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George Kefford (EXPLORER)

George Kefford is a young Anglo-Australian explorer and writer who specialises in human-powered journeys: often by foot; sometimes by kayak. At the age of 17, he walked the Holy Lands, alone, across Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. On the Podcast, we talk about this expedition and about how he has recently returned from Morocco where after studying Arabic in Rabat, he walked the 250km length of the Souss River from its source in the High Atlas Mountains to its mouth near Agadir.

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Transcript of our Conversation

George Kefford

[00:00:00] George Kefford: Hello and welcome to the modern adventurer cost. And they shouted, they shouted at me and in Arabic Yahudi and they, they sort of picks up a can of Pepsi and chucked it at my heads. I had no idea what was going on. I saw some flags around of groups that, that, you know, some would call terrorists.

Others would go for it and fighters, but I sort of knew there was a lot of tension in the place and this, this kind of Pepsi still hit me in their heads.

My next guest is an aspiring adventurer. He has done some remarkable expeditions from walking the Haley land and walking Malter along with a load of others. On today’s show, we talk about his trip across the Haley lands and some of the [00:01:00] amazing moments he had. I am delighted to introduce George Catholic to the show.

Thank you. Yeah. How are you? I’m very well, very well. Well, you’re a aspiring Explorer. Who’s probably done more trips than most of my audience and myself put together. And you’re only 19, which is truly incredible. And I mean, you’ve done stuff from walking the Hailey lands to source to sea or Brisbane, but I think we’ll probably get into that later on.

Yeah. Let’s start with you and how you got into all these adventures. Yeah. So I was born in, I was born in the UK and grew up in Germany and Australia. And from a very early age, my parents would take me up into the, the, so the local mountain near where we grew up and and yeah, ever since then, that was, that sort of gave birth to my, my love of it venture and I just, I kept wanting to build on the last trip build on the last trip.

And [00:02:00] so I started with some small expeditions in and around, broke her up in Australia. And then I did walking the Holy lens, which was 800 kilometers across Israel, Palestine to Jordan. And since then I’ve done a few trips in and around the middle East and Europe. And and yeah, that’s that’s my background’s in adventure.

Yeah. Well, and so do you feel that we’ve, you, you said you bought up in England, moved around from Germany to Australia. Do you think that sort of moving around is what sort of gave you this. Freedom to sort of want to explore. It was the fact that you didn’t see any boundaries to you going to these different countries because you were moving so freely from such a young age.

Yeah, I think, I think that’s a big race. And then when I’m on these, these trips and everything, I don’t, I don’t particularly get homesick because, you know, I grew up in three countries, so there’s, there’s not so much. [00:03:00] You know, I’ll miss my family. I miss my friends, but missing an actual country or, or, or the places or anything like that.

No, not so much. But it’s, it’s definitely, it definitely helps. I’m not sure if that’s the reason, but it definitely helps. So I mean, you you’ve done so many trips. Probably the best place to start is with your main one, which was the walking, the Holy lands. Why did you decide on this trip? Yeah, so I was in, I was in year 12 comics class in Australia and I was quite bored and I knew I wanted to do something quite big and go somewhere where people wouldn’t necessarily go and do something that people wouldn’t necessarily do after I graduated.

So I looked into a bunch of places and. I love the middle East. I studied a lot in in senior history and, and yeah, because of that, I chose Israel and Palestine and Jordan, and I thought, why not walk across it? So [00:04:00] that’s it. So what age? Where, where did you start on the trip? So I started in Tampa ACO in the in the North of the country.

And and from there’s three days across Northern Israel, then I entered the West bank in the West bank for about two weeks. And then after that yeah, through Jordan and three more weeks down to the the Gulf. Got it. And I mean, I suppose being a westerner. And hearing the sort of news about the West bank and everything.

Was there not a sort of fear at because you were, what 17 when you did this? Yes. I’m sure. Like, like myself, you see on the news about the West bank and Israel, it sort of seems to be this. Oh, sort of slightly war torn area. And there is one of political [00:05:00] controversy from time to time. So was there not a sort of fear going into it?

