“Travels with my Rant” describes my wanderings around some of the more obscure bits of East Timor, the Indonesian islands of Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi and Borneo, Central America and parts of India. It is a series of travellers tales about uncomfortable and sometimes slightly worrying journeys, sometimes in places which few other western touros reach.
In the 1990s, whilst working as an academic, I took full advantage of every minute of the only perk of the job – ten weeks holiday a year – to explore some of the areas of the world less frequented by Europeans. Driven to near insanity by the demands of the lecturing profession, I threw in the towel in 1995 and took a travelling ‘Gap Year’, like a superannuated middle-aged posh kid.
Life is, of course, always annoying and as ever I found travel an effective emetic for the brain. So I stored up a lot of rants about many of the places I visited and have regurgitated them onto these pages.
I had a look at East Timor, while the folk there were still fighting for their independence from Indonesia. They were also wondering if kidnapping me would further their cause at all. I wandered around the Spice Islands and up rivers into the heart of Borneo. I meandered around the countries of Central America, getting mugged and running borders, accidentally.
‘Travels with my Rant’ is the first of two volumes of rants, published for all e-readers, about some of these travels. The other volume is called ‘The Front of Beyond’.