As the world grows ever smaller and we have so much modern ‘kit’ to keep us safe and in touch with those at home, is it possible to consider what many people consider to be ‘travelling’, an adventure at all? Obviously, a package holiday to Kavos with your booze-guzzling mates is not in any way comparable to Livingston’s travels in darkest Africa, although apparently there’s certain STD’s there, possibly deadlier than anything a mosquito might have carried as he searched for the source of the Nile 130 years ago!
Reaching the North Pole seems to have become as much a rite of passage for adventurous young men as reading ‘On the Road’ once was, particularly if you’re doing it for charity and attend public school.
Laos has become the ‘new’ Cambodia, which in turn took over from Thailand when that had long since ceased to be the cheap, beach/dysentery destination for hippies in the 70’s, then gap-year students clutching their copy of The Lonely Planet, before finally being ‘discovered’ by people who’d read The Beach.
We have Z-list celebrities eating insect shit in the ‘jungle’ for a paycheque in a sad, last-ditch attempt to resurrect a career that’d faded into obscurity roughly at the same time people stopped wearing their best clothes to travel in( late 70’s? )
Just like the Smartphone’s with which we take ‘selfies’ as we stand, grinning outside the Taj-Mahal, dosed up on decent hash and Imodium, the world’s got smaller.
I’ve been asked to briefly write about what I consider ‘essential’ to pack when leaving the comfort of my own Wi-Fi supply and head out into the big, (but not as big as it once seemed) bad world and go looking for adventure. So in the spirit of the Steppenwolf song I now have ‘running’ in my head annoying me, I suggest this.
Take nothing, except whatever comes your way.
Yes, of course take your fucking passport and some money so you don’t starve, but if you want a real adventure…leave the rest behind.
Ok, take your Smartphone and send photographic evidence that my advice has helped give you something to remember the rest of your life.
Enter the competition on Twitter via #openroadessentials you might win £1000, which is a lot of money when you’re starving to death in some mosquito-infested hell hole somewhere in the Amazon Basin..good luck.
Ps. Take out travel insurance to!