There was, yeah, I was, I was very scared. I think. My mom was probably more scared than me, but but you know, that, that sort of, I had no idea what the West bank was going to be. Like, all I knew about it was, was what I heard on the news. It turns out it wasn’t that way, but, but you know, that, especially the first day I went into the West bank, I was extremely scared.

I was, I was fearful for my life. Like these guys would, if they think I’m Israeli or, or what, if you know any other things. So, yeah, it was, it was quite scary at first, but. You get into it and you, you prove your pre your preconceptions wrong. And it all works out in the end. Yeah, I completely agree.

We, we had Nick butters on recently who. We were sort of talking about this as well. He was going, he was running in Syria and had all these sort of preconceptions of war torn areas. And the reality of going to these countries [00:06:00] is you see the locals, you meet the locals and you find that they are incredibly friendly.

How did the locals treat you? Incredibly. I always say that the hospitality I experienced on this trip was, was second to none. They treat guests sacredly when I was in Jordan, especially I would never basically never paid for accommodation when I was in, when I was in small villages and everything, because they would invite me into their houses and, and let me sleep there.

And it was, it was just incredible. It was, it was amazing. Wow. So you going from Northern Israel into the West bank and then further on. Yeah. So when I got midway down to the, to Jericho midway in the West bank, I across the border into Jordan and then, then from Jordan, I walked down to Aqaba in yeah, the Southern most tip of the country.

Yeah. And so what was the sort of feeling you had because you had the language barrier, I know that you are [00:07:00] studying Arabic at the moment. Was there an issue with the language barrier? Yeah. Yeah. At first, especially I learned all the basic Arabic greetings before, and I could read about half of the Arabic alphabet, which is, which is pretty useless if you don’t know the other half.

But but yeah, I mean, I can, I can say I’m walking from here to here. I knew the words. For water and foods and, and everything. So the very basics were fine, but but having, you know, deep conversations or anything like that, that was difficult. Yeah. The English over there is quite good. Especially in Palestine, it’s actually very, very good.

In Jordan, not so much, but in the cities where the tourists go, then the, now everyone will speak English, but I didn’t find it too difficult towards the end, especially to communicate. What were the sort of moments along the way which you look back on in sort of fond memory? Oh, I mean [00:08:00] getting into Jerusalem was, was really, really special.

And that was that’s one of the ones that, that sucks out there was also near Nablus in the West bank. There’s a there’s a, there’s an old Roman Fort and I was walking there and The, the local men from the Palestinian village, they were, they were sort of re rebuilding the castle to turn it into a tourist attraction.

And They, you know, the village leader, the elder was there and he spoke a bit of English, so it was coming to me and, and he was, he was just telling me about all the people that walked along the same routes I was walking on, you know, Muhammad Jesus, Moses, or not Moses Abraham all these, all these different profits from from, from the Bible, when, you know, Congress like Alexander, the great, and that was just that moment of realization.

If, you know how significant this route is, that’s another one. And, and getting into the desert, the desert’s fending off with a desert when [00:09:00] I was there. It’s so peaceful and you know, nothing’s happening around you and there’s some sort of, there’s an aroma of death, but there’s some sort of, this, there’s some sort of beauty in that death, which, which I quite like.

Yeah. Did you say what you are camping in the sort of desert. Yes. In a, in a desert, I had a few nights about camping. If there was like a Bedouin camp sites or, or a small guest house or something, I would say there, because, you know, I tend to get smelly quite quickly on these walks. So any shower is is welcome.

So, so if I can, I’ll, I’ll stay in a bed, but if not, then add my tens and and everything like that. Yeah. You said there something quite sort of peaceful about the sort of aroma of death. Yeah, it’s, it’s just the absolute silence that the athletes silence and, and, and life business, you just really feel completely alone.

