City dweller, successful fella, thought to himself, whoops, I’ve gotta lotta money…
Oops, no, what am I doing… it seems that after typing and so the story begins, I auto-piloted into the opening lyrics of Blur’s Country House.
That’s odd, as I am supposed to be writing the first article of my travel blog, not prattling on about 90s British indie music.
On closer inspection, though, it’s not a complete non sequitur. Until two days ago, I was a city dweller, in London no less. By many modern measures I was rather a successful fella, too – I had a good job, a nice (albeit rented) flat in the leafy ‘burbs, a car, and my feet firmly planted on the conveyor-belt-of-career-and-life-progression. Now, I have none of those things.
Perhaps my saving grace is that the other part of those opening lyrics is also true: I do gotta lotta money. However, it is my absolute intention that precisely one year from now, I will have none. Why would I inflict this on myself?
There is a very simple reason. I want to see the world. The reason I gotta lotta money is that my wife and I have saved intensively for the last five years so that we can.
Maybe one day that conveyor-belt-of-career-and-life-progression will make me happy, but I wasn’t ready for it when I started planning this trip while still in my twenties, and I am still not at 34.
So that leaves me with a rucksack of clothes and camping gear, five years of savings to blow, an open road ahead, an empty camera with which to document it and a wonderful wife with whom to share it.
The great songsmith Harry Chapin once wrote that “you can travel on ten thousand miles and still stay where you are”. I don’t want that to be me. Right now I am standing on the cusp of something I’ve been waiting half my life to do, and it feels numb. Now that I have made it here, I want to make every second count, say yes to every opportunity Danny-Wallace-style, learn as much as I can about the places I go to, and let the whole experience change me.
This blog is going to focus on the stories I discover along the way. There isn’t much else to say right now other than: let the journey begin.