Monday 15 October 2012

Jo Carroll's Hidden Tiger

“You’ll be surprised what you can do with a rhino behind you.”

Jo Carroll

This was one of my favourite quotes from Jo Carroll’s latest book, Hidden Tiger Raging Mountain. I suspect I would curl up in a ball and cry, but not Jo and so I had to invite her along to my blog and ask her a question or two:

Speaking as a wimpy, scaredy-cat, non-traveller can you explain to me why you go travelling, on your own, to such far-flung places?
That's a hard one. All I can say is that I love it - love that stomach-lurching dislocation of stepping into a new country, the not-knowing, the effort of trying to cast off all my western assumptions, begin from a place of knowing nothing and then trying to understand. I love the extraordinary efforts total strangers can make to help me feel at home. I love the smells of hot cities. I love the orchestra of the jungle. (I used to think I loved tigers!) 

Buddhists in Lumbini, Nepal
What is it about Nepal? It sounds as if it’s touched your heart like no other place.
I do, indeed, love Nepal. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I never quite get over how huge the mountains are! Even though we know the Himalayas are magnificent, it's still humbling to totter round their foothills. But it's more than that - I love the people, their humour, their generosity and their determination to grow their rice or open their businesses in spite of the weather or the terrain or the lack of electricity and governmental chaos.

Which was the one moment, standing out from all of those truly terrifying situations, when you really didn’t think you’d get home alive?

Coming down the mountain, in the dark, after the cyclone. Never again! (Never again to cyclones, that is - not never again to travelling!)
Jo on a wobbly bridge, foothills of the Himalayas

Do you have any future travelling plans?
I wanted to go to Madagascar in January because I've never been. I even bought the Lonely Planet only to find that it's cyclone season. Since I have yet to rediscover a sense of humour where cyclones are concerned, I decided to look elsewhere. So now it’s Thailand and Laos after Christmas but I'm not sure how easy independent travel is there. I shall have find that out when I arrive. 

Thanks, Jo, I think you're amazing, an example to all of us *polite cough* older ladies. I know that everyone reading this post wishes you an enjoyable and SAFE time in Thailand and we're looking forward to hearing about it. 

If you want to read all about Jo’s amazing trip to Nepal then click on the book cover to buy a copy of Hidden Tiger Raging Mountain:

And do visit her at her blog at Gap Years The Book.