The Virtues of A Good Traveller – Freya Stark

Saying goodbye is never easy. Even when I know am setting off on a great adventure, the eyes well up a little, the mouth drys and there is often a lump in the throat. After saying goodbye to my family on Tuesday night, after a fabulous last supper, I was given two card by my parents wishing me well and reading them again, here in Ho Chi Min city, is comfort indeed.

On my father’s card came some wise words from J.K Jerome of boat and Bummel fame.

‘The sport of cycling consists of sitting on a luxurious saddle and being moved rapidly in the direction you wish to go by unseen heavenly powers’

If only it was that easy! While on my mother’s card came Dame Freya Starks seven virtues for the good traveler.

1.Admit standards that are not your own and discriminate the values that are not yours.

2.Know how to use stupid men and inadequate tools effectively.

3. Disassociate yourself from unpleasant bodily sensations.

4. Take rest and nourishment as and when they come.

5. Love not only nature but our HUMAN nature also.

6. Have an un-preoccupied, observant and uncensorious mind – be unselfish.

7.To be as calmly good-tempered at the end of the day as at the beginning.


This entry was posted on Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 at 12:30 and is filed under Books, mekong journal, Mekong Posts, Travel, Weblogs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. Bon Voyage!
    There is at least one person travelling vicariously and enviously with you…

  2. I love these tips from Freya Stark. Wasn’t she a British spy for a long time? I’d add a tip that I heard is part of SAS training. “Always make yourself as comfortable as possible in every situation”. Not a bad piece of advice, especially coming from guys on the front line who should know.

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