I am going travelling. Solo. Unplanned. No time limit.
I’ve got 53 years on my body clock and slightly fewer dark hairs on my head. The rest are salt and pepper (please don’t say grey).
I’ve sold the house, the 4×4, the four poster bed and a lot more (nobody wanted the Swarovski crystals – least of all me). Everything I own is in storage.
I’ve booked a one way ticket to Bali, four nights in a hotel and three in a homestay. And that’s the lot.
There’s a vague idea. South East Asia until the monsoon, then the European summer. Back east after the rains via north Africa.
But it’s essentially unplanned. A series of spontaneous fork-in-the-road decisions lie ahead. What kind of travelling? Simple and basic. Luxury is off limit. I’m aiming to travel cheaply.
It’s an experiment, of sorts. I last backpacked 30 years ago. The intervening years have been marked by easy living and swanky travelling. I aim to discover whether a return to basics is possible and even vaguely desirable. Are homestays, beach huts and hostels a plausible way to travel for a NONY (Not Old, Not Young)? Is spontaneous travel more authentic and exciting?
On this journey I want to get out of life’s straightjacket. Stray way off the beaten track and glimpse ancient and remote cultures.I want to witness the wonder of our planet. For those of you who don’t know me I’m Arthur Penlington. I live in Noosa, Queensland, Australia. I do a little university lecturing and some web writing.
I left the UK in 2005. At the time I was the Senior Editor of the BBC’s 24 hour news channel. I travelled a lot for work covering wars, revolutions, coups and elections. Those journeys were backed by the resources of a major TV corporation. This time I’ll just have an IPad. I was also a lot younger then.
Interested to see if this travel is possible or whether I inevitably dash for the haven of smart hotels and a chocolate on my pillow at night? Please put your address in the Follow Blog By Email box (it’s on the right hand side of this page). You’ll get updates whenever I write them. Don’t worry, you won’t be inundated.