Travel Writers That Will Change Your Life
Travel writers from all over the world have inspired me to venture further and deeper into the unknown. Two writers in particular have stuck with me…
Let’s take it back in history. In 1771, the Scottish explorer Mungo Park was born. In 1796, Park set off on an adventure down the Niger River in West Africa. The river runs from the Guinea Highlands near the Sierra Leone Border, across Mali and Niger to meet the border of Benin where it then travels through Nigeria and eventually empties into the Atlantic Ocean. His travels in this region led him to publish his experiences in his influential book Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa. I found it a compelling read and it is a must for anyone looking to pursue a future in travel and exploration.
Unfortunately, during Park’s second expedition down the Niger, he was killed after being attacked by natives who caused him to flee into the river with his team where he drowned. Park has always been a huge inspiration to me. He paved the way for many explorers, like myself, to leap into unknown territories. He also had a keen interest in zoology and gave lectures on new Sumatran fish and rare local plants he had discovered during his time in Indonesia. Learning about his work in actually inspired me to book my first solo flight to Sumatra when I was 17!
His legacy has shone bright since his death. Every year, the Royal Scottish Geographical society awards the Mungo Park medal in his honour. The medal celebrates outstanding contributions to the world of geographical knowledge through potentially hazardous research and exploration. Set up in 1930, the award has been given to many incredible travellers from the likes of Norman Dyhrenfurth in 1964 who lead the American expedition up Mount Everest which placed 6 climbers on the summit, to Paralympian Karen Darke who received the award in 2016 after her lifelong commitment to enduring physical and mental challenges across the world in treacherous locations like the Himalayas and Yosemite National Park.
It is my dream that one day, I am recognised for such a contribution to the world of exploration and adventure. Writing this from Colombia at the moment on my latest attempt to cross the Darien gap, I feel like I am getting closer and closer to having some exciting successes in the world of adventure travel. Who knows what discoveries lie ahead?
The second inspirational travel writer on my list is Kira Salak. Born in 1971, Salak is known for documenting her travels through Papua New Guinea and Mali, in her books Four Corners: A Journey into the Heart of Papua New Guinea and The Cruelest Journey: Six Hundred miles to Timbuktu. Both books reveal her life changing experiences in the depths of Asia and Africa. Herself inspired by Mungo Park, Salak offers a modern insight into what it is like to walk the path less trodden. Now a frequent contributor to the National Geographic, her literary works are worth picking up before you set sail across the world.
If travelling is not an option for you at the moment, getting your nose stuck into a motivating travel book is the perfect way to dip your toes into the world of exploration. Let yourself get lost in the wild trips that courageous travellers before you have taken. Park and Salak inspired me on my own journey and I am now happy to say that I am also published travel writer myself!
Who knows? Maybe one day, like me, you will feel inspired enough to go on y To read more about my journey down the Essequibo River click here to purchase my book. our own journey and write about it in a book!