I have 7 more weeks before my flight out of here leaves O’Hare airport and I have major ants in my pants!! My backpack is sitting on my chair where I see it every day, and I’ve already started going through my clothes to decide what to pack. I have a tendency to have crazy dreams and every single one lately has involved a beach or a classroom full of kids I may or may not be able to control. The closer it gets the more excited I am, and while time is flying sometimes I still find myself tapping my fingers just waiting for the adventure to begin.
In the meantime, I will just have to preoccupy myself by living vicariously through someone else’s adventures.
Albert Podell was a member of the team who achieved the last and longest motor journey around the world, as well as one of the very few people to have visited every country on this earth. There are two books authored (or co-authored) by Albert Podell about these journeys and they are two of my favorite travel-adventure books.
Around The World In 50 Years: My Adventure to Every Country on Earth by Albert Podell
When you’re feeling a little antsy or even just plain bored Mr. Podell’s stories have the power to put you in his shoes during some of the craziest moments of many a trip that almost everyone believed would fail. From crocs in Botswana to whiskey in Eygpt and hanging out with God in Ghana he has experienced a taste of what true (albeit with some of his tactics, dangerous) travel is really all about. It’s about meeting locals, enjoying a meal with them, and learning about their lives in their homes.
There is one thing that Mr. Podell’s books have gotten me thinking about: what he has accomplished in his life is most likely not even possible in this day and age, especially for me. There are a good handful of countries that do not allow visitors, or if they do, would not be safe for female travelers, due to political differences, cultural prejudices, or even environmental concerns. That to me is heartbreaking, I would love more than anything to get to learn about those most different from me in their homes and communities. I believe that education and the understanding of those with a different belief system or perspective is the only way for our generation and those to come to create a peaceful, positive global community.
While I may not be able to visit every country, I will visit as many as I can, meeting and enjoying the company of those who cross my path, embracing the chance I have to encourage education throughout the world, and turning it all into an adventure as I go! In the meantime, I’ll be re-reading Albert Podell’s stories and feeling very relieved I won’t be sleeping a beach with crazy flying spider bugs in Africa.