Some choose to avoid travel altogether. It seems… dangerous? Expensive? Intimidating? Or maybe it’s just that the comforts of home can be so damn comforting. They hypnotize us into staying put.
Others venture out — but just barely. They dip their toes in the water, and it refreshes them, but soon they’re tapped out. Travel becomes a series of vacations, experienced in two week increments. Anything more than that and it feels like work.
Then there are the wild ones, the ones who leave and never really come back. They may visit, they may even spend a fair bit of time at home. But they’re restless and anxious, the road is in them. Comfort feels like stagnation and the old foot-itch never seems to let up.
The perpetual traveler is an interesting breed — bold, intrepid, brave — and even among career vagabonds, Christopher Many stands alone.
Having spent the past 19 straight years on the road, Many holds a point of view few can relate to. His first book, Left Beyond the Horizon, sees him roaming across 125,000 miles of track over the course of 3,000 days as he enjoys the ultimate road trip in a Land Rover he purchased for 1,000 euros in the Scottish highlands.
His second book, arriving this time next year, follows Many and his partner, Laura Pattara, as they travel the ancient Silk Road from Europe to Central Asia, across the Pamir Mountains into China (where they become the first overlanders with a foreign vehicle to obtain legal permission to transit the “Middle Kingdom” unescorted). Four years later they arrive in Bali, Indonesia – the shipping port to Australia where they plan to finish their journey by driving across the outback.
Right now, Many is still in the thick of it. The weeds, so to speak. He’s off adventuring, sharing stories over campfires and broken axles. During a Malaysian pit stop, the author took the time to chat with Uproxx about his outlook on a world he still feels he hasn’t seen enough of.