"Travel In Excess ~ 1986 - 2007" Personal Page by travelinxs
From that moment on, life would never be the same again.
So. Why do I travel? I travel because it is who I am. It's what I do. It's no more or less complicated than that. I'm not running 'from' anything. I'm running 'to' everything. There are no spiritual motivations. I'm not trying to find myself, someone else or any resolving states of mind or locales of contentment. It simply induces an all encompassing passion for life in me that is beyond compare. I can't imagine that I will ever stop. Not for anyone or anything. Why would I? I love my life. I have no desire or reason to change it.
I hope the additional travelogues below will give an authentic insight into life on the road. All were taken from journals or emails written at the time.
On falling for the addiction of travel when I was a young, naive teenager I joined a posse of intrepid adventurers and set off from England in a World War Two army truck. Our goal was to cross Europe and the Sahara Desert.
The Day I Died In Marsaille
The journey back from West Africa was not without drama. Or a degree of trauma, either! This short story is told as a later reflection to a friend and was published in a German book on travel stories in 2007.
Two Wheels Across Europe.
On loosing my job at short notice, and with my world seemingly falling apart at the time, I decided to head off on my mountain bike. With only 24 hours of planning and no idea of where I was going, when I cycled out of town I didn't even have a map!
Some thought Id finally lost it completely when I set off to trek to Everest Base Camp, Nepal, on my own. I wanted to follow the original pioneers route so began from a village called Jiri. The trek in and out took around 30 days.
Welcome To India
A journey through India, from the gentle ambiance of Kerela to the fraught spiritualism of Varanasi and much in between. The challenge here is simply 'survival' !
In Search Of Annapurna Sanctuary
Returning to Nepal this follows the ten-day trek to try and reach Annapurna Sanctuary Base Camp, at the very start of the trekking season with heavy snows still on the ground.
Beyond The Ho Chi Min Trail
After a brief stop in Hong Kong a journey into the hedonistic nights of Thailand, through the haunting Killing Fields of Cambodia to witnessing a horrific murder in Vietnam.
The Sleeping Dragon
A month travelling along south west China in Yunnan Province, one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Expedition: Jeepney World
The ultimate trans-Asian road trip, driving a beautifully decorated Philippino 'Jeepney' from Vietnam back to Europe.
Who Let The Dogs Out?
A nightmare return to Thailand spent mostly in hospital with a short visit to Perth, Australia.
Into South America
The first chapter of the South American adventure, through Chile, Argentina and Bolivia.
Lessons In Being Latin
The second chapter of the South American saga takes us through Peru, Ecuador, Columbia to Venezuela.
Chapter 1 in the 'Cairo to Cape Town' adventure starts with a stop-over in France before starting the journey proper in Egypt and crossing the Sahara Desert in Sudan.
Life Begins Again
Chapter 2 takes us all over Ethiopia on what had started out as a three week visit but turned into a two month journey. One of the most fascinating countries on earth.
Into The Heart Of Darkness
Chapter 3 takes us through Kenya and some 'wild' times in Uganda before venturing into the heart of Africa; Congo and Rwanda.
Chapter 4 starts with a rather chilled out time on Zanzibar before moving on through Malawi and a journey by 4WD through Namibia, Zambia and Botswana before the final days in South Africa.
Life as an Arabic student in Sana'a, the capital of Yemen and an introduction to the mysterious world of Arabia.
Journeys In Felix Arabia
Independant travel in Yemen is not without it's challenges but the rewards are extraordinary and often unexpected in this country, the 'Happy Arabia'.
...still to come;
Six months living and causing caos in Israel, Christmas in beautiful Jerusalem, how I got into a fight with a soldier which landed me in hospital on New Years Eve and other tales of misfortune!
Israel and Jordan.
.. again. A short visit not without its entertainment. I still feel guilty about laughing when she electrocuted herself..
A month in Mexico including the stunning Copper Canyon Railway, the deserted beaches of Acapulco off-season and more.
The night-climb of a holy mountain, the elephant orphanage, beautiful beaches, bewitching monuments and stunning scenary go to make Sri Lanka one of the great travel destinations of the world.
Six weeks backpacking around Egypt including one of the first visitors to Siwa Oasis after the road was completed.
Hichhiking around Ireland, the girl's body in the river and swimming with a wild dolphin during a storm.
Seeing what living in Finland would be like and why I chose not too... !
- Spain (Baleric Islands)
- Ireland (south & west)
- Ireland (south & west)
- Greece (Crete)
- Ireland (Dublin)
- Ireland (Dublin)
- USA (Arizona)
- Sri Lanka
- Hong Kong
- South Africa
'...someone recently asked me in an email if I would settle down after this trip. How can I answer that? What answer is expected? Sadly, a negative stigma is still so often attached to travel and it has become apparent that I have unintentialy made it my vocation to make it more sociably acceptable.
It is all too quickly assumed that as a traveller you are directionless and disorientated and leading a life without purpose. Drifting. More often even running.
But running from or running to?
I was brought up with the notion that if you wanted to reap the best out of life, you had to go out and find it for yourself, for it was never going to come to you. And that is what I do.
To try and describe the passion for life I experience through travel, with my pitiful vocabulary and inadequate writing skills, borders on pointless. But I envisage returning home and hanging up my trekking boots and stuffing my backpack into a darkened corner of the attic (if I had one) and instantly I am rendered an enigma; a ghostly existence unsubstantiated and lacking reason. Then I become directionless. Then I begin to drift. The passion will weaken and my new hobby of building on a collection of regrets will dominate all compensation.
It is my belief that if a person is so fortunate as to discover a passion for life in any context of their world, they should endeavour to nurture that passion. Let it grow. Encourage its roots to spread beyond limiting social boundaries audaciously imposed upon them by others. Live it. Breathe it. Embrace it and never let go.
A passion for life.
Cannot that be our ultimate goal? Cannot that be our greatest achievement? Need there be further justification? Show me one objective that supersedes attaining a passion for life and perhaps, just maybe, I'll consider changing who I am...'
China / Kazakhstan border
06 June 2004
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