think it is fair to say that I have evolved into a humanist and an adventurer.
This is not a boast. It can be a nuisance, and is as much a surprise to
me as to my friends.
I am not the "throw myself off the top of a mountain and see what happens" type of adventurer, nor the "lets go trekking across the polar ice-cap and see if I live to tell the tale" variety. I value my life way too much for that sort of nonsense. You will hopefully never read how I held a pack of wolves at bay and survived because I probably wouldn't. I chose to spend another day at the beach in Zanzibar rather than risking altitude sickness on a gruelling climb up Mount Kilimanjaro - so what if I never got to own the "I climbed Kili and survived" T-shirt.
As a humanist, I do not mean that I rush around the world doing good deeds because I don't. I mean a simple love of people whether in a Ger in Mongolia or a 7/11 in Vancouver, my chosen home. I believe, selfishly, that if I stir things up a bit, everyone has a special story to tell which can somehow enrich my day.
I must be a fairly good communicator because I talked a newly arrived German backpacker out of his long-pants in half an hour so I could dine with The Governor of Central Sulawesi. My only pair were being pounded on a lakeside table by the hotel laundry lady!
Adventure and people are my addiction. The monkey on my back. I get a massive adrenaline rush when I am being transported: A bus; A rickshaw; A horse or camel; A kayak, river-raft or train. I feel free to view and learn.
A lone visit to a village in Iran or Bangladesh sets my nerves jangling and my heart singing. What a challenge - What a rush. How to befriend people who are naturally petrified of a grey-haired 6'3" monster! I am lucky to be surrounded by photographs of smiling faces from these encounters.
All adventurers are raconteurs. It just goes with the territory. I return home pumped from yet another amazing trip to the longhouses of Sarawak or scrabbling up riverbeds in search of The White Kermode Spirit bear in Northern BC. The eyes of my friends glaze over as I draw my first breath. "Why don't you just write about it?" someone says hopefully.
In January 2001, I qualified to join TMAC: The Travel Media Association of Canada.
More than 200 stories have since appeared in:
Copyright © 2007 A.G.P. Renton All rights reserved.