Website of Author   (WWW.BDHWRITES.COM)

Journey to Self

Discovering Paths Beyond My Dreams
Now Available at Amazon.com

Double-click on image to enlarge the photographs with their descriptions.

Double-click on image to enlarge the photographs with their descriptions.

Journey to Self  – A Summary

This is a memoir that primarily covers a 15 day period over which I drove from London to the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia. This journey took place over 40 years ago.  Unimportant parts of the journey have slipped from my memory, leaving the more significant details to be described in this memoir. I had two companions, Penny and Ron (I have changed their names as neither has vetted the manuscript).

Penny and I worked for the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) in Dhahran, which is in Eastern Arabia close to Bahrain. We had worked together in the ARAMCO headquarters for about a year and during that time we had met Ron who worked for an English subcontractor.  In addition to the 15-day drive, I have also included adventures that I later enjoyed in my Blazer, exploring Saudi Arabia.

Penny and I had been on vacation in England to visit our respective parents. I had purchased a Blazer from New York and had it shipped to England.  We left England and crossed France, Germany, Austria and dropped down into Yugoslavia, which was still a “unified” state under Tito. From there, we passed through Greece and onto Turkey where we met up with Ron. I had made the rash decision to drive the Turkish coast road, rather than cut directly across the country. Eventually, we moved into Syria where life became a little more “entertaining.” We continued South into Jordan and finally onto Saudi. This brief geographic overview of the trip bypasses the various incidents that occurred along the way. Some of these incidents were due to our ignorance, our arrogance, and some were simply life happening. We were all in our later twenties at the time and landed up maturing over those two weeks. I cannot speak for the other two, but for myself, that journey was a wake up call that has made me the man I am today. It was not just a pivotal moment: it was a pivotal journey that may have ended years ago, but it is reflected in the life that I have lived each and every day since.

 

Along with descriptions of and reflections on the journey that we undertook, through conversations that the three of us shared in the car, stories about our life on the ARAMCO camp are also woven into the story line.

The story shows the changes that occurred in me, and takes a look at an aspect of the Muslim world that was and in most aspects is still loving, kind, generous and simply wishing to live in peace and harmony. 

An Essay about Gun Control.

BACKGROUND

Having recently retired, I have found time to focus on my writing and it has been a time to redefine who I am.  For years, I had been a computer system architect but that mask dissolved with retirement.  A second mask as a volunteer hospital chaplain has continued and my time commitment in this capacity has expanded.

 

Now, I primarily identify myself as a writer: it is an identification that I would never have dreamt in years past.  But, here I am.  Most of the material that I cover concerns travels that I took as a younger man.  I have travelled in some areas that today are no longer considered safe.  My stories connect readers with a world in which people appeared to have compassion and respect for one another.  That is not to say that the world was less violent.  It was not, but the violence was not so arbitrary as it feels nowadays.

 

If there is one lesson that I have learned over the years, it is the following simple truth.  Schooling and college are so important as a basis for a fulfilling life, but to truly learn about life and people we need to travel.  For me, travel does not mean taking a cruise or a bus tour.  Travel is living and engaging with people who have different values and views to myself – to be outside my comfort zone.

 

I was born and raised in England until I was 26.  I then worked for four years in the Middle East.  In my early 30’s, I moved to the U.S. where I have lived ever since.  I will admit that the Middle East is now too much of a challenge for my comfort zone, but I recognize that the vast majority of the region’s people are kind, generous and wonderful.  I am saddened by the fear and the apparent void.

 
 
A Few of My STORIES

Travel

I had spent an interesting week in the Hindu Kush (N.W. Pakistan) with a group of adventurers.  Our return flight was cancelled, forcing us to take the daily bus back to Rawalpindi – or, at least, try.

Originally released - June 2017

During a "vacation" in Yemen, I encountered two different versions of frogs.  Each had their own unique stories that I have wound into one piece in which a unusual bond meets with the uglier side of life.

Originally released - Sept 2017

This is a second piece based on my trip to the Hindu Kush.  It sets a course for the reader that meanders down white water rapids and concludes with reflections on the world today. There are no firm conclusions, but I want to generate fresh thought in this complex world.

Originally released - Sept 2017

In this tale, I describe a side trek I took while on the Annapurna Circuit trek in the Himalayas. I wanted to see the highest lake in the world that never completely freezes over. It was venture beyond what I thought I would ever undertake.

Originally released - Sept 2018

Life / Spirituality

My returning to civilization from a Himalayan trek was seriously hindered by illness and later by an event in Indian history that had horrific repercussions.

Originally released - June 2017

In this tales I learn of a family tragedy that happened to the guide who was taking me on a Himalayan trek.  In talking about it with him, my life and my understandings about life shifted significantly.

Originally released - June 2017

In this short piece, I have attempted to argue that the desire for control in our lives is not a productive way of trying to stop or slow change or aging.

Originally released - Sept 2017

In this story, I revisit a night when i was in college living in southern England.  An exceptional winter storm hit the town where I was living.  It was a night that started many years of my being physically active.

Originally released - Dec 2017

While living in a YMCA in England, we were subjected to a number of cooks: Ethel was one of the worst.

Originally released - Dec 2017

After college, I had an encounter with English police and the judicial system.  I was fortunate that my cheeky and arrogant manner did not make my situation worse.

Originally released - Dec 2017

In this piece, I look at an experience in which my viewpoint may have been so different from literally millions of other people. 

Originally released - Mar 2018

I look back to my childhood when I enjoyed a good relationship with my father.  I look back at two examples of how he approached his life as they have influenced me and my attitudes.

Originally released - Mar 2018

In this piece, I describe three incidents from my growing up that explain why my mother wondered if I would ever grow up and become a responsible adult.

Originally released - Jun 2018

When I attended college in England, I enjoyed the annual Rag Week. This was a week when students raised money for local charities. Some students stepped outside the official list of fund-raising activities, but earned newsworthy contributions.

Originally released - Jun 2018

This piece is the opening to a story about when I injured myself in a climbing accident. Being hospitalized in England in 1970 did not compare to what I may encounter here in California in 2018.

NEW!!!

Utter Lunacy

 - Without any reference to the current state of US politics - no matter which side you are on!!!   Avoid this section, if you have something better to do....

Years ago, I would send a Christmas card to a long-time friend containing a different crazy story, each year.  Each of these stories ended with a reference to an incident in which four farm laborers lifted the front wheel of her Jaguar XK12 to change her tire.

Originally released - June 2017

 
 

For any media inquiries, please contact : Barry Hampshire

© 2017 by BDH proudly created with Wix.com

  • Facebook Social Icon

Penny watched a hovercraft depart the French coast while I re-inflated my two front tires.