I feel like a Jungle explorer lately. The kind that were in those old movies your mom watched on black and white TV. The man who leaves poorly supplied from some seedy dock in London headed for Africa to make his name in place of British exploration history.
I've got far too many pieces of hardware and little knowledge of the terrain ahead. Just this belief that there's something I haven't seen out there, perhaps something that nobody I know has seen and a keen desire to find it and write about it. I have my pens and journals and sturdy pith helmet to shade me from the sun. Solid hemp trousers and cotton socks and shirts to wick away the heat and sweat.
Family and friends warn of disease and the untamed savages who know not the British way of things. The sailors warn of sea monsters and scurvy. Abandon all hope ye who enter here! The exploration society has abandoned their financing of the project, it seems I just didn't come from the right class of society. So I travel with the average people. No first class bunk for me on this sailing.
I've got my tins of tea and biscuits, some port wine and the ever handy quinine tonic and gin to soothe any malaria. Barrels of salted pork to feed me in a land full of game and plant life. My clothes are packed in huge steamer luggage chests that will require 20 hired porters to carry. My King James Bible is there to remind me that Jesus really was English. I find comfort that the man from Galilee spoke English in my dialect.
And as I sail away from those chalk cliffs of England and out into the Atlantic I find the winds blow, the sea makes me queasy, and gin just makes my footing on the rolling decks all the worse. Out here its not opinions back home that count, just staying warm and dry and that captain can navigate the stars and shoot a sextant.
The salted pork just makes me thirstier when all around me is salt water. I trade it to sailors for fresh water. The gin was used to cleans wounds from hitting my head below decks during the storms. I'm torn from moorings of anything familiar to my home in England. My Hindu jungle guide is finding solace in his gods, and cursing me for not praying to them. Angry gods abound in every nation, whether its Kali or Yahweh.
We all hang on for dear life until smoother seas come. Its a life fully engaged, the sea sprayed wind in my face makes me feel alive - I'm scared but happy and I don't know what awaits. Soon I will see birds, then green land, and that's just the start of the adventure. And what ever myths, lies, or fears people have told me will soon give way to reality. And I will laugh at how simple it all is!