Philosophy Of Travel

A Major Digression On Perspective And Motivation

An interview is not just for the benefit of the interviewer, as I was recently reminded when I gave an interview to Orla O Muiri for Beyond Limits magazine. As well as forcing you to reassess your own ideas, motives and achievements, having questions fired at you from someone else’s perspective can say a lot about the assumptions of that interviewer. And that, in turn, can say a lot about the way you have presented yourself; what your ‘public face’ looks like.

I spent quite a portion of this interview trying to defuse an underlying assumption that I was some kind of legendary overachieving extreme sports fanatic, which I am most definitely not. Since I answered these questions I’ve spent some time going through this site in an attempt to ensure that this isn’t the portrait I’ve painted of myself. It’s a difficult thing to balance, as there is always going to be a degree of mismatch between the writer and the reader. I hope I’ve got it roughly right.

In any case, do enjoy the full interview. Grab a cup of tea — this might take some time.

What are your emotional motives behind your adventures?

Mostly I go on adventures to satisfy my own curiosity. But what I’m curious about has changed since I started. On my first trip I was naive and idealistic, so everything was interesting and new and it broke my preconceptions. As time went on I became curious variously about my own endurance, my ability to tolerate discomfort, whether places in the world would live up to my fears, how it would be to learn a completely new language, how I might best communicate this whole process to those who stayed at home – so it’s curiosity and satisfaction at the root of it all.

Andy puts up his tent in Romania

Philosophy Of Travel

New Year Dreaming

It’s difficult not to get swept up by the tide of reviews, resolutions and manifestos at this time each year. It’s part of our tendency to try to bring order to chaos, to fashion meaning from the meaningless. In reality, today is just another day; no different to any other, save for the ideas we attach to it.

Looking out over Hrazdan valley

Having said that, my New Year’s Resolutions are thus: