Where do I begin?
Hi my name is Conor, I am currently a postgraduate student at the University of Limerick. While I don’t want to just write a boring bio- I do feel the need to introduce myself and set down what I’m all about honestly in plain text. I am born and raised in Limerick, Ireland and I’ve done my best to explore here and further afield in an effort to enrich my life. I guess I should probably mention Spain quite early on as it has been a continual source of inspiration for me, and place of adventure since about the year 2000.I have been lucky enough to spend a few summers there in the Valencian region, and visit this and other parts of Spain at other times of year at any point where I can afford to. I used to get up early and cycle for hours either up in the mountains or down by dried up river beds: always craving to find what would be around the next corner or off the other direction off the beaten track. I am a naturally inquisitive soul, happiest when I’m learning something new or finding new places. I am an amateur photographer and artist, though I haven’t persued these avenues professionally I do find them very much rewarding pastimes. In 2013 I lived in Girona, Spain for Spring and Summer before heading to Sweden for Autumn and Winter. I returned to live in Ireland in February 2014, just as my finance dwindled, to complete my degree. Still here now, and my Arts degree has at least helped me to develop some sort of an outlook on life… To be free,to be free, to be free, I’m on my way.
Phonician ruins that I saw near Torrevieja, Spain. And a view across valleys
“W1ld3rcard” began as the username that I adopted for my Instagram account in 2015, around high summer if I recall correctly. At the time I was spending any bit of free time that I had off exploring the surrounding countryside looking for Castles or any interesting ruins that I could find. I had been working from home for Apple at the time, in a Customer Care and Tech. Support role and just completing my Final year of college and my thesis which meant that I was spending far too much time on screens and needed a break in the fresh air away from home. The result of this longing was a sudden push to reach new places after work, and see the sun setting from some lonely castle walls somewhere. For a while this was my favorite pastime, and it was intensely productive. I got something like 6000 photos out of it, probably more. I’m not even able to put a figure on the amount of ruins that I visited.
It began with some internet research on places to go in the area, and well known ruins in the surrounding areas but after a few weeks I exhausted the resources that I started with and started having to go further and further afield and get more creative finding spots. I began buying Ordinance Survey maps and seeing what I could find on them. This lead to quite a few adventures off the beaten track, some of which resulted in finding amazing spots… Others saw nothing other than a field where there might have been something once… I started searching for local knowledge and looking at Google Earth in my spare time, trying to identify places of interest. A lot of fun was had, and I found a few companions- some fleeting- to accompany me on my adventures.
I started documenting this through photos: the ones taken on my iPod going up on my @w1ld3rcard Instagram #xplorn. This hobby snowballed until it pretty much became my life right up until September or October as the light started to go and then it just sort of petered off… But that’s just for winter, I’m currently starting to prepare for another run at it 😉
I guess I had to devote a it of time to real life again, which I had been neglecting for months after my contract ended with Apple. My last great summer was finally ending and there I was, broke as a joke. So yeah, real life got in the way. I started my masters back in UL and tried to spend as much time continuing in the line of Summer but I had less and less time. I was lucky enough to get a few trips in the meantime, but a lot less photos for a couple of reasons a)I don’t have a computer good enough to do much with the photos I have, b) dropped my iPod and broke my phone so I could take less spontaneous photos, and c) it was dark earlier and night photos just ain’t clear enough. But I always meant to start documenting my adventures. I’m just surprised that it has taken so long.
The truth is that this actually started long before 2015, I just wasn’t clear on what I was doing. “Not all who wander are lost” is a great quote, and for years I have been wandering. And I intend on doing so for many more years. I got a good adventure in with my father earlier this month when we went to Spain and explored an isolated and abandoned series of fortifications between Cartegena and Almeria- planning on putting up some photos and writing a bit on it as soon as technology allows. Gonna showcase a bit of the photos taken over summer too
Watch this space…
Just thought I’d end with some fly by pics 😉