Why Don’t You Fly

January 21, 2007

Why Don't You Fly?Why Don’t You Fly? Back Door to Beijing – by Bicycle

Reading about Chris Smith’s 13-month, 16,500-mile trip made it clear that only through personal experience can we engage all five of our senses.

At best we can experience some of the sights and sounds of a destination, but, unless we make the effort to go there, we need to rely on others’ descriptions of the accompanying taste, feel and smell.

He left the cosy security of Worcestershire, and traversed scorching deserts, scaled lofty peaks, crossed mighty rivers and risked extinction in the chaotic traffic of the cities.

He ate and drank in roadside cafés in the company of inquisitive lorry drivers and shared dormitories with farm hands and mosquitoes in remote Chinese villages.

He survived bugs, blizzards, cockroaches, heat, hurricanes, sandstorms, cyclones, stone-throwing locals and lunatic drivers.

Sceptical western existentialism encountered religious fatalism in the cafés and teahouses of the Middle East and India during a physical and spiritual journey that constantly raised questions about attitudes and values widely taken for granted in the West.

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