Bradley Schroeder: Free at Last

On the morning of the day I heard the news of your death, this was my Facebook memory: That pic made me smile that morning. It still does. Memories from some special days with good people. Family time. You’d made that your Facebook profile pic until not long before we split 18 months ago. And…

Byzantine choices

Yes, I ‘fess, the tour guide was gorgeous. “Ditch your friend,” he said. “Come meet me tonight.” Ditch Amanda? Are you kidding me? She’s the one I flew to Turkey to see – the 6th country we’ve met up in so far, inveterate travellers as we both are. Haga Sofia was just a by-product of…

This travelling life. And the lord of my dance.

He asked me. That’s how it started. Held out his hand. For that is a man’s role. And I said, ‘Teach me. Teach me, please.’ Allowing him the mentor’s role. The leader’s role. And he lead. And he commanded me: ‘Don’t let go.’ ‘And follow me. Just follow me.’ And I did. I followed. With…

Recalibrations

“Please fasten your seatbelts… Put away your electronic devices…” I’ve already read every word in the inflight mag during my two previous flights this month, so I read my own diary and discover with delight a journal of contentedness, growth and gratitude. (Who knew?) It’s a backward-looking journey to share, because there are lessons there. 24 November 2016, Wattay…

Summertime… And the livin’ is easy…

I’ll admit to some tears. When my brother and I rolled onto that pier at Le Grau-du-Roi, wet cheeks were the furthest thing from my mind. But suddenly they were a reality. As was a huge, fat grin. Because it had all been so much fun. I write now from a bar in Barcelona four…

Beauty & the Beholder

Châteaux and Roman ruins, I have discovered, tend to be on hills. And I, you might be surprised to learn, carry a lot of baggage. The two are not an ideal combination, but the winding road up to Château de Bussy-Rabutin, 8km off my Canal de Bourgogne route, is lined with crumbling stone houses, red-tiled roofs,…

Le Roux Rendezvous

These past days this last week have twisted and turned according to the elastic bonds of family. This morning I rode out of Milly-sur-Foret and the Fontainebleau Forests with a level of lightness and joy gained in no small part through renewed connection to family. I was no longer a solo soul adrift. Backtrack to…

Cartography of Hope

I carry a map in my bag as a talisman against misery. A map on which to plan a physical journey. And it will be very physical: it will be on my bicycle. And that journey is itself a physical manifestation of this other journey that I am replanning. Life is a journey. That metaphor. So…

Santar’s Home

Journeys within Journeys. Two of us on hired motorcycles, up somewhere near Laos’ border with China, with a handwritten note we can’t read. Two of us tootling about on New Year’s Eve, looking for Max’s mom. Seeing a group of women sunning themselves outside a small shop, I stop the bike and head over, bowing slightly…

Orchestrated. Curated. Moderated.

Fooled me. But I’m back at Bassac Lane, that Phnom Penh alleyway I discovered and gushed about on Facebook last night. Perhaps it is the old character motorcycles – all of a look – parked randomly and insouciantly around the neighbourhood… Perhaps the lack of resistance or surprise at my wandering around taking pics of…

Dreams Afloat

This week, on what was a normal schoolnight in the Western world, we lit candles under a full moon and, with thoughts of future, sent scented flower rafts on a downstream Mekong journey. The festival of Ock Pansa, or known regionally as Loi Kratong, takes place on the evening of the full moon of the…

The tide is turned.

Peace is returned. Outside Glass-Half-Empty (thanks, Nancy) Bill Cat sits in his tree and aloofs (thanks, Jonika) me. Inside, all is quiet, the only movement the mozzie-coil smoke that rises languidly to keep the biting hordes at bay. Peace at last. Peace in spirit and heart, and back to enjoying an empty house. Bradley is…