We live in scary times. The news scares us and our governments travel advice confirms that we were right to be scared. There are suicide bombings and floods, kidnappings and tsunamis, muggings and volcanoes. If we believed everything we read then fear would hold us hostage in our beds.
Fear is the thief of dreams.
Fear, especially fear of the unknown is completely natural and yet weve survived as a species and theres always been some amongst us who have craved to see whats beyond that next hill. Weve colonised the four corners of the earth, weve been to the highest and lowest points of the globe, weve ventured across vast icy wastelands in order to set foot on imaginary spots at the north and south poles; weve put men on the moon and yet we still have this fear of the unknown.
This fear drives us to follow others to tick off lists of must dos and sees; it leads us down the beaten path and deprives us of real adventures. Real adventures that could open your eyes to a new world, allow you to sculpt a new life, reveal a new you.
The Life of a Traveller
Youre born between 1978 and 1990.
Youre 17; its your first trip away without your parents, and you head off with your mates in the summer to somewhere hot with cheap booze and massive nightclubs.
Youre 18; the world is your oyster, youve finished school and youre having a gap year. You fly to Thailand, Australia and New Zealand, bump into someone from your home town and talk about what a small world it is.
Youre 21; youre a proper grown up now, youve finished university, you have your own ideas and views on the world and you jet off to South America for a three month post university/pre work final blast.
Youre 27; youve worked for 6 years and seem to be going nowhere. Your job isnt what you want it to be and you feel that at 27 you should have seen more. You take a month long sabbatical fly to India and lie on beaches/fly to South East Asia and volunteer in a community based project/fly to Africa (and by Africa read Kenya or South Africa) and go on a safari which you find anticlimactic after seeing your hundredth gazelle happily grazing and not being savaged by lions who are idly sleeping nearby.
You`re 31; you start taking city breaks and exploring the old world.
You`re 45; youre on your tenth kids holiday to Water World/Disney World/Adventure World.
You`re 60; the kids have left home and you fly out for a weeks organised tour of Egypt/Israel/Jordan/Turkey/Italy.
You`re 75; you suddenly feel the need to spend huge amounts of time travelling with other elderly people on buses doing bus tours run by short, chubby, camp men.
You`ve lived a full life. Youve seen many interesting things. Youve got stories to tell your grandkids. Youve enjoyed yourself. Whats the problem?
Nothing, and thats the problem. Youve faded away; youve missed the opportunity to burn out. Youve sidestepped the hazards and said no to danger. Youve not opened Pandoras Box and have lived a happy life as a result.
Is this all the world has to offer though?
Curious to read more, you can read part 2 here.
More on this Guest Blogger
Dan Martin cycled from London to Cape Town via the Middle East & the east coast of Africa in 2005-2006 and from Korea to Cape Town via the Axis of Evil and the west coast of Africa in 2007-2008. He is currently training for the Global Triathlon-a 3500mile swim from New York to France, an 8000mile cycle from France to Fairbanks, Alaska and a 5500mile run from Fairbanks to New York. Check out his website and follow him on twitter @danielmartinadv.