To walk in the world’s poorer countries is to enter the orbit of their inhabitants. An attachment to the earth—to the vital soil or rock underfoot—is still the lot of most of the world’s population.
Colin Thubron has walked most happily in small countries—Cyprus, Lebanon, Kyrgystan—where the regional changes are close and intimate. The footpaths and goat-tracks thread a network of sites—villages, fields, wells—whose genesis belongs to a time before tarmac. Sometimes they give you the pleasing sense of walking through the ancient character of the land.
Shorn of the steel straitjacket of aeroplane or car, this might be called “deep travelling” if only your feet were less transient on the track.
Quoting Colin Thubron who is an award-winning travel writer and the president of the Royal Society of Literature