This is a difficult entry for me. I am resolute that I will continue to write this journal as a record of my trip, but realise that people may actually now read it and therefore what I say may be deemed hypocritical.
Somebody always has the answers even when you don’t ask the question. Doing a little trip like this seems to pronounce the times people come forward with an answer to a question that hasn’t been asked.
I have come to the conclusion that the only good advice is:
1. The advice you ask somebody for
2. Your own
3. or finally the people who ask first if they can offer some advice (a very subtle distinction).
The rest of the advice is generally wrapped up in some other motive and generally people usually know nothing about the advice that they are giving. This can usually be unravelled after asking 1 or 2 open, honest and frank questions.
“You don’t need a sleeping bag, all you need to take is a silk sleeping bag liner”
“But Im going in winter, won’t I freeze to death trying to camp in that?”
“If I were you I wouldn’t bother with the maps and compass and just take a GPS or I phone”
“But I want to learn how to read a map and use a compass correctly?”
“You don’t want to go to Dresden, it is a shit hole”
“Oh really, so when were you there, tell me all about it”
“Well I heard from this from a friend of a friend blah blah blha”
“Ive got an XYZ netbook you should really think about getting one they are the best”
“Great so what memory size and processor does it have”
“Well Its errrr a 250 Gigawatt blah blah blah”
I am as guilty as the next man to giving my 5 minutes of advice but I think I just realised that the advice I give is more a reflection of my own insecurity and need for affirmation and not the benefit of the person I am giving it to.