ABSTRACT

Over the course of history, man has never stood still. There is something about us that drives us to travel to far-off lands in search of a better deal. From the legendary travelers of the ancient Greeks and Polynesians, through the traveling merchants of the silk route between China and Europe, and on to the Vikings, Muhammad al-Idrisi, Marco Polo and Columbus, human beings have taken it upon themselves to seek out new pastures in a quest for scientific advancement, knowledge, profit and/or power (Obregón, 2001). And this is not just restricted to powerful peoples and those with military strength. A former colleague of mine, Richard Reed, once drove a Land Rover Defender around the planet. Along with friend, Dwyer Rooney, they drove from London to Sydney, taking in 25 countries in 12 months. They converted a second-hand Defender from mode of transport into a combined vehicle + sleeping space + cooking and dining space, crossing Iran during heightened tension around the country’s nuclear plans, weaving through Pakistan during political unrest due to the murder of a local tribal leader, navigating the relentless bureaucracy of China, and journeying into Myanmar at the time of the ruling junta’s house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi. Why did he do it? Let’s ask him:

I was once told that travellers are either running away from something or trying to find something, and it’s probably true. With every exploration it has provided perspective, and no more so than the journey from London to Sydney. In our cramped and un-air-conditioned sweat-box, every day we experienced something new, and depending on your outlook, on your own constitution, it could be utterly breathtaking. You can read or watch the adventures of others, but discovering with your own eyes, drawing your own conclusions from your own 2experience is priceless. On most journeys, paradoxically, you’re discovering yourself: your capacity for constant flux; problem solving; vastly different social and environmental interactions that test your fortitude; and the realisation of how immensely fortunate you are. Even from this paragraph, my mind is transported from my desk in Australia all over the world on previous adventures, and these snippets of life mean more to me than any physical asset I could ever possess 1

Richard Reed (April 2017)