I Must Stay Young to Travel the Planet

One of my best friends Walt told me 20 years ago,
‘"The problem with growing old is the machinery wears out."
"The mind is willing, but how do I convince my body?"

He was about 70 at the time, I was about 35, and I am starting to get it.

I am looking at roughly 9.2 hours of travel time; the big question is this,
"Can I go nine hours without using the toilet?"
--- The answer is "Yes," I am 55 years old.
--- But, what if the answer is was "No?"

I advise my friends,
"All those comments you hear about growing old is good, is a lie, there is absolutely no benefit to growing old. Yes you are wiser, but who gives a crap when the body does not obey."

Mampong, Ghana West Africa --- Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Wisdom with Nothing to Prove
Wisdom comes when we stop trying to prove we are stronger, smarter and more capable than other people are, and just accept what is really possible for us to achieve.

There is nothing more macho than travelers, they seldom plan a reasonable trip, and they regularly plan itineraries as if they were "Superboy" or Supergirl."

It is 5:23 AM here in Mampong, I must decide,
"Am I Superboy or Superman today?

It is not helping this decision that the electricity is off, and I am typing on my computer by battery, there is no way to limit, stop or decrease the frequency of unanticipated problems. No matter how much I plan, in the end, it is just moving forward until I arrive. When I am traveling between locations, there is always nagging question in my mind,
"If I say yes, and go to the next city, will this be a good decision."

How do really people travel?
While I am making a problem to be solve out of this trip to Elubo… generally the average traveler does not see this as a problem, they just go. If they arrive at 8:00 PM in the dark of night, in the center of Africa, they do not stop and ask themselves,
"Was I stupid, did I make a bad decision?"

Walt again told me some great advice, I am adding,
"There are two things that all people believe they are experts at, Sex and Real Estate. And there are two things that nobody is an expert at, Sex and Real Estate."

Well, Walt owns about 35 houses free and clear, and now a few commercial building, free and clear, no debt, he is wealthy, but lives simple.

I am going to add, "Travel." You ever read Travel Blogs or commentaries on Travel; you would think everyone is an expert. How can I know enough about Ghana to be an expert, it would take a 1000 years to explore all the small areas of this country. Many a man or woman says to himself or herself when they are signing the divorce papers,
"I did not know my wife as well as I thought."

"Everyone thinks they are an expert traveler, and there is nobody that is an expert traveler."

With 12 years of experience, I am still painfully aware; I can make a bad decision. Now, with the problems of aging, my machinery is prone to maintenance and repair problem. The list of possible problems is growing bigger daily.

I must take a travel bite that I am 100 percent sure is comfortable, or be willing to pay the price in pain in suffering for an uncomfortable trip. I am not good at pretending a truly miserable and horrible ordeal was something else. There are no ordeals, providing I take small travel bites.

Aagh, my battery is dead, work or no work stop or go, a constant small hassle.
5:43 am.

This little LG Cell Phone has a flashlight or a torch in the end; it cost me 20 bucks in Ivory Coast and is what I now use when there is no electricity.

5:58 I used my Cell Phone for a flashlight, changed my computer battery and 15-20 minutes later, I am back typing. There is a never-ending list of obstacles, it grows as fast as I solve them, the sun is now coming up, and in another 20 minutes, I can pack my bags by sunlight. I do not pack bags in the dark, that is way to uncomfortable for my short life, I will do that in a future life.

I must stay young
I do not fret or think, or put off my daily routine, I keep the routine even when everyone around me is chucking the routine. I wake up, I drink coffee, I type on the computer, I publish, I talk with Boy Genius in India over Yahoo Messenger, and my day is started.

Now, I must make the what if decision today, do I want to be Superboy or Superman, the truth is I cannot make the decision until I am face to face with the decisions. I will go to Kumasi, I will search for a Tro Tro to Takoradi, but if the Tro Tro to Obuasi or Dunkwa appears, then maybe I take one of those Tro Tros. (Vans)

Contrary to your legendary, mythical and romanticized usage of the word "Travel." The word travel is the word that sucks, the "Arrival" is the good part, and the landing in a great Hotel in the midst of too-many-problems-to-solve is the conquest.

