Words and Journeys

Words and Journeys

From Benedict Walker

It's time to write a book or two and launch the Words and Journeys dream on the web. Stop by for inspiration or to engage me as your writer, content producer or personal travel guru/agent.

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Bright Sparks...

Recently, my friend Cheryl, reminded me, that like her, I was a "smart kid”. Over the years, Cheryl's guidance, good humour and compassion, changed my life. Helping others, gives her joy. I'm the same and have been since I was a kid. I'm also a thinker... I think about everything... all the time...

“Zu vielen Dinge in meinem Kopf! 考えすぎ! Too many thoughts in my head!

After 20 years of travel, and several billion thoughts, it's time to chunk things down so I can better focus on my desire to help others.

Adventures and hard work...

My childhood inquisitiveness launched me into life. The last 25 years played out for me across 30 countries, where I had about fifty different home addresses: just ask Mum - she’s the only one who has ever kept up. While family and friends made families of their own and set down roots, I travelled, on the most part, un-tethered.

First time abroad: Japan. Age: 15.

I was 16 when "Reiki" deepened my awareness,  introduced me to the ethereal and awakened my soul. Weeks later, I lost my Dad to cancer. I fast-tracked my teenage-hood, forged friendships, graduated from University, then hit the road. I’ve been roaming ever since. I work hard to keep exploring. I don't want to become "comfortably numb". Communication is critical to me and I try to do it well. 

My Reiki teacher Denise, used to say: "There's always more to give, and more to receive".

I try to follow my instincts, ("Let thy heart, thy navigator be.") especially when faced with challenges. Often, the kindness of strangers has helped me on my way. Travel taught me that everyone has "a story" to learn from, although so many go untold: louder voices drown out the shy, or fear of judgement silences them. 

I want to help people tell their stories.

After a few years shared between Canada, the UK and Japan, I eneded up managing a Flight Centre store, before an exciting few years booking travel for some heavy duty rock concerts and festivals.

www.stageandscreen.travel

Dreamers make things happen…

Cheryl (a Canadian) and I met through Reiki, on a “Living with Dying” retreat in Byron Bay. A decade later, we both took part in a similar retreat, in Santa Cruz, during which I decided I wanted to become a Travel Writer. I had no idea how, but narrowed it down as the life goal for me.

Three days later, under San Francisco's spell, I crossed paths with John Vlahides, who was writing for Lonely Planet at the time.

johnvlahides.com

Later, Cheryl and I gave John an unconventional Reiki session in a crowded Castro cafe, as we three talked, spuriously. The experience was dream-like; surreal. John became my friend and mentor. He showed me that even the most impossible goals are achievable.

I continued to dream my future...

Now that I knew travel writers were actually human, I set about applying to join Lonely Planet's writer-pool, believing on some level that I would succeed. About a year later, the nigh-on-impossible happened and I was accepted. I was jumping out of my skin with enthusiasm, but remained patient, for it would be another two years until I got my first gig, updating the Kyūshū chapter of "Japan" - a guide given to me for my birthday by my book-loving aunty Bonnie, when I was a teen. I used to read that book every night, like a novel... dreaming of all things Japan.

Cut to today... another decade down the track. "Japan" remains a constant on bestseller lists around the world and I’ve contributed to almost 30 LP guidebooks spanning ten countries. You can find plenty of my content on LP’s beautiful website.

lonelyplanet.com

For my stuff, sniff out: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, the USA: Florida, Nevada - incl. Las Vegas, New England (Connecticut, Rhode Island), Vietnam...

What next ?

After almost 6 years on-the-road and a year laying roots in Germany, it's time to take a pause and embark on a major “extraction project”, to get at least some of my bright ideas out into our strange and beautiful world.

I'm heading home to family and friends. I'll be archiving my photography, logging and editing videos and writing something of my own. When that's done, Words and Journeys will launch itself into cyberspace, rich with original content and open for interaction.

instagram.com/wordsandjourneys

It's time to help each other...

I stand in awe of our magnificent planet and am constantly inspired by humanity’s resilience, brilliance and the way we connect with each other through compassion. But in recent years, I've observed the scales of balance - where human kindness and 'good deeds' are on one side, and our disturbing failure to care for each other and our Earth, is on the other; tipping in favour of the latter.

The world is changing at an unprecedented pace. Having traveled so frequently, often returning to places at regular intervals, I’m acutely aware of humanity’s inertia. I'm concerned. We live against a backdrop of global tension and ecological crises, heavily influenced by our addiction to technology.

The state of our planet is directly consequential to how humanity behaves. Our children will inherit the mess that we leave behind… or the magic we create.

We can all be better humans. There is so much we can do to help each other and improve life on earth, but for many, change is overwhelming; taking that first crucial step seems just too hard. We've become risk-averse, ravaged by the disease of apathy. Numbed by nightly horror on the news, we feel powerless. We think "why bother?". Been there? Know someone who has?

As a writer, these are my concerns. Words and Journeys is about taking that next step. For me/for ourselves, and to help others.

The time is now. #livebetterloveharder

Why me?

My wanderlust has connected me to all sorts of people, affording me a constant stream of different opinions, observations, positions and practices.

I’ve met folks who inspired, educated and sacrificed aspects of their own lives for the betterment of others; I've roamed at least a million miles, guided by my subtle senses down dusty roads, country lanes and chaotic city streets, from Tokyo, to LA and Berlin; I've been enveloped by nature’s magnificence, found myself face-to-face with her fierceness and arrived at the foot of some of humanity’s greatest creations.

I haven't taken these journeys just to horde their magical revelations for myself. I’m a story-teller, compelled to reach a greater audience, in the hope of somehow helping others... just like Cheryl and her joy, or John and his inspiration.

Fundly fits how?

Crowdfunding is a lifeline of the new world.

As you consider investing in my furture, a concept which will be challenging for some, please consider that I'm not asking for big bucks from a few people, but a few bucks from a lot of people.

If you know me, also consider that I'll never hit you with a wedding registry, it's rare that I'll let you shout me dinner (unless you're Cheryl!) and, as I've given up booze, there's no call for a round at the pub either. There won't be yearly birthday presents to buy for the kids I'll never have, and I'll never need bailing out of jail - I promise!

But if you think I'm worth it, you can help me now, when I need your help the most, by donating to this campaign and spreading the good word.

What's the moula for?

Writing is a process. It takes time. Time costs money.

Currently, I've got three projects in various stages of fruition. They are:

a) Publishing "Little's Lighthouses", a book I wrote for my Auntie Bonnie, to give her courage and express my gratitude, as she embarked on her dying journey. If possible, I'd like to use the book to raise money for the Cancer Council.

b) The other two, are for the moment, evolving under wraps. Watch this space for updates and feel free to send me feedback. What are your concerns? I'm all ears. Direct Mail via Instagram is best.

c) The big task is to finally get Words and Journeys, a content-rich website featuring my writing, original photography and video blogs, finally online. It's been parked for three years while I worked like a trooper to establish myself as a writer. It's USP is that it will also be a portal where you can approach me to make bespoke travel arrangements and be your on-call, go-to-guy, when you're on the road.

There are numerous and considerable expenses involved. I'm an open-book if you're considering backing me and have questions.

Please contact me directly if you want to know more about who you're supporting and what I stand for.

Gratitude

My Reiki teacher, Denise, used to talk about "giving without counting the cost" and I've tried hard to live my life by that mantra. She also told me not to limit my abundance with outdated beliefs around money and worthiness. Should this campaign prove to be an excellent case study in the positive, I will be the most grateful man alive.

Your support means the world to me.

Ben.

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