My dear and handsome friend English Paul has recently taken it upon himself to journey across the Dark Continent, Europe, by foot—an arduous and thoroughly badass 1000 mile trek from La Rochelle, France, to Prague, Czech Republic, in about two and a half months. This is awesome, needless to say, and is not merely the internal journey of self-discovery the way you might think. Paul is accepting donations (here) on behalf of the Marine Conservation Society, a UK-based charity for the protection of its shores and wildlife.
From Paul’s donation site:
“It would greatly warm my belly if you would consider sponsoring me in this undertaking. It doesn’t need to be much; as little as £10 will go a long long way towards protecting our coastal ecosystems, cleaning up our beaches, and encouraging more sensible fishing practices. I will be doing somewhere between 1000-1200 miles, so think of it as approximately £1 per 100 miles, or about 5pence per blister! Needless to say, if you want to give more then that is most welcome.”
Hear, here. This is a tremendous undertaking, a throwback to the quests of the Icelandic Sagas, the search for the Holy Grail, the Beat Generation’s exploration of the self in the context of one’s milieu. Please join The Anti Tourist as we support Paul’s efforts wholeheartedly.
At the time of this writing, Paul has so far “managed to cross France in 30 days, covering 555.82 miles. Mental.” He is documenting this on Facebook, mainly through letters written periodically to members of the Facebook Group founded for this purpose. He gave me permission to post his updates on The Anti Tourist; they will be updated here as soon as he sends them out. They will appear exactly as he writes them. He is a fantastic writer and I have thus far enjoyed his updates, even though I am kicking myself for not accepting his invitation to join him.
Learn more about the Marine Conservation Society.
Give donations here.
In which Paul readies himself for the trip, and ties up some loose ends
In which Paul prepares to travel to London by coach, and expresses regret at the consequences of recent lifestyle choices
In which Paul, having safely arrived in France, embarks on the physical portion of this largely introspective journey in search of the Self; and where he discusses injuries and physical malady whilst the French, as they are wont, celebrate Bastille Day
In which the tired and footsore English Paul reaches Limoges, France, and expostulates on the value dichotomy of physical stress
In which half of France is conquered, though not without sacrifice
In which the weltschmerz is more keenly felt than usual, where modern alienation becomes mere kitsch and loneliness is just a way of being, and where majesty crumbles
In which a short break in the relentless march toward the Bohemian lands allows Paul to take in a bit of sport, and to convalesce slightly from physical and spiritual maladies
In which the varied topography of mountainous Switzerland aptly mirrors the oscillating emotional environment; and in which Paul is joined by a dear friend
By: Ben Britz