22nd May 2013

Claire becomes a Jupiter’s Traveller!

I’m now back in the UK for 2 months and I have a couple of exciting bits of news to share with you!

Firstly, I am completely thrilled and very chuffed to have been announced as one of Ted Simon’s “Jupiter’s Travellers”.  Ted Simon is primarily famed for his best-selling book, “Jupiter’s Travels”, which told of his solo motorcycle journey in the late 1970s, taking him 63,000 miles through 54 countries over 4 years.  His tales inspired whole generations of travellers, adventurers and assorted other healthily unhinged folk, including myself, to cast aside the shackles of modern existence and set off into the unknown.  Having now circumnavigated the world twice by motorcycle and published a veritable library of travel texts, more latterly Ted has turned his attentions and energies towards establishing a Foundation to help foster the next generation of travel writers, photographers and film-makers, so that they too can help to share their experiences.  In the Foundation’s own words, “ We believe that individuals of good will, moving among foreign cultures and making themselves vulnerable to the beliefs and customs of strangers, have great importance in promoting world understanding, and even more so when they can distill the essence of their experiences into a form that can be absorbed by many.” 

This news is not only a massive morale boost to me as far as the blog goes (not that I was exactly depressed before, but its always great to know someone thinks you’ve been doing a good job!) but perhaps more importantly the Foundation’s support will be of enormous practical help when it comes to settling down after I’ve finally reached Capetown and writing the book.  And while I’m on the subject, I do apologise for my increasingly “patchy” blog coverage, but it has been consciously done, as I realised it might be strategically strong thinking to save my best stories for the bookshelves!  I’ve uploaded my new “badge”, designed by the Foundation’s team, as a photo here for you to see (smart, isn’t it?) and below is the link to the announcement from the Ted Simon Foundation if you’d like to read: http://jupiterstravellers.org/2013/05/15/new-jupiters-travellers-announced/  A big thank you to the Ted Simon Foundation for their support as well as all those readers, family and friends who have encouraged me along the way, I really do appreciate it.  

My second exciting piece of news is that in a week’s time, I will be pitching my tent at this year’s HUBB meeting in Donington, Leicestershire, ready for 4 days of Overland travel-themed fun!  The event officially kicks off on Thursday, 30th May and runs through til midday on Sunday 2nd June.  On the Thursday and Friday I will be giving a presentation all about my African Bikeabout so far, how it came to be and whats happened so far, then on Saturday and Sunday I will be helping out at a Skills Workshop.  Though at first I wasn’t entirely sure quite what skills I have that would be helpful for other people to be acquainted with (apart from “how not to nearly blow your own face off with a multifuel stove” perhaps – I’ve certainly learnt the hard way there), I was soon reassured that teaching novice riders a few basic offroad riding techniques would be one skill I should feel qualified to pass on, as well as the best way of lifting a bike (an area in which I feel I have developed substantial experience).   In addition to this the weekend’s schedule will be packed full of well-known presenters, including Mr Ted Simon himself, as well as all kinds of other workshops, forums, trade stands and hundreds of adventure travellers keen for a chat.  If that sounds like fun to you, its not too late to sign up, just check out the Horizons Unlimited website here: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/events/hubbuk/ .  See you there!