One of my favorite books! First of all the title is great, so positive. When the author was a young man with a huge wandering spirit and took off across Europe to Constantinople. I love his writing style. Once I finished it I put it right on top of my books-to-read again pile. I am nostalgic for walks like his...to set out, sleeping in nature or shelter provided by kindly people. In fact it is remarkable how many kind people he came across who were so willing to offer a meal and a place to sleep and to write ahead to friends so that he could have future places to stay. I'm sorry to say that I do not think this kind of journey could be done today....anywhere. I hope I'm wrong, would hate to think I've become that much of a cynic. But when I think of what he did I sadly can't imagine doing it at all in the U.S.
Patrick also seems like a jolly hail fellow well met kinda guy. Wide open to meeting people where they are and learning about them which I think makes any endeavor like his journey much more successful.
He set out in any kind of weather, some of the worst one can imagine and without complaint. One snowflake and I'd stay in bed with as many blankets as I could find and probably whine the entire time too. But he had this goal of so many miles a day no matter what and never to be assisted except in extreme situations by hitching a ride. Now remember his journey took place without fancy shoes, the latest hiking gear or high tech winter clothes. Patrick's journey also took him through a major change in world history and the book ends before he reaches his goal but the next book takes up where he left off and is next on my reading list.
Walking is all on my mind these days as I learn how to use my new knee and suffer through punishing PT. I dream of a great journey that is slow and savoring in a way that only walking can offer. We are all in such a rush and it's not clear what the goal is it all, just mad dashing hither & thither. While I am truly nostalgic for a journey like Patrick's the other harsh reality is that as a woman it would not be possible. So while I heal I dream and read about great journey's and hope to take up one of my own.