One day, many years ago, I dropped my busy magazine job in Manhattan and went back to southern Africa where I had grown up. A self-styled half-year hiatus with only a vague plan and a backpack, I gave myself the gift of wandering off the path for a while.
Haplessly, I joined a horse-riding trip across the rolling grasslands of the Nyika plateau In Malawi. Consumed by this serendipitous adventure, it redirected my choices in travel and perhaps even in life. Horses were the lynchpin, connecting me to my childhood passion, my nostalgic African youth and my general restlessness. With glee, I realized that I could do this all over the world. I stopped counting the countries and miles after a while.
Another formative adventure called several years later when I joined a band of traveling academics who were creating the first equestrian trail in Turkey in the hoofprints of the 17th C Ottoman explorer Evliya Celebi. I became utterly engrossed and spent the following eight years traveling back to Turkey to establish this route and help develop other new trails in NW Anatolia and Cappadocia.
A long-distance rider I became, crossing most of Turkey in 2015 and recently before the pandemic, traversing Morocco from the Sahara to the Atlantic in 2020 with a group of adventurous riders.
I have a deep passion for this mode of travel and its many rewards. It invites slowness and encourages focus. it is deeply grounding and allows access to places and moments that most people are not often privy to.
The camaraderie that evolves between the riders and the encounters with the people we meet along the way can be heart-warming and enthralling. The relationship that evolves between the riders and their horses within nature a deep pleasure.