Travel sucks, the process of moving is always uncomfortable, living in a great small Mom and Pops Hotel is heaven. Travel is the necessary movement between the place I want to leave and my future.

My body does not like jostling around in a van.
My body may need to use the toilet in Ghana, where they still shit in the bush.
My body has sciatica, one bad seat and I am in pain for hours.
My body does not like to carry a backpack weighing 50-60 pounds.
If I twist my body when loading the backpack, it could get strained, 20 years ago, this would never been a possible problem, now I must adapt.
I had Malaria a few weeks ago, my body is anemic, blood cells were killed, and I am at 70 percent of capacity for strength.
I am having small bolls on my armpit, strange and I am taking an antibiotic, I know I have malnutrition and need to pump up my vitamins, they cost 10 dollars a bottle here, triple the price of the USA.

6:30 AM, the sun has risen, and time to make many decisions.
I will make the best decision out of a long list of bad ones to choose from.

Going to work everyday, arriving in an office sounds sensible, but where is the emotional rush of being out of control, I am an addict, and I need the traveler rush. I will get busy living, or I will for sure get busy dying.

I Must Stay Young to Travel the Planet


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Hi Andy:

I once learned that the history of the word 'travel' includes the word 'travail', to undergo trial and sorrow. The word may have its roots in Roman times in the practice of impaling one's enemies with a long spear through their posterior and through their torso. The enemy was then posted on display by standing the spear in the ground. The spear 'traveled' through the body.


Super Chuck makes full use of the Presidents club
and other airline clubs. FREE DRINKS and I mean like bottles of top shelf booze. Beer on draft, fresh squeezed juices,exotic teas,coffee not from Starbucks etc not to mention great food and Free showers,towels,shampoo,........ hair cuts and massages available at low prices.

Worth every penny joining.Nothing like a short 6 hour nap and a shower and the top 1 of world power brokers to talk to while getting ready for that second leg of the Super Chuck travel itinerary.......not sure if they have Presidents clubs in The Congo you may want to double check.

PS must have drank and ate at regular human airport rates $500 worth of food and booze on my 16 hour layover last time in Tokyo plus hostess wrapped a few sandwiches for the flight to BKK........

I have been thinking about this comment,
-- you have put yourself at the mercy of the "local transport".

I must stay young, I am not old yet, so all these scenarios are not a problem. I would like to drive for one reason, to take photos, I purchased a motorcycle in Togo a few years ago, but just do not like the idea of crossing borders this way, so I sold it again..

Am I at the mercy, I think I would be at the mercy of police checkpoints with a car, but in a Tro Tro I am free.

I am very lazy, maybe minimalistic, I have zero desire to take care of a car, so I doubt I will every buy one, unless just to prove you can drive the smallest car in the world across Africa with zero problem.

I have been hiring or chartering cars, I chartered the whole van on the way to Noe, in Cote d'Ivoire. I have become an expert at buying the whole front seat, I did it the whole way today.

The trip took nine hours to get JUST to Takoradi, the Kumasi bus station took four hours for transit, truly SNAFU.

A lot of owning a car is control, or wanting control, I do not want control of anything, I know the bottom line is, you sit in a seat for x amount of hours, and you arrive in a new place.

Cape Three Points sounds great:

Cape Three Points is known as the "land nearest nowhere" because it is the land nearest a location in the sea which is at 0 latitude, 0 longitude and 0 altitude.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princes_Town,_Ghana - You NEED to copy and Paste - Wiki has a comma in URL.

Busua may be a tourist trap, Ghana feels to be sprouting them like flease since my first time here five years ago, the type of hotels that cater to all the NGO or Resume packers in the country. a.k.a. paste colored whites and pay USA dollars. This one may be ok but hard to tell, there is no easy and fast escapes. Being I would be with a girl, these empty resorts could be better..

There are hundreds of beaches in Africa with nobody on the beach and 99 percent of the white look too white for a beach, I am amazed they can avoid the sun.

