Flightless Dave

posted in: Travel 4

So, for those of you who are new to this site and this story, My name is David Chislett and I am a freelance writer from Johannesburg, South Africa. In April of this year I packed up my life in Joburg to embark on a journey around the world. Not unusual in the slightest. Except that I am 43, should know better and am going to try and get all the way round without climbing into an aeroplane and flying.

I will be writing a (mostly) weekly column which will be a diary of my adventures as I board busses, trains, cars, bicycles, boats and in some cases, walk, from place to place in my quest to cross Europe, Eurasia, Australasia, the south Pacific and the Americas and return to the UK. All without flying.

The Highlights
Part of the journey will be just that: an alternative way to get around. But I will also be performing music and poetry wherever I can to make extra cash, going to concerts, tasting wine and cheese and local cuisine, re-connecting with South Africans all over the world and telling their stories and generally having a good look at and think about what is out there.

I will also probably be getting a few tattoos to commemorate certain places and stopping to work to pay my way along the road. As a result this column will be about more than just travelling: and be about the life I see and engage with along the way, the people I meet and the day-to-day experiences I have.

I am a bit of a nomad and have spent most of my life moving around. I have been working in journalism since 1994 and have been involved with radio, TV, magazines, newspapers and websites ever since. This will be my first travel blog though. I am also a poet, author, musician and performer so I will have my guitar with me and will play some gigs, write and record some songs with friends and generally use my music and writing to frame the experience of this expedition.

Time Line
I have no idea how long this is going to take or even, really, where I am going except in the most general terms. First stop is Barcelona by train and from there to France. That’s part of the purpose of the blog… to update and chat along the way. My actual blog has been going for about 4 years. When it started out, it was mostly about my work and life as a writer and a trainer. Now it will evolve into an online journal of what I see, think and feel as I progress around our planet.

If you are out there and what I say, see or do resonates with you, post a comment or drop me a line. Let’s meet up on the road, do coffee, or dinner, or make some music, have a laugh. I’m up for all of that. Maybe you have a couch I can crash on for a few nights

My first piece from the road will go live next Wednesday, 28 August!

4 Responses

  1. Belinda Nicoll

    Hi David, this is a gutsy undertaking. I wish you happy travels and discoveries. You might remember me from being a guest writer on my CHANGE means … blog series? We’re currently in Columbus, Ohio – you’re welcome to drop me a line if you find yourself in this area. There are great music venues too and I could probably set something up at a popular one if it’s arranged in advance. Best – Belinda.

  2. DavidChiz

    Thanks Belinda! I will get the US eventually I am sure! Thanks I’ll be sure to look you up!

  3. AndreT

    Hi Dave, just came across your blog and I am glad to see another nomadic Saffa out there.

    The wife and I travel Europe and surrounds pretty much endlessly, but currently use Malta and soon Geneva (for the middle half of 2014) as bases. I agree with your recent post that there are very few of us on the road out there – most people are doing weekend hops from London in 3/4 star or are young enough for Contiki, and most are only really looking at the Schengen zone. Having said that I have met some real saffa road warriors, like a guy going all over South East Asia solo, on his motorbike with his sleeping bag.

    Shout if you make it to Malta. PS – it might be a good stop for you for radio work – the voices all sound like reeeally bad Fran Drescher or Woody Allen impressions, and there are about 300 Saffas here.

  4. DavidChiz

    Hey Andre! Thanks man, I shall bear all of the above in mind… Although my plans will take me east in the new year, its good to know!

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