Wednesday, May 12, 2010


However many times I rave about Tristan Gooley's book, The Natural Navigator, I will still find something new to say. Just as everytime I read it, I learn a new trick, a new myth, a new story idea.

This time, it's made me think about how many times I've stifled a natural desire to play through a tendency to read too much theory about it. Something interests me, hey, I will go straight out and look for experts or classes or websites to tell me about it.

Because if I'm honest, many many times I buy the books and I don't even read them. It's as if I am buying the time or desire to be an expert in the subject. As if the book will miraculously leak its knowledge into my brain.

But anyway, I am digressing, following a scenic route (although I feel somehow Tristan approves of scenic routes). Why I'm thinking about this, is something he says about how, in his desire to find out about navigation he took and passed many many courses before he started wondering about what he was doing:

"In the midst of studying books at night about air law and learning how to find my way using radars, I came to the ackward realisation that this technical detail had little in common with the passion that had been within me since early childhood.... it was the sense of connection that the journeys brought that really excited me, the contact with the world around me.... In a bid to gain the skills to undertake the journeys I dreamed of, I had been forced into another world, one as removed from my romantic impulses as can be imagined.'

And I think why I love this book so much is that Tristan Gooley is so good at getting across - and back to - his original passion, not just for navigating but for travelling in the first place. As he says,
'We travel not only to escape, consume and copulate, but also to think and create. Jean-Jacques Rosseau wrote, 'When I stay in one place I can hardly think at all.'

(above is the cushion in my writing room, probably one of my favourite possessions)

And now I'm delighted to say that Tristan has offered this blog a chance to win a signed copy of his book. All you have to do is to answer this question:

Which of the following is untrue...

Drivers have blamed satnav for:

a) driving into the wrong country
b) getting stuck in a country lane
c) nearly driving off a cliff
d) all of the above

For obvious reasons, you'd be better sending your entries to my email address - sarahsalway -@- (obviously the dashes and spaces are to confuse the spam robots, not you guys so just leave them out!).

Good luck!

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