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Independent Travel

Mr Lawson delivered an assembly to year 11 on the merits of walking solo and unsupported through foreign countries. He has now completed the crossing of Anatolia on foot. He described to the students a sequence of three days during last summer, where he had to cross about 100 kilometres of mountainous terrain, without any accommodation, or guaranteed source of food and water. Part of the adventure included sleeping outside, on the side of a mountain, looking up at the stars. He also described meeting local farmers, conversing with them in Turkish and going to meet their families for breakfast. Finally, he described being allowed to sleep the following night on the porch of the hut belonging to the Bashkan (mayor) of the next village.

In a fascinating and well-illustrated talk, he encouraged the idea of travel that isn't planned in detail; of learning the local language; of allowing random encounters to shape the day. Whilst encouraging the students to think about this kind of travel, he also urged them to gain some experience first, perhaps by joining the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.


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