My name is Darcy Alexander Shillingford, a 29 year old Canadian, born in Edmonton, raised in Winnipeg, living in Toronto.
I decided to backpack through Southeast Asia for half of 2013. I left in May and returned in November, a very different man from the one who departed six months prior. But I was still figuring out what I wanted to do with my life after having graduated the year before.
For no other reason than pure desire, I decided to venture into novel length science fiction writing. A space opera, to be precise. A bold, worlds-spanning epic with the lives of entire cultures at stake. It’s a lot of fun to read and it was a lot of fun to write. But between writing, editing, and publishing attempts, it was a long and drawn out process, one I didn’t go into with rounded consideration for, particularly the latter portion of it.
While in the midst of seeking representation for myself and the 130,000 word piece I’d created, I also began this blog as my extensive travels remained in the forefront of my mind. I enjoyed my attempt to write science fiction for the same reason I continue to enjoy reading it to this day; I can escape into infinite worlds of wonder and imagination, of adventure and excitement, envisioning it how I choose and adding as much boisterous scale as my mind can fathom. But the feeling I get from re-immersing myself in my past travels, looking at them from new angles, and planning a wide variety of real world future journeys is incomparable to anything I’ve experienced.
I love sharing these adventures with anyone who can take something from them, whether it’s insight into another culture, ideas for your own upcoming travels, or simply a chance to get away for a moment and plunge into a different kind of world, one that’s not so easy to make it out to on a regular basis.
I’m currently not writing science fiction, and who knows, one day I might take the time to go back to it with many new perspectives and ideas in mind. But this is still The Traveling Space Opera. I approach travel literature with the same enthusiasm that drew me to sci-fi in the first place, and I get to live what I share with you, too. To me, there’s nothing more world-spanning and epic than that. I invite each and every one of you to share in these experiences with me!
I’m always on the go, whether travelling across Canada or abroad, and am always generating ideas and content. I’ll be backpacking through The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden in April of 2016, as well as undertaking a month-long Canadian road trip in the summer of 2016. Plans are underway to visit Southern Africa for late 2016/early 2017. For any serious business inquiries, I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. My first published article, a full spread titled Unforgettable Philippines appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press on Saturday, January 30th of 2016.
On a side note, every picture I post on this blog was taken by either myself or my girlfriend Teresa, unless otherwise stated. I don’t filter or edit any photos with the exception of the occasional resizing to allow for uniform feature images. Re-blogging posts is absolutely fine, but if you wish to take specific images and repost them elsewhere, I would appreciate a polite request!
Cheers, and welcome to The Traveling Space Opera!