“I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news”
― John Muir
Why is it that we journey? What is it that makes us move away from the comfort of our ordinary existence – our nine to five jobs, our hot water and clean clothes and the comfortable social interactions that we share with friends over beers on a Friday night? Many have attempted to answer this question through their own personal liaisons with adventure and the unknown, and have communicated their experiences through literary and verbal efforts, through poetry and philosophy. Combining all these works, all these fantastic words and thoughts and ideas paints a truth, I think, which is very simplistic in nature (if a bit cliché). We are each with our own reasons for journeying. And for me, I journey, as Muir once wrote, to ‘break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news’.
Solo journey, in particular, holds a pretty special place in my heart. Having the freedom to decide without discussion when and where to stop, where to go and what pace to keep, provides a freedom incomparable to anything that I have experienced before. Further, having to contend with the reality that all navigation, along with any fuck-ups, falls on your shoulders alone, introduces a different and perhaps more serious element to adventuring that I have become quite attracted to. Even with the greatest friends I feel that most humans have to restrain parts of themselves. Out there, with naught to judge us but the unassuming wildlife we might encounter or the companion animals that may be traveling with us, we can concentrate more completely on the important things in life, such as the smell of the eucalyptus forest and desert rainfall or the sound of birds in the morning. We can allow ourselves to be captivated entirely by the beauty of a good view and to mediate on deeper thoughts and ideas that are so often obstructed by the busyness of human interaction.
It is, however, nice to reflect on these experiences and I have discovered that calling up a friend to reminisce about a trip they never went on doesn’t have the same effect as recounting a shared adventure. I have thus decided to use a blog to recount (and keep a record of) some of these journeys and use it to share photos and opinions. After receiving a lot of mail concerning my horse trek to Mongolia and the general logistics/planning of such a trip, I have also decided to do a post/s on how to organise an unguided horse trek in Mongolia. So, expect posts on recent and past trips, opinion pieces and perhaps even a few how-tos.