Luke Metelerkamp and I met on the farthest southern island of New Zealand. It’s called Stewart Island. This is pretty much the farthest point into the middle of nowhere a person can go without doing a trip to the Arctic or Antartica. That’s the kind of guy that Luke is.
We went our separate ways after meeting at a lodge on this remote island. I think he went back to South Africa where he is from. That was when I went to Australia. We exchanged Facebook friendship while chilling at the lodge.
I knew I was headed to Cape Town for the FIFA World Cup and he was certain to be there wrapping up his studies. He said he would take me surfing and I thought that would be great.
If I knew then what I know now, that invitation should have been viewed with a comfortable level of trepidation. Luke likes to surf big waves in frigid Cape Town water during the nastiest parts of the winter. He’s a machine.
CouchSurfing – The online community that helped Niall in Iran
“You don’t overcome your fears and then go do what it is that you want to do. The way it works is, you go do what you want to do in spite of the fear and then while doing it, you overcome it.” – POWERFUL Niall Doherty!
I spent long days picking apples while living in the Australian mountains. A departing French guy gave me a giant, beat up, old novel that was partially being eaten by black mold. This novel changed my life. It’s called Shantaram. Every evening after tremendous days of fruit picking, I would pull my lawn chair from the van I was living in, brew a cup of instant coffee and read this amazing book as the vibrant sun set across the enormous Australian sky.
This novel was my savior. I was enthralled. It wrapped me in so many layers of intrigue: adventure, adversity, travel, language, drugs, war, death, poverty, purpose…
I can’t recommend the book enough. I think it played a pivotal role in my decision to continue travel working. If you’d like to buy Shantaram on Amazon, please us my affiliate link (?) to support my writing. Thank you.
In the video below, Roberts talks about some of the stories that he writes about in the book. Enjoy ->
I recommend you watch all eight of them.
Notice how Roberts mentions that he became a doctor not because he went there to save people or to help, it happened inadvertently; the job became him. This is a key understanding to long term travel. You can have your goal, but expect that your travels will change you. You will meld to the circumstances and in this transition, you will learn invaluable life lessons.
I’ve heard rumors that Johnny Depp bought the rights to the book and plans to make it a Hollywood move. I’m a big fan of Johnny’s and him doing the character of Linbaba sounds like a dream.
“The contours of all our virtues are shaped by adversity”