Cool Travel People
Just some of the contemporary travellers who have walked, biked, hitched, backpacked, drawn and written their way around the planet, or part of it. Of course, those mentioned here are just a few of the many travellers and adventurers who are out there at this moment trailblazing in their own unique style.
Alastair Humphreys is first and foremost an adventurer. When he left university, he spent four years travelling round the world on a bicycle and has written two books about his adventures 'Thunder And Sunshine' and 'Moods Of Future Joys'.
More recently, he followed the route of a holy river across India by foot, resulting in the book 'There Are Other Rivers'. He also wrote and produced a book called 'Ten Lessons From The Road' packed with photographs and inspirational reading.
He is also a motivational speaker who by design lives an extraordinary life and is always planning his next expedition.
Dan Price is a wandering free-thinking hobo artist from Oregon. As he wanders, he draws the things he sees and adds some of his own philosophies and quotes. He has written 'Moonlight Chronicles', 'How To Make A Journal Of Your Life', 'Radical Simplicity' and 'My Tiny House'. He has ridden a trike through the U.S.A., surfs in Hawaii in the winter and loves the simple life - hiking, camping and being free.
Rolf Potts is a modern day vagabond. He motivates others to live out their dreams and demonstrates from his own experiences how it is possible to travel cheaply for long periods of time. He advocates minimalism and recently did a six week round the world trip without any luggage at all. The only items he took with him were small enough to fit into his pockets. In his book 'Vagabonding' he gives his own perspective of why travel is so worthwhile, shares practical advise and includes quotes from other travellers. You will be packing your bag before you get to the end (if you decide to take one!).
Kinga Freespirit left her native Poland in 1999 with her partner Chopin. They had only six hundred dollars and a one way ticket to New York. They hitched all over the world for five years relying on the kindness of strangers. Kinga was a keen photographer and documented her travels in words and pictures in 'Led By Destiny - Hitchhiking Around The World'. She sadly died in Ghana in 2006 from malaria. She continues to inspire travellers to live the life less ordinary. To quote Kinga "The best things in life are free. The best things in life aren't things".
Chris McCandless was an idealistic young guy with a big dream and whatever your opinion of him
(and he does have his detractors), he has inspired a generation of adventurers. After he graduated, he took off on a journey without telling his parents where he was going. He left his car in the desert and burnt the money that he hadn't already sent to Oxfam. He kayaked down the Colorado River to Mexico, train hopped and hitchhiked through several states. After a couple of years, he headed up to Alaska where he lived in an old abandoned bus in the wilds. He died when he ate some poisonous seeds. Since his death he has become something of a cult figure due to the book and subsequent movie 'Into The Wild'. There has even been a song written about him. He rejected the materialism and shallow values of modern life and found solace in the natural world. He lived the life he wanted to, unrepressed by the expectations of peers and society. It's likely that he experienced more in the few years of his adventures than many people do in a lifetime.
Karl Bushby an ex British paratrooper, started walking around the world back in 1998. He walked through South America, Central America, Mexico, U.S.A. and Canada. In Alaska, he waited for the Bering Strait to freeze over, so he could cross. At the moment, he has come to a halt, as he has been denied a Russian visa. He hopes to resume his walk as soon as the situation can be resolved. From when he is able to start again, it will probably take him another five years to complete the walk. He has pledged not to return to his native UK until he is is finished. He has written a book called 'Giant Steps' about his walk so far. An incredible adventure.
Christina Rivera (otherwise known as 'Solbeam') quit her job and started travelling full time in 2000, and has since been to thirty five countries. She shares her travels and thoughts in her blog solbeam.com. What separates her from the many excellent bloggers out there is her flair for putting into words her philosophy about travel and life in general. Her passion for travel and her appreciation for nature and the spiritual aspects of travel are expressed in a uniquely poetic style and it's impossible not to feel inspired by her amazing writing.
Sam Manicom returned to the UK after backpacking through Europe, India and Australia and decided to learn how to ride a motorbike. Within three months of having learnt the basics, he set off to travel the length of Africa by motorbike. His African sojourn turned into an eight year 200,000 mile journey around the world. In the second year of the trip he met his partner, Birjit in New Zealand, and she joined him on some of his travels. He has written about his motorbiking adventures in four highly entertaining books - 'Into Africa', 'Under Asian Skies', 'Distant Suns' and 'Tortillas and Totems'. A nice guy who has been on some very cool adventures.
Tom Thumb made his way from England to India with a clarinet, a couple of loaves of date bread, a ferry ticket to France and no money at all. He hitchhiked and busked all the way and wrote about his journey in 'Hand To Mouth To India'. Since then, he has travelled to many more places and become something of a guru for alternative travellers. He created 'Road Junky' in 2004, an offbeat travel website. More recently he was responsible for the Road Junky Film Festival in Berlin and the Sahara Oasis, a retreat for travellers to get together to share stories and music in the sand dunes. A traveller with a vision and a some stories to tell.
Laurie Gough is a Canadian travel writer and self confessed dreamer. As a lone woman traveller, she isn't afraid to be intrepid or defy convention. She has hitchhiked thousands of miles, lived in a cave on a Californian beach, under a bamboo shelter on a Greek Island and taught kids in Kashechewan, sub-arctic Canada. Her books 'Kite Strings Of The Southern Cross' and 'Kiss The Sunset Pig' tell of her travels in a lyrical manner which is quirky, reflective and enchanting. She meets many eccentric and fascinating people and captures the essence of the beauty of travel. These days she is married with a son living partly in Canada and partly in San Miguel De Allende in Mexico. She still hits the road every chance she gets. A great traveller and an amazing writer.