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“Every man has a retirement picture in which he does those things he never had time to do – makes the journeys, reads the neglected books he always pretended to have read.” – John Steinbeck

I like doing exciting, unusual things, particularly if they are thousands of miles from home and laced with an element of risk. The call to adventure is hard to ignore. And life is not all work. It’s not all Nietzsche and granola, penance and planning for retirement.

“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.”

I want fun and joy and laughter in my life. Many people dream of travelling the world when they retire or win the lottery. My trip is inspired by similar motives to people who sign up for the retirement cruise of a lifetime. It is just a lot cheaper than a cruise. I want good food and the warm glow of the sun on my face. I want to visit beautiful places, see shooting stars on warm evenings and forget about life for a while. These are the joyful times. The good times.

There is nothing complicated to this: travelling the world and living adventurously is a lot of fun. When people ask, “why do you do this?” there is no simpler or more honest answer.

This is an extract from my book There Are Other Rivers. I’ll post the next chapter here at the same time tomorrow evening. 

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