“So comes the end of another adventure, and a return to daily life.” This would be an easy way to wind up the story, now that my Arctic trip is over. But I want to examine the idea more closely: What exactly is meant by ‘adventure’? Does it really end so neatly? And should ‘daily life’ be entirely different?
I wrote this horribly opinionated, elitist, provocational polemic last year, and have been wondering what to do with it ever since. There may be nuggets of truth in there somewhere, but please don’t take it too seriously!
There’s a balance to be struck between taking too many and too few techy gadgets on an expedition. I’m a bit schizophrenic in this area. I’d like to say I’m
a natural Luddite — last year I hitched home from Armenia with only a knife, phone and poncho — but I also greatly value the usefulness of certain technologies.
But some technologies become nothing but a fad, or — worse — create more problems than they solve. Over-complicated computer systems in small libraries. GPS navigation units which send drivers, despite warning signs and the presence of bridges. Fashion accessories, which also happen to play music; several times the price of equivalents from companies other than Apple. Phones for which 99% of the functionality has nothing to do with the act of making a call. What was wrong with those little pink library cards anyway?
I am committed to avoiding flying for tourism. Commercial air travel has been in existence for less than a hundred years. There must be another way.
This probably meant that there were far fewer travellers, of course, but it probably also meant that those who did partake of long-term, long-distance voyages gained an intimate knowledge of the process of crawling across the surface of the world, and far more in touch with the people and places they passed through.