Sidetracked is the coolest adventure magazine around on the web at the minute, in my opinion. If you haven't yet heard of it, then you're in for a fantastic surprise! Each new edition is published monthly (this latest is the ninth,) packed with fantastically written and illustrated stories from around the globe.
I'm delighted that this month, amongst the many other very cool tales of adventure, my own story of trekking from Mongolia to Hong Kong also makes an appearance.
Do check it out by following the link below- I hope you enjoy it, and remember to take some time out of your schedule to read through the rest of the articles!
“It’s not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly…. Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
Let's be frank - good travel writing can change your life.
There's no end to online lists and discussion about what may be the best travel book ever, but this blog post is not intending to wade into that arena. Reading (and talking and thinking about) good travel writing is one of my favourite pastimes.
Some of these works have changed the way I think about the world, others have sent me across the globe. Least Heat Moon inspired me to cycle across America with the warning-come-promise to "be careful going in search of adventure - it's ridiculously easy to find." (2010.)
Rory Stewart convinced me that walking a long way was a jolly good idea when he described how he had "...been walking one afternoon in Scotland and thought: Why don't I just keep going? There was a magic in leaving a line of footprints stretching across Asia" (2011.)
Thesiger sent me to the Empty Quarter in search of "peace in the hardship of desert travel, and the company of desert peoples." (2012.)
I quietly fear what the inevitable impact of Ernest Shackleton's epic tale will be...
The power of words should not be underestimated! Below, in no particular order, are my five favourite (or five of my favourite ) travel books.
Have you read them? What would you put on your list?
1- South - Ernest Shackleton (currently free on Kindle)
2- Arabian Sands - Wilfred Thesiger
3- Blue Highways - William Least Heat Moon
4- A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush - Eric Newby
5 - The Places Inbetween - Rory Stewart
"A cloud gathers, the rain falls, men live; the cloud disperses without rain, and men and animals die. In the deserts of southern Arabia there is no rhythm of the seasons, no rise and fall of sap, but empty wastes where only the changing temperature marks the passage of the year. It is a bitter, desiccated land which knows nothing of gentleness or ease...
No man can live this life and emerge unchanged. He will carry, however faint, the imprint of the desert, the brand which marks the nomad; and he will have within him the yearning to return, weak or insistent according to his nature. For this cruel land can cast a spell which no temperate clime can match."
Wilfred Thesiger - Arabian Sands