And, you know, especially what you’re on, where you’ve got these, these massive sandstone [00:10:00] massive sandstone rocks everywhere, and really gives you a sense of perspective, you know, that your life does. It doesn’t really mean anything. It’s sort of ego death, I suppose. And Yeah, just, just absolute peace.

So much time to reflect about everything and, and it’s, it’s no other environment is a lot of the desert. It’s incredible. Yeah. I, I, I, there’s something to be said about just sort of going out into these wild places like the desert on your own and wild campaign, this sort of eerie silence, I think is really sort of what blissful is.

Probably the word I’m going for. Yeah, it’s something I don’t think people can sometimes understand the idea of going out alone in the middle of nowhere where there’s nothing. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. It’s, it’s, it’s incredible. It’s wanting to get back to the desert and it’s like, yeah. And you’re at the moment you’re stuck in [00:11:00] lockdown in.

Stuck in the Netherlands. Yeah. Yeah. So in the Hague is for our study. And yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s not a bad place to be. It’s not, not the best place to be, but you know, I’m happy that I’m safe. I can work still and, and it’s, it’s all good. Amazing. And what, what do you think it is about going alone?

Because you’ve done a lot of these walking trips. What is it about walking a lane, which you like. I think it’s, it’s the, the Headspace that, that I get, it’s the peacefulness and spinning up to think about anything for just hours and hours and hours. And, and then, so that’s sort of the mental aspect of it, but then when you are alone, you’re a lot more, you’re a lot more vulnerable.

And as a result of that, the people that you meet are a lot more accommodating to you. They don’t see it as a threat in any way or, or anything like that. So, yeah, it’s just. Multiple factors, but it’s just that, that head space [00:12:00] and the vulnerability, which, which I find incredible, or just try it. I find sometimes trying to convince people to come on these trips hard enough.

When you’re like, I’m going to walk for a month in the desert. It was like, yeah, no, no, for me, no, for me. Yeah. I struggle with that as well. But yeah, sometimes I really appreciate going a lane. We had Jamie Ramsey on episode five, I believe. And we were talking about how going alone, as you said, with the locals, you have that vulnerability.

And it just makes the experience special and unique to you. No one can really understand what it’s like other than yourself and trying to explain it can be tricky, but you have that. I don’t know what the word is. That sort of memory in your head, which you cherish. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. It’s the solid, I was there’s people that [00:13:00] ask me, do you get lonely?

And sometimes yes, but there’s. I like the solitude. I don’t look at it as loneliness. I call it solitude and it’s very peaceful and beautiful. Yeah. Yeah. I agree. And so how long did that. Expedition take that walk. So about one and a half months, I think I was walking for 38 days and then, you know, I’d have a rest week in Jerusalem and a few rest days here and there and everything, but was 38 days of walking.

And, and yeah, it was, it was, it was amazing. Yeah. I mean, as we said earlier, you’re sort of going into areas, which I imagine some of the audience might feel. Are very dangerous. Were there any sort of moments along the way, which you were fearful? Yeah, there were a few. I was in this this place in Palestine called Jason’s going to school.

It’s just [00:14:00] South of Annapolis. It’s it’s a, it’s a refugee camp. It’s called Ballato, but lotta and Basically the people who live there are exclusively Palestinian refugees who used to live in Tel Aviv. And we were kicked out after, after Israel became a state and, and it’s, I read an article when it said it was the most feeble freebro place in the inside Indian, the Palestinian Territories.

And I had, no, I had no idea about this. I was just following Google maps on my phone and it took me straight through there. And you know, I was walking through there and someone of go red hair and, and they, they shouted, they shouted at me and in, in Arabic Yahudi and they, they sort of picks up a kind of Pepsi and chucked it in my heads.

I had no idea what was going on. I saw some flags around of groups that, that, you know, some would call terrorists. Others would go for it and fighters. But I sorta knew there was a lot of tension in the place and this, this kind of Pepsi [00:15:00] still hit me in their heads, not realizing where I was. I decided to pick up the Pepsi can drink it.

