Still not convinced? Although I can see you like the wine/beer/tea idea (delete as applicable). Well, I may be ordinary, but this world is truly remarkable. There are erupting volcanos, deep water-filled canyons, ancient cities in the clouds, pyramids made of sand, the most beautiful mausoleum in the world with the saddest of stories, friendly cheetahs, cities that rise up from the desert, 15 pence glasses of beer, comedic elephants, vulture assassins, a pink city, mind-bending tea, sumptuous palaces, seven continents, over 200 countries, 6,500 languages and billions of wonderful people. So read it for the sake of this remarkable world that we live in, because that is what this book is all about.
The following seven diaries are from little trips in this extraordinary world. The journeys were fitted in over the years, between work, family commitments, lack of money, concerns about safety and in between all major international football championships. They take me from blundering backpacker wondering what travelling is all about, to being bitten by the travelling bug, to thinking that this travelling malarkey is the best thing in the world, to think I might visit all the continents and then on to the final diary.
The final diary is different. I’m unsure whether to tell you about the last diary or keep it shrouded in mystery. As the final diary is what makes this travel book different, then I think I’ll explain ….. my travelling days seemed numbered and my diary writing had petered out. I think the condition that caused this is known as ‘becoming a dad’ (side effects include lack of sleep, lack of spare time, lack of money and, despite all these, an irrational sense of joy). When my little boy was 18 months old, he was struck down with meningitis and his life hung in the balance. At a point where we were plunging to the depths of despair, a nurse presented us with a diary. They said we should write in it to come to terms with what was happening. The irony was not lost on me. Indeed, it was like an old friend coming to support me in my time of need. So the last diary is an emotional rollercoaster including a hairy male bridesmaid, a beautiful Indian princess, a hijab-wearing eye-poking lady of inspiration, a four-year-old adviser to the gods, tears, heroes, lucky pants, Napoleon, lots of tea and a guest appearance from the eighties pop siren Belinda Carlisle.
The diaries are set out in chronological order, but in the name of travel freedom, you are welcome to read them in whatever order you fancy. Europe, India, Australia, Peru, Namibia, Mexico or the land of PICU – you can stick to the natural path or choose your own route through the book. We have a lot of ground to cover, so we better head off to ……………………….