"Life in the Slow Lane - a patient quest for adventure" by Dave Cornthwaite
REVIEWED BY NICOLE FOX-NOBLE
"Life in the Slow Lane" gets off to an unexpected and eye-widening start. This self-published 'patient quest for adventure' is part memoir and part action-suspense-thriller. It is about a courageous way of living a fulfilling life, and the empowering feeling of simply saying 'YES!' to opportunities as they present. Dave Cornthwaite writes about creating his own luck, mistakes and all, and how it has led him to live with less regret.
This book is, quite possibly, the only book you will ever read that takes you sailing over 1,000 miles across the ocean in order to then pedal over 1,000 miles in a bike-car. It all makes sense when you read that this is part of Dave Cornthwaite’s passion project Expedition1000 “a series of 25 journeys of 1000 miles in distance or more, each involving a different form of non-motorised transport”. Both expeditions are recounted by Dave Cornthwaite in “Life in the Slow Lane” with incredible detail and raw emotion.
This book is in many ways a realisation that a balanced life requires patience and solid self-awareness, and can often manifest itself in extremes. Dave Cornthwaite's idea of the Slow Lane will have some readers breaking out in a sweat, but this is also a story about a unique life balance. Between expeditions that often consume him both physically and mentally, leaving him depleted between journeys, you will discover how he has taught himself to overcome these times. His deliberate and conscious choice to live the life he wanted instead of a "cookie cutter existence", includes these tricky down periods that he maintains are worth it for the thrill of what might, and inevitably does come next.
Dave Cornthwaite has written my kind of book: at any given point while reading it you will be laughing at his sense of humour, envious of his travels, blown away by his adventures and sighing along with his heartache and hopelessly romantic ways. His style of writing blurs the lines between fiction and non-fiction - it is as if he is a rom-com writer trapped in an adventurer’s body. He writes with abandon and straight from that place between heart and stomach; it is honest bare-your-soul story-telling.
Aside from being an entertaining read, at the heart of this book is a man who has reinvented the escapade. Dave Cornthwaite is living proof that Slow travel isn't just about travelling slowly, and how it is possible to be incredibly adventurous at your own pace. He embodies the modern-day adventurer intellectually and physically. At the same time he is generous and loyal in support of other like-minded adventurers he meets along the way, revelling and sharing in their journeys and achievements. I love this recent Tweet by Dave @davecorn:
“Strangers are just friends waiting to happen”
What a great way of summing up the spirit of Slow travel. After reading this book I think Dave Cornthwaite is a stranger that a lot of us would like to meet.
READABILITY RATING ON A SLOW SCALE
This is the book to read if you want to feel inspired. Read it when you are on your way to work on public transport and you might just decide to resign! It's also an infectious read that will leave you wanting more from this author.