No Boundaries: New Travellers On The Road (Outside Of England)
by Alan Dearling
Pub. Enabler 1998. £9.50 pb. ISBN: 0952331632
Squall 16, Summer 1998, pg. 46.
A follow up to last years popular A Time to Travel about new travellers, by the same author. This book centres on slightly different aspects of the scene, that of British travellers outside of the UK.
The book is comprised of differing accounts of people with alternative lifestyles who are exploring and living in, ostensibly the world, but what is mainly included is centred throughout Europe. It is a wonderful assortment of first hand experiences, strange tales and weird doodles.
The accounts included are by people from all walks of life. There is a couple who having watched their children grow up and leave home, decided to make their dream come true and, buying a truck, busked their way around Europe. Nearly a year later they found that their missions had been so successful, they were only half a ton down from their original budget (if only). A member of the Dubious Sound System relates his trauma at putting on parties in Eastern Europe, being ordered to do a gig in Bulgaria at the request of the Mafia and then being hauled off the decks for not playing their preferred mode of Europop and that old favourite DISCO by Ottowa. Scary stuff!
One contributor recounts his joy on finding his disappeared twin brother after leaving the army only to lose him shortly afterwards in a car crash in Spain. He professes his envy on missing out of the free, relaxed lifestyle his brother had been living as a nomad traveller prior to his death. There is also an extended account of the origins of the autonomous state of Christiania in Denmark, and its significant impact on all who are connected with it.
The only real drawback to this anthology is the one article included on life in Goa which irritates to say the least. A whinge about having to pay when eating with Indian families (I’m sure it must have broken the Bank!) and attempting to find somewhere in the area without tourists and the sea being full of waste, grates more than somewhat. The phrase “part of the problem” went through my head as I read it.
The book as a whole though, is quite a light hearted look at a new era of travelling. It shows both sides of the coin, the freedom of the road, waking up in a different country, but also what happens if you break down in southern Italy in a Leyland truck with no access to the necessary parts (apart from in the good ole UK) or making the big mistake of parking on a dried up riverbed. On the whole it made me want to throw off my shackles, get a truck and make a run for it. As the book so presciently points out by quoting Digger, Gerrard Winstanley: “None ought to be Lord over another, but the earth be free for everyone to live upon.”