Although I used to think Michael Palin had the best job in the world, I tend to share more of Anthony Bourdain or A.A. Gill’s witty reportage style: observe curiously, thrown in a pinch of salt.
My geobiography starts in 1995, aboard the polar research vessel Antarctica, in the frozen waters of Van Mijenfjorden, Svalbard. Years later there was a tricky 2,829m ascent to the active peak of Fogo Volcano, in the Cape Verde Islands, and the indescribable euphoria of the summit. Fast forward to an epic road trip along Ruta 44, from the salt flats in the Bolivian borderlands, down Argentina’s deserts and pampa, up Mount Aconcagua, and across the Andes to Chile’s Pacific coast. Or, finally, getting caught in a revolution, and leaving a country just as the airport closed its doors. Papua New Guinea is the one that got away, but it’s up there on my bucket list. It can’t run but it can’t hide.
Every experience teaches you something new. Wherever I am, I watch, I ask questions, and always jog. When you jog in a strange city you think faster. You observe faster. You learn faster. And you get lost.Mark Twain wrote: ‘travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.’ Amen.