"I suppose I took Kerouac's "On the Road" a bit too" afsime1's Profile

..... seriously!

Although I rate "Dharma Bums" as the better book.

And looking back, literature played a very prominent part in my travels. I can't remember learning to read, but I read loads as a child and stories of far off lands always fascinated me. Then, in my early teens, along came two books that really got to me. The first, the title of which I have forgotten, was about the lost Kingdom of Leh which was about a trip to the Kingdom in Nepal (or is it Tibet or China?) undertaken in the 50s I think. I eventually got to Nepal in 1999 ...

The second was Catcher in the Rye! This captured all my teenage sulleness, angst and confused romantic feelings ( the joys of adolescent malehood) and bear in mind this was the 60s!! It wasn't long before I left home ....

The other major factor was the discovery of hitch-hiking. I did my first thumbing in March 1967 and at one stage, several years down the line, figured I had hitch-hiked the equivilent of going to the moon and back. Travelling became something more ... not a religion, but certainly a way of life, a mentality, a raison d'etre. All the efforts I made were to enable me to travel. The vexing question of what to do when I got there never raised its head until many years later - and that's another story.

The circle got bigger and bigger within the UK and soon I was taking in the outer reaches of Scotland Wales and Ireland as well as roaming through England - sometimes going to a place merely because of its name (Saffron Walden springs to mind). I'm sure more people do this than would care to admit it ...

Anyway ....

George Orwell, then Laurie Lee and "As I Walked out One Midsummer Morning" - what a title!!! I had to walk out one midsummer morning too, except it was January, 1972 and, yes, you guessed it, I took a boat to Spain.

So it was January, 1972 and it was Bilbao ... nothing like I expected, but then I suppose it never is. It was warm and cheap and the police had guns, even the litter was in a foreign language. Everything was cooked in olive oil and the cigarettes were made of black tobacco, I figured out how to ask for two oranges and was given two kilos of oranges .....

Although, strictly speaking, the first foreign country I visited was Ireland in the summer of '71 but somehow I never considered this to be foreign.

Since then, most of Europe, the far east, bits of North America, (mostly Canada), and Australia. The mode of transport has changed a bit over the years - suppose I'm an aging hippy traveller now (aren't they the worst?!) - but still love it!

So now I'll try and link all this lot up to where I've been .......

  • Intro Updated Oct 22, 2004
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Comments (24)

  • meiyergani's Profile Photo
    Feb 29, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    Alastair...have a very nice birthday...wishing you all the best and success... 'suppose I'm an aging hippy traveller now (aren't they the worst?!) - but still love it!'.....nothing to worries, everything is good and okey ....Gani Bogor, Indonesia

  • DaveRowley's Profile Photo
    Jul 17, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    Ay up Al, ows things.....saw you as I was passing through Wolstanton one day...hope you are well Cheers Dave

  • DAO's Profile Photo
    Feb 29, 2008 at 1:10 PM

    Happy Birthday and many happy returns. And Happy Leap Year!

  • Etoile2B's Profile Photo
    Feb 29, 2008 at 9:56 AM

    Happy Birthday Leap Year Baby!

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Feb 29, 2008 at 4:09 AM

    Happy birthday from a sunny South Africa ;-)

  • sayedaburas's Profile Photo
    Feb 28, 2008 at 10:16 PM

    ♫•:*¨`*:•Happy birthday to you♫♫Happy b-day to you♫HAPPY BIRTHDAY to ALASTAIR♫♫Happy b-day to yoou•:*¨`*:•♫ I wish you not only a happy year, but also happier maany returns (~_~)

  • babar_1's Profile Photo
    Feb 28, 2008 at 8:41 PM

    Wish you a very happy Birth Day. I is special as it comes after 4 yours.

  • Bokhari76's Profile Photo
    Feb 28, 2008 at 8:35 PM

    Hi Mr. Alastair. Happy birthday to you. Wish you many happy returns of the day.

  • Suet's Profile Photo
    Feb 14, 2007 at 12:29 PM

    I went to Hotel Balladins... u can try Formule 1 in the Zone Industrielle which is signposted... They are cheap clean and comfy hotels, very basic. I tend to go to a place and sleep. I dont look at the rooms with my eyes closed lol

  • davequ's Profile Photo
    Jan 20, 2006 at 2:35 PM

    Best regards & thanks for stopping by. "Bailiff, whack his pee-pee."

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