He starts with a £1,000 budget and delves into the huge variety of ways that money can enable someone to see the world, whether by bike, foot, kayak or something else entirely. How far can someone get on such a budget, and for how long? Based on the landslide of testimonials he has collected (including names regular readers might recognise from the pages of Geographical) it can get you pretty much anywhere.
Some people have walked across deserts, others have cycled the world. Some have travelled the length of the British Isles, others have kayaked the world’s greatest rivers. The overall message is clear and relentless: don’t let everyday life prevent you from seeing your dreams through to fruition (providing those dreams involve travelling the world, of course).
Perhaps a little more critical editing could have turned some people’s meandering thoughts into something packing a little more punch. There isn’t a significant amount of structure to the collection of voices within these pages, and even as a cycle enthusiast, the huge section on cycle touring does start to drag after a while. Nevertheless, tackling such a broad and complex subject and emerging with as comprehensive and inspiring a volume as this is certainly an immense accomplishment – Humphreys has again proved his credentials as a pioneering figure in the world of amateur adventuring. If you harbour any faint desire to climb mountains, cycle continents, row oceans or even trek to the poles, you need this book. If anything is likely to tip you over the edge and give that final push to get you off the sofa and out the door into the world, this is it. As Humphreys puts it, ‘getting to the start line is the hardest part!’
This review was published in the April 2016 edition of Geographical magazine.