Cause, cause I like Pepsi and and then sort of, yeah, stupidly sort of sarcastically sort of Turn the can upside down is the chakra and thank you in Arabic. And and that was from, in terms of people, people was, that was, that was the most scary thing on, on, on any of my trips. But you know, had I known that that was the area I was going through was, was, was that fever or I’ve had I known the stories about the people who lived there.

I wouldn’t have gone there and be able to have been so stupid and sarcastic when I send the the Betsy can upside down. When, when did you realize that it was an act of hostility towards you? Did you know, straight away or was it like, Oh, it’s you giving me this kind of Coke? Well, usually they was usually, they would give me drinks and all around the, all around the West bank.

But you know, I walked into this place and just, [00:16:00] there was something, there was something off about the atmosphere and yeah, this, this happened and I got out and you know, where the hell have I just been. Not to my phone, but also, ah, okay. Bad place. So that’s, that’s one, two myths out on the on the trip.

Yes. I mean, there are, there are some Westerners that go there. I think the UN have got some refugee camps or some sort of assistance programs there, but you know, if you go in uninvited it’s, it’s probably not the best idea. Got it. And so your six week or one and a half month trip took you all the way through after that, were you.

Was there a sort of feeding of, well, I just want to do another one was that you were sort of hooked. Yeah, exactly. I mean, it started earlier than that, that this sort of a hook is the first strip and it just keeps on going after that. But, but that, that one expedition [00:17:00] certainly sort of reinforced my love for the middle East and the Islamic worlds.

And and that’s where I’ll be focusing on in the future. Yeah. And so going through the Holy lands, it’s a sort of a very spiritual place. Was it a sort of pilgrimage for yourself or was it just an idea of learning about the different cultures? It was both. I am, I am religious and that was, that was big big aspects of my trip to, you know, walk through the places that all the profits have been and, and, and everything like that.

But That was, it was only of the trip. It was also to just experience a new place, a new culture and learn about a place that’s often people have misconceptions about. So, yeah, there’s a lot of different factors. And so walking, I mean, you, you almost specialize in walking, you’ve walked Molter, you’ve walked the [00:18:00] Netherlands, Israel, all sorts.

What is it about walking that you love so much? I think it’s just the, the pace of it, just because it is a slow, it just forces you to take everything in you. Can’t sort of skip through a village that you would be if you’re in car or whatever, but it’s just yeah, how slow it is. You you’re forced to see and take in everything.

You’re forced to go to every, every cafe that you come across in every village, because you want to have a break. You want to have a cup of tea or something like that. So you have to stop. You have to interact with everyone and, and it’s just, it’s the best way to. To hear the stories of the people. And that’s, that’s what I love about it.

Most. Did you get invited in for tea quite a lot then? Yeah. Yeah. I mean the first, the first day I was in Palestine, there’s about a, I think two or three kilometers section from the border with Israel to, to the first town Janine and I just walking on this road, I was, I was invited in fatigue or coffee at least 10 times, you know, I’ve rejected or rejected most of them because I had to go to [00:19:00] Janine.

But but yeah, everyone was just, yeah, come in and come in. And. All the same. Welcome. And yeah, it was amazing. Yeah. It’s, it’s an amazing experience for anyone. Listening is just people around the world are so hospitable and just you, if you just let them so I didn’t know where I’m going with that one, but.

This sort of, as I say, I try and sort of promote and encourage people to sort of step out of their comfort zone and to go on these sort of big grand adventures, because it opens up a whole new world. As you said, you know, us in the West, we see Palestine and Israel and we, we laid out at the time, just see a massive political debate and.

Trouble is probably the best word to describe it. But when you experience these countries by yourself yeah. You, you come across some of the most hospitable and [00:20:00] incredible people. Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s unmatched. I was in, I was in Morocco recently and, and, and there is, there is something, there is something across, across these Islamic coaches that have, that have experienced of just of just absolutely, you know, Theresa the guest is with the utmost respect and being as splittable as he can possibly be.

