The traveller’s age of adventure has long been ended by science and technology. Now Earth’s few undeveloped destinations are only accessible to expensive, over protected expeditions. Fortunately, it’s still possible to go on a lone journey through unexplored regions. Dervla sees her most adventurous journeys as escapism. In recent times, science and technology made everything quicker and reduced physical effort to a minimum. But there are raising numbers of problems, diseases and addiction of which the mankind suffers. Maybe slow travelling can be therapeutic. Ironically, traditional journeys have become artificial due to the new technologies. If one really wants to be isolated, one has to deliberately choose it. Therefore, escapist travelling has turned into a kind of game – but only in this sense. The actual journey remains real – one finds himself alone where he wanted to me, and must deal with the consequences.
Dervla gives us some escapism tips:
1. Choose a destination, identify tourist areas, and then avoid them. Escapist travellers need distance from normal tourists. So try to get off the beaten track.
2. Learn a bit of history. It will help you understand the fundaments of cultural differences. Try to learn about social and religious taboos, and respect them.
3. Travel by yourself or with a young kid if you have one. Because even two adults can make the locals act a bit less spontaneous. Children appeal to the local communities trust, and they pay little attention to racial or cultural differences, making approach easier.
4. Don’t make too much plans. If you travel to remote areas, bring a lightweight tent, a sleeping bag and a stove. If you find villagers, ask them for shelter.
5. Use yourself or a bicycle as transportation. If you travel far away from roads and towns, find a pack animal to carry food and your gear. And remember 75% of the equipment typically sold in adventure shops is superfluous.
6. If you travel with a pack animal, ask locals for detailed advice on the terrain. And remember to stop in places adequate for the animal to eat. He must not be hungry or thirsty.
7. Avoid cyberspace and all the instant communication facilities. Focus on where you are and all the details around you.
8. Forget the language barrier. It is not essential if you really need or want to communicate. Signs, noises and facial expressions are enough to elucidate about our basic needs.
9. Act with caution, not with shyness. Escapists are cautious, and try to understand possible dangers before departing, and then change their route or deal with consequences when they are on their way.
10. Get the best maps you can find. And don’t forget a compass!