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…

Free to Wander

A night in a ryokan. My last in Japan. And all the magic was there quietly in that room. I’d booked this place for my last night only because it was close to the train station and I had to head to the airport before dawn cracked the next day. But what a find it…

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…

Barcelona… It’s complicated.

Tapas for one. That’s just not a thing. I went to Barcelona for the art and the architecture. For Picasso and Gaudí and Miró and more moderns. And they overwhelmed me all. Other aspects… Not so much. But an out-of-the-blue message from the gorgeous Valentina this afternoon had me reminiscing about a fantastically unexpected night out, and I found…

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…

The Le Roux story

Let me tell you a little story. Exactly half my lifetime ago, I sat on a French TGV train a lot like this one I’m on now. On that occasion, speeding from Paris to Bordeaux, the swaying coach made me queasy and bored. And I said to the man who was my partner then, “Let’s just…

Dappled cloud with sunshine ahead

I stood on a cold P&O deck today and looked towards my future. As that ferry powered across the Channel, I contemplated the continent I will cross and the warmer waters and sunnier climes I’m headed towards. Not just metaphorically. Little more than a week ago, I landed in Great Britain in a still-fragile state (not only…

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…