Its 23rd July 2018 and I’m just back from a beautiful week in Ireland with my wife and brother in law. My thoughts shoot from what a great idea this is, to what the hell am I doing!!
One minute I see myself eating with and chatting to locals in some far off region and in another being robbed at gunpoint and left naked in a ditch somewhere. How do I balance these contrasting thoughts. Well in 13 years back packing I’ve never been robbed or even had a moment of real fear. I think people either trust others or they don’t, fear plays a big part of that emotion. My life experiences tell me remain calm, smile a lot and that there are many more good people in the world than bad. With a bit of common sense and an interest in other people you can sort out most issues that arise when you travel the way I do. Being relaxed and polite is a large part of the negotiations that can arise.
Then however I think, ” but I’ve never had a car with me before” and indeed that brings lots of new challenges to my way of travel. Whats the alternative? Stay at home, or go somewhere safe where nothing can happen? Something can happen anywhere, indeed in my local area crime seems to be going through the roof, or I could be run over by a local bus or simply have a heart attack and its all finished. Life is too short and I’m only getting older, so go for it now, whilst you can. It’s impossible? Really, how do you know if you don’t try! Just think of the fun times and the adventures and new people you can meet on route.
How many people get such an opportunity? How many people let the opportunity go because it might be difficult or a bit scary or go wrong? If it goes wrong then I can carry on another way or fly back home, at least I will have tried. If it goes really wrong then I have nothing to worry about it, I’ll either be dead or have to rely completely on other people. Then I think about Julia Albu the amazing 81 year old lady I met in Ethiopia driving her 20 year old Toyota with 230,000 km on the clock from Cape Town to London and is now driving it back to Cape Town. I wish her another safe and amazing journey. She has been the inspiration for my idea and I am full of respect for her attitude to life, especially her strength and determination. Who would have ever guessed that a chance 15 or 25 minute meeting in Ethiopia would have bred such an idea! Julia is now a superstar across the globe.
However one big problem I have at the moment is getting my car from Europe to Egypt. There doesn’t appear to be any shipping in that direction. The only one I can find is from Bristol in England to Alexandria Egypt which rather defeats my plan to drive through Europe. Common sense tells me Europe should be my first test. If the car manages that then Africa is a must so I’m currently making enquiries with a number of sources for alternatives but its not looking good.