And it’s something we can learn from. And it’s yeah, it’s incredible. So after that trip, you, you were hooked and the idea was to do the sort of walk walked more basically. So Multa what was about motor that attracted you there? To be honest, what attracted me to Volta was a 10 year Ryanair ticket.

Was that, was, that was that was it really? I mean, it’s, it’s obviously part of the Mediterranean it’s got, it’s got a very rich history of, of multiple empires and religions you know, setting themselves up there. The multiuse [00:21:00] itself is, is, is basically it’s our elective Arabic. It’s the only Semitic language.

It’s, that’s an official language of the EDU and No going there was, was, was incredible. Romans you’re awesome. And so you’ve got the French, you’ve got the British and, and it was, it’s a small, it’s a small two. The two islands are quite smaller. So it gave me, you know, I had a week, I was just planning to walk a hundred miles is, you know, circles around the islands or across the islands, or, you know, I had how I had as much freedom as I could give myself.

And and yeah, it was just, it was a, the expedition that had the most. I didn’t plan this spawn per se. I didn’t have, I’ve got to be in this town and this town in this standby by this time or whatever. So yeah, it was, it was completely, completely, you know, liberating in a way. Yeah. So that’s how you plan your adventures.

You look for the cheapest rhino ticket. I’m a student, you know, I’ve got, yeah. Yeah, [00:22:00] good. That’s not a bad, not a bad way to do it. Really. Yeah. And so, but how do you prepare for the youth expeditions, these walking expeditions? Are there certain things that you always bring with you? Yeah, I mean, I always, I always bring some sort of survival case or whatever, just in case something goes wrong.

Never had to use it yet. Apart from that. I mean, it’s, it’s a book and a diary and a pen that’s that’s that’s really is my, my, my goal isn’t really to, to rough it out or to break any records or anything like that. It’s just to go there and record the stories that I see and hear rebels and try and bring them to the rest of the world.

And that’s, that’s, that’s my real passion. That’s what I am today. What’s the craziest story you’ve had on your travels? Yeah, I mean, there’s. At the time I almost died. Really? That’s, that’s probably the craziest one. So it was on the last day of walking to Holy lands and [00:23:00] I was supposed to be, had to cross three males and ranges to get to Aqaba.

And the, I was crossing the second mountain range and you have to follow these shepherds trails up and down. And I’ll also the Shepherd’s trail when I saw these riverbeds. And I was like, I can just follow that. Then there was a waterfall, which was dry. So it was just, it was just a cliff and I thought, okay, right.

I’ve got to turn back. I jumped down a smaller cliff to get to this part of the river bed. So it was essentially stuck and And that was discreet slope from this Riverbed to it sort of a more stable area where I could get down. And I thought, okay, that’s, that’s my only hope. So climbed up to this great slope and started trying to walk across it, trying to keep my center center of gravity quite low, obviously not low enough.

I slipped quite quickly. And you know, I was just sliding on my backside down this, this, this great slope rocks flying everywhere, hitting me in the, in the heads and, and You know, this, this is a [00:24:00] good sort of 20, 30 meter drop to the, to the bottom of this. So even if I survive the fall easily, a broken leg, and it’s at least 10 kilometers to cruel to the nearest town like this, it’s not going to be possible.

So there was sort of this one Boulder and just, you know, I prayed, you know, please be stable. So grabbed onto it with all the workloads and luckily it was, and And then sort of cruel to the other side of this, this, this great slope is slowly and steadily as Kurds and, and just sort of just broke down on the other side, went into shock and, and it was awful crazy in a bad way, but but certainly something to sort of look back on with a bit of humidity and everything.

It was, it was gone. It was gone inside. Yeah. It’s it’s those sort of moments will always live with you, but they’re, I always find, they always make you a little bit stronger for the next one. [00:25:00] Yeah. Yeah. Hopefully you were a little bit less stupid in this instance, maybe. Yeah. I was going to say that, but I, I thought it within a sound, so yeah, so poetic.

