When all is said and done, what inheritance will the world gain by your existence?
It doesn’t take a man of Buffet means to leave a legacy. Careful, considerate, deliberate planning will do. But, what will you do? Will you leave a small collection of maritime maps, painstakingly found and preserved. Will you leave a small collection of Soviet realist novels? Not your thing? You’re a man of action, a trad man. A man who nonetheless likes to muck it up in wide open spaces. You, like many of our ilk, like to explore. Not hotel explore. But explore the surfaces and the crevices of this massive mob called earth.
You’re probably thinking, “Ok Bix, my pockets are sparce.” Fear not, the modern trad (you have kept up with an inheritance – however small it may have been – we’re talking real small…or even your stimulus package check will do…) is a DIY man who knows the world hasn’t been explored to death – no matter what the old rich guys think.
So, try your hand at Robert Twigger’s Top 10 places to explore:
“1. Interior Labrador, Newfoundland. Very remote, even now, and kept remote by an inhospitable climate: bugs in the summer, ice in the winter.
2. Sahara – anywhere where there is no oil, which is most of the southern desert.
3. Antarctic islands off Graham Land coast, particularly Anvers, Adelaide and Alexander islands.
4. Remote Tepuy – huge rock mesas that rise out of the jungle in south-eastern Venezuela, the most famous being ‘The Lost World’ of Conan Doyle, which, though often visited, still has unexplored sections.
5. The Sudd swamp – the world’s largest swamp – in the Sudan. Political upheaval and the difficulty of any travel in a swamp have kept this place interesting for explorers.
6. Cave systems anywhere; for example the huge Voronya Cave in Abkhazia, Georgia, the world’s deepest, which revealed more undiscovered passages earlier this year.
7. Mountains in the extreme east of Tibet. 159 out of 164 peaks over 6,000m are unclimbed here and mostly unnamed. Hard to get to but surrounded by huge unclimbed peaks and micro-areas of fertility in deep gorges. Shangri-La style, there could be more waiting to be found: in 2002, such a fertile oasis was found in the Himalayan reaches of the Tsangpo river.
8. Chukchi region of Siberia – the very far north-east of Russia. Due to economic collapse people still live in a traditional way herding reindeer and living in skin shelters. Apart from Roman Abramovich, that is, who bizarrely maintains a villa here – testament to his time as governor of the region.
9. Spice Islands, Indonesia. A huge number of small islands with rarely visited interiors between New Guinea and Sulawesi. Recently opened up after years of Muslim / Christian violence.
10. The myriad tiny feeder rivers and streams of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Unlike footpaths they are very rarely travelled. Chances are there is one within a mile of your house. Buy some waders, or an old scout-group canoe and go exploring today.”
Leave your mark, explore, document and preserve your exploration. Contribute to the benefit of humankind. In a very Tradly way, of course.