times, but I’ve persisted. I’ve not given up, even when so many people have told me to, so many obstacles have been in my way. I’ve not listened, I’ve marched on with vengeance.
Maybe I’ve overreacted to such a trivial comment by a faceless troll, but it touched a nerve and I wanted to clear the matter up.
I appreciate everyone’s support and words of encouragement that have helped me along my journey. You do keep me going in tough times. And, I don’t want to seem ungrateful for the attention I’ve had along the way. It’s just I need to focus and do whatever I need to keep going, because if all goes according to plan, I’m targeting a finish around mid September.