Yeah. Well, Jewish, there’s a part of the show where we ask the same five questions to each guest each week. Yes. With the first being on your trips, what’s the one gadget that you always bring with you on your trips. The one I’ve got the loam inReach, so sip assess like messenger and and that’s, that’s the best way that I can keep in contact with my parents.

You know, my mom always wants to know where I am every day and stuff, so she can check on safe is so love is weird. But but yeah, so that’s, that’s, that’s the one thing let’s say apart from that phone camera and a massive fan of the high tech side of things, but yeah. Yeah, my when I go on trips, my family [00:26:00] always want me to have a GPS so they can track every movement, but I find it really creepy and weird.

So I’m like airplane mode the whole way. Yeah. Favorite adventure or travel book. So this has changed quite recently. I used to, I used to love I still do Arabian sadness, mobile Dessinger. That was, that was my favorite. But I’ve, I’ve recently read a letter, some woods Arabia. And I just found that I found that brilliant, cause it was more, it’s more relevant to today’s world and there was into various countries all around the Arabian worlds and, and yeah, I found, I found that a brilliant book.

Amazing. I’ll have to check that one out. I’ve got a signed copy as well. I was quite happy with it. I check you out. Why are adventures important to you? I think, I think to me, it’s. [00:27:00] I think it’s more just, I’m going to a part of the world and really broadening your own horizons is as cliche as it sounds.

It’s, it’s experiencing a new part of the worlds. And when you do it in an, in a adventurous, an adventurous way, it’s a completely unique way. The locals are going to see you and treat you different to the average tourist. And, and yeah, for me, that those are the big, those are the big sort of pull factors.

There’s also obviously the, the physical and mental challenge that I like, but But yeah, it’s more the experience and yeah. Opening up. Yeah, I agree. What about your favorite quote? My favorite quotes is from one of my sort of childhood heroes, Richard Francis Burton. And he said that I’ve got it here of the Gladys moments in human life.

And me thinks it’s the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands. Shaking off with one mighty effort, the fetters of habits, the LEDs and weight of [00:28:00] routine, the cloak of many cares and the slavery of civilization, man feels once more happy. So that’s, that’s a good almost poet. Almost like a poet.

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Something very poetic about it. No, it’s a good one. I haven’t heard that one before. Yeah. I mean, Richard Francis person was, was absolute madman. Like he was a, he did a pilgrimage to Mecca. Even though he wasn’t a Muslim, he spoke 20 different languages or something like that. Officer in the British, the British East India company and, and yeah, he’s did everything.

Yeah. And is I value you model your cell phone for the future? I try. Yeah. I mean, he’s a bit too Victorian for me, per se, but VAs is definitely some sort of some sort of role model. Yeah. People listening are always keen to travel and go on these sort of grand adventures like yourself. What would you recommend [00:29:00] to people wanting to go on these adventures?

I’d say just, just back yourself, really? Like there’s nothing more, I mean, planning, planning is hard and you just planning so hard. Spin is when you take that first step of the journey, that’s, that’s when it becomes easier. And, and once you’re there, just, just believe in yourself, it’s going to get hard.

But but yeah, you just believe in yourself, you have make sure I was right down my motivation for doing any trips. So if I’m feeling for the feeling shit, one day, I’ll just open, open my diary and just read that to myself. So that that’s. That helps me, but yeah, just, just back yourself. Really.

That’s quite a good idea. Actually. I haven’t, I haven’t actually, Dave had done that before, right. Your motivations before the trip. Yeah. It’s it’s, it’s great. It’s just, yeah, every time, you know, I was, I was in Morocco recently and I was in a walk there and sprained my ankle two days before I finished the trip and, you know, just opened it up and thought, okay.

