This is the blog for Meg Noble Peterson, whose latest book is Madam, Have You Ever Really Been Happy? An Intimate Journey Through Africa and Asia. It is the story of her unique eight-month solo backpacking trip around the world. A synopsis and excerpts from the book can be found on her website: www.megnoblepeterson.com
I began this blog in the summer of 2005 with my trip to Sweden and Norway. Scroll down to the end to begin this journey.
Many people have asked me what countries are covered in my book, “Madam,” as well as those I visited on previous or subsequent trips. My first world trip in 1986-87 covered Egypt, the Sinai, Thailand, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa, India, Nepal, Hong Kong, China, Australia, and New Zealand. On my second eight-month world trip in 1996-97, I revisited several of the Asian countries (Nepal [climbing to Mt. Kangchenjunga base camp], Thailand, India, Australia, New Zealand), and added Tibet, Indochina (Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam), Indonesia, Singapore, and Tasmania. I have traveled extensively in Western Europe, backpacking, hitch-hiking (with my children), and riding the rails (that is, Eurails), a very convenient way to see the countryside. I started my overseas adventures in Denmark, Germany, and France, participating in work camps for the Quakers after World War II. Later, I traveled to England, Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Spain, Iceland, the old Yugoslavia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Hawaii, Canada, and Israel (not in this order!). I have many places yet to visit. I’ve tried several times to get to Fiji and to Papua, New Guinea, as well as to several countries in the Far East and Asia. Still on my agenda are Bhutan, Russia, and Mongolia. I have not been to Portugal, Alaska, Greece, or Turkey, but they are also on my “to do” agenda. I’ve only been to Mexico, Jamaica, and Peru and feel a great need to acquaint myself with our friends in Central and South America, but all of this takes time and for the reasons I state in my book, Asia keeps calling me back.
This blog includes recent backpacking trips to northern and southern India, Myanmar, Ladakh, Kashmir, Sikkim, and Tanzania.
Quick recap of trips taken before starting my blog:
In March, 2005, I traveled to Prague in the Czech Republic.
In May, 2004, I spent a month with my eldest daughter in Tibet. Together we circumambulated sacred Mt. Kailash over the Dolma La (pass) at 18,000 ft. and Lake Manasarovar at 14,000 ft. We camped in the countryside, mixed with nomads, and visited the sacred places and temples of this beleaguered country.
In May, 2003, I traveled to Peru and climbed on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
In May, 1999 I did the Wainwright Walk across England from St. Bees Head on the Irish Sea to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea. And in November and early December of the same year I trekked, once again, in Nepal, doing the Annapurna circuit, and going over the Thorong La (pass) at 18,500 ft.
My eldest son, Christopher, treated the entire family to a trip to the Galapagos Islands in 1998, three years before he died. This will remain one of the high points of all my travel adventures.