“Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you’ve never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.” – Judith Thurman (writer)

People love to use the metaphor of life being a journey – we’re all heading somewhere. So, if we accept that life is a ‘journey’, then I know for certain that I’m someone who is journeying the scenic route in life. I’m the one who’ll look at the map and end up inadvertently picking the path which takes double the time. I’m the one who’ll switch off the sat nav in anger and then end up in Devon when I’m actually heading to Glasgow. I’m the one who’ll realise that the thing I just spent four hours doing could actually have been done in ten minutes. Etcetera etcetera…

Travellers, by definition, chose to take the scenic route – the long way round if you like. Because travelling round the world isn’t the easy option. It’s not the safe, M6 toll road option. It’s the scenic route. It’s much longer, probably a bit more stressful and at times a hassle to get to but, along the way, it’s bloody marvellous.

But I feel I should stress something from the off: I’m not a model traveller. As previously mentioned, I’m drinking cider on a bale of hay when I should be munching on haggis at the Highland Games – I get things wrong. A lot. This isn’t the blog to look to for ‘how to do it’ (if there is such a thing). In fact, it’s probably more of a guide on how not to do it. But what amazes me time and time again is that, despite this, it often actually ends up working out. Even when taking the scenic route, you end up at your destination eventually – it just takes a bit (or a lot in my case) longer to get there. This amusement prompted me to start this blog and note down some of my adventures. It seems like the done thing to do… and conformity is incredibly underrated.

In short, this is the story of a clumsy, hapless, quiet guy from North West England who’s chosen to take the scenic route.

8 years, 50 countries, countless adventures… it’s never straightforward but it’s certainly not dull. This is Just Jackpacking.

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