-- Lonely Planet information:

Despite the relative difficulty getting here, or
perhaps because of it, Princess Town draws
travellers to its abandoned beach and Fort
Princess Town (admission C5000, still/video camera fee
C5000/10,000 h9am-5pm), a castle perched magnificently
at the top of a hill on the eastern
edge of the village. Originally called Gross
Friedrichsburg by the Prussians who built
it in 1683, the partly restored fort is made
from greyish local stone and this, together
with the lush vegetation surrounding it,
makes it one of the most attractive forts on
the coast. There are superb views from the
ramparts over the sandy bay and towards
Cape Three Points, Ghana’s southernmost
point. The fort’s caretaker can help arrange
excursions in the area, such as canoe trips
on the nearby lagoon, and trips up the River
Kpani to visit a palm-wine distillery.
The only accommodation in Princess
Town is at the fort, where simple rooms
with shared bathroom (bucket showers)
cost C25,000 you can also camp with a
tent for C15,000. At the start of the short
trail up to the fort is a terrace bar and restaurant
where you can get cold drinks and
cheap seafood meals. Odds are you’ll be approached
by self-appointed guides, though
they’re not necessary.
The junction for Princess Town is about
15km west of Agona junction any tro-tro
heading west from Agona can drop you
there. From here, it’s about 18km to Princess
Town along a scenic but rough dirt
road. Shared taxis run reasonably regularly
between the junction and the town. There
are also direct tro-tros from Agona to Princess

Sent the url of this good article on to a 40+ travelers group I moderate and give some free advice on once in a while. I am now well over 60 and wish that I was 30 years younger every morning I wake up. I quit drinking Alcohol 35 years ago, I should have quit smoking the same time, did not do that until 14 months ago, in the hospital with pnuemonia, damages done.
If I had contracted Malaria, I would find a place I could rest and relax for at least 5 days or so before resuming overland travel, take caution.
These days if I get stressed in a situation, unless cornered, try to avoid the person or persons, place or thing, walk away or get on a bus and ride away, whatever works.
My long term friend over in Guatemala feels and does the same, she is way up in her 50s.
My Brother in Law in States is 58, he has been ill for a few weeks., however he drives everywhere, like many up in the States, rarely goes hiking.
After 50 most of us feel it more, I walk a lot and have been walking a lot for years, of course many over 50+ are in really good helath, they have taken care of their physical bodies, mental and spiritual health over the years, come to El Salvador and Guatemala and climb volcanoes like Superman, like a speeding bullet, while far younger people huff and puff their way up!!!! Bravo to you. Traveling overland every day on 70 power. At any rate to you and your readers
Happy New Year 2011.
Donald Lee, Ex Pat, Comedian and Survivor in Central America, yes, comedian, sometimes travel experiences can be really funny, most in hindsight!!!!!!!!!

Tyler or maybe Brent, I think you had a car.

The Lonely Planet sucks because it assumes I have a car, and will send me on a trip that is not possible unless I have a car.

This is all interesting, but the videos and information needs to have the transportation and prices of hotels to be of true value to me or the readers.

I cannot find prices for Kedas Lodge? And Ghana is a brother to Nigeria.

This place appears to 50 - 75 Dollars per night

I found many rates for Hotels for Ghana, I cannot ssnd the direct link because they make the web site wrong and put spaces: - Select "Western Region" for Kedas

Ghana people are sneaky with these deserted lodges, I cannot justify going anywhere unless I can find prices.

Please tell reader and me prices, specific locations and how to get there by transportation.

Thanks, Andy Graham

Thanks Tyler,

Now we are helping Ghana, lack of clarity makes tourist afraid, me and you are the 1 in a 1000, but the average joe blow is scared to death of Ghana.

Kevin was a tourist probably before he became a Hotel owner. My list of places to go is endless, why go to anyplace that has too many questions. I do not get tempted by videos. I get tempted by clarity, who, when, where, why, what and how much..

You just gave the good skinny, but then again, I do not want to go pay 25-75 dollars to talk to an American in Ghana, but the majority of traveler do, anything to find America inside of Ghana.

Sounds like a great place to woo a rich Ghana girl, I am still into trying to convince them I am poor, and making it on personality,

Now, go to bed, it is way to late in the USA, about 1:00 am.

Fun stuff, and very good, Thanks

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