THE 13,000-MILE JOURNEY
For many, 2022 has not brought with it the hope and sense of anticipation that the dawn of a new year usually brings. One big reason for this, of course, is the onset of Coronoavirus’ third wave, making 2022 feel like a deja vu and a repeat of 2021 and 2020. The scourge of sickness and the continuing uncertainty and disruption have been difficult and draining, to put it mildly.
So how do we renew our spirits and courage at a time like this? One way is by reminding ourselves that the world is a big and beautiful place and there is still much in it that is good and inspiring. While there is, of course, no substitute for experiencing the wonder of the planet firsthand, sometimes that is just not possible. That is when a well-made TV series like Long Way Up comes in handy.
Long Way Up is the story of movie actor Ewan McGregor (of Star Wars, Moulin Rouge and Christopher Robin fame) and his best friend Charley Boorman’s 13,000-mile journey across South and Central America on electric motorcycles. Starting from the southernmost tip of South America, the friends travel through Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico and finally end their journey in Los Angeles 100 days later.
As Ewan and Charley travel across the frozen, snow-covered Andes mountains, the burning Atacama desert, the Bolivian salt plains and the ruins of Machu Pichu, to name just a few of many spectacular locations, their adventures remind us of some basic truths we tend to forget in the midst of dreary and difficult times:
1. The world is a beautiful place. There is much that is still good and un-ruined, if we will but look for it.
2. Everything that can go wrong probably will go wrong, specially in the beginning, but if we can make it past our teething troubles, then we have a good journey to look forward to, full of learning and adventure.
3. There are kind and generous people everywhere. Sometimes our own personal experiences leave us embittered but it is important to remember that our own experiences are not necessarily representative of the human race. It is important to look at people with kind eyes.
4. A strong bond of camaraderie will make even the toughest journey smooth. Charley Boorman, it turns out, is not in the best physical condition to make this trip, and an adventure of this magnitude poses a definite risk. But it is moving to see the two protagonists look out for each other and be there for each other through thick and thin.
5. Things work out. Even when they look like they may not. The series is full of challenges, problems and dangers, all of which are conquered one by one.
Watch the series (currently streaming on Apple TV), even a couple of episodes if that is all you have time for. You’ll be glad you did.
Have a great week!