Right. Take some painkillers and just soldier on and sure enough, I got there in the end. [00:30:00] So. Yeah, I was, I was speaking on the podcast a few weeks back and saying, it is always the first step, which is the most terrifying. But as soon as you break that first step, you’re like, Oh, okay. This is just walking.

It’s like it’s yeah, it’s all in your head. It’s like, You just take each day as it comes, you know, whether it’s you walking from, let’s say one lane for the length of Britain, just think of your staff, just going, you’re just walking to the next door town first. Yeah. And then just carrying on and eventually you’ll be like, Oh, this is actually quite easy.

Yeah. It won’t become fun. It’s not fun when you walk. But but yeah, it’s, it’s not as hard as people think. I think it opens up more opportunities because you’re at sort of eye level with the locals. And so it encourages more interaction. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. That’s obesity. George, what are you doing now?

And how can [00:31:00] people follow and find you. So at the moment I’m writing my book about my journey in Morocco. I walked the length of the Seuss river, which was 250 kilometers from source in the high airless mountains to the sea. That’s due to come out on the 1st of May. It will be out on, on Amazon.

Self-publish and After that I’m planning skirt to a Turkey in Iraq and I’ll do a walk there, but but yeah, you can follow everything I’ll do on, on on Instagram. You can find all the links to my books and, and to the YouTube video I posted recently. It’s, it’s not amazing. It’s just some pictures with some music, but but yeah, so it’s, it’ll all be there at George is my Instagram just my name, no spaces or dots or underscores or anything.

It’s all there. Oh, you kept that, that little trip choir. Okay. What was that? I thought that was the next question, but, okay. Yes. So the next question you [00:32:00] what’s next, but I didn’t know about the Morocco trip. Ah, yes. So yeah, that was recently did I went to Morocco over Christmas too. Spent four weeks there studying Arabic.

I felt a bit behind him. My university Arabic here. I don’t particularly like learning Arabic online, but so I went to Morocco and studied in a scope of four weeks. And after that decided to do a walk across a long one of the rivers and yeah, it was, it was peaceful. Then I could actually practice my, my language a bit more than what I had before.

And yeah, just the, the hospitality just repeated itself as it as it was in the in the middle East. So yeah. Incredible. Yeah. I suppose if you are speaking to Arabic to them, they’re probably a little bit surprised and they’re they almost like, Oh, well my Arabic speakers. Yeah. I mean, in fact, most of the, most of the journey was, was through a region where the people, their first language is is, is [00:33:00] called Tasha Heath, which is, which is quite different to quite different to Arabic.

But But, you know, they, they, they learn Arabic in school. They have to win because it’s, you know, religiously mandated to, to be able to read and understand the Koran in Morocco. So they will understand Arabic, Arabic well, but I didn’t, unfortunately I didn’t learn any of any of their languages, which is quite angry myself, if to be honest, because there’s a very, very unique and beautiful culture and yeah, next time.

Yeah, hopefully, always the next time. Yeah. Well, George, thank you so much for coming on the show today. Thank you. Yeah, I really enjoyed it. It’s been an absolute, yeah. Pleasure listening to your stories. And as I said, as I was saying, I look forward to following your adventures in the future, especially the next one in Iraq.

And kurgastan. Yes. Yeah. Looking forward to it. So yeah, the Curtis son walk would be 800 kilometers across from, from DIA [00:34:00] Barker to hallelujah in Iraq. So, you know, once again, through going through some somewhat politically unstable territory, but you know, my aim is to go there and find the good news stories and to show it, to shed a different lights on the part of the world.

So. Hopefully it’ll be good in shit a lot as, as there was. Yeah. Well, thank you so much for coming on today. And as I said, I think everyone listening, your stories have been really interesting and you know, we’ve had many people on, but don’t think too many I’ve covered this part of the world. So it’s always nice to get a fresh, I’m glad I could.

Thank you. Okay, well, that is it for today. Thank you so much for listening. And I hope you enjoyed the show. If you did hit that like button and subscribe, if you haven’t already, and I will see you in the next video.

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