My Radical Round-the-World Sabbatical Download PDF
Learn the ropes from a traveler who took 15 months off to roam the planet.
While Malawi’s principal highway is illustrated on maps as a proud red swath, its northern half—unpaved and deeply rutted—is more like a crudely graded horse trail. This hasn’t stopped our wild-eyed driver from achieving near-freeway speeds. At daybreak, he picks up my wife, Jackie, and me near Chitimba, a tiny village beside Lake Malawi where we’d been thumbing a ride. Suddenly we’re soaring through lush landscapes, the tiniest bumps pitching us airborne. Jackie and I are enduring this perilous trip while clutching plastic jump seats in the back end of a Mitsubishi SUV, watching the road recede. It’s only the first part of a day’s journey that will include several hitched rides, a two-mile walk in the midday sun, and four sweltering hours packed into a Toyota minivan with 22 passengers, one of whom sits on my lap for at least half the ride, and another to my left who has sustained some sort of head injury that no one seems to notice. The collar of his white shirt is saturated with blood trickling from a wound above his hairline. Continue reading