Some people climb mountains, some kayak raging rivers, some perform medical feats, some jump out of airplanes, some raise children, some go into space, but I’ve only heard of one person walking across Afghanistan mere weeks after Western forces went into the country after the Taliban. Rory Stewart is an adventurer like no other I have heard of. Author of The Places in Between, which documents his journey, he seems far from arrogant or overly driven. He admits at the outset of the book that he is not good at explaining his reasons for the walk (of which Afghanistan was only a portion, having also walked across Iran, Pakistan, India and Nepal). Yet, as one reads, one gets the sense that like any true adventure, the true reasons are revealed as the adventure unfolds.
This story is outstanding. If you have ever done any adventuring on your own, for any length of time, I highly suggest you read this book. I could go on to write five more paragraphs about how incredible his journey was culturally, emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually and socially. I could write another five paragraphs on how his journey is the first meaningful information I have heard, seen, or read regarding Afghanistan and its people. It completely displays everything else as close minded. However, at the end I still don’t think I could come close to doing his story justice, so you’ll have to read it.
To step out into the world and take your fate so much into your own hands you find that you must share the load with others, whoever they might be, as you come across them. As you take these risks it is your true self that you must put forward, and your true self you must live with.
Read this book.