More than just sight-seeing

tim

It’s amazing the difference in perspective you get when you have a guide. I spent a couple of weeks in the Solomon Islands with a group of friends last month, and I was surprised at how someone with local knowledge (and language skills) could open the place up in new ways. It was great to meet people, rather than just see places. And once you start to hear people’s stories you get a new perspective not only of the place you’re visiting but also of the place you come from.

Last night I listened to some friends talk about the successes and challenges of the education system amongst the indigenous people of Northern Territory. It was great to hear about tribal elders making significant plans and decisions that would help protect their communities and educate their children and grandchildren… exciting stuff.

But it also got me thinking about The Trip, and how easily it could turn out to be a view of the world from the saddle of a bike as it zoomed past… and how desperately I don’t want it to be that. I’ll be following up the stories my friends told, and seeking out the stories of other friends who live and work up north. I hope that by the time we set off we’ll have a long list of contacts and stories – people we can meet along the way, who can open up the places we see and help us to understand what life is like for them.

On a completely different topic, I ordered my crash bars today.

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