It’s the one day blog blitz today for Through Dust and Dreams by Roxana Valea, and Roxana has very kindly taken the time to write a guest post for me to share with you all. Many thanks Roxanne for this, and thanks also to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the blitz.
At a crossroads in her life, Roxana decides to take a ten-day safari trip to Africa. In Namibia, she meets a local guide who talks about “the courage to become who you are” and tells her that “the world belongs to those who dream”. Her holiday over, Roxana still carries the spell of his words within her soul. Six months later she quits her job and searches for a way to fulfil an old dream: crossing Africa from north to south. Teaming up with Richard and Peter, two total strangers she meets over the Internet, Roxana starts a journey that will take her and her companions from Morocco to Namibia, crossing deserts and war-torn countries and surviving threats from corrupt officials and tensions within their own group.
Through Dust and Dreams is the story of their journey: a story of courage and friendship, of daring to ask questions and search for answers, and of self-discovery on a long, dusty road south.
Right, now I am handing you over to the lady herself, to talk about the forgotten art of adventure.
I wished I had been born in the 19th century, the time of the great explorers and adventures. There were unchartered territories to discover, indigenous populations to make contact with, unclimbed mountains to conquer and far away lands to travel to.
But fate decided I would be born in mid 70s and come to age in a world that had not much mystery left. In this world, people buy a travel insurance before they leave home so that they can claim damages in the event of anything not going to plan. They expect trains and planes to leave on time and arrive on time and get irritated for a ten minute delay. In this world, a smartphone with an automatic translation app lets you communicate in a foreign country, a Lonely Planet guide gets you anywhere and a credit card magically sorts out any issues you may come across.
I though there was no real adventure left. But I was wrong.
Because when you really look for something, the thing you look for, finds you.
Adventure came to fetch me one Monday morning, at my marketing executive desk. It starred me in the face, winked and said:
“Here I am. Do you really want to follow me?”
It was an add I saw on an online travel forum. A guy had a Land Rover, was planning to drive from London to Cape Town and was looking for two others to share the journey.
I stayed there a long time, looking Adventure in the eye and not daring to move.
“What will you do?” Adventure asked me.
“What will I do?” I echoed it.
And that what the first moment I realised the deep beauty of adventure. It’s that of not knowing. You come face to face with situations you have not met before. You don’t know what you will do. You don’t know what will happen. You can’t control the outcome. And no travel guide, credit card or insurance policy can do that for you.
I clicked the reply button of that add and this small gesture started it all: 8 months, 17 countries and 20,000 miles by car. I didn’t know it then, how could I? I didn’t know what an amazing adventure this would turn out to be. How unsafe, unexpected and raw it will be. How it would test me to my limits and beyond and how it would show me beauty that would stay in my heart forever.
As I said yes, Adventure told me that it had been patiently waiting for me. That not all is known even in our super connected world. That there are still places not chartered on any map, jungles to cross and indigenous people to connect to, just like there were in the last century. It thanked me and promised me many beauties along the way. It whispered to me the sound of the dunes of the dessert in night and told me stories of dust and dreams.
I followed its voice. I took my insurance policy, guide book and credit card with me when I left but Adventure taught me that these things mean nothing at times and that’s the whole beauty of it.
I followed it wherever it took me and I loved it for what it showed me. And I promised I would write it down so that others would learn to recognise its call.
And I did. The book is called Through Dust and Dreams. The Story of an African adventure.
Many thanks Roxana for taking the time to share this with me and the lovely people who read my blog.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Roxana Valea was born in Romania and lived in Italy, Switzerland, England and Argentina before settling in Spain. She has a BA in journalism and an MBA degree. She spent more than twenty years in the business world as an entrepreneur, manager and management consultant working for top companies like Apple, eBay, and Sony. She is also a Reiki Master and shamanic energy medicine practitioner.
As an author, Roxana writes books inspired by real events. Her memoir Through Dust and Dreams is a faithful account of a trip she took at the age of twenty-eight across Africa by car in the company of two strangers she met over the internet. Her following book, Personal Power: Mindfulness Techniques for the Corporate World is a nonfiction book filled with personal anecdotes from her consulting years. The Polo Diaries series is inspired by her experiences as a female polo player–traveling to Argentina, falling in love, and surviving the highs and lows of this dangerous sport.
Roxana lives with her husband in Mallorca, Spain, where she writes, coaches, and does energy therapies, but her first passion remains writing.