In a time such as ours, travel stories and tales of adventure are on the rise. In and out of lockdown and without the ability to travel overseas and discover new places, books like Fearless Footsteps provide a necessary escape.
This collection of travel stories is written by the readers at Intrepid Times, a website that hosts travel adventures from people all over the world. The book details their thrilling experiences in overgrown buildings and foreign lands as they battle against language barriers. Intrepid Times hosted a competition that asked its readers to write in with their own travel stories. The common theme that they all had to feature was ‘overcoming fear’, hence the name Fearless Footsteps. And they undoubtedly delivered.
The stories are inspirational and gripping, to say the least. Each writer faces difficulties in their travels that at first seem monumental, yet somehow, they manage to arrive on the other side unscathed and better for it. It breathes life into the banality of our new normal; stuck at home and longing to adventure once again.
The tales spark curiosity in the reader with recounts of discovering mysterious new hideouts or boarding a plane for the first time. They’re gripping, transporting you to places where you’re under attack or rescuing travellers from sinking boats. Or maybe you’re taken to a mountainous landscape, trekking alongside the giant rocks as you discover yourself.
There are stories of riding horses bareback, withstanding a language barrier as a hospital employee, and floating out into the middle of a lake with no way back to shore.
It is travel writing at its best, with stories straight from the heart of those who experienced them. The authors are courageous, baring all as they faced their fears head on. It motivates the reader to do the same and pluck up some courage to tackle our own everyday problems. If an adventurer can canoe through caves and climb up mountains in New Zealand, then we can all manage to run one kilometre more.
I was particularly fond of one story where the author was riding through the mountains of South Canterbury on horses that were barely tamed. As a reader, I was gripped from beginning to end as she managed to stay on her horse despite its erratic nature.
Fearless Footsteps has me wishing desperately for borders to reopen so that I can create new memories in new places. But for now, at least we can live vicariously through the travel tales of others.