A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of listening to Levison Wood describe his 4,000 mile journey along the river Nile through the Dallas Museum of Art’s lecture series called Arts & Letters Live. I have always been fascinated with adventure travel books, especially if they involve walking. In fact, there is a running joke in my home that whenever I’m reading, cc asks me, “are they still walking?” What can I say? I’m fond of it.
In his lecture, Wood described exactly why I like this sort of adventure. When you walk, you become a part of the landscape and the people. There is no separation between you and what is in front of you. You have to pay attention. It’s slow, it’s engaging, and sometimes, it’s dangerous. Wood took me to central Africa on this trip, and just by reading his book there a great deal of things I learned. I was inspired.
His adventure made me remember my own dreams of a walking trip. I’ve wanted to walk the Appalachian Trail. After reading Cheryl Strayed’s book, Wild, I wanted to walk the Pacific Crest Trail. I’ve had a dream to walk across America, as well as hike/mountaineer the highest peaks on all the continents. Seven Summits being my guide for a point in my life.
Wood’s lesson on adventure? Just be willing to take the adventure in the first place. The overwhelm and the fear is all in the planning. “After you get through that, it really is the simple task of walking the 4,000 miles.”
Our mini trip to the gulf beach last week wasn’t the sort of travel I’ve dreamt about, but it certainly opened my eyes to get past thinking about it and start doing. As soon as I got back I started planning our first camping and hiking trip with P this spring. The first of many I hope. After all, it’s as simple as walking 4,000 miles.
Do you have any adventure dreams? I would love to hear about them.