Edward Readicker-Henderson has been traveling the world for over 20 years — against the advice of medical professionals and the protests of an unhealthy body. He’s survived longer than anyone, including himself, expected. And he believes it’s travel that’s keeping him alive.
In the latest issue of National Geographic Traveler (May 2012 – Volume 29, Number 3), Edward tells his story. His writing is evocative and easy to read. And he’s got a great philosophy on travel (and life; the two always seem to be connected):
Saying no is the easiest thing in the world. But who loves no? If you’re going to fight for what you love, don’t you have to say yes?
Which is what got me into that volcano when I could barely walk. Which is what got me on that plane to Pago Pago.
In Pago, I say yes to a smaller plane to a smaller island, yes to people who offer me a ride to that island’s far side, yes to the captain who then takes me across the sea in a boat with an engine barely powerful enough for a model car, yes to the dot of jungle we reach, where the flowers are bigger than Frisbees and fairy terns swirl the air like smoke rings.
Say no, and all you’re doing is waiting for time to finish. Say yes, yes, and it’s the spell that opens Ali Baba’s cave. The riches never run out.
I believe that the best way to approach travel (or any experience) is with an open mind and no expectations. Take what comes. Say yes. Embrace opportunity and the unexpected, and every experience. And the more you say yes, the more natural it becomes.