Fresh out of university, Alastair Humphreys set out on a journey to cycle around the world. Armed with no more than £7,000 of saved student loans, he hit the road and spent four years on his journey. This book is the first part of his journey and follows him all the way from Yorkshire and into Africa. It involves big decisions as the Twin Towers fall during his approach to the Middle East and all his planning goes out of the window. Turning right, he heads into the unknown, Africa.
This book offers the highs and lows of a solo journey into the world and far from home. At the start, Alastair was cycling through tears of sadness and feeling lost in the world. As the journey continues, the story because more and more fascinating. Not only is this a hugely commendable achievement both physically and mentally, but it is also an inspiring read. It is a tribute to how far the human spirit can be pushed.
Alastair demonstrates a zest for life, courage, and enthusiasm beyond measure in this wonderful adventure. He demonstrates that with a little (iron) willpower, anything is possible. His journey details his interactions with ordinary people all along the way, although his journey is anything except ordinary. This truly is a remarkable book and a great inspiration for all aspiring adventurers who think that one needs big sponsorships or financial backing to undertake large adventures.
Notable Ideas Within the Book
Choosing not to, “choose a big television, choose fixed interest mortgage repayments, choose a starter home, choose sitting on the couch watching mind-numbing, spirit crushing, game shows.”
Whether it is worse to be whipped, flogged, and dissected, or to remain in one place, doing nothing.
To have no possessions, no appointments, no mortgage; nothing but everything one could possibly want.
Inexperienced youth, when alone in the world, is first charmed by adventure and pride before experiencing the disturbing realisation of fear.
Not to make important decision when tired, hungry, lonely, frightened, ill, or at night.
To forget and smile is better than to remember and be sad.
Try. Even if you cannot succeed.
The world, rather than a selfish and unfriendly place, is in fact a great collection of individuals.
Countries that include the name democratic in their title, generally, are not.
One does not learn about a people by observing it’s leaders.
Life in England is too easy.
The more acute an experience, the less articulate the expression.
People can only be happy if they allow themselves to be.
This is one of the most inspiring journeys that I have ever encountered. It is not simply the journey that inspires, but the whole experience and commitment in it’s entirety. I am grateful for the kind recommendation from a friend who suggested that I take the time to read this book. It has truly made a difference in my personal thinking about what is and what is not possible.