Ben Winston

Not your average travel blog

Leaving on a jet plane

There’s nothing quite like a long haul flight to indulge in thought and contemplate decisions made.
In seven hours I land in the USA and after a few days, set off on the biggest adventure I have ever decided to go on, in a country I know very little about other than what I have perceived from the media, stories and the few well-traveled yanks I have met outside of the states.

Last week, I asked a class of ten year old school children what came to mind when they thought about the USA. The answers were, if not predictable, reassuring for the media. On and at the top of the list of answers were; hot dogs, Disneyland, the Empire State Building and oddly, casinos. So, if you would like to know what great expectations our children harbour from the land of the free, there you have it.


Over the course of an hour, the class were keen to know more. They asked questions such as, Where would I pooh? What would I eat? Where would I sleep? Was I taking waterproof trousers? What drugs would I be taking? Would I see camels in the dessert? What would I do if an overly friendly and persistent monkey won’t leave me alone? One well-read young man forgot to add a question mark and just informed me that recently, an ice truck driver picked up a hitchhiker who turned out to be a serial killer, which was bad.


Worryingly, I’m rocking the Dexter look

I answered as honestly as I could. After all, no question is a silly question. There are no camels in the American desert, monkeys haven’t really set up shop there either, don’t mess around with drugs and hopefully not in my pants.


Macaques, also rocking the Dexter look, but they’ve probably not even seen the show

The class were a delight. They considered possible scenarios, asked about relevant issues, found secondary uses for some of my kit, commented on problematic logistics, queried some environmental issues after I talked about World Land Trust and even did some cougar impressions. Regarding my planning, I think I have been on the right track and with the confidence instilled by a group of ten year olds, I’m about to find out.

Plane flights cause various emotions in people; lust for the future, sadness or relief on a return journey, frustration and discomfort, liberation, excitement, freedom, apprehension and fear. For the whole of the next seven hours, and probably for the next seven months, I’ll feel all of them.

3 comments on “Leaving on a jet plane

  1. Jennifer
    March 23, 2014

    Good luck WW! This sounds like an incredible adventure and have nothing but well wishes as you embark on your journey. Will you be able to provide updates throughout your journey? (Presumably you’ll have cellular/internet access). Also, regarding your list of provisions, are these objects you’re requesting donations for?


    • winstonwolfrider
      March 24, 2014

      Hi Jennifer,
      Regarding the donations as I think I was confusing, I’m not seeking money to buy anything. All the donations go towards the charity, not me. I have my budget which covers the challenge. I can accept payment for things whilst travelling or for food etc, but any actual donations would go to the charity.
      Hope that’s clear.
      Thanks. WW


  2. winstonwolfrider
    March 23, 2014

    Hi Jennifer,
    I’ll have a phone and when I have wifi I should be updating regularly.
    I’m not requesting any items to be donated to me. I’ll have purchased and will be carrying everything I need from the start.
    Monetary donations and support on route, couch surfing etc is very welcome.
    I’m about to start but there’s 9″ of snow forecast so I’m pretty concerned.
    All help welcome and feel free to interact if you’d like to know anything.
    Thanks again.


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This entry was posted on March 22, 2014 by in USA on $6 a day and tagged , , , .

Where am I now?

After extensive work and tours through Southern Africa, most of my time is spent between Malawi and Europe.
Go Untamed Safaris was striding into top gear, but volatile poitics in 2019, Covid in 2020, the impacts of Russia vs the World as well as insesent corruption forced my hand.
The dust is now settling. Everything has changed. New chapters are about to be written.

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