Distant Suns – Prologue

Distant Suns by Sam Manicom

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Suddenly I was in a position where there really was nothing to stop me setting out to have adventures on a motorcycle, but I did try to find excuses not to go; after all, the dream to ride the length of Africa wasn’t ordinary, even if I was. One day, when I was thinking about where my life was going and what I was doing with it, I had an inspirational thought. I suddenly realised that if I put my mind to it I could actually do anything I wanted. At that moment this was an inspirational feeling. It was time to do something completely different. There really wasn’t a reason why I shouldn’t.

About two thirds of the way down amazing Africa I realised that in spite of the ridiculous number of times I fell off the bike (no surprise as I’d only been riding a bike for three months by the time I’d reached the Sahara), and regardless of being arrested three times, in jail once, shot at twice, nearly dying from malaria, and a seventeen-bone fracture prang in the desert in Namibia, I was thoroughly enjoying adventuring on a motorcycle. The freedom the bike gave me was phenomenal and the adventures she got me into never stopped rolling. I was loving it, and I wanted more! Could I keep going? Was there any good reason to stop?

I could and there wasn’t, and after the next three years adventuring across the Antipodes, Asia and the Middle East, I was even hungrier for more. South America was the new dream, and when I realised that I could scrape enough money together to keep going, the adventure continued to roll. When my guardian angel was there for us, the journey was a combination of laughter, adrenaline burning fun and pure awe.

I see myself as a pretty ordinary bloke and when I set off to travel I’d no intention to write a book, or even books. I was out to have an adventure. I wanted to see some of our world, and I couldn’t think of a better way to do it than on a bike. When I sat down to write my first book Into Africa, it all felt a bit of a cheek. I wasn’t sure what made me think I should try this new type of adventure, but the itch to tell the story came from people I’ve met over the past years. Many said to me, ‘You’re incredibly lucky to have been able to travel the world, I wish I could’. At first when people said that I blindly thought, ‘if I can so can you’. I believed that people generally have the ability to make their lives head in the direction they wish; I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I learnt from the people I met on the road that we don’t all have the ability to make dreams a reality. However, we can make high points happen and we should value them for what they are. We can also taste and develop our dreams through the adventures of others. Where would we all be without dreams?

Distant Suns is written for those of you fortunate enough to know that you can go out and live the dream. Value that, and just do it; go and travel – you’ll never regret it. This book is also written for those who love the sound of travel but are quite happy with adventure from the pages. We also love to be able to escape into a world of adventure and foreign lands from the comfort of our armchairs at the end of a working day. I hope you will enjoy the stunning, the beautiful, and the surprises.

Distant Suns is very much written for those of you who are tied down by responsibilities. The reality is that there are many who may never get the chance to travel a long road, but don’t stop dreaming. You never know what opportunities tomorrow will bring. In the mean time I hope that you will enjoy travelling with us through some of this amazing world.

I want to end my note by thanking you the reader. Without the feedback that you have written in to us about my first books, I would not have had the courage to write this one. I’ve quite an amazing feeling as I’m typing that. Just three years ago, as I published Into Africa and was wondering if I was about to fall flat on my face, I’d no idea that I would be publishing a third book now. You have allowed me to share the fun. Thank you.