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Why Do I Explore? Adventure!

I like exciting, unusual things. If they are spiced with risk then so much the better. I’m no daredevil or adrenaline junky. But I relish activities that scare me a little and call for enterprise and enthusiasm. A call to adventure.

If I go somewhere I have never been, step out of my comfort zone and have little idea what tomorrow will bring, then I am going to have an adventure. When normal life starts to feel a little bit, well, normal, an adventure is called for.

Life’s not all work. It’s not all seriousness and planning for pensions. “I won’t have it,” declared Annie Dillard. “The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright. We are making hay when we should be making whoopee.” There is a time for simple fun. And foreign travel is what many people dream of doing when they retire or win the lottery.

I chose not to wait for retirement or a windfall before seeking adventure. I didn’t let a lack of money stop me. I just worked out how to travel cheap. In order to enjoy long trips overseas I’ve learned how to sleep wild, saving on accommodation costs. I walk so there are no travel costs. I eat the cheapest food. My walk across India cost just £500, of which £300 was the plane ticket.

I am travelling, amongst everything else, in search of fun and the warm glow of the sun on my face. (Though come midday I will be sweating and cursing it). I am slurping on mangoes and joining in village cricket matches. It is a lot of fun.

Going to beautiful places I have never been before is fun. When people ask, “Why do I travel?” there’s no simpler and more honest answer than that.

This text is an extract from There Are Other Rivers, available as a giant mappazine or a free Kindle sample.

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  1. Al, just came across this quote in Seth Godin’s Domino Project and thought I would pass it on in case you hadn’t seen it. Keep up the good work, Matt.

    Adventure comes with no guarantees or promises. Risk and reward are conjoined twinsand that’s why my favorite piece of advice needs translation but no disclaimers: Fortuna fortes adjuvat. ‘Fortune favors
    the brave’. In other words, there are many good reasons not to toss your life up in the air and see where it lands. Just don’t let fear be one of them.
    Mary South



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